The territorial playoffs have humbled some of our rankings and bolstered others. It turns out, we had Shaw and New Orleans Jesuit ranked way too high, despite them having some impressive wins during the regular season, including over each other. Those Louisiana schools both lost in their opening South playoff matches.
It appears we pulled the trigger too quickly on Penn, as they were dropped from our last publication after being ranked since the beginning. They tore through the Midwest playoffs, avenging losses to La Salette and Brownsburg along the way.
St. Thomas Aquinas, a team we've had ranked pretty high most of the season despite the fact that they'd never reached Nationals, won the West by ousting two other ranked teams. Could they have beaten St. Thomas of Houston? We'll never know, because the Texas champ opted out of the West due to the date of their commencement conflicting with the postseason schedule.
There are a few teams like St. Thomas on our list, like St. Ignatius of Cleveland, Bishop Shanahan and Kenmore West, who are very good, but opt out of territorial and national competition. It's tough to rank them too high, because they're not necessarily playing other high-ranked clubs.
There are more territorial playoffs on the horizon, like the Pacific Coast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Will anyone knock off the favorites -- Sacramento Jesuit, Gonzaga or Xavier? Probably not, but if one team is to do so, it may be Dixon, who came within 14 points of Jesuit earlier in NorCal play.
1. (1) Gonzaga. (D.C.) Favorite to win Mid-Atlantic Sunday
2. (2) Sacramento Jesuit. (Calif.) Won NorCal, hosting Pacific Coast Friday and Saturday
3. (3) Charlotte Catholic. (N.C.) Won South, Beat Shaw, Chapin and Jupiter
4. (4) St. Thomas Aquinas. (Kan.) Won West, beat Dallas Jesuit and Westlake
5. (5) Xavier. (N.Y.) First seed in NRU Playoffs. Awaits opponent for Sunday final
6. (8) Fallbrook. (Calif.)
7. (9) St. Thomas. (Hou.) Texas Champs, opted out of West play
8. (UR) Penn. (Ind.) Won Midwest, beat Brownsburg, La Salette and Dexter
9. (10) Dallas Jesuit. 2nd in Texas. Lost 7-6 to St. Thomas, won 37-19 over Westlake
10. (11) McQuaid. (N.Y.) Beat School Without Walls 40-0
11. (12) Brownsburg. (Ind.) Finished 2nd in Midwest to Penn, beat Ignatius, Pulaski
12. (13) Jupiter. (Fla.) Finished 2nd in South to Charlotte Catholic, beat Providence and Kennesaw
13. (15) Snow Canyon. (Utah) Playing Dixon in first round of PacCoast playoffs Friday
14. (15) St. Ignatius. (Ohio) Undefeated in Rugby Ohio
15. (UR) Bishop Shanahan. Won EPRU, opted out of MARFU play
16. (UR) St. Gregory’s. Finished 2nd in EPRU to Bishop Shanahan, plays Gonzaga this weekend
17. (18) Westlake. (Texas) Finished third in West
18. (19) Kenmore West.
19. (UR) Dixon. Playing in PacCoast playoffs Friday
20. (UR) Chapin. (SC) Finished 3rd in South, beat Kennesaw, New Orleans Jesuit
(6) Shaw. (La.) finished 7th in South
(7) New Orleans Jesuit. (La.) finished 5th in South
(17) St. Joseph's Prep. (Philadelphia) Finished 3rd in EPRU
(16) Providence. (N.C.) Finished 6th in the South
(20) LaSalette. (Ind.) Finished fourth in Midwest, lost to Penn and Pulaski