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The Post-Nationals Rankings and What We're Thinking

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The Post-Nationals Rankings and What We're Thinking

Herriman players take to the air to celebrate. Alex Goff photo.

With the National Championships all done, it’s time to take a really, really close look at the GRR High School Rankings.

Now, you might think it’s an automatic that the National Champion gets the #1 ranking but that isn’t always the case. We’ve had situations in the past where the team that won the national tournament had been beaten by another team, a team that didn’t participate in the big event.

So, yes, it’s possible to be National Champion and not #1. 

See how our rankings evolved this season>>

(In 2016 we ranked Danville ahead of Granite Bay even though Danville didn’t play at Nationals because the Oaks had beaten Granite Bay, who won 2016 Nationals, in the regular season.)

Usually in the single-school bracket it’s a little more straightforward because all of the top single-school teams go to Nationals … usually.

These past two years there is a team that has put its hand up on the national stage, and that team is De La Salle. There was no National Championship in 2020, but had there been DLS would not have attended. Had, say, Jesuit won the national tournament that year, we could very well have ranked DLS #1, because DLS was probably a stronger team.

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This year, DLS is also very strong, and while we didn’t have quite the same apples-to-apples comparisons available, had SFGG won Tier 2 with convincing scores, we might well have been tempted to rank them #1.

There are times when we follow Nationals … usually when Team A beats Team B at Nationals. But we might deviate from that if, say, the result is very close and one of the placement games.

But we don’t necessarily ranked the #4 team ahead of the #5 team. Finishing 5th at Nationals is a massive accomplishment. It means you won two games in a row, and did so having bounced back from an emotionally crushing defeat. And … what if the opponent the 5th-place team lost to ended up winning it all? It is certainly possible to argue that a team that finished 3rd or 5th was stronger than the team that finished 2nd.

We are looking at all of these factors.

Wrinkles

In addition, we’ve got some complications. Is Aspetuck the team that lost to Royal Irish and St. Ignatius or the team that beat Woodlands. (Answer: Yes.)

Is Fort Hunt the team that pushed Charlotte or the team that finished 0-3 at Nationals? Staples was 1-2 at Nationals, but losing to Gonzaga and Herriman is no shame. 

Should we still be rewarding Xavier for playing one good half in their major games, or should we finally acknowledge that you need to win some of those games?

Are San Diego and Tempe (1 and 2 in Tier 2) better than 8th-place HS Club Fort Hunt? 

Hypotheticals

And then there are what-ifs.

What if Kansas City had been able to reach touch on their final play against Phoenix Alpharetta?

What if Royal Irish had been able to claim the points on offer against Thunder?

You can drive yourself mad with those thoughts. Of course, we’re not asking for you to think that way … that’s our job.