2024 Texas High School Football Program Rankings: Inside the Numbers

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The 2023 Texas high school football season is in the books, and with UIL Realignment on the horizon, we're already gearing up for the 2024 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 sixth 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 2024 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 2018 through 2023 seasons; last year's rankings reflected the 2017 through 2022 seasons. Please note: a team must have played in six varsity seasons for UIL honors to be eligible for these rankings. That means we'll welcome in a handful of teams into the rankings for the first time — programs like Alvin Shadow Creek, San Antonio Harlan and Bridgeland — while still others will be kept waiting for a while longer — programs like Frisco Emerson, San Antonio Davenport and Canyon West Plains. In total, we rank 1,216 UIL Texas high school football programs.

View the complete rankings — ALL 1,216 teams — RIGHT HERE!

After diving headlong into the data, here are a few key takeaways from our fourth annual Six-Year Program Rankings.

Movement At The Top

For the first time in quite a while, there's plenty to talk about in the Top 10. Aledo maintains its stranglehold on the top spot, but we have new entries at No. 2 (Galena Park North Shore, up from No. 6) and No. 3 (Gunter, up from No. 5). There are also two new entries into the Top 10 with the arrival of No. 8 Franklin (up from 11) and No. 10 Hawley (up from 21), replacing Highland Park (now No. 19) and Strawn (now No. 32).

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 2023 are reaping the benefits. 6A Division I state champion Duncanville made its debut in the Top 5 with its second straight crown, while 6A Division II champion DeSoto cracked the Top 20 for the first time with its second title as well, up 26 spots. No. 1 Aledo's most recent title kept it at the top of the rankings, while 5A Division II champion Port Neches-Groves made a huge move, up 73 spots to No. 60. In Class 4A, Division I champion Anna's first title earned it a 209-spot leap to No. 145, while Division II top dog Gilmer halved its ranking from No. 34 to No. 17. Malakoff finally nabbed that elusive state championship in 3A Division I, and moved up 36 spots to No. 21 as a result, while Gunter's third title in the last six seasons pushed it up two spots to No. 3. In Class 2A, Timpson's first state championship gave it a 33-spot bump to No. 43, while Albany's second consecutive 2A Division II crown nudged the Lions up 21 spots to No. 18. And in six-man football, Gordon was one of the state's big movers, leaping 110 spots to No. 45, while Division II champion Benjamin rode another crown to a 108-spot move to No. 37.

Welcome To The Party

Remember: you have to be around for six varsity seasons before you are eligible for the Six-Year Playoff Rankings. In this edition, we welcome a whopping 22 new teams into the rankings, including nine that cracked the Top 400: No. 74 Alvin Shadow Creek, No. 131 San Antonio Harlan, No. 187 Bridgeland, No. 267 Montgomery Lake Creek, No. 311 Klein Cain, No. 326 Katy Paetow, No. 346 Fulshear, No. 390 San Antonio Veterans Memorial and No. 398 Pflugerville Weiss.

Coming Up Next...

There's still teams waiting their turn to make it into the rankings, as 25 teams that played in 2023 are not listed. Of those, the top five would be Frisco Emerson, San Antonio Davenport, Canyon West Plains, Richmond Randle and Lake Belton.

On The Rise...

Which teams benefitted the most by replacing the 2017 season with 2023? The biggest risers in this year's rankings: No. 618 Willis (up 323 spots), No. 489 Clyde (up 308 spots), No. 628 Forney (up 286 spots), No. 530 Roscoe (up 261 spots) and No. 458 Miami (up 241 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. 620 Rockdale (down 447 spots), No. 540 Hewitt Midway (down 327 spots), No. 996 San Marcos (down 295 spots), No. 1,060 Houston Booker T. Washington (down 290 spots) and No. 527 Round Rock Cedar Ridge (down 245 spots).

Other Noteworthy Tidbits

The highest-ranked team in Class 6A is No. 2 Galena Park North Shore (It was Austin Westlake last year); in Class 5A, it's No. 1 Aledo (same as last year); in Class 4A, it's No. 6 Carthage (same as last year); in Class 3A, it's No. 3 Gunter (same as last year); in Class 2A, it's No. 4 Mart (same as last year); and in Class 1A, it's No. 16 Richland Springs (last year, it was Strawn).

The highest-ranked teams with the exact same résumé: Nos. 61 Lubbock-Cooper and Wellington — both are 67-14 in the last six seasons with four 10-win seasons and no title games.

The highest-ranked team without a state championship in the last six years: No. 22 Brock.
The highest-ranked team without a title game appearance in the last six years: No. 40 Holliday.
The highest-ranked team without a 10-win season in the last six years: No. 322 Eagle Pass.

Make sure you check out the complete Six-Year Program Rankings right now!

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