Looking (Way Too Far) Ahead
Looking (Way Too Far) Ahead
2013-12-27 12:00:00

How accurate are DCTF's pre-preseason high school rankings?.

 By Greg Tepper
 DCTF Associate Editor

The Dave Campbell’s Texas Football staff is hard at work on the 2014 Winter Edition of the magazine (due out in January), which is one of the most unique products out there. What sets it apart? It’s not just a look back at the season that was – trust me: we have plenty to look back upon – but it’s also your very, very first look at the 2014 season.

The biggest highlight of that early look-ahead? The way-too-early high school rankings, in our “Next Year’s Top 10” and “Next Year’s Top 5s” sections.

Now, there’s an inherent danger in such early prognostication. When we put together the Summer Edition – due out in June – we talk to every coach in the state and find out about their team that season. But for the Winter Edition? It’s more or less gut feeling, as well as the limited information of “who was good this year?” and “who do those teams lose to graduation?”

Admittedly, there are going to be some swings and misses – that’s simply going to happen because of the amount of inputs we have – but all things considered, we’ve gotten pretty darn good at this thing.

So, with the 2013 Texas high school football season in the books, how did we do in our way-too-early rankings in the 2013 winter edition – a full 12 months ago? Let’s take a look.

Rank Team 2013 Result
1 Allen 16-0, DI state champion
2 Katy 15-1, DII runner-up
3 Cibolo Steele 12-2, DII quarterfinals
4 La Porte 5-6, DII bi-district
5 Arlington Bowie 7-4, DI bi-district
6 Dallas Skyline 11-2, DI regional semifinals
7 Austin Westlake 7-5, DII area
8 Southlake Carroll 11-2, DI regional semifinals
9 Pflugerville Hendrickson 10-1, DII bi-district
10 Houston Lamar 11-1, DI regional semifinals
Rank Team 2013 Result
1 Denton Guyer 14-2, DI state champion
2 Cedar Park 11-2, DII regional semifinals
3 Humble Summer Creek 11-1, DI area
4 SA Brennan 15-1, DI runner-up
5 Whitehouse 12-1, DII regional semifinals
6 Texas City 12-1, DII regional semifinals
7 Nederland 10-2, DI area
8 Elgin 12-1, DII regional semifinals
9 Lucas Lovejoy 8-4, DII area
10 Sherman 4-6, missed playoffs
Rank Team 2013 Result
1 Carthage 15-1, DI state champion
2 Gilmer 11-2, DII regional semifinals
3 Argyle 16-0, DII state champion
4 Stephenville 12-2, DI state semifinals
5 Kilgore 15-1, DI runner-up
6 La Marque 8-4, DII area
7 Navasota 10-2, DI area
8 Lorena 9-2, DII bi-district
9 Celina 9-2, DII bi-district
10 Graham 14-1, DII state semifinals
2A DI    
Rank Team 2013 Result
1 Daingerfield 10-4, state quarterfinals
2 Cameron Yoe 15-1, state champion
3 Newton 12-1, regional semifinals
4 Wall 15-1, state runner-up
5 Hempstead 6-4, bi-district
2A DII  
Rank Team 2013 Result
1 Refugio 14-2, state runner-up
2 Cisco 16-0, state champion
3 East Bernard 12-1, state quarterfinals
4 Canadian 12-2, state quarterfinals
5 Rogers 12-1, regional semifinals
1A DI    
Rank Team 2013 Result
1 Mart 10-4, state semifinals
2 Shiner 11-4, state runner-up
3 Stamford 14-1, state champion
4 Mason 8-2, area
5 Bosqueville 10-4, state quarterfinals
1A DII  
Rank Team 2013 Result
1 Tenaha 11-2, state semifinals
2 Wellington 14-0, state champion
3 Falls City 14-1, state runner-up
4 Muenster 12-1, state quarterfinals
5 Munday 6-6, area


Overall, how’d we do? Some thoughts.

-If the goal is to make sure you identify the state champions that far out, our prognostications were pretty strong. Only two of the 10 11-man state champions – Cedar Hill in 5A, Aledo in 4A – were unranked in our way-too-early predictions.

-Furthermore, check out the No. 1’s in these rankings: state champ, state champ, state champ, quarterfinalist, runner-up, semifinalist, semifinalist. We may not have been able to pinpoint every great team, but if you were pegged at the top of our rankings back in January, you had a pretty good year.

-Altogether, we ranked 50 teams back in January. 49 of them made the playoffs – only Sherman (our No. 10 team in 4A) missed the dance; 43 of them won at least one playoff game. Now, maybe that’s a low bar, but that means that our big-time swings-and-misses were to a minimum.

-Aside from Sherman, the biggest misses were scattered mostly through the big school ranks. La Porte, Arlington Bowie and Austin Westlake fell short of expectations, and Pflugerville Hendrickson – despite an unbeaten regular season – fell victim to the aforementioned Westlake in the first round in 5A. Humble Summer Creek was a second-round upset victory, as was Nederland, while Lucas Lovejoy never really got on track.

-Other misses: La Marque in 3A, Hempstead in 2A DI, Mason in 1A DI, Munday in 1A DII.

-Overall, though? Can’t be too ashamed of these results. The average win total for the 50 teams that we ranked: 11.3. That’s pretty darn good.

So, next month, when you crack open your copy of the 2014 Winter Edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, just remember: these way-too-early rankings aren’t the end-all be-all, but they provide a pretty accurate barometer as to what to expect in the 2014 season.

Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.

He can be reached via e-mail, via Twitter (@Tepper) and via the DCTF Facebook page.

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