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October 26, 2007

Cleaning out the Notebook

A Class AA team in Pennsylvania is making a strong argument for national ranking consideration. But, like a lot of super-talented small school juggernauts, the main stumbling block is the schedule.

Jeannette High School has completed its regular season with a 9-0 record while outscoring Western Pennsylvania small school opponents by 513-31. That's an average margin of 57.0 to 3.4 points a game.

And it could have been worse for Jayhawk opponents since the second half, running clock mercy rule was invoked the first eight games after Jeannette enjoyed a 35-point lead after intermission.

The Jayhawks wrapped up regular season Thursday night with a 42-6 victory over a once-beaten Greensburg Central Catholic team. It was the closest any team has come to Jeannette this season. Previous scores were 60-0, 52-12, 53-0, 64-7, 40-0, 54-0, 71-0 and 77-6.

That's called dominance. However, it doesn't translate into any national ranking consideration.

The nine small school opponents of Jeannette entered the final regular season weekend with a combined 27-45 record. Three of the beaten foes are winless; two others are 2-6 and 3-5.

National ranking compilers have to compare schedule strengths and the current Class AA opposition for Jeannette doesn't measure up to what other powers are doing, week-in and week-out, against larger and more successful opponents.

Could Jeannette, which is led by super quarterback-athlete recruit Terrelle Pryor, compete in a one-game situation with some of the FAB 50 nationally ranked teams? Probably.

But ranking compilers can't reward what "probably" could happen in a one-game situation.

They have to compare the results, schedules and overview of the situation to make justifiable rankings which reflect the strongest teams facing the best opposition week-in and week-out.

The presence of Pryor, no doubt, adds to the prestige of the Jeannette team, which has yet to win a state Class AA crown with the football-basketball prospect leading the way.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has yet to play a complete, four-quarter game this season because of the blowout wins but amassed some good numbers in the first eight games. He was 39 of 57 passing for 897 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception. He also rushed for 542 yards and 12 scores in limited playing time.

Florida was the scene last weekend of a shootout game featuring over 1,000 total offense yards. Lake City Christian defeated Oak Hall of Gainesville by 43-28 while racking up 623 total yards including 452 on the ground.

Oak Hall countered with 382 yards although the Eagles had negative rushing yards. Oak Hill quarterback Will Indianos connected on 30 of 62 passes for 402 yards and four scores.

The Florida state record, according to Buddy Collins of the Orlando Sentinel, is 1,292 yards when Daytona Beach Seabreeze outlasted Ocala West Port by 53-52 in 2003. That game featured current Florida State QB Xavier Lee of Seabreeze vs. Bobby Kissane.



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