Monday, May 30, 2011

Arkansas Varsity Releases First Ever 7-on-7 Rankings

Luke Matheson of Arkansas Varsity (Arkansas' site for prep sports) has released his rankings for this year's 7-on-7 season. This is the first rankings that we know that has ever been released. You can see those rankings by clicking here.

We feel like this is a solid list and a great idea. I think everyone agrees that being better than a team in 7-on-7 doesn't make you better in real football. However, note the success of these teams in real football:
  • 18 Playoff Teams
  • 14 Quarter-finalists
  • 9 Semi-finalists
  • 5 Finalists
  • 3 State Champions
  • Central Arkansas Christian and Russellville were the only two that did not qualify for the playoffs
I think it's also worth noting some teams not on this list that are successful, but do not play in many or any 7-on-7 tournaments during the summer. Most notably is Greenwood, who has competed in only one tournament in the past 7 years that we can remember. However, they have won 4 state championships during that time. Fort Smith Southside, Cabot, Texarkana, Camden Fairview, and Junction City are perennial powers whose names are rarely if ever seen on the 7-on-7 circuit.
Here are some of our thoughts about these rankings.
  1. We are excited that Matheson has taken the time to research and come up with this poll. We believe that anything that promotes high school athletes in a positive manner is a good thing.
  2. Although no one would argue that Bentonville is not a top program (if not the top program), we do not feel that they are generally successful in 7-on-7. We think a top 3, or even a top 10 7-on-7 ranking is a bit high. Regardless, Bentonville will likely be a favorite to win the 7A title again this year.
  3. Lake Hamilton was ranked out of the top 10 in the first ranking, but Matheson has revised them to #7. We feel that the Wolves are likely a top 5 7-on-7 team every year regardless of personnel. This year, with most of their team returning, we would rank them at #2 behind Pulaski Academy...another team that seems to be very good in 7-on-7 regardless of personnel.
  4. Greenbrier has one of the state's top QB's in Neal Burcham. He is being recruited by several top colleges in the south including Alabama. In 7-on-7, a top QB makes up for other deficiencies as they continue to put pressure other teams to score. We would rank Greenbrier in our top 5 this year as well.
  5. West Memphis runs the ball 95% of the time, but Matheson ranks them #5. We say "Bravo!" West Memphis runs a league in East Arkansas as well as a tournament this first week. Although their play action pass may be a little unorthodox for 7-on-7, they stick to running their offense and are simply trying to get better in their passing game, but more importantly, in their pass defense. We would probably rank them a little lower, but still in the top 10.
  6. There are some other teams that we would rank a bit differently, but for the most part, this is a very solid list. Obviously, there will be some changes throughout the summer, but it is interesting and gives football pundits and non-pundits alike another bit of discussion before real football begins in August.
Please feel free to comment below about this post or about Arkansas Varsity's rankings. We love to hear from you.


  1. Thanks for the review! I am glad you guys took the time to give your thoughts on the ranking!

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