TXHSFB PROGRAM RANKINGS: What you need to know

Photo by Russell Wilburn

Today, Dave Campbell's Texas Football rolled out something never-before-seen in Texas high school football — Six-Year Program Rankings, a deep dive into the strength of each Texas high school football program over the better part of the last decade.

What are they? Here's an excerpt from the intro to the rankings:

With some data help from Jerry Forrest at PigskinPrep.com, Dave Campbell's Texas Football is proud to unveil the Texas High School Football 6-Year Program Rankings, a look at the relative strength of each UIL Texas high school football program. The goal of the project is to rank the relative strength of every program in Texas over the course of the last six seasons.

Why six seasons? A six-year sample provides a steady measure of a program as opposed to an individual squad — six years represents one-and-a-half graduation cycles, mitigating the impact of a single transcendent class of athletes. In short: good programs have great teams one or two years, but great programs have great teams spread across a larger swath of time, like six years.

The rankings are based on a formula that takes into account the following five criteria:

Games Won — The raw number of games a team won relative to the maximum number possible (96 for 11-man teams, 90 for 6-man teams); so, of the maximum number of games a team could have won, how many did it win?
Winning Percentage — Of the games a team played, how many did it win?
10-Win Seasons — Of the six seasons, how many did a team win 10 games?
State Championships — How many state titles did a team win?
State Championship Game Appearances — How many state championship games did a team play?

The criteria are set against a 100-point scale, wherein a perfect six-year run — 96-0 (or 90-0 for a six-man team) with six state championships — would result in a score of 100, and a perfectly miserable six-year run — 0-96 (or 0-90 for a six-man team) — would result in a score of zero.

This year's set of rankings reflect the 2013 through 2018 seasons; last year's rankings reflected the 2012 through 2017 seasons. Please note: a team must have played in six varsity seasons to be eligible for these rankings. So, Brock joins the rankings for the first time, since the Eagles first played varsity football in 2013, while Alvin Shadow Creek will not be in the rankings, since the Sharks first played varsity football last season.

DCTF Insiders can view the complete rankings — all 1,186 teams — right here.

Here are some things that jumped out at me upon digesting the rankings:

A New No. 1
All hail the new king of Texas high school football: the Aledo Bearcats, who usurped the Allen Eagles for the No. 1 spot in our program rankings. In some ways, it's easy to explain — Aledo was undefeated state champions in 2018, and Allen wasn't — but it goes deeper than that as well. It's also that the moving window of the rankings means that Allen loses its 15-1 state championship run in 2012, replacing it with a 14-1 state semifinal finish, while Aledo replaces its rather-disappointing-by-Bearcat-standards 10-2 season in 2012 with a perfect one in 2018. That provided the edge to push the Bearcats over the top.

Winning Championships is Good!
It seems obvious, but yeah, winning a state championship certainly helps you in these rankings. 6A Division I state champion Galena Park North Shore jumped 16 spots; 6A DII champion Longview is up 61 spots; 5A DI champ Highland Park is up 10 spots; 4A DI champion Waco La Vega is up 30 spots; 4A DII champion Cuero jumped 64 spots; 3A DI champion Grandview leapt 73 spots; 3A DII champion Newton is up 6 spots; 2A DI champ Mason is up 18 places; 2A DII champion Mart jumped 5 spots; 1A DI top dog McLean is the big riser among the champions, jumping 173 spots; and 1A DII champion Strawn is up 18 spots.

What a Debut!
There aren't a ton of new teams added to the rankings this season since it's a non-realignment year, but we do have a few, and they made their presence felt. Most notable in the additions is Brock, who debuts at No. 18 in the rankings — that's what happens when you win 10 games in five of your six seasons, and play for a pair of titles (winning one). Next up is Tioga, checking in for the first time at No. 424; San Antonio Wagner, buoyed largely by its breakout 2018, debuts at No. 622; and Waxahachie Life makes its first appearances at No. 691.

Who's Not Here
Remember: you must have played six varsity seasons to be eligible for these rankings. Among the teams not yet eligible for these rankings, the top five would be: College Station, Midlothian Heritage, Alvin Shadow Creek, Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial and Frisco Reedy.

Fast Risers...and Quick Fallers
These rankings can be pretty volatile if you perform outside of what you normally do in the most recent season. The biggest risers in these rankings: Haltom (up 344 spots), Leakey (+337), White Deer (+302), Garden City (+296), San Saba (+292) and Diboll (+289). The fastest fallers in these rankings: Corsicana Mildred (down 407 spots), Leander (-285), Banquete (-281), Gatesville (-278), Mesquite (-266) and Nocona (-266).

Other Notables
The highest-ranked 6A team is Allen; in 5A, it's Aledo; in 4A, Carthage; in 3A, Canadian; in 2A, Bremond; in 1A, Richland Springs...Waco La Vega and Waskom now have the exact same résumé in the last six years — 68-16 record, 2 title game appearances, 2 championships, 4 10-win seasons...the highest-ranked team without a state championship: Albany (No. 27)...the highest-ranked team without a state title game appearance: East Bernard (No. 36)...the highest-ranked team without a 10-win season: El Paso Andress (No. 305).

Make sure you check out the complete Six-Year Program Rankings right now — and if you aren't a Dave Campbell's Texas Football Insider, now's a perfect time!

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