Besides being undefeated Class A football teams in the Altoona Mirror coverage area, what do Juniata Valley, Northern Bedford and Portage have in common?
None of the three have cracked the Mirror's top-five rankings yet this season.
Some may think that's poor judgment, and it very well may turn out to be. Some may think it's a slight to those teams, but that isn't the case.
It's just an indication of the kind of quality football being played in Class A in this part of the state this season.
There are five unbeaten Class A teams in the region: the three mentioned above, Berlin Brothersvalley and Penns Manor. Penns Manor and Berlin have both been in the Mirror rankings from the start. The Comets returned most of the team that was three points from being undefeated before it lost to eventual PIAA runner-up Bishop McCort in the District 6 semis. The Mountaineers were a touchdown from playing for last year's District 5 championship, and almost every starter from that team is back.
They were two of the better bets to have good years, and that's played out over the season.
The other three teams in the Mirror top five have lost games, but Bishop Carroll's loss was to undefeated, Class AA state-ranked and defending District 6 champion Forest Hills, Bellwood-Antis' was to undefeated, Class AA state-ranked and defending District 6 runner-up Tyrone, and McCort lost to two potential Class AA playoff teams that are a combined 7-3 by a total of three points in the first two weeks.
Carroll's beaten the same two teams that topped McCort by an average of 22 points. After losing to Tyrone, Bellwood's won its four subsequent games against Class A opponents by 182 points.
Three other regional single-A teams go into this week 4-1. Four more have winning records.
It should make for some entertaining football when the playoffs start in four weeks and all the arguments can play out on the field.
City League closing?
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday that Pittsburgh City League could join the WPIAL by 2012.
The long-lived circuit has diminished in stature over the last couple of decades and might shrink to as few as five schools with Brashear closing at the end of this school year and Peabody closing after next. A couple of other schools are planning consolidation.
In last week's column, it was mentioned that West Shamokin was involved in talks to join the Heritage Conference in football only. At last week's meeting, the conference not only extended the school an invitation to fill all its open football dates, but to come into the Heritage in every sport.
West Shamokin is taking the invite back to its school board and is being asked to respond by Nov. 1.
There have also been feelers about Leechburg joining the Heritage, but nothing formal has been put forth, yet.
Cmor can be reached at 946-7440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.