Home Editor's Picks Football rankings: Strength of schedule brings plenty of weight

Football rankings: Strength of schedule brings plenty of weight

Red Mountain players run out onto the field before the start of their game with Chandler. (Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

The AIA/MaxPreps final standings were released on Saturday during the bracket reveal show.

Math is involved, but one must wonder what else.

Certainly not the eye test or the weight of the straight-up head-to-head results. Not if Mountain Pointe is the No. 1 team in the state heading into the playoffs.

The Pride are definitely a state contender, and more than ever now that stud two-way lineman Matty Palo-Mao made his first appearance last week, but they didn’t even win their region.

That – the Central Region – went to Desert Ridge, which is No. 2 behind Mountain Pointe, despite having a better record and beating them on the field.

The Pride played a tougher non-region schedule that included Chandler, Pinnacle, Mountain View and 8-1 Chaminade in California.

Chandler is widely considered the state’s top team now that healthy has returned to the Wolves and they are sitting at No. 3.

Another indicator that schedule strength is a major component is the fact that 4-6 Boulder Creek finished No. 13 and moved up a spot after losing its regular season finale.

Hamilton’s Noah Hedges picks up Desert Ridge’s #16 Matthew Purnell and sacks him for a loss. (Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

Boulder Creek opened the year with Hamilton, Liberty, Queen Creek and Red Mountain, which combined for 33 wins and seven defeats.

In other words, the athletic directors or whoever is in charge of filling out the freedom game portion of the schedule for the next two-year block should take notice.

It is clear that who you play is nearly as important as who you beat.

Here are the final MyNewsMesa.com 6A rankings in the site’s inaugural season:


Running back Lucas Wright (10) of the Desert Ridge Jaguars runs the ball in the second half of the high school football game between the Desert Ridge Jaguars and the Highland Hawks. (Billy Hardiman/MyNewsMesa.com)

6A Conference rankings:

  1. Chandler 8-2 (No. 1 last week)
  2. Perry 9-1 (2)
  3. Desert Ridge 9-1 (4)
  4. Mountain Pointe 8-2 (5)
  5. Red Mountain 8-2 (6)
  6. Hamilton 7-3 (3)
  7. Pinnacle 8-3 (7)
  8. Highland 7-3 (8)
  9. Skyline 6-4 (10)
  10. Mountain View 6-4 (11)
  11. Cesar Chavez 7-3 (12)
  12. Desert Vista 5-5 (9)
  13. Gilbert 4-6 (13)
  14. Westview 5-5 (-)
  15. Desert Mountain 6-4 (14)
Skyline’s Solomon Buchanan (1) takes the second half kickoff right up the middle against Dobson. (Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

Mesa Seven

  1. Desert Ridge 9-1, 5-0 (1 last week) – Second seeded Jaguars won’t have any easy road to title game as red-hot Red Mountain awaits in the quarters and MyNewsMesa’s No. 1 ranked team Chandler in the semifinals.
  2. Red Mountain 8-2, 5-0 (2) – Faced a little bit of adversity last week when about 25 players had to sit out for various reasons, but still beat Westwood going away.
  3. Skyline 6-4, 4-1 (3) – Skyline has confidence it can compete with No. 5 Hamilton after a close regular season battle.
  4. Mountain View 6-4, 3-2 (4) – The Toros got some help to get into the playoffs – losses by Desert Vista and Tucson – but the reward is a matchup with defending champion Chandler.
  5. Mesa 4-7, 2-3 (5) – A talented senior class made this team competitive, but where does it leave the Jackrabbits in 2018?
  6. Westwood 4-6, 1-4 (6) – Losing to Red Mountain without most of its depth shows the Warriors might have more work to do than expected after a solid first year under Kyle Ide.
  7. Dobson 3-7, 0-5 (7) – The region portion of the schedule was a bit troubling.

– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to jskoda@mynewsmesa.com.



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