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
Here are some of our thoughts about these rankings.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.