Some of the best football in the nation unfolds every fall in Southwest Ohio and a big part of it is the big-school programs that consistently crank out championship caliber football.
The initial QueenCityHigh.com Ohio Division I Team Rankings feature the Colerain Cardinals at the top of the heap of one of the deepest pool of teams in recent years.
Colerain suffered their share of losses in graduation, but after a rebuilding year last season they appear stacked on both sides of the ball.
Head coach Tom Bolden knows that the Cardinals must once again reload on the offensive line, but the program has proven over and over again that they are capable of doing so.
The team feature's a great one-two punch at running back in juniors-to-be Tyler Williams and Trayion Durham. The duo will combine with senior quarterback Greg Tabar to cause opposing defenses headaches.
The GCL South appears wide open this season, with the next three teams in our rankings coming from the power conference.
The Moeller Crusaders just edged out the Elder Panthers for the poll's second spot, despite Elder's state-title game appearance a year ago.
Moeller is loaded with Division I prospects and lost the least amongst the top teams in the voting. They must prove they can win the big games if they are going to go anywhere, but the talent is undeniable.
Elder returns Ohio's Co-Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Mark Miller, and most of his weapons on offense. However, how quickly the inexperienced offensive line is able to gel and step up remains a concern.
The St. Xavier Bombers, who struggled with injuries and inexperience of their own in 2008, appear to be a sleeping giant. They come in just ahead of Lakota West at #4.
The Firebirds boasts the area's most-highly touted recruits in four-star linebacker Jordan Hicks as well as a handful of other Division I talent. Their schedule is favorable and could help rise above the fifth spot before it is all said and done.
Anderson moves back Division I and is coming off back-to-back Division state title game appearances, including a state title in 2007.
The Redskins are the lone FAVC team to crank the Division I rankings and will have to establish themselves as contenders.
The remainder of the top 10 is made of GMC counterparts – Hamilton, Middletown, Sycamore, and Princeton.
All four of those teams suffered the losses of prime Division I talent, but still bolster solid foundations.