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High school football notes: Top teams scheduled to play

Along with the annual Alta-Bingham clash, more teams to face off

Over the past three years, no football programs in the state have generated more buzz and discussion than Alta, Bingham, Timpview and Cottonwood.

To their credit, they've backed it up on the field. Alta has won back-to-back state titles and appeared in the '06 title game; Bingham won the state title in '06 and has advanced to at least the semis in each of the past three years; Timpview has won the last three 4A titles, and Cottonwood has two 4A quarterfinal appearances to go along with an appearance in the '08 title game.

Of course, Bingham and Alta staged three epic preseason games against one another in each of the previous three seasons, but other preseason meetings between Utah's juggernaut programs haven't happened.

They're going to happen, however, this fall.

Alta, Bingham, Timpview and Cottonwood will be squaring off against one another throughout this year's preseason, and what should ensue is a whole bunch of fabulous entertainment.

It all starts this weekend when Alta begins its murderers' row of brutal preseason football contests at home against Cottonwood High.

In past seasons, Cottonwood was somewhat limited in its preseason schedule because it played in an eight-team Region 6 and therefore only had three slots available for preseason games. However, having moved up to 5A this fall, the Colts' new region has one less team, adding a little flexibility to preseason scheduling.

Casual prep football fans will reap the benefits, as Cottonwood faces Alta on the road in Week 1 and Bingham at home in Week 5.

In between those two contests will be arguably the two most highly anticipated preseason games of 2009.

In a game that needs no introduction, Alta will play at Bingham in Week 2. Bingham-Alta has quite simply been the premier football rivalry in the state, with the two schools producing memorable encounter after memorable encounter.

It could get even better, however, a week later.

As Timpview High has piled up wins and championships in Class 4A over the past few years, everyone has wondered how the Thunderbirds would fare against Alta or Bingham.

Seeing how Timpview does against one of the two 5A juggernauts, however, will finally become a reality in Week 3. That's when Timpview will make the bus ride from Provo to Sandy to face Alta High in what promises to be a truly outstanding game.

TOP 25 WATCH: There were no surprises at the top of the Deseret News Top 25 football rankings, as Alta, Bingham and Timpview are ranked first, second and third in the initial rankings.

Pleasant Grove, with its plethora of Division I football players in tow, is ranked fourth, followed by Mountain Crest at fifth, Davis at sixth and Cottonwood at seventh.

Following Week 1 of the season, there should be at least some movement atop the rankings as Timpview faces Pleasant Grove and Alta plays against Cottonwood. Additionally, Mountain Crest will meet No. 8 Highland in Week 1.

e-mail: drasmussen@desnews.com