1. Bishop Amat (3-1) – With a 21-point victory over a ranked Inland team we were questioning whether Amat deserves the top spot. Of course they do. They’ve beaten their three opponents by an average of 23 points while also allowing just 20 points against Garfield, La Mirada and Damien combined. That’s impressive considering Zach Shay and Adam Alcantara are injured, along with one of their best lineman transferring to Charter Oak last week. You want numbers. During coach Steve Hagerty’s tenure, the Lancers are 21-1 against non Pac-5 teams since 2008. Bottom line, they beat who they’re supposed to beat.
2. Charter Oak (3-1) – Charter Oak earned more stripes in a loss to Rancho Cucamonga that it would have in a 50-point blowout against a team nobody cares about. Still, the game is about winning, and when it comes to polls, moral victories don’t keep you on top.
3. West Covina (3-1) – The Bulldogs are taking the “heart of a champion” theme seriously. All three wins could easily have been losses. But they weren’t. That’s what good teams do, they win. Will it catch up with them late in the season? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t bet against them in the fourth quarter.
4. Claremont (4-0) – Of all the Sierra League teams, the Wolfpack have played the friendliest schedule. It won’t matter, because they will line up against everyone in the Sierra eventually. But for now, you have to respect the record.
5. Chino Hills (2-2) – Of all the Sierra League teams, the Huskies have played the toughest schedule and face another test against Redlands East Valley. Everyone knows, by the time league rolls around, they’re still the defending champs and team to beat.
6. Covina (3-1) – We should know more about the shoulder injury of Colts quarterback Billy Livingston today or later in the week, but when all pistons are firing, the Colts will be a hard team to beat the rest of the way. There is nobody in the division with the combination of athleticism, size, and they’re motivated.
7. Los Altos (4-0) – Did you know if they beat Walnut this week they would be 5-0 for the first time since 2003, when they won it all and finished 14-0. Good times are back in the Heights, but this is still September. If they’re rolling in October, look out.
8. Damien (2-1) – Hard to drop the Spartans too far after how well they played Bishop Amat for a half. The Spartans are improving by the week, and once they start catching balls that should be caught, their offense will be even better.
9. San Dimas (3-1) – The Saints are back in the top ten after their dismantling of defending champ Monrovia in Mtown. For all of you (and us) that wrote them off after the Smudgepot loss, that’s why coach Zernickow is the Wizard of the Wing Z.
10. Bonita (2-2) – Probably the most difficult team to predict, but consider that both losses were games they could have won. We’ll know a lot more on Friday when they meet Diamond Ranch at Ganesha.
The rest: 11. South Hills (1-2), 12. Glendora (1-3), 13. Arroyo (3-1), 14. Ayala (2-2), 15. La Puente (3-0), 16. Diamond Ranch (1-3), 17. Diamond Bar (2-2), 18. Rowland (2-2), 19. El Monte (2-2), 20. South El Monte (3-0), 21. Baldwin Park (2-2), 22. Pomona (2-2), 23. Rosemead (1-2), 24. Mountain View (3-1), 25. Azusa (0-3), 26. Nogales (2-2), 27. Duarte (2-0), 28. Walnut (0-4), 29. Workman (2-1), 30. Ganesha (1-2), 31. Northview (0-4), 32. Wilson (0-4), 33. Sierra Vista (1-2), 34. Gladstone (0-3), 35. Bassett (1-2).