Week 8 of the high school football season destroyed any concept of expectation and predictability in Class 6A.
Three ranked teams lost to unranked opponents by double-digits, and two other ranked teams narrowly survived.
The new poll reflects the major shake-up of Week 8′s upsets, but picking a true top 10 is virtually impossible. Judging the entire season of all the teams worthy of a spot in the top 10 can’t be done with any sort of logic, when there’s no logic in the wins and losses of those teams.
And the losses of two quarterbacks — Justice Hansen at Edmond Santa Fe and David Cornwell at Norman North — has an impact on the quality of those teams. Cornwell is done for the year after knee surgery, and Hansen’s return is unknown with a high ankle sprain (3-4 weeks in typical cases).
Bixby, though it narrowly escaped with a 24-20 win at Putnam City, is one of the biggest benefactors of the Week 8 wildness. The Spartans moved up three spots to No. 6 this week, with their only losses to top-five teams Broken Arrow and Westmoore. Of course, with Jenks up next, adding a seventh win this week will be quite a challenge.
Southmoore jumps back into the poll after sitting just on the edge for the last couple weeks. With losses to Lawton, Westmoore and a Hansen-led Edmond Santa Fe squad, the SaberCats have a strong resume that includes wins over Carl Albert, Norman and now Edmond Memorial.
Tulsa Washingon, which entered the poll after its Week 7 upset of Owasso, moves up to No. 8.
And that’s where it gets messy. Six teams can make a legitimate case for one of the two final spots in the top 10.
Edmond Memorial’s resume is highlighted by wins over Edmond North, Deer Creek, Norman and Mustang, with losses to Lawton, Southmoore and a much-improved Enid team. That’s why the Bulldogs find themselves at No. 9 this week.
Edmond Santa Fe has wins over Southmoore, Edmond North, Yukon and Mustang, with losses to Lawton, Midwest City and Norman. The Midwest City loss came with both of its top two quarterbacks out with injury, so that game is hard to weigh into the equation. Backup QB Keaton Torre looked strong against Lawton, but struggled to keep drives going against Norman, so it’s hard to judge what his effectiveness will be until Hansen returns. So the Wolves were granted the benefit of the doubt for now, until we see a little more from the team with Torre at the helm.
You can say a lot of the same things about Norman North, with John Kolar replacing Cornwell at QB. And the win over Edmond North with Kolar at QB was impressive. But the Timberwolves’ shaky defense is what kept them behind Santa Fe, and thus, out of the poll this week.
Putnam City North is one of the hottest teams around right now. The wins over Midwest City and Norman North in the last three weeks speak volumes about the turnaround the Panthers have made. But the first half of the season can’t be ignored, either.
PC North represents the biggest win on Edmond North’s schedule right now, and that came in Week 4, when PC North was still winless and had yet to turn the corner on its season. Edmond North’s losses are all to good teams — Edmond Memorial, Edmond Santa Fe and Norman North — but the Huskies need a big statement win to earn their way into the top 10. Wins over PC North and Yukon are respectable, but not as flashy as some of the victories teams ranked ahead of them have.
Midwest City is in that pack of teams in the hunt for a top-10 spot, but right now, it’s hard to justify putting them ahead of either Norman North or PC North, both of which beat the Bombers. The MWC defense is one of the best in the state, but the offense has been stagnant the last three weeks, and much of the season. Like Edmond North, the Bombers are lacking a statement victory against a 6A opponent. Of course, one of those teams will have a big victory Friday night — when they face each other.
And with a few other big games on the schedule for Week 9, don’t expect this poll to stay the way it is for long.
Here’s The Oklahoman’s Class 6A top 10:
Rank, Team, Record (Prev.)
1. Jenks, 8-0 (1)
2. Tulsa Union, 6-2 (2)
3. Lawton, 8-0 (3)
4. Broken Arrow, 6-2 (4)
5. Westmoore, 7-1 (5)
6. Bixby, 6-2 (9)
7. Southmoore, 5-3 (NR)
8. Tulsa Washington, 6-2 (10)
9. Edmond Memorial, 5-3 (8)
10. Edmond Santa Fe, 5-3 (6)
Dropped out: Norman North, 5-3 (7)