(11-12-21) Samuel Houseworth’s latest looks at the OHSAA football rankings heading into week 3 of the playoffs.

COMPLETEHouseworth Rankings 11-12-21

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D-I

There are not one, but TWO, state championship caliber contests this weekend in the large school division. Up by the lake, we have Medina vs. St. Ignatius, ranked 3rd and 4th overall in the Projection Index. Medina comes in undefeated, led by Penn State commit QB Drew Allar. St. Ignatius is 8-4 but has one of the toughest schedules on the planet and their 4 losses are by a combined 12 points. Down by the River, we have St. X vs. Lakota West, ranked 1st and 5th in the Projection Index. This is a rematch of the opening weekend where Lakota West suffered the only loss of the season, 31-14 at St. X.


D-II

There are no guarantees in the regional semifinals in D-II. Even Avon, who keeps trading places with TCC at the top of the division, is only a two-touchdown favorite against Olmsted Falls. Every other contest is more competitive. The big game to watch is over in Region 7 with Massillon and Big Walnut. The Golden Eagles, despite being 12-0, have their doubters based on their relatively weak schedule. They are going to silent their critics with a win over the most decorated program in the state.


D-III

Is this St. Marys’ year? Let’s get one thing out of the way first, it’s hard to picture anybody beating Chardon, who would be favored even in D-II. But if not the Hilltoppers, then who? Well, probably the winner of Badin vs. St. Marys. The Roughriders have made it 7 straight seasons with a postseason win while the Rams have been in the state championship conversation each of those years, only to fall to Alter or Trotwood deep in the playoffs. With name spoiler remaining, this should be their year.


D-IV

After Bellevue was the victim of the biggest upset in OHSAA Football Playoffs history two weeks ago, the path to back-to-back state titles was kicked open for Van Wert. The Cougars get their toughest challenge yet with Clyde on Friday. The Fliers come into the regional semifinal on a 6-game winning streak that includes some impressive Ws over Tiffin Columbian, Bellevue, and Shelby. The winner of this semifinal will be heavily favored over either Port Clinton or Perkins in the regional championship.


D-V

Going into the regional semis, D-V is the most balanced division among the seven in the state. And the most balanced region is Region 18 in the northwest corner. O-G, Elmwood, Elyria Catholic, and Otsego are all state caliber teams. But regardless of who gets to the state semifinals, they will put up a fight with (probably) Versailles. Then over in the eastern half of the state, we will likely see Ironton get either Kirtland or South Range. Yes folks, South Range is the biggest threat to Kirtland’s insane winning streak.


D-VI

It’s not every day that a MAC team is a legit underdog in the postseason, unless it’s to another MAC team. This Saturday, Anna, the only team left in all divisions without a winning record, will be a 3:1 underdog against Allen East. The other Region 24 contest pits Mechanicsburg against Coldwater. The Indians have been eliminated by a MAC team in each of the last 3 years and 6 of the last 7 years.


D-VII


All season, the Projection Index has been in love with Marion Local, New Bremen, and LCC with nobody else even sniffing the top 3 in D-VII. That has changed with two things. First, defending state champion New Bremen being upset by Tri-Village last Saturday. Second, the dominance of Warren JFK since the end of September. Since their 16-14 loss to Mogadore on September 24th, the Eagles have put together a 5-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 236-41. That’s an average margin of victory of 39.0. If you’re looking for an eastern Ohio team to end the western Ohio dominance in D-VII, this is your team.