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Every week I agonize over The News' poll ballot for our large and small school football polls. And every week I agonize over how to explain it.
The "How The News voted" feature at buffalonews.com's Prep Talk blog is where I do so, detailing just how we came up with our top 10s.
This is how we saw things this week - for the rest of the season, you'll have to check out our voting record on the blog.

Large schools

1. Orchard Park (2-0) [last week: 1] - Absolutely overwhelming against a very good Clarence team. Clinically dominating.
2. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (1-1) [2] -- They went to Steubenville all beat up and played a competitive game, which is saying a LOT. Quality of the Will South win and that showing keeps them my top-rated Monsignor Martin squad and certainly deserving of this spot.
3. Sweet Home (2-0) [4] - Saw less than a quarter of their rout of Kenmore East, but saw quite a few good things. They certainly have a claim on No. 2, but I like Timon's schedule much better than the Panthers' wins over NT and KE (a combined 0-4 after both lost to Grand Island as well). The strength of schedule increases Saturday in a great AA-A neighborly matchup at Kenmore West.
4. Clarence (1-1) [3] - Many are going to forget the Red Devils' big win over West Genesee in the Carrier Dome. I'm not. Yes, OP crushed them. To me, that says more about a focused, miles-better-than-anyone-in-WNY OP squad then it does about Clarence.
5. Jamestown (2-0) [5] - Quite nice wins over Kenmore West and Niagara Falls, both at home. I think Clarence's win over West Genny is better. Many will disagree. We certainly shall see . but it'll be a while for the head-to-head matchup: Jamestown is at Clarence at Week Seven.
6. West Seneca East (2-0) [10] - Very impressive, all-around victory over Williamsville East led by very impressive, all-around talent Andy Smigiera.
7. St. Joe's (2-0) [6] - Impressive scores against teams that are not so impressive. This Saturday the Marauders host St. Francis, which will give us something to chew on.
Bonus non-ballot related sidenote: Someone voted for St. Joe's at No. 1. Someone is being ridiculous.
If the Marauders' strength of schedule was better, and I mean much better, then maybe you can make a case for 2-0 St. Joe's. But even then, No. 1 over the defending Class AA state champs who just put on a clinic at Clarence? No way.
8. Lockport (1-1) [NR] - Lions thumped a Starpoint team that is usually in the thick of Class A - they played a close one last year. They showed some very good things in the OP loss as well. I certainly have them as the favorite in AA North.
9. West Seneca West (2-0) [NR] - Really complete win over Lancaster team has Indians fans rightly fired up . just as West heads to OP.
10. Williamsville South (1-1) [8] - They bounced back from Timon loss with a win, but it was at 0-2 Hamburg and it wasn't a clear enough victory for them to catch those ranked ahead.
Just missing out on this ballot were both Canisius and McKinley, who play Friday night at All High in a very nice matchup. Canisius needed a late touchdown to beat St. Mary's, which certainly hurt them here. McKinley was 6-6 with Williamsville North until late in the fourth and that hurt them. There could be a ton of big plays Friday night. . St. Francis could still be a top 10 team. I want to give them credit for running behind Alex Misterman to a big lead over Holy Trinity, but the credit gets taken away because that big lead went away. . Iroquois and Grand Island (both 2-0) are probably next. Kenmore West is solid. Hutch-Tech might be second-best 0-2 team behind St. Francis. Williamsville East may be heard from.

Small schools

1. Alden (2-0) [1] - Niagara-Wheatfield is obviously not having a strong season, but it still tells you a good deal about the Bulldogs in that they utterly dominated a school that was AA before moving to A this season.
2. Depew (2-0) [3] - Another week, another very impressive performance, another week closer to Depew at Alden (two weeks down, three to go until Week Five).
3. Cheektowaga (2-0) [4] - Tremendous comeback to beat Burgard in B West, and they did it with monster plays. Great catches, big-time plays on both sides of the ball by a dominating player in Marquel Jackson.
4. Cleveland Hill (2-0) [6] - Week One win at Maryvale looking really good after Maryvale routed Amherst. They visit Akron this week. Total points this year: Cleve Hill 84, Akron 84.
5. Burgard (1-1) [NR] - Man, Class B West is absolutely sick.
6. St. Mary's (1-1) [NR] - Outstanding performance to not only hang with Canisius . they were leading in the fourth quarter. Can't say you would expect that from most teams on this small-school side.
7. Maryvale (1-1) [NR] - Did I mention B West is sick? Amherst and Lackawanna didn't even make the poll.
8. Maple Grove (2-0) [7] - Two big wins, and the best D always deserves a place here. Another big one this week with Randolph.
9. Pioneer (2-0) [9] - Good, solid wins over Dunkirk and East Aurora, and a good, solid game hosting 2-0 East this week.
10. Frewsburg (2-0) [NR] - Two big wins as well. Another big one we have to wait for: Frewsburg at Maple Grove is Week Seven.
Who's next? Amherst, Lackawanna, Randolph, Eden, East. How crazy is it that Southwestern just showed up in this sentence as an afterthought after the stunning win by Westfield?
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email: kmcshea@buffnews.com