Welcome to the first installment of the Observer-Reporter Power Rankings.
The mathematical formula isn't very scientific here, mostly because there is no mathematical formula.
This is also not who I think would beat whom on any given night.
Monessen ahead of Canon-Mac? Greyhounds are Class A, you idiot, Big Macs in Class AAAA. Canon-Mac would roll!
No, not evaluating basketball. Evaluating performance.
What these rankings represent is what teams' stocks I think are high at this time, what teams' stocks are dropping, etc. ... all relative to their competition. Big factors, of course, are similar-size schools played (and results), as well as section records and streaks.
Get it? Got it? Good.
1. California (11-1) -- All the Trojans do is beat teams by 30. Winning this section should be a foregone conclusion. Non-section wins (Char-Houston, Mapletown, Belle Vernon twice) could be better.
2. South Fayette (9-2) -- Lions are 5-0 in a section that includes Montour, Char Valley and Keystone Oaks. Tuesday's game against the Colts will feature two 5-0 teams battling for first place.
3. Washington (11-2) -- Losses were to Seton-La Salle (11-2) and Indiana, both fairly respectable. Non-section wins over Canon-Mac, Peters, Saltsburg, Pikeville, Ringgold, Elizabeth Forward and Weir (W.Va.).
4. Canon-McMillan (8-6) -- Big Macs might be the area's hottest team after outlasting Mt. Lebanon in triple-overtime on Friday night. Wins in four of five.
5. Trinity (9-5) -- Hillers would've been higher, but losses in four of six hurts, three of those section games.
6. Monessen (4-8) -- Non-section = eight losses, three by more than 30 points. Section play = three wins by a combined 236-107. This ranking could go up quickly.
7. Carmichaels (11-2) -- I don't know if the Mikes are ready to contend with the Section 3-A title or just really good at beating not-so-good teams. Tuesday vs. Monessen help the decision-making process.
8. Charleroi (8-3) -- Take away losses to Ringgold (1-11) and Burgettstown (6-8) to start the season, and the Cougars are 8-1. Unlike Major League Baseball, I'm actually going to acknowledge that these occurred and put Charleroi near the bottom.
9. Burgettstown (6-8) -- Up-and-down so far for the Blue Devils, but the return of PG Kurt Kowalski (broken hand) should help.
10. Peters Township (4-9) -- A 4-9 team here? I'm crazy, right? Maybe. But the Indians are better than their record indicates. Nine losses by seven, three, 29, two, 36, two, five, eight and nine points.