Final CSN Top 20 IHSA football rankings

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Final CSN Top 20 IHSA football rankings

1 Glenbard West (14-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Lincoln-Way East 10-8
PrepsTalk: West was simply devastating on defense. They recorded five sacks and recovered a fumble. DB Hayden Carlson recorded 14 tackles, including a jarring hit on QB Tom Fuessell late in the game.

2 Mount Carmel (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Glenbard North 28-14
PrepsTalk: Don Butkus scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) and Draco Smith added a 78-yard run to paydirt to give the Caravan their first state championship since 2002.

3 Lincoln-Way East (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Lost to Glenbard West 10-8
PrepsTalk: It was a rough end to a fine season for the Griffins. Quarterback Tom Fuessel (21 carries, 17 yards rushing; 3-14, 51 yards passing) couldnt get anything going against the stout GBW defense.

4 Crete-Monee (14-0)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated Cary-Grove 33-26
PrepsTalk: Laquon Treadwell did a little bit of everything to clinch C-Ms first state title. He scored two touchdowns, made 12 tackles and secured a key interception in the third quarter.

5 Glenbard North (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Lost to Mount Carmel 28-14
PrepsTalk: Justin Jacksons 76-yard interceptionTD for the games opening score was clutch, but it was all Caravan from there. Jackson was held to 63 yards rushing. Brian Murphy had a touchdown pass.

6 Cary-Grove (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Lost to Crete-Monee 33-26
PrepsTalk: Quinn Baker had two scores (one passing, one receiving) and Kyle Norberg had another touchdown with 117 yards rushing, but it was too much Laquon Treadwell for the Trojans to match.

7 Loyola (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: The Chicago Catholic Blue conference recorded a final overall record of 45-18. Every team in conference finished with a record of .500 or better.

8 Neuqua Valley (12-1)
Last Week (Ranked 8): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: It will be tough to match senior running back Joey Rhattigans numbers next year, but running back TJ Scruggs and quarterback Davide Tomei may get their chance in 2013.

9 Maine South (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: The Hawks will take a 60-game conference winning streak into play next season. The last time they lost a conference game was in October 2000 against New Trier.

10 Montini (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Morris 19-6
PrepsTalk: Dmitri Taylor scored on a 74-yard run and on a 48-yard reception, part of 227 total yards on the day, as the Broncos won their fourth consecutive 5A state championship.

11 Morris (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Lost to Montini 19-6
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Zach Cinnamon scored a late touchdown, but the Redskins could not establish any offense for the bulk of the game. Running back Reese Sobol tallied 81 yards.

12 Waubonsie Valley (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Austin Guido was virtually unstoppable this year at running back. DeMario Webb and Jon Fizer are two players who could receive some looks in the backfield next season.

13 Lemont (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Its going to be really tough to replace two of the top linemen in the area 6-foot-7, 290-pound Ethan Pocic (headed to LSU) and 6-2, 270-pound Tim McAullife (Bowling Green).

14 Benet (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: After contributing as an offensive lineman this season, 6-9 junior Sean OMara will head to the basketball court. He is regarded as one of the top centers in the area.

15 Wheaton North (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 15): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Junior quarterbackreceiver Clayton Thorson broke his collarbone in a playoff game this season, but look for him to make big contributions in 2013.

16 Lake Zurich (10-3)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: It was a successful opening campaign for new head coach David Proffitt. The Bears have eclipsed the 10-win mark in five of the last seven seasons.

17 Palatine (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 17): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Senior quarterback Ethan Olles guided the Pirates to a strong showing in the playoffs this year. But keep an eye on 2016 graduate James Pittman. Is he Palatines QB of the future?

18 Marian Central Catholic (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: First goal of the offseason? Find a way to consistently beat Montini in the regular season and during the playoffs (if need be). Second and third goals: see first goal.

19 Aurora Christian (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Tolono Unity 42-12.
PrepsTalk: Don Beebe and company win their second consecutive state championship. Joel Bouagnon scored two rushing touchdowns (60, 10). Brandon Mayes had a 75-yard INT-TD.

20 Simeon (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 20): Defeated Brother Rice 14-12
PrepsTalk: Huge win for the Wolverines (first Prep Bowl trophy in seven attempts) and for the Public League in general (broke the Catholic Leagues six-game winning streak in the annual game).

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.

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

McDonald's All-American Games return to United Center

McDonald's All-American Games return to United Center

The McDonald's All-American Games return to the United Center for the seventh consecutive year on Wednesday night as the nation's elite boys and girls high school basketball players take the floor.

The 40th annual games begin with the girls game at 4 p.m. while the boys game will follow at 6 p.m.

The 2017 McDonald's game won't have a lot of local talent to keep an eye on, besides Chicago native and center Brandon McCoy, but the national Class of 2017 is still a fun group to check out for local basketball fans.

Headlined by top prospects like small forward Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri), center DeAndre Ayton (Arizona),  center Wendell Carter (Duke) and point guard Trevon Duval (uncommitted), this year's McDonald's game features a lot of flashy guards, high-flying wings and talented big men.

Over the years, fans at the United Center have been able to see some of the NBA's best young players before they went to college as alums of recent McDonald's games include Anthony Davis, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Karl-Anthony Towns.

You can view the full rosters for the 2017 McDonald's All-American Games here

Why the Bears finally feel like they're in striking distance of a winning team

Why the Bears finally feel like they're in striking distance of a winning team

PHOENIX – Where the relationship between Bears GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox goes beyond 2017 remains to play out with their third season together. At this point, however, despite a combined total of nine wins over their first two, the critical bond between coach and general manager appears both clear and solid.
 
Which is no small state of affairs with the growing pressure on both and the organization, pressure that will only intensify if the on-field fortunes of their team does not begin to dramatically reverse. And both know it. Losing doesn't build character, it reveals it, and the same applies to a relationship; if there are cracks, adversity of the kind the Bears have endured the past 32 games will widen and expose them.
 
That relationship has been the subject of speculation virtually since its inception, when Pace hired Fox following the end of his tenure with the Denver Broncos. Much of it centered around who was in fact making the final decisions on personnel and who was the advisor, with some positing that Fox was in fact the final authority if only because age, seniority and experience. The primacy of Pace, however, has become clearer with each decision and traces or shadings of any fractiousness are conspicuously absent.
 
"His people skills are tremendous," Fox said Tuesday during the NFL owners meetings. "His evaluation skills are very good. I think humility is always a great quality in this business. And I've seen that. He's the same guy. He hasn't changed. Sometimes people get [elevated] positions, whatever position that may be and they change. It's just how some people react. And I haven't seen that."
 
Pace, who recently turned 40, is by his own description wanting buy-in on decisions. In the cases of free agency, which have involved the high-dollar commitments designed to have immediate payoff, he has identified pro targets and involved Fox in the decisions.
 
Looking for an immediate hit at linebacker to upgrade the entire defense about this time last year, Pace targeted Denver leading-tackler Danny Trevathan. Fox was his first consult.
 
"Just having drafted [Trevathan] and seeing him develop and get better and his work ethic and his preparation and study habits and how he is as a teammate in the locker room," Pace said of what insight Fox provided. "Those were all things that were taken into consideration."
 
This year, with the max need of improvement, the franchise-grade decision was to make a change at quarterback. Jay Cutler effectively made the decision on himself and he was out. Whether Mike Glennon is or is not an upgrade will play out this year, but Fox was involved in and endorsed the decision to go in a decidedly less-experienced direction.

[RELATED - No signs Bears are locked into drafting a QB in 2017]
 
Pace had attempted in the past to trade for Glennon, which Fox agreed with. Fox had familiarity with Glennon from his time coaching in Carolina.
 
"I was in North Carolina when [Glennon] was playing [at N.C. State], actually," Fox recalled. "I was exposed to two guys there. A good friend of mine was the head coach at NC State. Both Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon were coming through at that period in time, so I got exposed to them, watching games and kinda following them.
 
"And obviously evaluating both of them coming out, they were in different schools then. So I had a high opinion of them then. And then really [Glennon] was talked about a little bit before this year as a potential guy to get, and then this year, being free and without any kind of compensation, we dove in pretty good and feel good about it."
 
Most expectations are that the Bears will not repeat a three-win season, and that an improvement from the first two years keeps both Pace and Fox in their jobs. Key players (Trevathan, Eddie Goldman, Kyle Long, Kevin White) returning from injuries, free-agency upgrades on both sides of the ball and a draft class currently with two picks in the first 36 point to perhaps the kind of turnaround Fox has produced (in years two) at Carolina and Denver.
 
Fox did not dwell on what the roster was or wasn't when he arrived, or on how much of an overhaul Pace needed to do when he took over from Phil Emery and brought in Fox to replace Marc Trestman. But the reality was there.
 
"Going back to a lot of the changes, we've had a lot of change," Fox said. "I think we're better for it. Unfortunately, you can't walk around with your chest out about that because of our record the last two years. But I have total confidence and [Pace] has done an outstanding job and will continue to.
 
"I understand you have to win. And I finally feel like we're in striking distance."