Top 30 Rankings — Sept. 26, 2017 (Week 3)

Top 30 Rankings — Sept. 26, 2017 (Week 3)

Claudia Taylor Johnson performs at the Austin Regional on Sept. 23, 2017, at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. The band was named regional champion. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
It was a weekend of exciting performances and unexpected results in Austin, Clarksville, and Toledo.

Claudia Taylor Johnson was named regional champion at the Austin Regional, beating our predicted champion Vandegrift. Johnson brought a level of energy and intensity that isn't normally seen this early in the season. Not to mention that CTJ has what appears to be their entire show on the field already, which is almost unheard of anywhere in the country and especially in Texas. That performance propelled them all the way to fourth place, and places Johnson directly in the running for a champion title at San Antonio.

At the Clarksville Regional, Castle and Franklin finished precisely where we expected, resulting in consistent rankings for both groups. Both groups will be competing at the Grand National Championships later this year.

Despite beating national bronze-medalist William Mason, Homestead remained in the 18th spot. Mason, however, changed rankings dramatically, dropping to 21st place. That's not to say Mason is completely out of the running for a national finalist position, in fact, their current ranking would have them finishing in 12th place at Grand Nats. Unfortunately, Mason won't compete at another BOA event until Grand Nats, so we won't have any good checkpoints until then.

Cedar Ridge, Round Rock, and Vandegrift also saw gains in their rankings after exceptional performances in Austin, and North Hardin entered the Next 10 after their performance at Clarksville.

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


  1. Jeremiah, your thoughts on why the scores were so much higher in Tx this week over Toledo or TN. It is one thing if the champion scored high. But the 9th place band scoring close to the champs in the other two regionals makes many of us shake our heads.

    Mike from Indiana

    1. In short, you can't compare scores across competitions. Scores can be inflated or deflated based on a lot of factors despite judges actually doing their jobs perfectly. I'm working on an extremely long explanation of why the breaks down the intricacies of adjudication and how judges actually arrive at their numbers. I hope to publish it sometime next week.

  2. It may be true that you can't compare scores across different competitions - but then again, maybe you can. Let's look at 6 specific bands that all competed last weekend and at the 2016 Grand Nationals. Bowie, Homestead, William Mason, Castle, Franklin & North Hardin. I chose Bowie from Austin since they were the 9th place band called out in the earlier comment. If I have looked at things correctly, this reflects their scores from last weekend (listed in score order) and their relative placement in 2016 Grand Nat Semi's.

    Castle - 77.65 - 1st at Clarksville - 10th at 2016 GN Semi's
    Homestead - 75.55 - 1st at Toledo - 13th at 2016 GN Semi's
    Franklin - 75.05 - 2nd at Clarksville - 17th at 2016 GN Semi's
    Bowie - 75.00 - 9th at Austin - 18th at 2016 GN Semi's
    North Hardin - 74.5 - 3rd at Clarksville - 25th at 2016 GN Semi's
    William Mason - 74.4 - 2nd at Toledo - 4th at 2016 GN Semi's

    So with the exception of William Mason, the other 5 bands finished in the same relative position to each other last weekend as they did at GN Semi's.

    3 bands placing ahead of Bowie in Austin (Leander, Cedar Park & CTJ) also finished ahead of Castle (the top scoring of the 6 bands profiled above) at GN Semi's - so again, that should not be considered out of line.

    There are GREAT band all across this country, but Texas is blessed with an abundance of them - all bunched together in close proximity to each other. And the Austin Regional is a prime example of this. Among the 10 finalists at Austin, 8 of them are from the Austin area - only CTJ and Churchill were "out-of-towners" being from San Antonio (1.5 hours south of Austin).

    To further look at how top Texas bands are bunched up together - look at Leander ISD. Vandegrift, Leander, Cedar Park & Vista Ridge are all from Leander ISD (which only has 6 high schools in total) and all were finalists at the Austin Regional. A similar example exists in the Dallas area with Lewisville ISD - containing Flower Mound, Marcus and Hebron. You can expect to see all 3 of these bands in the top 5 at the Dallas area regional this coming weekend.

    I understand concerns about scoring consistency between contests. But let's not discount the Texas bands just because there were so many great bands at a single contest.

    Looking forward to an exciting season - both in and out of Texas.

    1. This is a great point! I could only imagine what a Texas BOA Grand Nationals would look like!! Or if all the Bands that scored in the top 20 at the San Antonio Super Regional head up to Grand Nationals. What an amazing competition it would be! (Not saying it isn't one already).

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  4. I plan to be in San Antonio for the Super Regional and look forward to seeing all of the awesome TX bands. Just saying BOA is setting the scoring bar very high by giving an 85 in late Sept. We will see if the progression continues this weekend. Your thoughts and data are well prepared and I commend you for your passion.