A month less, a month before the end of the regular high school football season, which means the Florida High School Athletic Association’s RPI Rankings are starting to take some serious form.
Undefeated Venice holds the top spot among all classifications with an RPI of 0.801. Lake Mary (0.781), Jesuit (0.779), Cocoa (0.774) and Tampa Bay Tech (0.768) round out the top five.
How does this affect the programs of Volusia-Flagler-St. Johns, and more specifically, what are their playoff prospects? Let’s take a deep dive.
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Still undefeated and off to his best start ever, Creekside finished Week 6 with the tri-county area’s highest RPI (.703). The Knights improved their overall record to 6-0 – and the district’s mark to 2-0 – with a 20-16 victory from behind over Mandarin last Friday.
A few miles from Longleaf Pine Parkway, Bartram Trail (0.685) is able to win at least one wild card. If the season ended today, the Bears would secure the No. 6 seed in Region 1-8A – although a home win next week against Creekside could turn the tide entirely.
DeLand (.544) and Flagler Palm Coast (.513) have their work cut out for them, given the crowded squad in front of them. The latter Bulldogs are hoping to end a three-game losing streak at University on Friday, a win that could provide a huge boost.
Niceville edged out the local trio of University (.686), Spruce Creek (.654) and Nease (.636) for first place in the 1-7A region.
The University is hosting Spruce Creek next week in one of the biggest contests of the season. The winner is almost a shoo-in for the crown in District 3, although the runner-up is a terribly safe bet to snatch a wild card.
Nease is in position for his first district title since 2015, needing back-to-back road wins over Fletcher and Fleming Island to go around. Crosstown rival Ponte Vedra (.516) is also in control for the time being, holding the No.7 seed despite going 3-3.
St. Augustine (.578) sits surprisingly on the wrong side of the Region 1 bubble at 3-2, meaning its clearest path is to defeat Matanzas and Gainesville for the District 4-6A Championship. Dropping Nease on Friday night could also be a springboard to victory for the Yellow Jackets.
Upon entering Region 2, a rather intriguing storyline looms. New Smyrna Beach (.547) is seeded No. 7, while Mainland (.512) – a playoff qualifier in each of the past 27 seasons – is the first team to come out. The Bucs and ‘Cudas, both in action on the road Thursday night, will meet on October 22. District 8 programs will consider themselves lucky to have just one representative; current leader Port St. Lucie is 11th at RPI.
Injuries took their toll on Menendez (0.375), but the Falcons could still hold the table in District 4-5A. The Falcons crushed Eastside 41-7 last month and have games coming up with North Marion, Clay and Palatka. Region 1’s wild card hopes appear to be extremely slim.
As for Region 2, Seabreeze (.452) is in desperate need of a home win over Bishop Moore on October 15. The Sandcrabs already hold the tiebreaker against Deltona (.501) in the District 7-5A race and could Wolves from their current perch as 8 seeds.
For classes 1A to 4A, there is no district, so the RPI ranking will decide the six qualified teams per region.
Father Lopez (.505) is hunting in region 2-2A, currently occupying the No. 5 seed. The Green Wave, which crushed Wolfson 49-8 last week, ends the year with games at home against sixth-seeded Orangewood Christian and seeded Holy Trinity Episcopal.
Taylor (0.385) is clustered with several legitimate contenders in Region 4 of the Rural Classification, including Hawthorne, Wildwood, and Pahokee. The Wildcats are eighth among the region’s nine teams, nearly 100 points behind final wild card Bronson.