Jon Santucci: The Rankings Said What? FHSAA’s First Football RPI Rankings Don’t Make Sense – TCPalm

WHAT?!?

That’s the simplest response to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s RPI football rankings, which was released Wednesday afternoon.

Bottom line, it doesn’t make any sense and is in no way reflective of what we’re seeing on the field through the first four weeks of the season.

That’s four weeks with myriad cancellations because of COVID-19 and inclement weather, so why release this so early? Who was clamoring for it before we even got to the midway point of the season?

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“We just felt it was important to get it out in the halfway point,” said FHSAA spokeswoman Ashton Moseley. “There’s nothing in writing that says what week it has to go out. But since we haven’t had it in a while, we thought this week was a good week to do it.”

Maybe waiting another week or two would have been a good idea.

Because this list, right now, is a joke.  

Venice at No. 1, no problem. Venice is No. 1 in Class 8A in the USA Today Florida Network poll and its resume through three games is truly impressive.

So where do the other No. 1 teams on the USA Today poll rank in the RPI?

St. Thomas Aquinas, the top-ranked team in Class 7A, is No. 54 on the RPI. That’s 15 spots behind John Carroll Catholic, which has played one game this season.

Jesuit is No. 1 in Class 6A but No. 21 in the RPI. Miami Central, which has won three consecutive state titles, is No. 1 in Class 5A in the USA Today poll but No. 189 in the RPI. That’s not a typo.

Number 189! Central is 2-2 with losses to St. John Bosco (California) and Bishop Gorman (Nevada) — both ranked in the top 20 in the nation by MaxPreps. The Rockets are undefeated in the state this season, but the RPI thinks very little of them.

There aren’t 10 teams in the state (and that number is too high) that should be ranked ahead of Central, much less 179. If that’s what the computer says, the formula needs some help. Yes, it’s early (way too early) and Central’s record will look a lot different in a few weeks, but this is what the FHSAA gave us.

Just to put that in perspective, Ed White in Jacksonville is the top team in Class 5A in the RPI. It is No. 2 overall in the state behind Venice. Ed White has played two games this season.

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Cardinal Gibbons is No. 1 in Class 4A and No. 16 in the RPI. That’s not too far off.

Chaminade-Madonna, whose lone loss this season was a close game at Plantation-American Heritage, is the top-ranked team in Class 3A but only No. 52 in the RPI. And while we’re at it, American Heritage is down at 161, so clearly the head-to-head matchups don’t matter too much.

Jacksonville-Trinity Christian, the No. 1 team in Class 2A, is No. 15 in the RPI, which sounds about right. Unless you read the RPI and see that Hollywood-Avant Garde is ranked ahead, 11 spots higher. No offense to Avant Garde but there’s no way it should be ranked ahead of, well, most of the teams it is ahead of.

Baker, the No. 1 team in Class 1A, is No. 11 in the RPI. It’s a bit high in the grand scheme of things, but it’s certainly deserving to be near the top of the list.

Yes, we know the RPI isn’t a ranking, but it will ultimately determine which teams make the playoffs as well as seeding.

And in the end, it may all turn out a lot better than this.

But this was a misstep and a bad look for the FHSAA.

Another week or two and this would have been a lot better.