First and Fisher: Our FIRST National Ranking in 2012

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Thursday marked the ninth year that High School Football America released a preseason national high school football ranking.

Since our first rankings in 2012, I’ve always said I really don’t like creating a preseason poll. With our algorithm still one year away from operation, the High School Football America Top 25 in ’12 was an opinion poll…my opinion.

No pressure there! LOL

I was so hesitant to do a poll that my very first one was released about four weeks into the season on September 17, 2012.

That first Top 25 wasn’t even published on this website, it was on our Blogger page. When I checked it for this story, I even noticed some typos. However, I thought our readers would enjoy the 10-year flashback.

With that as the backdrop, below is the original story with the typos fixed!

If you’d like to see how the original post looked on Blogger, click here. Also, the above graphic was our logo in 2012

Flashback: September 17, 2012

As promised, we took a month’s worth of games before deciding on our very first High School Football America Top 25.

Quite, honestly, we were trying to stay away from doing a national poll, but our readers kept asking for it, so we decided, what the heck, let’s give it a whirl and see how it turns-out.

For those of you that follow me on our national radio show, you know I think that polls are all about creating conversation, not actually crowning a “mythical national champion.”

Taking the mantle in our first poll is Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA). The Eagles are the defending CIF Division I champion, with a ton of talent back from the 2011 squad, including Nebraska-recruit Johnny Stanton at quarterback.  After a less-than-impressive couple of wins to start the season, the Eagles have turned it on with back-to-back 55-0 and 72-0 shutout victories. 

We’ll find-out how good Santa Margarita is this week when it faces unbeaten St. Bonaventure (Ventura, CA). 

Manatee from Florida came-in a close second in our first Top 25 with Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ) checking-in at #3 after an impressive 2-0 start to a one of the toughest schedules in the nation.  BC has already beaten two defending state champs in St. Anthony’s (New York) and Bishop Gorman (Nevada).  Desoto (Texas) and John Curtis (River Ridge, Louisiana) round-out our initial Top 5.

So without further ado, here’s our very first Top 25:

High School Football America Top 25


1. Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) 4-0

Hung 72 points on Carson Friday, which set a school record for points.  Big showdown this week with unbeaten St. Bonaventure.

2. Manatee (Bradenton, FL) 3-0

Coming off solid 44-34 win against Miami Central that began the season ranked #1 be USA Today.

3. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ) 2-0

Have beaten two defending state champs in St. Anthony’s (New York) and Bishop Gorman (Nevada)

4. DeSoto (Texas) 3-0

Solid 42-21 victory of power Euless Trinity, which followed a big win over Oklahoma-power Jenks two weeks ago.

5. John Curtis (River Ridge, LA) 3-0

Big win two week’s ago against defending Florida 8A champ Plant and solid win Friday against East St. John.

6. Byrnes (Duncan, SC) 4-0

The Rebels appear poised to head into the postseason undefeated.

7. Bellevue (Washington) 3-0

The Wolverines beat Texas-power Euless Trinity to start the season and now appear poised to go after their 9th Washington state title in the last 11 years.

8. De La Salle (Concord, CA) 4-0

The Spartans survived a scare Friday in 21-13 win over St. Mary’s of Stockton.

9. Trinity (Louisville, KY) 4-0

29-game win streak for the four-time defending Kentucky 6A champs.

10. St. Ignatius (Cleveland, OH) 4-0

The defending Division I champs have been challenged in four wins

11. Allen (Texas) 3-0

Two of the Eagles next three opponents are undefeated through three weeks of games in Texas.

12. Camden County (Kingsland, GA) 3-0

After Grayson’s stunning loss to Parkview on Friday, the Wildcats are the only Georgia team to find its way into our inaugural poll

13. Hoover (Alabama) 4-0

The Bucs 4-0 start includes a solid win over South Panola (Mississippi) in Week 2

14. Cass Tech (Detroit, MI) 4-0

The defending Division 1 champs have looked very good after an impressive win over defending Division 2 champ Brother Rice in season opener.

15. Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA) 3-0

The Broncos are loaded with offensive talent that was on display in Friday 59-14 win over Redlands East Valley

16. Lake Travis (Austin, TX) 3-0

The move to Class 5A will be interesting for the Cavaliers who picked-up a 28-24 victory over Round Rock Westwood Friday.

17. Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, OH) 4-0

Moeller will be tested this week when it faces St. Xavier of Cincinnati.

18. Ensworth (Nashville, TN) 5-0

Ensworth is averaging over 46 points a game.

19. Narbonne (Harbor City, CA) 3-0

The Gauchos defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown this season.

20. Butler (Matthews, NC) 4-0

Butler is going after its three North Carolina big schools title in the last four years.

21. Katy (Texas) 3-0

The Tigers offense continued to click with 516 yards in 63-10 win over The Woodlands.

22. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) 4-0

The Lions haven’t lost a step with Jeff Woodruff taking over for legendary Bill Redell.

23. Bishop Gorman (Nevada) 3-1

The Gaels won’t have time to think about Friday’s loss to Bergen Catholic with a road trip to Southern California this week to face Servite.

24. Good Counsel (Maryland) 3-1

With DeMatha looming two weeks away, GC can’t look past this week’s match-up with Gonzaga.

25. University (Ft. Lauderdale) 3-0

University’s impressive 49-3 win over Cocoa lands them the final spot in our first-ever Top 25.

Related: 2021 Preseason High School Football America 100 powered by NFL Play Football

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.