So what are the Top 5 can't miss games in Chicagoland for the upcoming IHSA football season starting this Friday?
Aug. 28: Naperville Central at Glenbard North
Already? The DuPage Valley conference with the addition of the Valley's this fall (Metea Valley/Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley) looks more like an IHSA football version of Survivor. Both Naperville Central and Glenbard North cracked the @CSNPreps Preseason Top 25 Power Rankings, and with wins being at a premium in the new DuPage Valley Conference, every week is a big game and a must win.
Sept. 2: Homewood-Flossmoor at Stevenson
A rematch of the 2014 IHSA 8A state final game which Stevenson beat the Vikings 31-25. The Patriots also beat the Vikings 33-24 in a weather delayed game in Flossmoor. I fully expect another great showdown here.
Sept. 11: Providence Catholic vs. Mount Carmel at Gately Stadium
Providence Catholic, the defending 7A state champs, will take on the Caravan in an opening CCL Blue conference game. Providence Catholic didn't just beat Mount Carmel once in 2014, but a playoff victory eliminated the Caravan from the 7A state playoffs, giving the Celtics a second win over the Catholic League power. When was the last time anyone beat Mount Carmel twice in a season? Also, with the Celtics and Caravan's tough early season slate, could this become a must-win for both teams?
Sept. 12: Phillips vs. Simeon at Gately Stadium
What a weekend at Gately Stadium! This Chicago Public League crossover game features easily the two best teams in the CPL over the past few seasons. Both Phillips and Simeon feature a ton of top recruits and talent on the field in this one. Major city bragging rights are also on the line and I fully expect a playoff-type of atmosphere.
Oct. 9: Nazareth Academy vs. Joliet Catholic at Joliet Memorial Stadium
The Hilltoppers gave the Roadrunners its toughest game last season in a 24-21 win. It was simply one of the best regular season games I saw in 2014 and I'm expecting this year's version to be as good as advertised. Fully expect a ton of speed and talent, along with an extremely hard-hitting contest.