One of the big sports stories around here this week is that, for the first time in more than a decade, the CU football team entered the Top 25 national rankings after pounding Oregon State 47-6 last Saturday.
The Buffs are off to a 4-1 start and look like a team that can compete for the Pac-12 South division title. And the rest of the country is starting to take notice.
Although an inexact science, rankings are a big deal in college football because they signify how a team is thought of nationally. Besides spurring debate, it can help in recruiting and fund-raising. And, if you're ranked high enough, you could earn your way into the college football playoff and battle for a national championship.
Rankings have also become a big deal in high school sports, although for different reasons. On the prep level, rankings have more to do with prestige than anything else, although they probably do influence seeding decisions for the postseason. Still, teams have to earn championships on the field, no matter where they are ranked.
One interesting thing that has developed in the state of Colorado is the number of different prep rankings that are out there. There's at least a half-dozen different organizations putting out rankings, whether they're polls of coaches and media members or just one person's opinion.
Even the Colorado High School Activities Association is in on the fun, with their website, CHSAANow.com, providing rankings in football, softball, soccer, volleyball and field hockey.
The Associated Press also has a football poll, as does Neil Devlin on woodypaige.com. The Denver Post just recently started producing prep power rankings, which feature football, soccer, softball and volleyball.
Here at BoCoPreps, we don't do our own rankings. Our main focus is on local teams, so state-wide rankings wouldn't make sense. When we do mention rankings, we generally stick with the CHSAANow.com polls.
Most of these rankings, or polls, don't vary too much. You'll find the same teams in almost the same slots on every one of them. And that's fine. It's hard to have rankings that are too different than the norm and retain credibility for too long.
Currently, BoCo teams are all over the rankings. Fairview football is usually found in the lower half of the 5A top 10, with Legacy right on the fringe one way or another.
Broomfield is somewhere toward the middle of the 4A rankings, while surprising Skyline cracked a few of the polls after improving to 5-0 this week.
The 3A polls are chock full of BoCo teams, with Longmont, Silver Creek, Erie, Mead and Holy Family all making their mark somewhere in the Top 10.
Boulder, Broomfield and Fairview are mainstays in the 5A soccer polls, and 4A volleyball is occupied by the likes of Holy Family, Silver Creek, Niwot, Mead and Longmont.
Local softball teams are near the top of the polls with Broomfield maintaining the No. 1 spot in 5A and Erie either on top or near it in 4A.
When it's all said and done, and one team is left standing at midfield or center court with a championship trophy held high, where they were ranked in the middle of the season won't matter much. But all the different rankings and polls are not a bad thing. It's fun to talk about them. And they are a matter of pride.
I'd be willing to bet it meant a lot to the Skyline football team, a squad that hasn't had a winning season in more than a dozen years, to be named as a Top 10 team when this week's polls came out.
The Falcons, and all the teams included in the various rankings, no matter where they come from, should take a lot of pride in that.
After all, they earned it.
News and notes
• Monarch basketball standout Jasmine Jeffcoat verbally committed to play college ball at the University of Missouri Kansas City on Monday. Jeffcoat, a 6-foot-2 forward, averaged 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds a game during her junior campaign for the Coyotes.
• Frederick baseball player Bryce Shirley committed to play at Western Nebraska Community College. Shirley hit .351 last season for the Warriors.
• Fairview senior Michael Zarian has verbally committed to swim for Harvard University. Zarian, the 2016 BoCoPreps.com Boys Swimmer of the Year, is a three-time state champion, winning the 200 IM last year and the 500 free the past two seasons.
• Former Erie girls basketball coach Saint Jimenez was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Jimenez, a current Longmont resident, coached the Tigers for two years back in the early 2000s.
• Remember to check out the BoCoPreps.com podcast where each week we break down the the area's biggest stories. New episodes are uploaded every Thursday and you can find it, along with past podcasts, at BoCoPreps.com.
Feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions or story ideas at 303-473-1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org