Football is really becoming a 365-day event. It’s just that the high school games are played on only 10 of them. And should your team be really good, it has a chance to play on 16 days.
The offseason workouts, coaching changes, recruiting activity, spring practices and 7-on-7 tournaments have built a tremendous following. But when it’s all said and done, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine is the signal that the season isn’t far away.
If you didn’t know, Texas’ football bible hit the newsstands last Friday. As always, we like to take a look at the predictions the magazine has for the teams in our coverage area and offer our reaction to them.
We’re in the first year of the UIL’s overhauled realignment, which creates a new Class 6A for all of these programs except for Grapevine (the Mustangs will be in the new 5A).
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So let’s get going.
Action: DCTF now has a Top 40 in 6A and ranks Carroll No. 5 and Keller Fossil Ridge No. 40.
Reaction: Well, you could call it saturation with a Top 40. Typically, it’s been a Top 25. But Carroll’s ranking is about what you would expect. Personally, I thought the Dragons would be a bit lower, with wide receiver and linebacker questions. But this is a program that just reloads. The interesting thing is that District 7-6A opponents Euless Trinity is right behind at No. 6 and Coppell is No. 21. Fossil Ridge settling in at the last spot is a compliment to a team that may have a pretty good defense.
Action: District 5-6A predicts Keller Fossil Ridge and Justin Northwest to make the playoffs, along with Denton Guyer and Denton Ryan. Fossil Ridge would go Division II, Northwest would go Division I.
Reaction: That’s pretty fair, even if Northwest is welcoming in new coach Bill Poe. It never hurts when you have one of the top pitch-and-catch combinations in QB Jesse Drummer and WR Emmanuel Moore returning. Fossil Ridge has 12 starters (eight on offense) returning but has to find a quarterback. Keller, Central, Byron Nelson and Timber Creek are predicted to miss. There are too many questions facing each of those teams. Nelson has to find the depth to handle the move to 6A. Having said that, Northwest is the most vulnerable.
Action: District 7-6A predicts Carroll and Colleyville Heritage to make the playoffs and play in the Division II bracket, while Trinity and Coppell would go Division I.
Reaction: You can pretty much book Carroll, Trinity and Coppell for three of those four playoff spots. The only question is what happens when Colleyville Heritage plays Hurst L.D. Bell. The winner of that game is probably going to the playoffs. It’s just a question if new Panthers coach Darren Allman can get enough established in August so this team can make the playoffs again. The good news about this playoff prediction is that Carroll moves out of Division I and avoids DeSoto. The bad news is that could face defending state champion Cedar Hill.
Action: District 6-5A suggests Grapevine will make the playoffs and play in the Division I bracket. Lake Dallas, Birdville (the other Division I playoff team) and Fort Worth Dunbar are the other predicted playoff teams.
Reaction: If the Mustangs don’t make the playoffs this year, considering how weak the other district teams are in Fort Worth Eastern Hills, Fort Worth Carter-Riverside and Fort Worth Poly, that would be a disaster. Grapevine has three wins sitting right in front of it. The UIL is begging Randy Jackson to get this team back into the postseason.
There isn’t anything startling about these predictions. Following the realignment’s release, you could figure who was and who wasn’t a playoff favorite.
Just remember, fall workouts are seven weeks away.