MaxPreps Rankings

MaxPreps offers several different rankings to highlight and recognition teams throughout the season as they move up and down. There are the Xcellent 25 rankings - where teams are chosen by our expert writers and staff; and there are our MaxPreps computer rankings - where teams are ranked on a complex, unbiased computer algorithm focused on strength of schedule and the data entered into MaxPreps.

  • How many times a week are rankings ran?   Rankings are updated 2 times per week during each sport's respective season. 
  • When are the Football rankings ran? Ned Freeman runs our Football Freeman rankings twice a week - Sundays & Tuesdays.
  • What about the other sports?   Volleyball, Basketball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Baseball, and Softball run twice a week - Tuesdays & Fridays.
  • Are there any requirements for rankings? A team must have played three games before they will appear in the rankings. Throughout the season, minimums will increase as the season goes on and more games are played.
MaxPreps Freeman Rankings for Football

MaxPreps National and State Freeman rankings are the result of our collection of enormous amounts of information from teams throughout the country and the application of a computer model developed by our associate Ned Freeman. The most important thing to understand about how the rating system works is that it is 100% objective.

MaxPreps Computer Rankings for all Other Sports

We do not poll coaches, sportswriters, or fans. Nor does our staff make any judgments on the merits of any individual team. Prior season history, school size, and comments on message boards are not considered in the MaxPreps Computer Rankings. Rankings are strictly based on the strength of schedule and scores. Another factor to consider is the team's ratings. The Rating is a number calculated by the win-loss record. The Rating is the most important number because it's a combination of that data and the movement will be influenced by that number.

Xcellent 25 Rankings

MaxPreps Editorial Team - writers select the top 25 teams on a national level. MaxPreps will run down the top 25 teams in the country weighing record, quality wins, losses and other factors to determine the best of the best. If you have questions about the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, send the selected writer an email and we will gladly respond.

Rankings Notes

Things to note about our Ranking Program:

  • The size of the schools, their division, the league they're in, how good the school or league are historically, their geographic location, how well-liked the school is, how good the league is in other sports doesn't matter and therefore, none of these factors are programmed into the system. Those subjective factors inevitably bias humans saddled with the daunting task of trying to figure out who the best teams in the nation, in a state, or a region really are?

Instead, Freeman's system just takes into account the facts. Cold, hard, and unfeeling fact - but as accurate, objective and fair as possible.

  • The system utilizes a huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents) and strength of schedule. The system also takes into account team ratings. 

For example, a team's ranking is hurt more by losing to a team that is ranked below them versus a team ranked ahead.

  • Other factors that will affect the rankings are times when MaxPreps has incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • Generally, the more games that are played the more accurate the rankings, so if a team that you perceive as being very strong has played substantially fewer games than other ranked teams it may reflect the fact that we have fewer data to work with.

 Playoff games are weighed 2.1 times what a regular-season game is.

  • Movement indicates the up or down movement within the rankings when compared to our previously published rankings.
  • Forfeits don't count in the rankings.
  • If your team tied in a game, a winner has to be marked to appear in the rankings.
  • Opponents listed as Varsity Opponent don't count in the rankings.
  • Rankings are only available for varsity level sports. 

What about RPIs?
MaxPreps is partnered with 26 states and certain partner states require an RPI. 

What is an RPI?
RPI: Rating Percentage Index. It's a statistical system used to comparatively rank teams. RPI is transparent as anyone can calculate the number by looking at standings.

What is the purpose of the RPI?
The purpose of the RPI is to potentially seed teams into region/league and/or state brackets. RPI can be used in a variety of ways such as who makes the postseason, ranking teams that are in the postseason, and/or re-seeding brackets at a certain round within a tournament.

If you have any further questions about RPIs, please reach out to your state association directly and they will be able to answer any of your questions.

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