You’re going to be pretty darned surprised by how Battle Mountain football is ranked
September 12, 2018
Ladies and gentleman, Battle Mountain football apparently is the No. 6-ranked team in Class 3A.
I'll give you a little time to clean your screens or dry off your newspapers after you just did that spit take.
We just report the news here and CHSAA issued its first set of rating-percentage-index numbers on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
The Huskies are sixth.
That would easily be the most surprising thing out of this set of numbers.
We give you the pertinent rankings with some commentary.
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What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?
There is no way on God's green Earth that Battle Mountain is the sixth best team in 3A right now. The Huskies beat Middle Park, 14-7, and Alameda, 50-8, which is fine. Those teams were put on the schedule for a reason — to get two wins.
Basalt came to town last week and flattened the Huskies, 47-6. Yes, Basalt is No. 1-ranked in 2A with Rifle No. 6 and Moffat County No. 13, which are rankings of interest to both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley, which came in at No. 25 in 3A.
But back to the subject, while computers are nice, this just doesn't pass the eye test.
The Huskies started the season with two wins, thought it was God's gift to football, walked onto the field last week assuming a win and got housed by a 2A team.
No. 6? No. Bleeping. Way.
Palisade is No. 5. If Palisade and Battle Mountain met right now, would it be a close game? (The Bulldogs have squeaked by Battle Mountain by a combined score of 90-10 the last two years.) Glenwood Springs at 0-2 is No. 29. The Demons may be 0-2, but they played Holy Family and Harrison, teams that are a lot better than Battle Mountain opponents.
Last year, the Huskies splintered during the second half of a 31-14 loss to Coal Ridge, and seemed to be heading down the "same, old Battle Mountain" road. The team rallied during a 41-33 loss at Basalt, which coach Jim Schuppler "a turning point." Much to my surprise, it actually was.
I really hope that this was a "turning point" week for this team with Moffat County on Friday, Sept. 14. Otherwise, this is going to be a long season.
Football, part II
• First off, way to go, Eagle Valley, a very satisfying win over Alameda, 57-12. The Devils and Huskies may not agree on much, but both schools scheduled the Pirates for a reason.
The key for the Devils is to feed off the feeling of last week. You want more of that. The program's next step is to get to the place where a win isn't an occasion for pandemonium. Eagle Valley is the football school in this county. It's time to get back to that.
The Devils open in the RPI at No. 25, three spots ahead of Northridge, whom the Devils play on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Gypsum.
• When the RPI came out on Wednesday, Vail Christian and West Grand weren't on the list. Whoops.
A few hours later, the Saints came in at No. 11. Yes, it's playoff position, but the Saints have not played tough competition yet, understandable given the transition from 11-man to 8-man.
This changes immediately. Rangely, Friday night's road opponent, is No. 7 in the state. When Vail Christian finally gets a home game next week, it's No. 3 West Grand.
• To the surprise of no one, Battle Mountain would be in the playoffs were the season to end immediately. The Huskies are No. 11. Their only loss this season is to No. 8 Durango on the road in overtime.
While Battle Mountain's RPI rating is often hurt by having to play Slope teams twice, thus lowering the strength of schedule in the formula, there is some fun news in Wednesday's rankings.
Give it up for Steamboat Springs. The Sailors are 4-0 and No. 5 in the rankings, after beating Centaurus last week. Of course, the Huskies and Sailors have a rivalry, but it's good for everybody if the Slope does well outside of the league.
By the way, Battle Mountain coach David Cope will not check the RPI on Thursday, Sept. 13, repeatedly. Yes, this is shocking, but Southern Methodist University women's soccer is playing at the University of Northern Colorado. SMU-UNC has local flavor as Emily Cope, Battle Mountain '16, is a Mustang and Mariel Gutierrez, Eagle Valley '15, plays for the Bears.
• Vail Mountain School is No. 9 to start the number crunching. If RPI is any consideration, the 3A Slope looks tough. Roaring Fork, VMS' only loss, is No. 3. Delta's No. 8 and Coal Ridge is lucky No. 13.
Good job, VMS, last weekend. I don't know which win — 5A Fruita Monument or Coal Ridge — is more impressive. It's a fun debate to have.
Don't let it get to your heads, boys.
• The chaos of the 4A Slope translates nicely to RPI. Palisade is No. 12 with Eagle Valley at 13 and Battle Mountain at 15. This, however, is not just going to be a three-team race. Glenwood Springs (No. 25) and Steamboat Springs (No. 50) should be factors.
We call hooey on Steamboat at 50, by the way. The Sailors are better than that. Speaking of which, Eagle Valley will muster some bodies and play at Steamboat on Thursday. We're sort of joking here, but the Devils' health is a concern. (Does Jaimee Rindy have any eligibility left?)
Battle Mountain still needs to shake off the unforced-errors habit and hosts Summit County on Thursday.
Twelve, by the way, is the magic number in volleyball RPI as the top 12-ranked teams host regionals.
• Vail Mountain School volleyball has to be thrilled with RPI replacing district play at class 2A. The Gore Rangers were 20th in 2A RPI last year, but didn't make the 24-team region field because District 5 sent only three teams — Rangely (22-5 and state qualifier), Meeker (24-4, state qualifier) and Paonia (17-8, regional qualifier).
VMS (15-6) beat Paonia during the regular season, but lost to the Eagles at districts, and was left with no invite to the postseason.
With RPI, District 5/the 2A Slope can have a lot of good teams and have them all advance to the new 32-team regional level.
VMS clocks in at 12 with Meeker No. 3, Paonia 17th, Soroco 25th, Rangely 26th and Plateau Valley 31st.
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