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January 29, 2014

UIL Realignment Primer

Matt Stepp,
Senior Analyst, TheOldCoach.com

Email questions or comments to: mstepp@theoldcoach.com
Follow Matt on Twitter and Facebook.

THE BASICS

At 9:00am on Monday, the internet will break. There's no two ways around it, however if you are one of the few with great timing (and a really fast internet connection) you may be able to log into the UIL website (http://www.uiltexas.org) and view the new 2014-2015 district alignments.

For the first time, the UIL in early December released the classification cutoffs so schools would know which classification they will fall into. This allows schools to have an easier time in creating non-district schedules, etc.

Classification Breaks

Class 6A: 2100 and above

Class 5A: 1060-2099

Class 4A Division I: 686-1059

Class 4A Division II: 465-685

Class 3A Division I: 315-464

Class 3A Division II: 220-314

Class 2A Division I: 158-219

Class 2A Division II: 105-157

Class 1A (Six Man): 104.9 and below

**NOTE: schools below 104.9 can request to be elevated to Class 2A to play eleven man football

CLASS 6A?

So is Class 6A really the mega class that many pundits have asked for? The simple answer is no, for intents and purposes Class 6A is simply the old Class 5A; Class 5A is the old Class 4A and so on. This was done to relieve some of the pressure on the state's smallest schools who depending on the sports are in five or six different districts.

SPLIT DIVISIONS CATCHING ON

Class 4A (the old 3A) is implementing the splitting of the divisions during district play for the post-season. The experiment has gone well in the old 2A and 1A and superintendents at the old 3A level last spring voted to implement in the new 4A this coming fall. The increased travel is a downside as road trips will be longer for football, but the more equitable playoff pairings should offset any headaches during district play. One example of the increased travel could be Big Spring who is likely to get paired into a 4A Division I district with El Paso area schools San Elizario, Fabens and Clint Mountain View.

THE WEST TEXAS DILEMMA AT THE 5A AND 6A LEVEL

The UIL is in a tough spot when dealing with West Texas at the large school level and this year they could have their biggest challenge. At the 5A and 6A level there are just eleven non-El Paso West Texas schools in the class. Eleven is not a good number because you've got to split the teams into two districts. Will the UIL do two five team districts in 5A and 6A and send the Abilene schools east with DFW? This would be ideal for the travel weary West Texas schools and gives them a partner to schedule non-district games with in Week's 5 and 6. Another scenario is there is a five team panhandle district in 5A and 6A and then a six team district in the Big Country and Permian Basin, however this would make scheduling for the panhandle district quite difficult. Reason being is the six team district would be done with non-district at Week 5, while the five team district would still need one more non-district week in Week 6. The final option is to have one large West Texas district (nine or ten teams) and send the Abilene schools and possibly San Angelo schools east.

4A POWERS MOVING TO CLASS 6A

Some heavy hitters from the 4A level are making the move to Class 6A, most notably two time defending state champion Denton Guyer. Highland Park, Humble Summer Creek, Buda Hays Consolidated, Leander Rouse and San Antonio Brennan are also making the jump to the state's largest classification.

FORT WORTH AND DALLAS ISD 5A ISSUES

Another big question in the DFW area revolves around the two largest ISD's in the region. Fort Worth has eleven 5A schools, while Dallas is down to 13 5A schools. It's a near certainty that FWISD will be in two districts with some suburban schools mixed in, but will Dallas ISD also get a similar fate?

GROWTH IN HOUSTON

Continued growth in suburban Houston means at the 6A level Region III is getting quite full. It will be interesting to see if Houston gets an extra Region II district if DFW loses a district with a West Texas split. One candidate to move to Region II could be ten team Cy Fair ISD, Humble ISD may see their schools move back to Region III since they host several regional meets.

WHERE WILL CORPUS CHRISTI LARGE SCHOOLS WIND UP?

Lots of possibilities for the 5A and 6A and schools along the coastal bend. In 6A with the Valley losing a few schools due to one school ISD's being split (Donna and Sharyland) there is a chance CCISD schools in 5A are needed to fill districts. The Laredo district in 6A is losing Eagle Pass Winn to 5A, so CCISD could potentially go there or they could go back to a more traditional alignment with San Antonio area schools. In 5A, Corpus and Laredo have shared a district the past two years and that alignment could be shaken up with the Valley picking up an additional 5A district (see below).

RIO GRANDE VALLEY ADDS A DISTRICT IN 5A

Traditionally the Valley has had just one 5A (old 4A) district, but the status quo is about to change due to growth along the border. Donna and Sharyland are both opening up second high schools and this will cause four additional schools to be added to the mix in 5A. PSJA will also have a couple of schools move down as they built an additional high school two years ago and enrollment levels are evening out across that district. Many thought Edinburg Vela, had opted to play with the other Edinburg schools however the Sabercats elected to play in 5A. All this leaves no doubt the Valley gets two 5A districts.

REFUGIO "DROPS" TO 2A BUT COULD HAVE TOUGHER DISTRICT

2A powerhouse Refugio (won state in 2011 and finished as runner up in 2013) is not moving to 3A with the majority of their former district and playoff foes, instead the Bobcats will be 2A Division I. However, Refugio could be in a much tougher district as one scenario has them playing tough opponents in district like Shiner, Ganado and Schulenburg. If Refugio goes to a more southern district, they could have many of the same scores they posted the last two years as they blitzed through the majority of their competition.



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