Barrington moved up to a tie for fourth place with Portsmouth in the Rhode Island high school football media poll this week after beating Cranston West 14-0, according to the Barrington Times. The Eagles were ranked 9th a week ago after opening the season with a close loss at Westerly.
The win evens the Eagles' record at 1-1 overall, and 1-0 in Division I. Westerly, ranked 6th, is a Division II school.
So, where does Barrington belong in Division I? Are they a playoff team that just happened to get beat by a tough Division II squad on the road?
There is no question about No. 1 ranked La Salle. Thanks to an impressive win over No. 3 Portsmouth, top-ranked La Salle has solidified its grip on the No. 1 spot in the latest poll.
La Salle gained six points and three more first-place votes from last week, increasing its lead on No. 2 Hendrickren from two points to nine. The Hawks won their game, shutting out South Kingstown.
The rest of the poll stayed relatively stable except for two teams. Cumberland moved up four spots, from No. 16 to No. 12. The Clippers are 1-1, with a competitive 12-6 loss to Division I Cranston West and a shutout of Division II Central, 28-0.
Woonsocket plummeted in the rankings, from No. 10 to No. 19. They were thrashed by No. 7 Johnston, 43-6, on Friday night. The Panthers moved up two spots in the poll with the win.
Dropped from poll: None.
Also receiving votes: Exeter-West Greenwich 14, Mount Pleasant 13, Hope 8, Warwick Veterans 8, Central 7, Rogers 4, Toll Gate 4, Smithfield 3, Tiverton 2.
The Rhode Island Sports Media football poll is voted on by 13 local media members who regularly cover Rhode Island high school football. The poll is administrated and compiled by Eric Rueb of Southern Rhode Island Newspapers.
PATCH BALLOTRank Team Media Last Week 1 Hendricken 2 1 2 La Salle 1 2 3 Portsmouth t-4 3 4 Cranston East 3 7 5 Tolman 8 4 6 Westerly 6 5 7 West Warwick 11 6 8 Cranston West 9 8 9 Barrington t-4 9 10 East Providence 13 11 11 Johnston 7 17 12 South Kingstown t-15 10 13 Chariho 14 14 14 Woonsocket 19 12 15 Cumberland 12 15 16 St. Ray's 10 16 17 Middletown t-15 NR 18 East Greenwich 20 NR 19 Exeter-West Greenwich NR 19 20 Rogers NR 18
With a couple more games in the books, the ballot process gets clearer for me. In general, Rhode Island football usually has tiers:
- The best teams are almost always in Division I. In past years, the rare non-division, non-Injury Fund games between Division I and Division II or III teams have normally been dominated by the teams in Division I. And amongst Division I, it is very, very rare for Hendricken or La Salle to be below No. 5.
- Because of this, I generally tend to keep Division I teams in the Top 10 to 15 of the poll. (Only two exceptions spring to mind: North Kingstown didn’t really belong in Division I the past few years, and one year, Cranston East went 0-for a majority of a season, before finally sneaking into an end of the year poll.)
- Generally, a couple Division II teams – two to five – can hang with the Division I teams.
- And off of the above point, a couple Division III teams – two to five – normally can hang with the Division II teams.
- Usually, my ballot only has one Division IV team, at most. For the two years I’ve been voting, the non-division record of Division IV teams is something like .250.