When the No. 1 team in the football Metro Top 10 loses two weeks in a row — when not even a full week passes between losses by No. 1 — you might ask what's wrong with the rankings Jim Paulsen does for the Star Tribune.
Or you might try not to be so dang negative. You might ask, "Who's next?"
First, let's remember what got us here. Lakeville South, defending Class 6A champion, started the season ranked No. 1 but lost to then-No. 2 Eden Prairie in Week 3. Then Eden Prairie traveled to No. 8 Rosemount for a Thursday night game and lost to the Irish.
Who's going to be No. 1 when the newest Metro Top 10 is published Tuesday morning?
Hey, let's ask Jim.
KB wonders: Jim, isn't Maple Grove just going to rise right to the top from No. 2? Standard poll-making would say so.
Jim says: It would seem that way. The Crimson have been terrific all season, scoring more than 40 points in their first three games. And on Friday they got past a rugged, smash-mouth team in Centennial, 24-17. Centennial pinned a 21-7 loss on Maple Grove in 2021.
KB wonders: What about Prior Lake? The Lakers are 4-0 and were ranked third last week, but I'm seeing only wins over winless Edina and Hopkins and 1-3 Lakeville North beyond that Shakopee victory. We just going to wait for Prior Lake to play Friday at Eden Prairie?
Jim says: Quality of victory does matter. Lakeville North and Edina are both better than their records indicate, but I'm a believer in this mantra: A team is what its record says it is.
KB wonders: Jim, is Lakeville South a threat to get back to the top? The Cougars are 3-1 and fell to fourth after losing to Eden Prairie. Don't you have to take a second look when a team's only loss since 2019 was a road game against a perennial power that was ranked No. 2 at game time? Or you might just say let's see what happens Friday, because the Cougars have a home game against Rosemount.
Jim says: They certainly could make it back to the top — I still feel the Cougars are a top- five Class 6A team — but other factors would have to break in their favor. Such as the other top undefeated teams losing.
KB wonders: Is it just the distraction caused by Max Shikenjanski's 13 passing TDs, or is Stillwater a contender? The Ponies have victories over 2-2 Centennial and 2-2 East Ridge. White Bear Lake (3-1) is ahead on Friday.
Jim says: Stillwater belongs in the discussion. Shikenjanski has been terrific — just ask P.J. Fleck, who's offered him a preferred walk-on spot. Shikenjanski had long ago committed to the Citadel for basketball. A great QB can elevate a team, and he's been great.
KB wonders: Rosemount just knocked off a No. 1 and is 4-0. Yes, it's a long way to No. 1 from No. 8, and yes, the Irish have three victories over teams with one win or none. But that fourth win was against No. 1 Eden Prairie, and the Eagles, like every other Irish opponent, scored only a single touchdown against the Irish. Does Rosemount have a shot?
Jim says: They should. I'm leaning toward moving them up significantly but not to No. 1. Eden Prairie was coming off an emotional victory over Lakeville South and had to go on the road at Rosemount, a team known for its physical style of play. Rosemount made a statement, but I just can't see the Irish vaulting over Maple Grove, Prior Lake and Stillwater to the top spot. Now, if the Irish beat Lakeville South ...
HOW THE METRO TOP 10 FARED
Here's how the Metro Top 10 teams did last week.
1. Eden Prairie (3-1): lost to Rosemount 14-7.
2. Maple Grove (4-0): def. Centennial 24-17.
3. Prior Lake (4-0): def. Lakeville North 31-14.
4. Lakeville South (3-1): def. Farmington 43-21.
5. Stillwater (4-0): def. Osseo 31-7.
6. Woodbury (4-0): def. Burnsville 20-7.
7. Shakopee (3-1): def. Edina 26-0.
8. Rosemount (4-0): def. No. 1 Eden Prairie 14-7.
9. St. Thomas Academy (5A, 3-0): def. Hastings 48-13.
10. Hutchinson (4A, 3-0): lost to Becker 24-22.