The FCIAC is continuing its annual tradition of having its best football teams also be among the best teams in the state.
Not only is that the case once again, but in this season in particular the conference is exceptionally strong.
So strong, in fact, that the FCIAC has the state’s top three ranked teams and four teams among the top five in the current GameTimeCT Week 1 Top 10 Football Poll which was released Sept. 13.
Top-ranked Darien, St. Joseph and No. 3 Greenwich are the trio of FCIAC teams in the top three.
Defending state Class LL champion Newtown is ranked fourth while New Canaan is that fourth conference team among the top five.
Darien and St. Joseph were ranked 1-2, respectively, in the preseason poll in which the FCIAC had four teams ranked among the top six. Greenwich and New Canaan each moved up one slot from that initial preseason poll.
Southington is ranked sixth in the current poll and is followed in the Top 10 by Fairfield Prep, Xavier, Daniel Hand and Killingly.
Nine of the current Top 10 teams won their season-opening games.
Daniel Hand was ranked third in the previous poll but dropped six slots to No. 9 after its 29-16 loss to Fairfield Prep. That enabled Prep’s Jesuits, previously unranked, to vault up to No. 7.
Darien, which opened with a 41-8 victory at home under new coach Mike Forget, received 11 of the 21 first-place votes from the media voters to maintain its No. 1 ranking.
St. Joseph’s Cadets, who opened with a 49-0 victory at home over Danbury this past Saturday, received four first-place votes.
Greenwich’s Cardinals, who took a 35-0 halftime lead at Westhill last Saturday before finishing up with a 49-6 victory, got two first-place votes while Newtown got the other four first-place votes.
New Canaan shut out host Bridgeport Central, 49-0, in its opener.
Darien, St. Joseph, Greenwich, and New Canaan will each have showdowns against two of the other three conference teams now ranked among the top five.
Darien and Greenwich will not play against each other this season and defending state Class L champion St. Joseph will not play New Canaan.
Greenwich plays at St. Joseph on Oct. 16. Two weeks later Darien visits St. Joseph and New Canaan travels to Greenwich on that same Oct. 30 Saturday. And then there is the annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry game on Nov. 25 when Darien visits New Canaan.
In another Thanksgiving Day matchup which may have state Class LL playoffs implications, Greenwich is scheduled to host a strong Staples team which opened with a 27-20 home victory over Trumbull last Friday night and received the 13th most polling points to lead a group of three FCIAC teams among the 19 total teams in the “Also receiving votes” category.
Ridgefield (0-0) received the 22nd most polling points and Trumbull got the 25th most.