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St. Joseph's Carter Vargas runs during Friday's game against Arroyo Grande. The Knights won 39-21 as Vargas scored two first-half touchdowns.

The Power Rankings feature some fairly major changes this week.

Bishop Diego has held on to the top spot, but beneath the Cardinals, there's been some jostling.

Mission Prep has taken hold of the No. 2 spot after Santa Barbara lost a tough one to Oxnard Pacifica. The Dons are now in third place.

St. Joseph has seen a major jump. The Knights were eighth last week following their loss to Paso Robles. But after a 39-21 shellacking of Arroyo Grande, I've brought the Knights back up to No. 4, jumping even Paso Robles, which is No. 5 this week. 

Arroyo Grande falls a spot to No. 6 after the loss to the Knights and Nipomo has finally dropped. After a 6-0 start had Nipomo in fourth, the Titans are now in seventh after the 19-12 loss to Paso Robles. Nipomo was also dealt another league loss this week as its game against St. Joseph was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, forcing Nipomo to take a loss. 

A very good Santa Ynez team is now in eighth after losing a heartbreaker to a very good Buena team. The Bulldogs scored in the final seconds to beat Santa Ynez 25-19. 

Lompoc has fallen to No. 9 after its 35-31 loss at Oxnard Rio Mesa. Righetti has held on to the No. 10 spot after its 20-6 win over Pioneer Valley.

These rankings only include teams in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The Power Rankings:

No. 1: Bishop Diego (5-1, vs. Newbury Park)

Last week: No. 1. Bye. CalPreps state ranking: 50.

The Cardinals have had a firm grip on the top spot for weeks and shouldn't have too much trouble maintaining it with the Camino League slate starting up.

No. 2: Mission Prep (6-0, vs. Morro Bay)

Last week: No. 3. Beat Santa Maria 28-7. CalPreps ranking: 196.

Mission Prep is unbeaten, but the scores haven't been terribly impressive with a three-touchdown win over Santa Maria following the 27-7 win over Atascadero. With the new CIF playoff divisions format coming up, Mission Prep might be a team in a tough position. As it stands now, Mission Prep would be in a tough Division 2 bracket. The Royals would have a much better shot at a CIF title in Division 3.

No. 3: Santa Barbara (5-2, vs. Oxnard)

Last week: No. 2. Lost to Pacifica 24-21. CalPreps ranking: 210.

It's been incredibly difficult trying to figure out where the Santa Barbara schools rank. Santa Barbara had won five straight to look like one of the area's top teams, but the Dons lost a close one to Oxnard Pacifica, a team that had struggled most of the year. 

No. 4: St. Joseph (3-4, game vs. Nipomo canceled)

Last week: No. 8. Beat Arroyo Grande 39-21. CalPreps ranking: 270. 

St. Joseph probably played its most complete game of the season in the win over Arroyo Grande last week. Is this the real St. Joseph? Can they finally put it all together? I guess I'm betting on them to do so. 

It's not easy ranking the Knights ahead of Paso Robles, but I feel it's defensible. 

No. 5: Paso Robles (4-2 vs. Pioneer Valley)

Last week: No. 7. Beat Nipomo 19-12. CalPreps ranking: 296.

Leo Kemp last week: 39 carries, 203 yards and three TDs. Dude is a stud. Pioneer Valley's defense is tough, but Kemp should be able to wear them down. I would like to see Pioneer Valley's Adan Rubalcava and Kemp go at it..

No. 6: Arroyo Grande (4-3, at Righetti)

Last week: No. 5. Lost to St. Joseph 39-21. CalPreps ranking: 364. 

The Eagles' four-game win streak was snapped last week. They looked absolutely listless for most of the first quarter and woke up some there afterwards. Mike Hartman's team should be able to rebound Friday at Righetti.

No. 7: Nipomo (6-2, Game vs. St. Joseph canceled)

Last week: No. 4. Lost to Paso Robles 19-12. CalPreps ranking: 348.

A couple losses may not be the end of the world for the Titans. They are currently in Division 3, but could drop down to Division 4 once the playoffs start. They could make some noise in that division. 

No. 8: Santa Ynez (5-2, vs. Ventura)

Last Week: No. 7. Lost to Buena 25-19. CalPreps ranking: 302.

The Pirates lost that heartbreaker at Buena last week and have to regroup to take on a similarly tough Ventura team this week. 

No. 9: Lompoc (3-4, at Pacifica)

Last week: No. 8. Lost to Santa Barbara 44-38. CalPreps ranking: 344.

Four straight losses by 15 total points. Again, the sky isn't falling in Lompoc. The defense needs to be overhauled and the Braves are feeling the after effects of the pandemic on that side of the ball. Not sure how the playoff situation shakes up, but I expect Lompoc to be competing for league and CIF titles next year in the Central Section.

No. 10: Righetti (1-5, vs. Arroyo Grande)

Last week: No. 10. Beat Pioneer Valley 20-6. CalPreps ranking: 532.

Hey... the Warriors finally got a win. Can they follow it up with another against Arroyo Grande? We'll see. This has been an emotional year for this talented Righetti team, but I'm excited to see how these guys play for each other and finish this season out. They're a top seed in Division 5 right now. 

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