We kick things off, as usual, by asking for the games you're heading out to this weekend:
My vote on the small school side is Maryvale at Tonawanda, just edging out another Class B North game in Alden at Albion.
The Flyers have been playing very well of late, but the Warriors have had a great turnaround season and will be playing for a playoff berth. Alden makes the tough trip to Albion, where the Purple Eagles are coming off a shutout loss at home to Depew, but the Bulldogs have passed every tough test so far.
In the large schools, it's definitely the St. Francis at Canisius game. Tons of build up to that one.
My picks? St. Francis, Orchard Park, North Tonawanda, Iroquois.
Canisius played Aquinas closer than Frannies did, they've got a huge line that might prove to be the difference in this one, and yes, I voted Canisius No. 2 and St. Francis No. 10 this week. But defending champion St. Francis still has Delano Fabor and Luke Tasker back from a team that didn't give up a point to Canisius last year, and they're coming off a bye week following a grueling first four weeks of the season.
Either way, it could be an everybody-wins situation because it could be just the warm-up to the meetings between the teams.
One team who might have something to say about that is St. Joe's. We might learn a lot about them Friday night at North Tonawanda. NT hasn't had the greatest competition to date as its completed its AA North schedule at 5-0, but they have some serious firepower and are playing at home, so they have to be the favorite.
As for OP, I can't see them having two close games in a row. If these Quakers are state-championship caliber, they won't.
Iroquois is No. 4 in the large school poll, and they head to No. 9 West Seneca East for what should be a great atmosphere in Trojan Territory. WSE and quarterback Andy Pangallo will be playing for quite a bit -- a win would give them a share of the divisional title and the top seed for the playoffs. But I've got to pick the Chiefs to tough out another win.
There's still time to vote for what teams you think should be No. 1 in the small school poll and No. 2 in the large school poll. ... There was some great football discussion at Wednesday night's live chat. ... Be sure visit here Friday night and Saturday to talk about the action. ... I'm hoping to have live updates from the St. Joe's-NT game.