Joliet Herald-News sports editor Steve Soucie brings more than two decades of Illinois high school football knowledge to Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @thesouc and check out his Week 7 state power rankings here. (Previous record and ranking in parentheses).
25. Gurnee Warren (6-1, NR): The Blue Devils dropped their Week 1 matchup with Barrington and have been nearly unstoppable since. Up next: vs. No. 15 Stevenson.
24. Rolling Meadows (7-0, 25): Mid-Suburban East conference supremacy will be decided this week as the Mustangs challenge another undefeated team. Up next: vs. Hersey.
23. Prairie Ridge (6-1, 24): The Wolves go into their Fox Valley showdown playing very solid football. They would like nothing more than to continue the recent tradition of stymieing the Trojans. Up next: vs. No. 12 Cary-Grove.
22. Hillcrest (7-0, 23): T.F. South’s previously undefeated team provided little resistance against the Hawks' runaway victory train. Up next: at T.F. North.
21. New Trier (6-1, 22): It’s the Central Suburban matchup both teams circle on their calendar to start the season. Up next: at No. 5 Maine South.
20. IC Catholic (7-0, 21): It’s hard to see any more regular season challenges on the horizon for the Knights. Up next: vs. Wheaton St. Francis.
19. Montini (7-0, 20): The Broncos' jump up to the Catholic League Blue hasn't seemed to faze them. But the last two weeks should test their mettle heading into the postseason. Up next: at Providence Catholic.
18. Willowbrook (7-0, 16): The Warriors aren’t likely to be pressed much in the remainder of their West Suburban schedule and can look ahead to a high seed in the Class 7A draw. Up next: at Proviso East.
17. Naperville Central (5-2, 19): The schedule has been rather laborious, but the Redhawks have at least secured a playoff berth and have two more tough foes to go. Up next: at Waubonsie Valley.
16. East St. Louis (5-2, 17): You don’t often move up in the rankings after a loss, but the Flyers road tripped. to Ohio to face one of the state’s best (Massillon Washington). A narrow margin says a lot. Up next: vs. O’Fallon.
15. Stevenson (6-1, 14): The Patriots have quietly gone about their business in the North Suburban race but will get a stern test to their perch this week. Up next: at No. 25 Gurnee Warren.
14. Glenbard West (6-1, 15): The Hilltoppers ran their winning streak to six games with the win against Hinsdale Central. Up next: vs. Oak Park-River Forest.
13. Phillips (5-2, 13): Since dropping a Week 3 matchup to rival Simeon, Phillips has been in destroy mode. Up next: vs. Westinghouse.
12. Cary-Grove (7-0, 12): The Trojans have done exactly what has been asked of them through the first seven weeks, and we’ll find out over the next two weeks exactly how good they are. Up next: at No. 23 Prairie Ridge.
11. Richards (7-0, 11): Had almost no trouble dispatching long-time rival Lemont in a South Suburban contest. This is a dangerous team. Up next: at Reavis.
10. Homewood-Flossmoor (6-1, 8): Leon Tanna is having a spectacular season for the Vikings. They will go as he goes moving forward. Up next: vs. Andrew.
9. Oswego (7-0, 9): If you wondered how Oswego would deal with the imposing defense brought forth by its district rival, Oswego East, the answer was quick and unequivocal. Up next: vs. Joliet Central.
8. Nazareth (6-1, 2): It will be interesting to see how Nazareth responds to its first loss to a team that seems to have its number. Up next: vs. Joliet Catholic.
7. Simeon (7-0, 7): Simeon got the week off because of a forfeit, odds are it won’t slow the momentum of the Wolverines at all. Up next: at Taft.
6. Mount Carmel (6-1, 6): Program mentor Frank Lenti, now at St. Laurence, gives this game a little more juice. Up next: at St. Laurence.
5. Maine South (6-1, 5): Very quietly Maine South has maneuvered through an imposing regular season nicely. Another big challenge lurks here. Up next: at No. 21 New Trier.
4. Marist (6-1, 10): A serve-notice type of victory for the Redhawks over Nazareth. The win wasn’t shocking, but the ease they did it with was. Up next: vs. Marian Central.
3. Batavia (7-0, 4): Bulldogs likely face biggest challenge to getting through the DuKane’s inaugural season unscathed. Up next: vs. St. Charles North.
2. Brother Rice (7-0, 3): The Crusaders have their eye on the on the school’s first undefeated regular season in the playoff era. Up next: vs. Leo.
1. Lincoln-Way East (7-0, 1): Another week, another extremely easy victory for the Griffins. Up next: at Thornwood.