I'm not sure what to think as we approach the 2012 post-season in North Dakota.
Class AAA seems pretty cut and dried right now with Bismarck and their stout defense shutting down everyone in sight. Their biggest threat seems to be Fargo South whom could be a tough matchup for the Demons down the road. I would be shocked if anyone outside the top four in my rankings made it to the Dakota Bowl this season and quite frankly it would be an eye-opener if it's anyone besides Bismarck and Fargo South in the end.
Class AA started out the season confusing and now it's a downright mystery as to who will catch fire and make their way to the finals. I put Grafton at number one because I had to put someone there and no one else made more sense. The Spoilers do have some offensive firepower and have outplayed all their opponents except for their game against Shanley. The Deacons looked like a top team until a week ago when a fourth quarter aerial attack by the Central Cass Squirrels seemed to send Shanley into a funk. Last week Shanley rebounded with a win but managed only six points against an up and coming Valley City team. You could make a case for Minot Ryan at number one following a five-game winning streak including a win against previously unbeaten Beulah last week.
Class A has two unbeatens remaining in Stanley-Powers Lake and Larimore, but if you dig deeper you find a ton of potential champions including Heart River who have only lost one game (to Killdeer) and Hazen the best two loss team I've seen in a long time.
9-man football got muddy too. North Star seemed to have a firm grip on the number one ranking until losing convincingly to a young and talented TGU team. I was tempted to move the previously unproven TGU to number one but felt that Divide County has shown that their brand of power football was too good to pass up.
|1||1||Bismarck||7||0||Beat Mandan 41-6|
|2||2||Fargo South||6||1||Beat Fargo Davies 47-12|
|3||3||Bismarck Century||5||2||Beat Williston 63-0|
|4||4||Minot||6||1||Beat Dickinson 34-23|
|5||5||West Fargo||4||3||Beat Fargo North 24-0|
|1||4||Grafton||6||1||Beat Wahpeton 22-19|
|2||5||Minot Ryan||6||1||Beat Beulah 30-22|
|3||2||Fargo Shanley||5||2||Beat Valley City 6-0|
|4||1||Beulah||6||1||Lost to Minot Ryan 30-22|
|5||3||Wahpeton||5||2||Lost to Grafton 22-19|
|1||1||Stanley-Powers Lake||7||0||Beat New Town 50-0|
|2||2||Larimore||7||0||Beat North Prairie 41-27|
|3||4||Heart River||6||1||Beat Richardton-Taylor 47-0|
|4||5||Hazen||5||2||Beat Standing Rock 52-6|
|5||NR||Killdeer||5||2||Beat New Salem-Glen Ullin 27-6|
|1||2||Divide County||8||0||Beat Mott-Regent 64-20|
|2||5||Towner-Granville-Upham||7||0||Beat North Star 34-6|
|3||3||New Rockford/Sheyenne||7||0||Beat Dakota Prairie 50-12|
|4||1||North Star||6||1||Lost to TGU 34-6|
|5||4||Wyndmere-Lidgerwood||7||1||Beat Strasburg/Zeeland 55-0|