Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
October 9, 2013
We moved Tuesday morning coffee to Wednesday this week. I'll start this week by climbing on my soapbox for a moment or two.
There is always - and there will always - be debate as to who belongs in the 'rankings/polls/ratings' each week. Some say there are bias towards small schools while others say there's a bias towards schools making a name for themselves with recent success.
I would agree with both and disagree at the same time. So yes, that makes me confused.
There is not one 2A or 1A team ranked in the Top 25. There are some good teams out there, but the opinion of the sportswriters (and yes, we actually send out a ballot and tabulate the results) is that these teams would not be able to beat the bigger schools that are ranked.
In fact, only one 3A team made the rankings this week - that being uber-talented Trinity Christian of Jacksonville.
So, yes maybe there is a bias against the small schools. But we call it an all-classification poll for a reason.
As for the 'recent success' - if you know me - you've often heard me say 'it's not how you drive, it's where you park your car.'
Simply put - you can be 6-0 and bounced out of the playoffs in a hurry. Just look at Cocoa Beach last year. The Minutemen had arguably their best season in a long time - going 7-0 until the district games with Jones and Cocoa. Bubble burst.
To get into the Top 25 you have to make a name for yourself. The state-wide media has to know who you are to vote for you. It's no different than any other 'vote' scenario. Of the teams ranked in this week's Top 25 - all of them have post-season pedigree - except for maybe Sickles, who just missed out last year.
We have a panel that stretches from Pensacola to Miami and all points in between. Geographically, we have voters in each major region to ensure that each area gets represented. We also have an 18 year history of doing this - so yes, we likely are the most established and longest-running poll (now that the FSWA poll is gone).
At the end of the day, there is a playoff in high school football. One that is set in stone for the requirements. There is no BCS, no strength-of-schedule module or ratings module. It's win your district or finish as a runner-up and move on.
Sign of the Apocalypse
The Duval County Public Schools athletic teams are allowed to shake hands after an athletic contest. Why is that the opening statement? Because over a year, it wasn't allowed.
This was an edict from the county athletic office after a fight broke out between Leon (Tallahassee) and Middleburg (Clay County) in 2011. It didn't involve a school in Duval County, but the athletic department issued the policy.
Gratefully, that policy is no more. County athletic director Tammie Talley rescinded the policy last November.
Sadly, the entire state of Kentucky has now enacted a similar policy.
The Kentucky High School Activities Association issued a policy statement advising schools that it 'no longer recommends' shaking hands after sports contests.
From the KHSAA directive, this very disturbing statement:
"It is directed that teams and individuals do not participate in organized post game handshake lines/ceremonies beyond that interaction that is required by the NFHS playing rules (i.e. the awarding of a bout winner in wrestling) and the individual unorchestrated actions by individual competitors;"
"The coaches and administration of the teams are responsible for the individual conduct of the members of the team following the contest and shall be held accountable for such; and
If the decision is made to ignore this directive and participate in some form of organized postgame handshake line/handshake against this recommendation, it is the expressed responsibility of game management and the coaches and administration of the teams to supervise the activity, to report to the KHSAA any incidents that occur.
It's a sad state of affairs when we have a governing body of high school sports in a state say 'no more handshakes'.
I've been a Pop Warner coach for five years. I've gotten my hat handed to me by more than one opponent. One thing we will never do is refuse to shake hands.
Each week we ask the media to forward us the 'top performances' from the area. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. If you have a top performer - submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org on Sunday.