CSN Top 20 rankings: Finals week


CSN Top 20 rankings: Finals week

1 Lincoln-Way East (13-0)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Defeated Benet 37-13
Next Game: 7A Championship vs. Glenbard West (Saturday, 4pm)
PrepsTalk: The Griffins will go back to Champaign for the first time since 2005. Quarterback Tom Guessel (three TDs) and running back Nick Colangelo (198 yards, two scores) dominate once again.

2 Glenbard West (13-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Lake Zurich 19-13
Next Game: 7A Championship vs. Lincoln-Way East (Saturday, 4pm)
PrepsTalk: The defense held the Bears to only 20 yards of offense in the first half. Quarterback Henry Haeffner paced the Hilltoppers with 156 yards passing and two touchdowns.

3 Mount Carmel (12-1)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated Neuqua Valley 26-21
Next Game: 8A Championship vs. Glenbard North (Saturday, 7pm)
PrepsTalk: Mount Carmel is dangerous passing the ball, too. QB Don Butkus three touchdown strikes (all to Jason Gasser) send the Caravan back to state for the 16th time since 1980.

4 Crete-Monee (13-0)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Defeated Lemont 28-27
Next Game: 6A Championship vs. Cary-Grove (Saturday, 1pm)
PrepsTalk: Marcus Terrells two-point conversion with three minutes the go was the difference. Another epic game from Laquon Treadwell: two TDs (one receiving, one rushing), along with an INT and a sack.

5 Glenbard North (12-1)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Defeated Loyola 27-24
Next Game: 8A Championship vs. Mount Carmel (Saturday, 7pm)
PrepsTalk: The dream season continues for Justin Jackson (44 carries, 236 yards, four touchdowns) and the Panthers, who will play at Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2007.

6 Cary-Grove (13-0)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Defeated Lake Forest 42-21
Next Game: 6A Championship vs. Crete-Monee (Saturday, 1pm)
PrepsTalk: The Trojans had three players rush for more than 100 yardsRyan Mahoney (182), Kyle Norberg (143) and quarterback Quinn Baker (109). The Trojans last won state in 2009.

7 Loyola (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Lost to Glenbard North 27-24
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Peter Pujals had a fine day (24-42, 274 yards and three touchdowns), but the defense simply could not overcome running back Justin Jacksons monster game.

8 Neuqua Valley (12-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Lost to Mount Carmel 26-21
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: Mikey Dudek ran the opening kickoff back for a score and Dylan Andrew passed for two TDs, but Joey Rhattigan was held to less than 100 yards rushing and the Wildcats could not stop the Caravan O.

9 Maine South (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 8): Did Not Play
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: Quarterback and Northwestern recruit Matt Alviti will be part of a star-studded lineup at the Tom Lemming Banquet at Soldier Field on December 5th.

10 Montini (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Defeated Joliet Catholic 40-37
Next Game: 5A Championship vs. Morris (Saturday, 10am)
PrepsTalk: What a comeback for the Broncos, who escaped from a 31-14 deficit and now look for their fourth straight state championship. Joe Borsellino scored the game-winning one-yard touchdown.

11 Morris (12-1)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Defeated Sacred-Heart Griffin 30-20
Next Game: 5A Championship vs. Montini (Saturday, 10am)
PrepsTalk: Indiana recruit Danny Friend DLTE had a key interception and then secured a 24-yard touchdown catch to propel the Redskins to their fourth appearance at state since 2004.

12 Waubonsie Valley (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Did Not Play
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: The Warriors produced a double-digit win season for the first time since head coach B.J. Lukes team went 12-1 in 1992. It was also the sixth straight playoff appearance for W-V.

13 Lemont (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Lost to Crete-Monee 28-27
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: Christos Giatras rushed for 110 yards and a score and led 24-14 at one point, but they could not hold down the Warriors. The Indians have lost in the semis two straight years.

14 Benet (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Lost to Lincoln-Way East 37-13
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: The dream season comes to an end for the Redwings, who got two touchdowns from receiver Jack Euritt. Quarterback Jack Beneventi was intercepted three times.

15 Wheaton North (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Did Not Play
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: The Falcons (10-2) and Glenbard North (currently 13-0) stepped up in the DuPage Valley Conference, but every other team in the league finished with overall records at or below .500.

16 Lake Zurich (10-3)
Last Week (Ranked 15): Lost to Glenbard West 19-13
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: While the Bears capitalized on Wests turnovers --including a 95-yard fumble returnTD by Grant Soucy-- they could not penetrate the rock-solid Hilltopper defense.

17 Palatine (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 17): Did Not Play
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Ethan Olles had a fine year, passing for over 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Pirates have reached the playoff six straight years after a nine-year layoff.

18 Marian Central Catholic (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Did Not Play
Next Game: Season Over
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Chris Streveler will be graduating early and enrolling at Minnesota in January. He finished this year with 3,506 total yards (2,602 passing) and 47 trips to the end zone.

19 Aurora Christian (12-1)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated Sterling Newman Catholic 41-7
Next Game: 3A Championship vs. Tolono Unity (Friday, 4pm)
PrepsTalk: Chad Beebe (head coach Dons son) had two TD catches as did Cory Windleall from quarterback Ryan McQuade. Running back Joel Bouagnon chipped in with 125 yards and a score.

20 Simeon (10-2)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated Morgan Park 35-14
Next Game: Chicago Prep Bowl vs. Brother Rice (11am Friday)
PrepsTalk: Darnell Cockrell, Elcee Burke and John Gardner found the end zone for the Wolverines as they beat the Mustangs for the second time this year. Simeon also played in last years Prep Bowl.

Looming and Lurking: Lake Forest, Joliet Catholic, Evergreen Park, Oak Forest, Lyons, Notre Dame, Brooks, Downers Grove North, Crystal Lake Central, Lincoln-Way West, Kaneland, Bolingbrook, Providence, Lakes, Richards, Coal City, Wilmington, Brother Rice.

Check out CSN Chicagos live coverage of the 2012 IHSA State Football Championships this Friday and Saturday. On Friday, we will show each game from 1A to 4A beginning at 10:00am. Saturdays coverage of the 5A-8A games will kick off at the same time. We will have wall-to-wall highlights and postgame reaction on Saturdays High School Lites at 10:30pm. High School Lites is streamed live at csnchicago.com.

Be sure to follow @PrepsTalkCSN and @JoeCSN for prep football coverage.

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?


Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?

Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller break down where the Bears go at QB following Brian Hoyer’s injury and evaluate the defense’s gutsy performance on Thursday night against the Packers despite numerous injuries. Plus, a look at the big picture and who can help the Bears down the road.

Check out the latest edition of the Bears Talk Podcast here:

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

LOS ANGELES – Within minutes of the last out on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, ESPN’s @SportsCenter account sent out a photo of Moises Alou at the Wrigley Field wall to more than 30 million Twitter followers: “The last time the Cubs were up 3-2 in an NLCS was Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS vs. the Marlins. Most remember it as ‘the Bartman Game.’”

As Kerry Wood once said: “Irrelevant, dude.”
Look, the Cubs still need to find a way to beat either Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill this weekend, with Kenley Jansen resting and waiting for the multiple-inning saves. The obligatory description for Kershaw is “the best pitcher on the planet.” Hill’s lefty curveball – and “the perceptual velocity” of his fastball – freezes hitters. Jansen has a mystical cutter reminiscent of the great Mariano Rivera. The top-heavy part of this Los Angeles playoff pitching staff has held the Cubs to zero runs in 16.1 innings.

But until proven otherwise, forget about this idea of a Cubs team weighed down by the history of a franchise that hasn’t played in the World Series since 1945.

Just look at Javier Baez getting in Anthony Rizzo’s airspace during Game 5, the human-highlight-film second baseman standing right next to the All-Star first baseman as he caught a Kike Hernandez pop-up for the second out of the third inning.

It didn’t matter that this was a 1-0 game and MVP-ballot players Justin Turner and Corey Seager were coming up. This is what the 2016 Cubs do. Rizzo caught the ball, quickly flipped it underhand and it bounced off Baez’s chest – in front of a sellout crowd of 54,449 and a national Fox Sports 1 audience.

“We always mess around,” Rizzo said at his locker inside a tight clubhouse jammed with media after an 8-4 win. “So I’m screaming: ‘Javy! Javy! I got it! I got it, Javy, I got it!’

“And usually he’ll yell at me: ‘Don’t miss it!’ Or I’ll yell at him: ‘Don’t miss it!’

“We do that a lot. If it’s a pop-up to him, I’ll go right behind him. It’s just little ways of slowing the game down and having fun, too.”

Rizzo is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman for a team that led the majors in defensive efficiency this year. As a super-utility guy, Baez got credit for 11 defensive runs saved in 383 innings at second base, or one less than co-leaders Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler, who each did it in almost 1,300 innings.

“Sometimes when I call (Rizzo) off to get a fly ball, he starts talking to me,” Baez said. “I tell him: ‘Hey, you can do whatever you want. Just don’t move my head. You can touch me if you want. Just don’t move my head.’

“And I told him to be ready for it, because I was going to do the same thing. You just got to be focused on the fly ball. No matter what’s happening around you, you just got to catch it.”

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

This isn’t about Bartman. It’s about a group of young, confident players who are growing up together and absolutely expect to be in this position. It’s manager Joe Maddon designing “Embrace The Target” T-shirts and telling them to show up to the ballpark whenever they want and then blow off batting practice.

“For sure, we’re relaxed,” said Baez, who’s gone viral during these playoffs, the rest of the country witnessing his amazing instincts and flashy personality. “I’m relaxed when I play defense.”

The thing is, Rizzo and Baez could be playing next to each other for the next five years, the same way Kris Bryant and Addison Russell will be anchoring the left side of the infield.

This is how Rizzo introduced Russell to The Show when a natural shortstop tried to learn second base on the fly last year and track pop-ups in front of 40,000 people: “Hey, watch out for that skateboard behind you! Don’t trip!”

“Oh yeah, we yell at each other all the time,” Rizzo said. “It’s just one of those things where you got to stay loose.”