The 2021Texas high school football season is in the books, and with UIL Realignment done and dusted, the stage is set for the 2022 season. It's a long wait until August, but if we know anything about football in Texas, there's plenty to talk about.
That includes the annual Dave Campbell's Texas Football Six-Year Program Rankings, which were just released. For the fourth consecutive season, we're taking a deep dive into the strength of the 1,200+ UIL Texas high school football programs.
What are they? Here's an excerpt from the intro to the rankings:
With data help from Jerry Forrest at PigskinPrep.com, Dave Campbell's Texas Football is proud to unveil the 2020 edition of its 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 2016 through 2021 seasons; last year's rankings reflected the 2015 through 2020 seasons. Please note: a team must have played in six varsity seasons to be eligible for these rankings. As a result, teams like Alvin Shadow Creek, Bridgeland, Katy Paetow will not appear in these rankings.
After diving headlong into the data, here are a few key takeaways from our fourth annual Six-Year Program Rankings.
Stability At The Top
If you want to find some talking points, you'll probably need to look outside the Top 10. The top two — Aledo and Carthage, respectively — are unchanged, and of last year's top ten teams, there was only one exit and one new entry, as Strawn surged 17 spots to No. 9 while Canadian dropped ten spots to No. 17 as their remarkable 2015 state title season cycled off. The Top 25 has a little more action, with teams like No. 14 Duncanville and No. 20 Shiner joining the fray, but overall, the very top portion of the rankings are pretty well crystalized.
State Champions Make The Leap
There's nothing better you can do for your program ranking than winning a state championship, and the dozen champions in 2021 are reaping the benefits. 6A Division I state champion Galena Park North Shore is up two spots to No. 7, and while that may seem like a small move, remember that they moved up despite cycling off their 2015 title. That's consistency. 6A Division II champ Austin Westlake nudged up three spots to No. 5, again despite losing a state finalist appearance in 2015. In 5A Division I, Katy Paetow is ineligible for the rankings because the Panthers have not played six seasons (more on them later). South Oak Cliff is using its 5A Division II state championship to move up 76 spots to No. 114. In 4A, Division I's Stephenville's made a massive move — up 307 spots to No. 97 — while Division II's cracked the top 100 with a 60-spot move up to No. 65. Lorena broke a long state championship drought in 3A Division I, and jumped 185 spots to No. 89 as a result. In 3A Division II, Franklin's first-ever state championship pushed them up nine spots to No. 34, replacing their 2015 title game loss to Waskom with a championship. Down in 2A Division I, Shiner's into the top 20 with a 15-spot leap, while 2A Division II champion Stratford is up 31 spots to No. 41. And in the six-man ranks, 1A Division I champion Westbrook is up 280 spots to No. 129 (despite four losses, the most by a state champion in eight years), and 1A Division II champion Strawn is up to No. 9.
Welcome To The Party
Remember: you have to be around for six varsity seasons before you are eligible for the Six-Year Playoff Rankings. Because it's an odd-numbered year, we get to welcome ten new teams into the rankings, including four that cracked the top half of the squads: No. 60 Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial, No. 95 Midlothian Heritage, No. 307 Frisco Reedy and No. 333 Gorman.
Coming Up Next...
There's still teams waiting their turn to make it into the rankings, as 32 teams that played in 2021 are not listed. Of those, the top five would be Alvin Shadow Creek, Katy Paetow, Bridgeland, San Antonio Harlan and San Antonio Southwest Legacy.
On The Rise...
Which teams benefitted the most by replacing the 2015 season with 2021? The biggest risers in this year's rankings: No. 647 Carrizo Springs (up 446 spots), No. 439 Quinlan Ford (up 445 spots), No. 557 Lubbock Roosevelt (up 445 spots), No. 680 Frisco Liberty (up 410 spots) and No. 603 Tyler Chapel Hill (up 408 spots).
....and Taking a Tumble
Of course, it's not all sunshine and daffodils for everyone. The fastest fallers in this year's rankings: No. 622 Richmond George Ranch (down 460 spots), No. 1,056 Howe (down 444 spots), No. 1,132 Southland (down 422 spots), No. 1,062 North Mesquite (down 414 spots) and No. 1,104 Jarrell (down 398 spots).
Other Noteworthy Tidbits
The highest-ranked team in Class 6A is No. 5 Austin Westlake (same as last year); in Class 5A, it's No. 1 Aledo (same as last year); in Class 4A, it's No. 2 Carthage (same as last year); in Class 3A, it's No. 4 Gunter (it was Canadian last year); in Class 2A, it's No. 3 Mart (same as last year); and in Class 1A, it's No. 9 Strawn (last year, it was Richland Springs).
The highest-ranked teams with the exact same résumé: Nos. 79 Holland and Van — both are 57-17 over the last six years with four 10-win seasons, but no title game appearances.
The highest-ranked team without a state championship in the last six years: No. 14 Duncanville.
The highest-ranked team without a title game appearance in the last six years: No. 38 Geronimo Navarro.
The highest-ranked team without a 10-win season in the last six years: No. 305 El Paso Andress.
Make sure you check out the complete Six-Year Program Rankings right now — and if you aren't a Dave Campbell's Texas Football subscriber, now's a perfect time!
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