The RUGBYMag.com Boys HS Club Rankings, presented by Selective Service, return this week with Cathedral back on top.
The rankings are based on results and history. If a region has performed well historically, we give them a little boost. That's why, for example, the Washington state champions are ranked higher than the Tennessee champions.
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In addition, if sometimes the top HS club team in a region loses to a single-school team in the playoffs. Sometimes them don't. Those results can give us an indication of overall strength of that league.
Now to our difficult decisions. We had the USA Rugby national invitational this past weekend. As happens in many playoffs, this championship involved some shortened games. Close scores in shortened games give us pause. They are useful, but shouldn't always be the only criterion used to judge relative strength.
For example ... Marin beat TRYBE, who beat United earlier this season, who beat Marin. What to do? Well this will be fixed this coming week as both United and TRYBE are in the Utah state playoffs. We will use that playoff to sort it all out. Right now all three tie at #5.
Now to the other topic. Is Lamorinda, undefeated in the very strong Northern California league #1 despite not being invited to the national invitational?
Here we have to look at the results and the very few common opponents Lamorinda and national invitational champs Cathedral share.
Lamorinda never played Marin, but they did play the Sacramento Islanders, beating them 36-33. The Islanders beat Marin in playoffs 22-17. So it's fare to say Lamorinda is eight points better than Marin.
Cathedral beat Colorado Springs by 30, and Colorado Springs beat TRYBE by two. Marin beat TRYBE by 5, implying Marine is three points better than Colorado Springs, and therefore 27 points below Cathedral.
Or ... Marin lost to United 10-5, and Cathedral beat United 51-0, making Cathedral 56 points better then Marin.
These measurements aren't scientific, but they are indicative of something. In this case, Lamorinda is an excellent team, that has won some key games by small margins (spare us the "they ran subs on late" argument ... Cathedral did too; so did many teams). Cathedral were never challenges by anyone. Their closest league or playoff game was the Midwest quarterfinal, 31-12 over Lincoln Way. or 22-5 over Penn, the single-school finalists, in a short game. Cathedral crushed every team they played, including teams like Penn, Westerville, Brownsburg, Colorado Springs (!), United (!), and Union. (They also beat Xavier, away, although much closer, 17-7). Lamorinda played very, very well, but did not win so convincingly against a string of opponents who are just a hair below Cathedral's in terms of competitiveness.
Lamorinda is clearly, to us, the #2 team in the nation. Clearly. Cathedral is just as clearly #1.
|RUGBYMag.com Boys HS Club Rankings May 22 2012
||Bt Union (11), Colo Springs (2), United (12) to win NHSI
||Won California Title
||Colorado Springs (Colo.)
||Beat TRYBE (4), KC Jr Blues (18)
||Lost to United (12), beat Red Mountain (9), TRYBE (4),
||Lost to Colo. Sprgs (2) 10-8 & Marin (16), bt Union (11)
||Beat Marin (16), KC Jr Blues (18), lost to Cathedral (1)
||39-35 over Doylestown (26), 12-11 over W. Shore (8)
||Granite Bay (Calif.)
||Edged Liberty (28) 11-10 for Washington title
||Kansas City Jr. Blues (Mo.)
||Beat Red Mt. (9), lost to United (12), Colo Springs (2)
||Charlotte Tigers (NC)
||Beat Trojans (35) for South title
||53-34 over Barbarians (6) in state final
||West Shore United (Pa.)
||55-5 over So. Hills (31), lost 12-11 to Downingtown (22)
||Red Mountain (Ariz.)
||Lost to KC (18), lost to Marin (16),
||Close loss to Chuckanut (10) in Wash. final 11-10.
||Golden Gate (Calif.)
||Union County (NJ)
||Lost to Cathedral (1), TRYBE (4)
||Cherry Creek (Colo.)
||Lost 53-34 to Eastside (19) in state final
||Lost 39-35 to Downingtown (22)
||The Woodlands (Tex.)
||5-1 in Minnesota
10-7 over Lincoln Way
||Lincoln Way (Ill)
||Loss to Cathedral (1) in MW QFs. Lost 10-7 to Morton (21)
||Kona Bulls (HI)
||Back Bay (Calif.)
||South Hills (Pa)
||North Park Crusaders (Pa)
||White Station (Tenn)
||Lost 17-14 to Father Ryan in Tenn semis
||Lost to Tigers 33-21 in South Final
||South Doyle (Tenn)
||Lost 49-10 to Ravenwood in Tenn semis
||Kennesaw Mountain (Ga)
||Alpharretta Phoenix (Ga)