Top 30 Rankings — Nov. 14, 2017 (Week 10)

Top 30 Rankings — Nov. 14, 2017 (Week 10)

Carmel performs at the Grand National Championships on Nov. 9, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium. // Photo by John Walden
Carmel jumps back to the top spot in the rankings after earning a second consecutive national championship and winning every caption in finals — a first for any band at Grand Nats. Broken Arrow and Marcus also increased their placements after their impressive finishes in Indianapolis.

The most impressive jump, however, happened to Dobyns-Bennett, who jumped from the Next 10 to no. 12, after placing an impressive sixth place at Grand Nats. Earlier this season, DB finished second behind Fort Mill at the Winston-Salem Regional, leading some to worry if they would be able to repeat as a finalist at Grand Nats.

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


  1. 4 Leander School District schools in the final top 30?!! Great year LISD.

    1. Leander ISD is North West of Austin Texas. The 4 Bands in the top 30 are Vandergift, Vista Ridge, Leander and Cedar Park.

  2. Too much incoherent jealousy from Tracy.

  3. Good list. Fair rankings. You can always argue about placement, up or down a spot or 2 here and there, but overall this list is fair.

    The “too many bands from Texas” comment doesn’t hold water. BOA runs commercials over and over stating that Indiana is the Marching Band Capital of the World. Well, I think most fans would agree, if they search deep enough within themselves, that it really should be Texas, not Indiana.

    That’s why 17 of the Top 30 are Texas bands

    Let’s look at the 6 bands that competed at both San Antonio SR vs Grand Nats and see if they moved up or down in Finals placements:
    Avon – up 1
    Marcus – up 3
    FloMo – up 1
    Woodlands – up 4
    Round Rock – up 6
    Churchill – up 5

    Each of these 6 bands placed better at Grand Nats than at San Antonio SR.

    Let’s look at the other Grand Nats Finalists and see if they moved up or down in GN Finals placements compared to whatever Super Regional they attended (if any):
    Carmel – same
    Broken Arrow – down 1
    Dobyns-Bennett – na (did not do a SR)
    Castle – down 5
    Blue Springs – down 7
    Union – down 6
    Marian Catholic – down 5

    5 of these bands placed lower at Grand Nats than at their SR.

    I AM NOT SLAMMING marching bands outside of Texas. They are all wonderful. I watched most of these all 3 times at GN’s. Texas is a huge state with a large number of great marching bands. As a reminder, a Texas band again didn’t win GN’s – 4 years in a row. The last Texas GN winner was Woodlands in 2013.

    But to get real, the San Antonio SR is more competitive than GN’s. BOA will never move GN’s away from Indy – they (and DCI) have long-term contracts that they will not break. But as long as GN’s are in Indy and only a handful of Texas bands can go each year, GN’s will continue to only be the 2nd best marching band contest in the nation. They may as well give the Eagle out in San Antonio.

    You may ask why more Texas bands don’t go to GN’s. Let me answer that question for you. Geography & MONEY!

    For any San Antonio SR finalist (band size 250-350), the cost would be $400,000 to $750,000. I’ve talked with enough band parents from schools attending GN’s about the cost of that trip to arrive at that range. The best Texas attenders at GN’s only go every-other-year (like Woodlands, Round Rock). Others go once every 4 years (like Marcus). Many don’t (and never will) go at all. It’s just too far and too expensive. Several other great bands from around the nation only attend every-other-year (like Broken Arrow, Tarpon Springs). Bands like Carmel & Avon have geography in their favor – where attending GN’s is not much more involved than going to a Friday night football game – you bus over, warm up, perform, then go home. Additionally, Texas bands have their own inter-scholastic contests (UIL). Each UIL classification has a State contest every-other-year. This year it was 1A, 2A, 3A & 5A. Next year is 4A & 6A. Doing well at UIL State is just as (if not more) prestigious within Texas as BOA San Antonio SR Finals. And UIL State is 3 days after San Antonio SR. So most schools won't do GN's in the same year as UIL State - it's just too much. Bowie and Leander tried it last year - it worked out OK for Leander but not for Bowie.

    All that being said, it is what it is. Great bands exist everywhere and I enjoy watching them all. I wish more Texas bands could/would go to GN’s. But I will continue to enjoy them at Regionals and San Antonio SR until then.

    Best wishes for the off season. Now it’s time for WGI and then DCI.

  4. You have waayyy too much time on your hands! Lol

  5. Just some thoughts...

    - Poor Homestead got the shaft!!! I loved their show this year and definitely deserved a finals spot.
    - It is odd seeing William Mason completely gone from the list! Crazy but understandable after the season.
    - Dobyns-Bennett is the new Willam Mason :P they will move up a spot each year for the next few years!
    - Texas is the best state for marching band. No question.

  6. If Claudia Taylor would've gone to Grand Nats they would've won for sure. They were phenomenal this year

  7. I think that if Hebron had gone to Grand Nats this year, that they also would have had a great chance of winning, as well.

  8. Indiana has been famous as the home of great HS marching band for a long time, going back to the '80's. That reputation was and is well-deserved. About 15 years ago, those in the know realized Texas was also making a name for itself. I don't think there is any question that now Texas has more "national powers" than any other state.

    Indiana still has a lot to be proud of. Indiana might still be producing more great bands per capita than any other state in the country. Texas has a population of 27 million. Indiana's is 6.6 million - 1/4th that of Texas, with a land area less than 1/7th the size of Texas.