Top 30 Rankings — Sept. 27, 2016 (Week 3)

Top 30 Rankings — Sept. 27, 2016 (Week 3)

This is a set of rankings from an older poll. We keep all our polls online for archival purposes. You might want to view the current Top 30 rankings or read how we determine rankings.

The biggest change this week comes from a rising star in Texas. Following some very significant results at the Austin Regional, Vandegrift jumped fourteen spots to place sixth overall, pushing several groups back one spot.

Franklin (TN) band members perform a trombone feature on Sept. 24, 2016, at the Clarksville Regional. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
The top two placing groups from Clarksville remain in the Top 30, but North Hardin slips out.

Prospect's performance at Dayton was enough to put them back on the list for the first time since 2014, but with no additional BOA performances this season, it will likely be a short-lived stay on the Top 30.

Two groups make their premiere on the rankings: Vista Ridge and Winston Churchill are ranked in the Top 30 for the first time ever, though both groups have previously been listed in the Next 10.

Some notable additions to the Next 10 this weekend include Bixby and Bentonville. We'll see how Bentonville stacks up against groups like Union and O'Fallon Township at this weekend's Golden Regiment Invitational at Blue Springs High School.

The previous week's rankings are in parenthesis. Read about how we determine rankings.
  1. Tarpon Springs H.S., FL (1)
  2. Broken Arrow H.S., OK (2)
  3. Flower Mound H.S., TX (4)
  4. Hebron H.S., TX (3)
  5. Carmel H.S., IN (5)
  6. Vandegrift H.S., TX (20)
  7. Leander H.S., TX (10)
  8. Avon H.S., IN (7)
  9. Ronald Reagan H.S., TX (8)
  10. Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX (6)
  11. William Mason H.S., OH (9)
  12. Cedar Park H.S., TX (13)
  13. The Woodlands H.S., TX (11)
  14. Marcus H.S., TX (12)
  15. James Bowie H.S., TX (15)
  16. Round Rock H.S., TX (14)
  17. Harrison H.S., GA (16)
  18. Marian Catholic H.S., IL (17)
  19. Blue Springs H.S., MO (18)
  20. LD Bell H.S., TX (19)
  21. Owasso H.S., OK (21)
  22. Castle H.S., IN (29)
  23. Franklin H.S., TN (24)
  24. Union H.S., OK (23)
  25. Homestead H.S., IN (22)
  26. Prospect H.S., IL (unranked)
  27. Vista Ridge H.S., TX (unranked)
  28. Dobyns-Bennett H.S., TX (27)
  29. Keller H.S., TX (25)
  30. Winston Churchill H.S., TX (unranked)
Next 10, in alphabetical order: Ayala (CA), Bellevue West (NE), Bentonville (AR), Bixby (OK), Cedar Ridge (TX), Center Grove (IN), Hendrickson (TX), Lake Central (IN), O'Fallon Township (IL), and Wando (SC).


  1. WOW! Half of the top 30 bands are from Texas.

  2. When is Vandergrift finally going to Grand Nationals?!? They've acheived "Texas Titan" status in the community and are great finalist contenders so why have they not gone yet?

    1. Considering Saturday was Vandy's very first BOA regional win, it makes sense they haven't gone... Yet... But I would be shocked if we don't see them at Indy in 2017. This year's show is beautiful!

  3. When are you going to give Centerville some love, ranking 3 points behind Carmel in a very competitive Dayton regional. Wake up.

    1. Since Centerville isn't an up and coming school, they don't receive the love. Their score both in prelims and finals should have put them in your rankings higher than Vista Ridge and Winston Churchill. You don't even have them in the next ten, your ranking system is bogus.

    2. I'm guessing that a band's track record factors into the rankings at least a little, which is why up and coming bands with potential are more likely to be included as opposed to a band like Centerville, who performed very well at Dayton but hasn't placed phenomenally at GN in the last several years (although I loved them last year). In the top 30, the lowest GN placement I see is DB at 15... I'm not saying I don't agree with you, Centerville could be in the next ten out easily, but I think calling the rankings bogus because of one understandable omission is a bit much.

    3. Track record can't be a factor if so then Vista Ridge or Winston Churchill wouldn't be there. It shouldn't be what bands did at GN but what they are doing now. Centerville has been top 20 at GN the last 4 of 5 years and never ever ranked in this polls top 30. Up and coming bands are placed higher than they should be without numbers to back them up, Centerville has the numbers. Thats why this ranking is bogus. I've sat through the last 5 GN's and I know Texas bands are in general better but the numbers aren't showing it this year.

    4. I don't usually like to get into the middle of someone else's conversation, but I'll offer up something here and you are welcome to take it or to disagree. My understanding of judging includes each judge separating bands into their own order of preference. Each judge essentially ranks the bands from 1 to X. When there are a large number of bands, the judges have to give themselves room to fit later bands in-between scores of the earlier bands. So after each judge has done this, the point spread between the top band and the bottom band can be wider when there are a larger number of participants. The judges do have to keep the band in the score zone of the ranking they deem appropriate (I, II, III) - but within that zone, the point spread comes into play. So perhaps some of the bottom 5 in Austin (including Vista Ridge & Churchill) deserved higher scores. But the need for the point spread kept them lower. As for your note of "Texas band are in general better", yes we are very proud of what we have here in Texas. We are blessed with many large high schools and school boards who invest in Fine Arts. I'm sure your kids (and kids from all over the country) work just as hard as Texas kids. But I would venture to say that if more top Texas band could travel to GN, some bands who get into GN finals every year might not do so. Texas is sending 5 contenders to GN this year. Let's see what happens. Thanks for being a champion of Centerville. Every school needs strong advocates.

    5. This has nothing to do with how they should have scored, thats a totally different story. I am well aware of BOA scoring having watched BOA events for years its extremely amazing the difference in prelim and finals scores sometimes. I'm only talking about this poll and how they rank bands with the numbers they have from BOA results. Centerville had 77 and 76 something in the last regional and those Texas bands are in the low 70"s. Also Prospect HS was one point ahead of Centerville in the Dayton Regional is now ranked. Centerville has been snubbed in this poll from the beginning of it. There is bias in this poll and BOA in general to new and up and coming bands. Not sure how that is factored into their polling but it is. I have great respect for the Texas bands and not saying those bands don't deserve accolades. I could have made the same point using the clarksville regional as an examples too

    6. The scores from each regional can't normally be compared because most bands don't compete at 2 regionals close together. The head to head is what matters, so texas bands scoring in the low 70s to centerville scoring a 76.35 to William Mason scoring an 86.55 can't be compared at that value assigned at the individual competition. Centerville's 76 might have been an 80 at Toledo where mason scored 86.

    7. To clarify i'm not saying centerville dosn't deserve a spot because they are a very solid program. I'm just saying at this point in the season, rankings are almost impossible to determine correctly because of the lack of comparisons, especially when you get out of those tier 1 GN finalist bands.

    8. So just to clarify, Centerville should be ranked about the same as Lakota West?

    9. "Unknown" has it right, scores across competitions can't be realistically compared.

    10. As weeks go by scores get higher, and Centerville would probably be at 80 in Toledo last weekend, no doubt. Within the same competition between prelims and finals as judges move around, scores will vary with different judges likes, dislikes and opinions. But if you can't compare between regionals then this poll is impossibly flawed and has no merit.
      Since Centerville won't be at a BOA event for a number of weeks, I will use Plymouth-Canton as an example since their history is very similar to Centerville. They have been around a long while and hang in the Top 20 at GN. They scored in the 80's last weekend and one of the top 10 highest scores so far this band year but they wont receive any love in this poll. But Nations Ford which is a very good up and coming band but only scored a lousy 72. They will be in the poll. Please prove me wrong, if numbers arent used then it just an opinion poll. Just to clarify Centerville scored much higher than Lakota West head to head.

    11. Sorry that was Lakota East

    12. PCEP may have scored an 80 on Saturday, but they were over 5 points behind Mason. Typically, gaps between scores are more significant and telling about how bands are doing than the actual scores. A 5-point gap shows that Mason is drastically better than PCEP. That's not a surprise, but does mean that PCEP probably isn't among the top 30 groups in the nation.

      In the same way, Centerville's performance at Dayton was great, but not Top 30 worthy. There was a 2.75-point gap between Carmel and Prospect which is a big accomplishment for Prospect and earned them a spot. Centerville was closer to fourth in both prelims and finals, which is probably why they were left out.

      Nation Ford scored a "lousy 72" that was actually a 73, but they beat Kennesaw Mountain, a group that consistently makes finals at Grand Nats, by over 3 points. However, Kennesaw isn't really doing too well this year, so that won't give them as much of a boost as it would have in past years. It might be enough of a boost to get Nation Ford into the Next 10, but I doubt it will be enough to get them into the Top 30.

    13. TL;DR We do use numbers in determining the Top 30, but the algorithm is much more complex than just compiling scores from the past weekend.

    14. Thanks for some clarification. I would have been happy with a next ten place for Centerville. Applying your same logic to Winston Churchill (5th and 7th place last week) 5 points behind the leader and Vista Ridge (6th place last week), neither of those bands are top 30 either, but they are there. Not to put them down but they are no better than Centerville or PCEP. Something in your complex algorithm favors up and coming bands and you should change it to be more inclusive.

  4. Instead of "when is Vandy going to Grand Nats", the better question is "when is Grand Nats coming to Texas"? If they REALLY want the best Grand Nats possible, they will have to move into or much closer to Texas. Only 5(+-) Texas bands per year make it to Indy. Think what would happen if all the Texas bands listed above were at the same Grand Nats?

    1. BOA and MFA are stationed in indy. They helped build and design Lucas Oil. Grand Nats is staying in Indy. It sucks, but it makes it more special when once-in-a-blue-moon bands do go

  5. First Arkansas national finalist right there. They''re gonna make it within 5 years