Compiled by Dallas Jackson (email)
Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh.com.
The RivalsHigh100 is compiled with the help of the Rivals.com network of high school site publishers, recruiting analysts and AMP team, as well as the input of coaches and other media partners around the country.
Louisville Trinity earns National Title
Selecting the RivalsHigh national champion this year was as hard as it has ever been in the history of our rankings.
But after selecting Louisville (Ky.) Trinity – giving it the nod over Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep and, to a lesser extent Seffner (Fla.) Armwood and Loganville (Ga.) Grayson – we found an equally difficult decision:
Finding the stat that best exemplifies why Trinity was the very best in 2011.
The team, which started the year at No. 9, rose to No. 1 midway through the season and rolled to a perfect 14-0 record and its ninth Kentucky state title in 11 seasons, was dominant in all aspects of the game.
Consider its offense:
It had perfect balance, gaining 3,161 yards on the ground and 3,236 yards in the air;
It had a quarterback who threw for just over 3,000 yards (Travis Wright) a running back who gained just under 2,000 (Dylan Dawkins) and a receiver who had nearly 1,500 yards (James Quick);
It converted on 60 percent of its third downs and 71 percent of its fourth-down tries;
It outgained its opponent 6,397 to 2,822 despite running three fewer offensive plays;
Its offensive line yielded just nine sacks all season;
It scored more points in the first quarter (148), in fact, in every quarter, than it gave up the entire season (116).
Consider its defense:
It gave up just three touchdowns in the first quarter all year – and just 61 first-half points;
It had nine players with between 26 and 58 tackles;
It had 29 sacks and 17 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries;
Simply put, Trinity was as balanced as it was dominant.
The school saw this super season coming and planned for it, scheduling six out-of-state games – taking on some of the top teams in Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana.
None were any match as Trinity averaged beating its opponents 49-8 on the season, capped by a 62-21 triumph over Scott County in the state final.
It was the game that marked the Shamrocks best in the state – and best in the country.
Louisville (Ky.) Trinity video highlights are courtsey of HSReplays.com
RivalsHigh 100 National Champion and Kentucky Class 6A State Champion: The Shamrocks wrapped up a state title with a 600-yard performance on offense in a 62-21 win over Scott County. The team was the most consistently dominant all season and did not have any performance that could lead to questions of its spot at the top. It was a complete season that was rewarded with a national title.
Don Bosco Prep
New Jersey Non-Public Group IV Champion: On the backs of one of the best defenses in the country, Don Bosco made a statement in a 42-14 win over Bergen Catholic. The team had one of the best schedules in the country and narrowly missed the top spot.
Florida Class 6A State Champion The Hawks, like Don Bosco at No. 2, have an impressive resume of wins - in fact Armwood likley has the best three wins of any team nationally - but it left too many windows open to climb to the top spot nationally. This team was brought together with adversity and shined all the way to a state title.
Georgia Class AAAAA State Champion: The Rams had a healthy mix of run and pass this season, but it was the defense that carried the flag in the state title game as it put the clamps on a very good Walton team.
Texas Class 4ADI State Champion: The Cavaliers completed its Drive for Five with a state title victory over Waco Midway. For the second time in three seasons Lake Travis ends the year as the top team in Texas. It will move to Class 5A next year.
Washington, D.C. Catholic League champion: Wins over Manatee and Gilman made it a solid season for the Falcons. The team was loaded with talent and it showed on the field.
Nevada Class 4A State Champion: Bishop Gorman used a talented senior class and strong out-of-state performances to mark the most nationally-successful season in the program's history.
Washington Class 3A State Champion: The Wolverines used a solid defense and its always potent Wing-T offense to win another state title. This is easily the best Bellevue team since its 2004 squad.
Texas Class 5ADI State Champion: The Dragons navigated a tough regular season and a difficult playoff path that nearly ended in the first round and semifinals to take home a title. The team was a preseason favorite for the Division II title but claimed the bigger of the two in Texas' highest classification.
Skyline advanced to the state semifinals and was just over two minutes from playing for a state title. The hard luck loss to Southlake Carroll will leave a bad taste in the Raiders mouths.
Florida Class 7A State Champion: Manatee lost to Don Bosco and Good Counsel but won out in Florida. It had a few close calls and the team does not have the name brand talent it has had in recent seasons but it came together and got a state title and nearly a Top 10 finish to the season.
Florida Class 5A State Champion: The Vikings were supremely talented and dominated the Class 5A run. Duke Johnson on offense was spectacular and the defense made plays when it was needed to.
Archbishop Wood Catholic
Pennsylvania Class 3A State Champion: There are few teams in the country that ended the season as hot as Archbishop Wood. A combined 122-14 semifinals and final round scoreboard over two talented teams is incredible. This ranking could have been higher but as the No. 3 one-loss team it was hard to push into the Top 10.
Alabama Class 6A State Champion: Prattville was one of the most talented teams in the country this season and it was able to fight back from a disappointing loss mid-season to win a state title and cement a Top 15 finish nationally.
Tennessee Class 6A State Champion: One of the best Maryville teams in the last decade used a dominating performance through the playoffs to put a stamp on the season.
Florida Class 8A State Champion: Plant has a staff full of head coaches and the team gets better as the season goes on. This year was no different as it peaked in the state finals downing a very talented Miramar.
Miramar had a very good season and battled until the very end. It ran into a Plant team that was well prepared for the game and it was its undoing. A Class 8A runner-up in a power state like Florida keeps it in the Top 25.
De La Salle
California Open Bowl Champions: De La Salle has shown to be the premier team in California. Its game against Westlake in the finals was as complete of a game as the Spartans had all season. The team truly gets better as the season goes and it would be great to see it play its out-of-state games in December because of it.
Texas Class 5ADII State Champion: The first playoff appearance for Dekaney results in its first state championship. It will be largely credited to All-American Trey Williams who carried the load all season.
South Carolina Class 4A Division I State Champion: Byrnes continued to improve as the season went on. It avenged its loss to Gaffney in the state final and used its defense to make the plays forcing four turnovers.
The Indians held the No. 2 spot nationally for the majority of the season but two turnovers for touchdowns in the state final game cost it a perfect season and a seat at the national title discussion table.
Indiana Class 5A State Champion: Carmel avenged an early season loss to Warren Central then beat Davis and Center Grove en route to a state title and Top 25 finish.
Warren Central climbed as high as No. 3 nationally but its emotional yo-yo was its undoing against Carmel in the regional final.
Louisiana Class 2A State Champion: The Patriots were downright nasty on defense this year and bring a lot of that back next year. The offense was run-heavy and it was hard to stop. A return to the Top 25 is a reward for the national power.
Oregon Class 6A State Champion: A dominating win in the state final over Sheldon makes for a memorable year for a solid team. It was the teams first state title and its first time in the Top 25 nationally.
Georgia Class AAAA State Champion: Tucker played solidly through a difficult playoff path and won a state title. Downing Northside and Lovejoy in back-to-back weeks shows it can play a physical brand of football with the best of them.
The Rockets played a lot of tight games this year and game out the victor in all but one - its state finals game with Armwood.
Mississippi Class 4A State Champion: Ending the season as the No. 1 team in the state is very impressive for a Class 4A team. The season was solid and the team showed its ability on both sides of the ball.
Steele made its second appearance in two years at the Class 5ADII level in Texas. This year it ran into a special Dekaney team that was paced by two All-American players. Many doubted the Knights would return to this level and it showed plenty of resolve to do just that.
Mississippi Class 6A State Champion: Olive Branch had some late game escapes this season, but a season of destiny was completed with the school's first-ever state title.
Rancho Santa Margarita
California Division I Bowl Champion: Santa Margarita trailed by double-digits and scored in the last minute to claim the Division I title. The junior lead team figures to be back hunting for bear next season.
Arizona Class 5A Division II State Champion: The lone blemish is a season-opening loss to Bishop Gorman. This was a solid team and a very talented roster that could have competed in most any state.
North Carolina Class 4A State Champion: The best team in the state did not come from the biggest class as Scotland County put together the best season in school history.
Maryland Conference A champion: Gilman downed a quality Calvert Hall team to win the title. It fell to Good Counsel and beat Oscar Smith this year as well.
One of the best defenses in Georgia was a semfinalist in Class AAAA. The team fell by one point to Tucker.
North Carolina Class 4AA State Champion: A remarkable run through the playoffs ends the way it should - with a deserved state title. Page knocked off season-long favorites Butler and Mallard Creek.
Ohio Division I State Champion: St. Ignatius made a remarkable run to a state title with a strong defense and a senior lead offense.
Vista Murrieta was hit with five forfeits early in the season and it likely cost the team a chance to play in the Division I Bowl Game. It won its Section and ended the year undefeated on the field.
Tennessee Division II State Champion: Ensworth may have the best coach in the entire state with Ricky Bowers. The team was built around its talent and it improved as the season went on.
Wins over Madison County, Lowndes, and Camden County are really nice. The team was two minutes from a return to the state championship game before falling to Grayson.
Westlake had a tough time slowing De La Salle in the Open Division Bowl game and it compounded the issue by throwing interceptions in the endozone killing its own scoring opportunities. It was a solid season for the team and advancing to a CIF Open Bowl game is a reward for that.
Colorado Class 4A State Champion: Valor Christian hammered every team it played this season and easily won a state title. It could have competed in many other states and in a few years it will have to, as no team will want to play it.
Camden Country ascended to the top spot in Georgia and had its chances to advance but was undone in a one-point playoff loss to Colquitt County.
Oklahoma Class 6A State Champion: The team needed every point it got this season as it won its last three playoff games by a combined three points.
Michigan Division I State Champion: Cass Tech was loaded with talent, but disappointed early in the year. It flipped a switch and allowed just 29 points the last six weeks of the season and dominated the state final game against Catholic Central.
A state runner-up in Georgia is nothing to scoff at. The team was unable to get anything going offensively against Grayson at the Georgia Dome.
A talented roster fell to Bellevue in the state quarterfinals.
South Carolina Class 4A Division II State Champion: Goose Creek was the preseason No. 2 team in the state, behind Byrnes, and both ended the year with state titles.
Broken Arrow has to feel like it let one slip away in the state final. It had two costly turnovers that led to a one-point loss.
Hoover fought hard all season and came together like maybe no other team in the face of many adversities. Making the state final, and losing by one point, are the marks of a champion and this team was in every aspect.
Martin shocked the Texas football world by knocking off Euless Trinity in the third round. It fell to Southlake Carroll the next week.
The Raiders had a solid season under a first year head coach but fell short in the playoffs against a loaded Norland team. The future is bright at Glades Central.
On a wet, windy day, the Trojans were unable to get anything going on offense and against a quality Arlington Martin team, it was the season-ender for an always tough team.
Louisiana Class 4A State Champion: Class 4A, again, had the most top to bottom depth in the state and Neville came out on top of that pile. It was a solid season and a deserved place among the Top 100.
Sheldon advanced into the Top 25 this season but ran into a Lake Oswego team that was on tilt in the state final. A very good year for Sheldon and for Oregon high school football.
Allen climbed to the top spot in the nation for two weeks. The team never seemed to find a groove that it could settle into and played a lot of games that could have gone either way. It ultimately lost in the second round to Euless Trinity.
Georgia Class AA State Champion: Calhoun finally got over the hump and knocked off Buford in the state final. After three consecutive losses, the win is certainly cherished for the community.
Illinois Class 8A State Champion: A great postseason run was capped by a 21-17 win over Loyola Academy and a state championship for the school.
Longview has two losses on the year, one to Allen and one to state winner Dekaney. It also knocked off DeSoto to win the district.
Buford could not get much going against Calhoun in the state final and its drive for a record fifth-straight state title was ended with a lost fumble in overtime.
DeSoto had a lot of promise this season but fell in the second round to Dallas Skyline.
West Palm Beach
Dwyer advanced to the state semifinal round in Florida but fell to Manatee. It had its chances to win but did not convert on a late fourth down.
Arizona Class 5A Division I State Champion: Desert Vista avenged an early season loss and beat Hamilton for the state title.
Running into a white-hot Page team in the semifinals ended what could have been a special season at Mallard Creek.
Hamilton had a solid year for a group that was expected to be somewhat rebuilding. A loss in the state final game was surprising.
Texas Class 4ADII State Champion: Johnathan Gray set a national record for touchdowns as well as winning the total yardage title for his efforts. It was the third straight title for the suburban-Ft. Worth team.
St. Thomas Aquinas
The team that started the season was not the team that finished it. Wins over Prattville and De La Salle are saving graces over an inexplicably disappearing offense.
Bellarmine nearly knocked off Santa Margarita to win the Division I Bowl but lost in the last minutes. The team is not pretty and will not win games getting off the bus but it is hard to argue with results.
Illinois was tough to read this year with a lot of teams fighting at that top spot. Loyola came up just short as it fell in the state final.
The lone two losses were to Class 4A DI state finalist Gaffney and in the 4A DII final to Goose Creek.
The Woodlands nearly took a step to the Final Four but fell just short against Dallas Skyline. It led for a large portion of the game but could not close the deal.
Utah Class 5A State Champion: This was not the best of seasons for Utah but Lone Peak was able to down the best teams in the state and claim a title.
West Virginia Class AAA State Champion: A solid defense led this team to the highest finish for a West Virginia team in the history of the RivalsHigh rankings.
American Heritage School
Florida Class 3A State Champion: A narrow loss to Glades Central is the lone blemish to a resume that includes wins over University School and Madison County.
Hightower and Bralon Addison ran all the way to a Class 5ADI finals appearance but fell a little short. There may not be a talent like Addison to walk the halls at the school in a long time.
Arkansas Class 4A State Champion: The top team in Arkansas does not come from its top class as Pulaski Academy was impressive all season and added wins over teams in higher classes to go along with a state title.
California Division II Bowl Champion: Helix was dominant on offense and defense much of the season and it was stingy in the Division II Bowl victory over Del Oro.
Davis had a solid season pushing the top teams in the state to the brink and defeating Indy Cathedral. It lost to Carmel to end the season.
Indiana Class 4A State Champion: Indy Cath fought hard all season and lost some close decisions. It won a state title by crushing Washington, 42-7.
Massachussetts Super Bowl Champion: This is not your typical New England football team. Everett was very talented and could sling the football. Jonathan DiBiaso led the team to another title and a finish in the RivalsHigh 100. He broke his own state record with 44 touchdown passes this year and ended his career with 103.
A solid playoff run was ended at the hands of a streaking St. Ignatius team.
It was a tale of two seasons for Madison Central as it started slow, changed offensive mindsets, then made a run to the state semifinals. A win over West Monroe along the way was nice.
Louisiana Class 5A State Champion: This may have been the least expected of the many state titles at West Monroe. The team played in many tight games but fought to get to the top of the mountain.
Bergen may be the first-ever team to end the season nationally ranked without double digit wins and three losses. With two coming at the hands of an outstanding Don Bosco team and one to Tampa Plant it is hard to ignore the quality of the product.
Del Oro suffered two setbacks this season. To No.41 Westlake and No. 77 Helix. Playing in the Division II Bowl game was a great reward for a solid senior class.
Port Arthur Memorial
Memorial avenged an early season loss to LaPorte to advance to the state semifinal round in Texas before falling to Steele.
Carencro fought its way to a Class 5A state final but fell to West Monroe in a solid football game.
Arkansas Class 7A State Champion: Led by its quarterback, Austin Allen, the Bulldogs fought for a state title win over Bentonville.
A season-defining win over Katy was an excellent step for the program. It may have also been emotionally draining as the team lost the following week.
The Tigers climbed into the Top 10 for one week this season but slid back down the ranking before losing on a two point conversion in the state final.
Katy failed to make it out of the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. It held the top spot in Texas for a couple of weeks.
Jenks could have had a better season had Alex Ross been healthy all year. He wasn't and the losses piled up. His value and Jenks ability was showcased the last two weeks of the playoffs.
Coeur D Alene
Idaho Class 5A State Champion: This was the most complete team in Idaho all season and its win over Eagle in the final put an exclamation point to that claim.
Washington Class 4A State Champion: Skyline rebounded from a slow start to claim another state title. This was expected to be a rebuilding year for the Spartans but it only needed to build room in the trophy case.
Virginia Division 6 State Champion: Oscar Smith fought through the cluster of teams to get back to the winners' circle and national rankings, winning a state title. It held off Phoebus, which also won its Division title, for the top spot in the state.
Florida Class 4A State Champion: An extremely physical team could compete with most any team in the country. It had a furious fourth quarter comeback to down Booker T. Washington in the state finals.
Whitmer battled all season but was undone with multiple turnovers in the state semifinal game against St. Ignatius. It was a bit of a flat year in Ohio with many teams fighting interplay results and only the top three teams made the national rankings.
Booker T. Washington
The junior heavy team may have gotten out over its skis as it had a big lead in the fourth quarter of the state final against Bolles. Its only two losses were to Miami Central and Bolles. This is a team to watch in 2012.
Blue Springs South
Missouri Class 6A State Champion: It was a solid season in Missouri and one that saw Blue Springs South get hot during the playoffs and take out teams perceived to have the advantage on it. The 40-37 win over Christian Brothers sealed the season.
New York Class AAA State Champion: It is a rarity that a New York state team ends the year in the national rankings, but this was a solid all-around football team that earned its place.
The RivalsHigh 100 is compiled by Dallas Jackson with the help of the Rivals.com network of high school site publishers, recruiting analysts and AMP team. To view the site in your area click here.