Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school football rankings for Week 5

The top five remain solid, but parity is cropping up all over the area. Four new teams join this week.

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school football rankings for Week 5
Loyola’s Andrew MacPherson (34) and Brendan Loftus (87) react during the game against Brother Rice.

Loyola’s Andrew MacPherson (34) and Brendan Loftus (87) react during the game against Brother Rice.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

A lot of high school football seasons are terribly predictable. That might be the case with the top of the rankings this year, but things are wild after the top five.

There are seasons where the Super 25 is just a list of undefeated teams. It’s only Week 4 and that isn’t the case in 2023. Seven 3-1 teams are still in the rankings and three 2-2 teams are holding on.

So Lockport fans can be forgiven if they are a bit hot after getting dropped this week. The 3-1 Porters lost a close game to Sandburg and fall out of the rankings. Lockport holds a high-quality win against Wheaton North, so it remains on the radar.

Naperville North also drops, along with Providence and Lincoln-Way Central. It was a short rankings stint for the Knights, who lost to Lincoln-Way West in overtime.

Four teams join: Downers Grove North, Sycamore, Prospect and Cary-Grove.

I’ve seen Downers Grove North and Sycamore play this season and I’m confident in them. Both teams almost joined last week. Prospect is a solid program that has already been ranked this season.

Is Cary-Grove a stretch? Maybe. But the Trojans slot in at No. 25 for now and it isn’t just because they have my favorite uniforms in the area.

Here’s a rankings secret: Once a team is added to the rankings things are kind of out of my control. It’s nearly impossible to drop a team if they don’t lose. So it is wise to add teams that have a big test coming up. If they win or play well in that game they clearly deserve the spot. If they lose, they are gone. Nice and easy.

Cary-Grove hosts No. 7 Prairie Ridge on Friday. So we will find out an awful lot about the Trojans very soon. I will likely be up in Cary for that game.

Week 5’s Super 25
With record and last week’s ranking

1. Mount Carmel (4-0) 1
Friday vs. Carmel

2. Loyola (4-0) 2
Saturday vs. St. Patrick

3. Lincoln-Way East (4-0) 3
Friday at Andrew

4. York (4-0) 4
Friday at Hinsdale Central

5. Batavia (3-1) 5
Friday vs. No. 13 Wheaton North

6. Maine South (3-1) 6
Friday at New Trier

7. Prairie Ridge (4-0) 7
Friday at No. 25 Cary-Grove

8. Kankakee (4-0) 8
Friday at Thornwood

9. Barrington (4-0) 10
Saturday vs. Fremd

10. Geneva (4-0) 11
Friday at Glenbard North

11. Hersey (4-0) 12
Friday at Buffalo Grove

12. St. Rita (3-1) 8
Friday vs. Marmion

13. Wheaton North (3-1) 14
Friday at No. 5 Batavia

14. Palatine (2-2) 17
Friday at Hoffman Estates

15. Joliet Catholic (3-1) 18
Friday at St. Francis

16. St. Charles North (2-2) 16
Friday at Wheaton-Warrenville South

17. Morgan Park (3-1) 15
Friday at Perspectives

18. IC Catholic (4-0) 22
Friday vs. Marist

19. Lake Zurich (4-0) 23
Friday vs. Warren

20. Downers Grove North (4-0) NR
Friday at Oak Park

21. Prospect (3-1) NR
Friday vs. Rolling Meadows

22. Brother Rice (2-2) 19
Friday vs. St. Viator

23. Oswego (4-0) 25
Friday at Plainfield North

24. Sycamore (4-0) NR
Friday vs. Rochelle

25. Cary-Grove (4-0) NR
Friday vs. No. 7 Prairie Ridge

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