One of the unenviable tasks of selecting a Metro Top 10 is leaving potentially deserving teams off the list.
Win and losses are the standard by which we judge teams, even though, as we've seen often, teams are often better or worse than their record indicates, a reflection of competition played.
Take Shakopee. The Sabers have dropped back-to-back games against the Nos. 1 and 3 teams in the metro (Eden Prairie and Minnetonka) and are 3-2. Does that mean they're a lesser bunch than a 4-1 team that played a less rigorous schedule? I highly doubt it. Same can be said for Forest Lake. Or Rosemount.
I know the old line "a team is what its record says it is," but in some cases that just doesn't hold water.
1. Eden Prairie (5-0): The Eagles are 3-0 in an arduous four-game midseason stretch, having dispatched of Prior Lake, Shakopee and Wayzata. It doesn't get any easier Thursday at undefeated, albeit banged up, Minnetonka. Last week: 1.
2. Lakeville South (5-0): Connor Cade to the rescue! After Lakeville South spotted Rochester Mayo a 10-0 lead, the fleet junior scored three consecutive TDs in the first half to drive the Cougars toward a 39-17 victory. Last week: 2.
3. Minnetonka (5-0): Are the Skippers lucky or unlucky? They've won two in a row by a single point — failed conversion attempts — but injuries have hit hard. QB Milos Spasojevic is likely out for the season because of a knee injury. Last week: 3.
4. Maple Grove (4-1): Running back Charles Langama ran wild with 328 yards and seven touchdowns in a 55-21 thrashing of Blaine. Last week: 4.
5. Chanhassen (5A, 5-0): How fitting is it that, on a night rife with rain and lightning, a team called the Storm played one of its best games of the season, beating Mankato West, ranked first in Class 5A, 21-14? Last week: 5.
6. Lakeville North (4-1): So thorough was the Panthers' 28-6 advantage over Eagan that the teams agreed to call the game complete during a lengthy storm delay in the third quarter. Last week: 6.
7. Rogers (5A, 5-0): A balanced offense and a miserly defense proved a well-suited approach in a 28-14 victory over sturdy Monticello. Last week: 8.
8. Stillwater (4-1): The young Ponies are learning a most valuable lesson: how to win. They closed out close victories over Mounds View in Week 4 and Forest Lake on Friday. Last week: unranked.
9. Centennial (4-1): A 35-0 lead over Osseo by halftime was all the Cougars needed. Last week: 10.
10. Andover (5A, 4-1): Hudson Maynard has been a revelation since taking over at QB for injured starter Chase Pemberton in Week 2. He has 12 TD passes, and the Huskies are averaging more than 50 points per game over their past three. Last week: unranked.
Also receiving consideration: Shakopee (3-2), Forest Lake (3-2), Anoka (4-1), St. Thomas Academy (5A, 4-1)