Old School Andy: Don’t get rankled, rankings are just for fun

Commentary – I have to admit, it’s easy to get rankled about rankings.

Every year around mid-July, the media outlets that cover high school sports trot out their rankings for the upcoming football season. Those rankings, sometimes voted on by the various coaches and other times compiled through media votes, represent so many things in people’s minds.

Some take the rankings as just a media tool of hyperbole, with no more real value than the paper it’s printed on. That view is healthy, but a bit cynical.

Others take these yearly preseason ratings as gospel, citing the sources as people who are in the know, then pinning season expectations on those rankings. That’s a little too fanatical for my tastes.

Still others take the rankings as a guide of what to expect, who to watch and as a somewhat humorous prediction of the season to come. I tend to fall in this last category.

Rankings are just for fun. Generally speaking, rankings can provide an idea of what teams should be good again. They can provide a rallying cry to teams who feel they should be rated higher (or rated at all). And they can stand as bragging rights for a few weeks as we count down the days until the season starts.

In other words, rankings are the ultimate water cooler topic. And that’s about it.

As you may have guessed, the new rankings are out for the 2012 football season and some fans will be happy, while others will be disappointed.

Most polls have Hurricane, the defending state 3A champs, ranked first and Juan Diego rated second. Those are no-brainers as those two teams have won the last four titles.

At No. 3, most of the rankings I have read, have either Spanish Fork (who played in the semifinals last year and knocked Juan Diego out of the playoffs) or Dixie.

The Flyers should be loaded, especially with their returning stud, Blake Barney, at quarterback. He will be starting his third year of running coach Blaine Monkres’s complicated spread offense.

The four and five spots are intriguing. If Dixie was third, the polls had Spanish Fork at fourth. But many of the polls put the Dons at third, then relegated the Flyers to the “others receiving votes” list.

Instead, Stansbury seems to be a popular pick from up north. While the Stallions are decent, I was less than impressed with them last season when Desert Hills dominated Stansbury without Porter Harris or Peter Brown in the game.

Pine View seems to be the consensus No. 5. The Panthers had a rough 4-5 year last season, but return a good portion of their roster, including exciting young QB Cody Wilstead and running back Prentiss Miller.

In the “other receiving votes category,” voters try to come to grips with teams like Cedar (always good, but who knows), Desert Hills (27 seniors graduated), Delta (dominant in their region, but a cream puff in the playoffs), Morgan (young, but dangerous), Wasatch (see Morgan), Snow Canyon (rtalented, but need to gel) and Grantsville (see Wasatch).

So, enjoy the rankings. In truth, they mean little more than a few people’s guesses about the future. The only ranking that matters is when the playoffs end in mid-November.

But they are fun to talk about.

Andy Griffin is a sports commentator. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

STGnews rankings: Click here

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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