From Staff Reports
Sometimes, it's just hard to understand computer rankings.
The Apopka Blue Darters opened its season with a 47-0 whitewashing of the Colonial Grenadiers last Friday. Apopka dominated on both sides of the ball, scoring seemingly at will and keeping Colonial off the scoreboard the entire evening. The week before, they thrashed the Deland Bulldogs 38-6 in the preseason kickoff classic.
Clearly, they needed to do more to impress the virtual judges.
In its preseason poll, MaxPreps had Apopka ranked #8 in its Class 8A poll. Yet after its opening win, the Blue Darters fell to #11.
MaxPreps does not poll coaches, sportswriters, or fans. Nor does its staff make any judgments on the merits of any individual team. Prior season history, school size, and comments on message boards are not considered in the MaxPreps Computer Rankings.
The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins, the higher the ranking. However, the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents) and strength of schedule.
For example, a team's ranking is hurt more by losing to a team that is ranked below them than a team ranked ahead.
The Blue Darters play their first home game of the season against the West Orange Warriors this Friday night. West Orange upset Apopka 15-14 in overtime during the 2020 regular season, but the Blue Darters got its revenge against the Warriors 18-9 in the playoffs. The Vikings too dropped in the MaxPreps poll from #3 to #5 despite defeating the East River Falcons 48-0.
Apopka opens district play against the Ocoee Knights on the road on September 17th. The Knights were 4-5 in 2020.
Other area teams ranked in the poll are (Sanford) Seminole (#7), Lake Mary (#9), (Orlando) Boone (#10), Winter Park (#13), Dr. Phillips (#16), (Orlando) Timber Creek (#21), and (Altamonte Springs) Lake Brantley (#22).
Here are the Week #1 MaxPreps rankings for Class 8A Florida High Schools: