Every week of the football season, 10 voters rate Western New York's best teams from 1 to 10 in the large and small school polls. The News has one vote in each poll. Here's how we filled out our ballot:
1. Orchard Park (10-0) [last week: 1] -- Not sure there's anything else like it in WNY high school sports. Great numbers one weekend (a record best 10 Section VI titles, including the last four in a row), not-so-great numbers the next (0-7 in Far West Regionals).
2. Sweet Home (10-0)  - Dominating performance over an undefeated team with their backup QB. Very, very impressive. You never know: the No. 1 spot could be theirs.
3. St. Francis (7-3)  - Peoples' ears sure perked up in the press box at The Ralph when someone passed on Frannies' halftime lead over Timon (7-6). Not very, very impressive. As we said last week, Sweet Home's game with Aquinas (which beat visiting St. Francis, 13-7, this season) will impact this poll.
4. Cheektowaga (9-1)  - The way their Iroquois game went, I thought they might be capable of extended an special season with a playoff run. But Sweet Home was just too good in too many places.
5. Iroquois (7-2)  - Still a "wow" when you think about how close they came to winning at Cheektowaga and Sweet Home.
6. McKinley (8-0)  - Again, the Macks' top nonleague win (St. Joe's) doesn't help their resume. They could still move up if it feasts its way to Thanksgiving.
7. Lancaster (6-4)  - Ranking unaffected by loss at The Ralph. Best losses in WNY: OP twice, Sweet Home, Depew.
8. Frontier (7-3)  - All over another North team, winning the AA bowl with a 33-19 win over Lockport. Lost to OP, Lancaster and Clarence combined 17 points. Beat Kenmore West, Lockport and Niagara-Wheatfield by a combined 86 points. We're rewarding the Falcons (and their division) by moving them up one and dropping NT down one.
9. North Tonawanda (6-3)  - Why? Here's why: 5-0 vs. North, 0-2 vs. South.
10. Grand Island (5-4)  - Kenmore East finished the year on a great run and with a consolation bowl win, which should be applauded. But you can't vote for East without voting for GI first. Grand Island beat East when it really mattered, made the playoffs and played tough at Cheektowaga. That's better than any bowl-ing any team does. The consolation bowls can supplement a team's resume (like Frontier's), but they can't become the team's resume. Canisius will have to do more than scratch and claw out wins over a St. Joe's team that McKinley shut out and St. Francis blew out. We still say Grover might be vote-worthy if it goes on a postseason run, but it would have to be a good one.
1. Cardinal O'Hara (9-1)  - Saturday at The Ralph will be the last time Reggie Garner and Jackie Feggans will step foot on a football field. That's good news for the 2008 St. Mary's team, bad news for this year's.
3. East Aurora (7-3)  - Drosendahl and his strong arm were outstanding down the stretch.
4. Fredonia (7-2)  - Only losses to Depew and East Aurora.
5. Southwestern (8-2)  - Only losses to East Aurora and Fredonia. We told you they'd be the bowl champs.
6. Randolph (8-2)  - If the Cardinals put on more performances like Thursday night's, they'll move up this poll and move on in the state playoffs.
7. Cleveland Hill (8-2)  - We've got Randolph ahead of them due to the only major Class C/D barometer this season (Maple Grove 48, Falconer 15), because the Cardinals looked strong enough to beat both C finalists, and we think that Class D is just deeper and better than C this year.
8. Medina (6-3)  - Only lost to Depew, Albion and East Aurora. Class B is strong. They're a top 10 team.
9. Falconer (8-2)  - Falcons ended up on the other side of the kind of last-minute finish that they routinely pulled off in the playoffs last year.
10. Maple Grove (9-1) [NR] - Red Dragons' flameout meant they didn't deserve a vote last week, but they're back and Portville is gone because Portville lost to Randolph, 30-0, a week after Maple Grove lost to Randolph, 14-11. St. Mary's might be able to squeeze in here if they play O'Hara tough; we know St. Mary's beat Cleveland Hill, but that was by one point in Week Four. We're just not as impressed with St. Mary's other wins as the other teams' here.
Note: The final polls will be conducted after the season is over and will be published in December with the All-Western New York team.
-- Keith McShea