Every week during the high school regular season, 25 experts from across Texas vote in The Associated Press state football poll, rating the Top 10s from Class 6A down to Class 2A.
The poll published its final rankings at the end of the regular season. From there, the UIL playoffs decide who are the ultimate No. 1 teams by December. This year games are Dec. 14-17 at AT&T Stadium.
Of the 50 teams ranked last week, 49 won bi-district games. Guess the voters know what they’re talking about?
The 8th-ranked Texas High Tigers, from Texarkana, were the lone state-ranked team to lose a first-round contest, dropping a 30-27 game to West Mesquite in the 5A Division I bracket.
“It’s a reflection that most teams ranked are district champs and for the most part they are playing fourth-place teams in the first round,” Brock head coach Chad Worrell said. “We don’t look or focus on rankings.”
Brock (11-0) is No. 1 in Class 3A. The Eagles, who won the 3A Division I state title last season, beat Brady 43-7 in their postseason opener. Brock gets Amarillo River Road (7-4) at 7 p.m. Friday in Sweetwater.
“We have a good team, still a lot of work before we prove it,” said Worrell, whose Parker County team is the defending 3A Division I state champs. “We’re just focused on this week with River Road, but the team is coming together.”
More than half the AP-ranked teams are undefeated (26 of 49), with a combining record of 515-24 record and a .955 winning percentage. All the No. 1 teams, Allen, Aledo, West Orange-Stark, Brock and Bremond are still perfect at 11-0.
So it appears that AP got things right to close the regular season, but as we venture deeper into the playoffs, games get tougher and more of those teams won’t be around.
Big game brewing
In Class 6A, No. 2 DeSoto (11-0) faces No. 8 Southlake Carroll (10-1). Sachse (11-0) isn’t ranked, but the Mustangs plays another undefeated in No. 4 The Woodlands (11-0) on Friday. No. 9 Round Rock Cedar Ridge (11-0) also faces a tough task Friday in 10-1 Klein Collins.
Top-ranked 5A Aledo (11-0) and No. 4 Denton Ryan (11-0) square off against a pair of 10-1 teams from District 8-5A, with Aledo facing Grapevine and Ryan getting Richland. If Aledo wins, the Bearcats could face another perfect team in Canutillo (11-0) in the third round.
Next week in 5A Division II, we could also see a big time match up between No. 2 Cedar Park (11-0) and No. 3 Manvel (11-0).
The AP Top 10 teams in Class 4A are a combined 106-4, and most of this group can expect to be around after Thanksgiving.
The exception is No. 8 El Campo (11-0), which plays No. 10 Henderson (10-1) this week. The other eight teams -- West Orange-Stark, Argyle, Waco La Vega, Cuero, Geronimo Navarro, China Spring, Gilmer and Abilene Wylie -- are playing teams at a combined 61-27.