Teams are gearing up for the post-season, and plenty of the top-ranked teams in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings rankings powered by Ballislife.com lost last week. So does that mean they automatically drop? Does that always mean the team that defeated them now deserves to be ranked ahead? There are three newcomers this week, led by No. 39 Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.)
By Ronnie Flores
Every season is different in terms of which programs are successful or which region of the country has the strongest teams, but the main factors that entail how a team gets recognition in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com remain the same. Over the years we’ve clearly laid out the criteria and two of the main factors (playing the strongest schedule possible and rooting for the teams on that same schedule after beating them) clearly comes into play in this week’s FAB 50.
Last week, No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), No. 3 Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah), No. 4 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) and No. 5 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) all lost. So does that mean the rankings get turned upside down and the highest-ranked team that didn’t lose automatically goes to No. 2?
This is where the strength of schedule factor comes into play. Luckily for us this week, plenty of teams in the Top 10 have played each other and it gives good comparative scores to help us come up with a credible order. The other main factor that comes into play this week is owning a key head-to-head win over a team that goes on to beat other FAB 50-ranked teams and has a successful season.
The case of Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) illustrates both points. The Cavaliers only loss is to No. 2 Oak Hill Academy and the win that propelled them high in the rankings was a 69-60 victory over St. John’s (Washington, D.C.). Three things have happened since that title game in the Beach Ball Classic on New Year’s eve. Oak Hill Academy lost at home last week for the first time since the 1996-97 season, and Dorman hasn’t played another ranked opponent since, and doesn’t have one on the horizon. The St. John’s victory was big for its rise in the FAB 50, but since then the Cadets have lost five games, including a contest to unranked Archbishop Carroll of Washington, D.C., and their last three games heading into this week. Granted, St. John’s plays a tough schedule, but based on the results St. John’s dropped 15 spots from No. 21 to No. 36 this week.
One of the three recent losses was a 86-67 setback to fellow Washington Catholic Athletic Conference foe Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), which fell to Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.), 58-55, at the Nike Extravaganza in Southern California over the weekend. Rancho Christian was able to rise from No. 37 to No. 29, with Gonzaga checking in two spots lower at No. 31. St John’s results directly affect Dorman, since that team is not playing a similar schedule, and causes them to drop four spots this week from No. 6 to No. 10.
Oak Hill Academy owns a win over Wasatch Academy, which owns a key win over No. 7 Hamilton Heights Christian Academy. HHCA owns a victory over Sunrise Christian Academy, which owns wins over WCAC front-runner DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) and No. 13 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.).
Developing a keen sense for how good these teams are over the years of compiling the FAB 50, regardless of whom they have played and could play coming up, it made the most rankings sense to leave Oak Hill Academy and Wasatch Academy right where they were last week. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) does get penalized for its 58-55 loss to then unranked Memphis East at the Dr. Pepper Tennessee Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn, but more so the Mustangs are rewarded for the quality victory despite coming into that game with five losses. Sunrise Christian Academy deserves to be ranked ahead of No. 6 DeMatha Catholic, No. 9 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) and No. 13 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) for now. IMG Academy moves up one spot ahead of Sunrise Christian Academy, as three of its losses are to No. 1 Montverde Academy, which is simply playing on another level right now than the other top teams in the FAB 50.
Similar to Memphis East, which is one of the three newcomers this week at No. 45, and La Lumiere, which moves up three spots for defeating the St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) team that No. 3 Wasatch Academy lost to in overtime, 61-58, at the Bob Kirk Invitational in Cumberland, Md., West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.) gets rewarded for its big road win over Oak Hill Academy. Coach Kenny Gillion’s club moves up 15 spots to No. 14, right behind the St. Frances Academy team it lost to.
Playing a tough schedule is paramount to achieve a high ranking, and we will continue to reward unbeaten or one-loss teams that perhaps don’t or are unable to travel the country for showcases and tournaments. Such is the case for GHSA Class AAAAAAA Grayson (Loganville, Ga.). It now deserves to be ranked ahead of Dorman because it avenged its sole overtime loss to Newton with a 86-39 victory with potential landmines coming up in the post-season.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Seventh poll of 2019-20 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, February 2; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||25-0|
|2||2||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||30-2|
|3||3||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||25-2|
|4||5||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||16-5|
|5||4||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||16-3|
|6||7||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||20-2|
|7||9||Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.)||22-2|
|8||8||Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)||24-1|
|9||12||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||17-3|
|10||6||Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.)||21-1|
|11||10||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||18-5|
|12||13||Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)||15-2|
|13||14||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||27-3|
|14||29||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||19-5|
|15||11||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||17-3|
|16||16||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||22-3|
|17||17||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||22-2|
|18||18||Shiloh (Snellville, Ga.)||22-2|
|19||19||Westlake (Austin, Texas)||27-1|
|20||28||Curie (Chicago, Ill.)||20-1|
|21||22||Poly (Baltimore, Md.)||16-2|
|22||23||Centennial (Corona, Calif.)||24-2|
|23||31||Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.)||18-0|
|24||30||St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)||18-3|
|25||33||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||13-5|
|26||32||Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.)||23-0|
|27||27||Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas)||25-2|
|28||35||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||15-1|
|29||37||Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.)||20-5|
|30||34||Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.)||27-2|
|31||24||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||17-7|
|32||15||St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.)||20-3|
|33||36||North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)||19-1|
|34||20||Collinsville (Collinsville, Ill.)||23-1|
|35||44||Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.)||24-2|
|36||21||St. John's (Washington, D.C.)||18-6|
|37||38||Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.)||25-3|
|38||26||Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)||16-3|
|39||NR||Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.)||18-0|
|40||46||Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)||17-1|
|41||40||Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)||15-4|
|42||25||Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.)||16-2|
|43||43||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||22-3|
|44||41||Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)||16-1|
|45||NR||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||17-5|
|46||49||Beecher (Flint, Mich.)||12-1|
|47||47||O'Dea (Seattle, Wash.)||14-3|
|48||42||Lawrence Central (Indinapolis, Ind.)||16-2|
|49||50||Rangeview (Aurora, Col.)||17-0|
|50||NR||St. Mary's Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)||11-1|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 39 Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.), No. 45 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), No. 48 Thornton (Harvey, Ill.).
Bubble Teams: Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 26-2; Benton Harbor (Benton Harbor, Mich.) 10-1; Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 21-5; Bogan (Chicago, Ill.) 20-2; Brookfield Central (Brookfield, Wis.) 14-1; Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.) 11-1; Cleveland (Cleveland, Tenn.) 23-0; Concord First Assembly (Concord, N.C.) 30-3; Davidson Day (Davidson, N.C.) 24-1; Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 16-1; Del City (Del City, Okla.) 15-1; Dickinson (Dickinson, Texas) 23-5; Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) 12-1; Elizabeth (Elizabeth, N.J.) 13-2; Elizabethtown (Elizabethtown, Ky.) 17-0; Evanston (Evanston, Ill.) 21-3; Farmville Central (Farmville, N.C.) 18-2; Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 21-1; Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.) 13-1; Huron (Ann Arbor, Mich.) 11-0; Jackson South Side (Jackson, Tenn.) 23-0; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 14-2; Jemison (Huntsville, Ala.) 23-2; Jenks (Jenks, Okla.) 15-1; John Hardin (Elizabethtown, Ky.) 23-1; John Paul II (Plano, Texas) 33-1; Layton (Layton, Utah) 16-1; Lee (Montgomery, Ala.) 27-1; Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) 9-2; Lithonia (Lithonia, Ga.) 24-1; McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 18-6; Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.) 18-2; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 10-1; Niles Notre Dame (Niles, Ill.) 22-3; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 23-2; North Shore (Houston, Texas) 27-3; River Rouge (River Rouge, Mich.) 13-1; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 9-6; Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.) 18-0; Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas) 22-2; Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) 19-4; Southmoore (Moore, Okla.) 14-2; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 22-2; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 12-1; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 24-4; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 12-3; Summer Creek (Houston, Texas) 27-4; Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 22-1; Trinity Christian (Fayetteville, N.C.) 23-1; Union (Vancouver, Wash.) 19-0; Westover (Fayetteville, N.C.) 20-0; Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.) 18-2; Yates (Houston, Texas) 16-4.
Note: The FAB 50 powered by Ballislife.com is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota compiled them. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 20 years ago.