The Bi-State Big Sixty

After years of looking at the possibilities, Rich's Power System has finally ranked every school in Oklahoma in comparison with every school in Arkansas. ... The results may amaze you.

The true purpose for ranking Oklahoma schools was really quite a simple one: As the originator, creator, producer and general all-around tweaker of Rich's Power System -- the unchallenged leader in its field -- why not see if the same thing can be done in Oklahoma?

Why Oklahoma? Because if I hadn't been born, educated and then worked in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I know I would have been an Oklahoman.

So sue me.


Although I've covered over 200 Arkansas high school football games and another 150 junior high games in my life (consider that there will be 200 games played in just one night) I have found time to venture into Oklahoma on occasion.


I've seen Jay, Stilwell, Tahlequah, Jenks and Bishop Kelley play Arkansas schools, of course, but I've also gone over to see Little Kansas and Oaks Mission play. I was in White Oak the night Reggie Skinner broke a national record for touchdowns in a career -- though the record would not be recognized because it was "eight-man football."

I still remember the announcement upon Skinner's record-breaking touchdown: "Folks, just think how many touchdowns he would have had if he had three more guys blocking for him."


Anyway, proof of my loyalty to Oklahoma football is not really in question. Nor should anyone care, I'm sure.

But no state goes head to head, year in and year out, with the best teams in Arkansas more than Oklahoma. The strength of Oklahoma football is located, most often, in the eastern side of the state and the power of Arkansas football, almost always, is located in the AAAAA-West.

So people are going to want to know. Who has the better football?


Well, through years and years of studying and doing calculations based on games played between schools in the two states, I've got a better idea just which state is better.

The answer I have may not be the same answer a year from now. But that's why I've decided to begin following Oklahoma football a little more closely.

Beginning next year, I plan to make the Bi-State Big Sixty and weekly Oklahoma Power Ratings available here. Today, we reveal for the first time anywhere, the Big Sixty. We'll make room on the message board for your questions, but here are a couple of things that need to be pointed out immediately:


·         For one, the base rating every year is 100.0, which represents the comparison a football team to the "average" Arkansas Class AAAAA football team in 1986, when the system was originally developed.

·         My original hypothesis was that Oklahoma football was far superior to Arkansas football, but that initial feeling probably needs more explanation. To begin with, I still believe that the best team in Oklahoma, most years, is better than the best team in Arkansas. Obviously, if you took the best 200 teams in Oklahoma, those schools would be far better, on average, than the best 200 teams in Arkansas because Arkansas only has approximately 200 schools. But somewhere in between, Arkansas actually makes some waves and is relatively competitive, if not Oklahoma's equal, on the football fields.

·         The purpose of RPS and any other ratings done by my methods have the single goal of picking winners this coming week. Keep that in mind because it is the very basis of the rankings. It's not devised like Ohio's computer rankings – which simply credits teams for its victories – or to take the place of tie-breaking point systems. In that sense, I believe RPS is far more pure than most other systems. It rates teams against each other this week and then adjusts them for next week. A team that beats a team that was supposed to be good at the beginning of the season is more greatly rewarded than the team that comes along after that supposed good team has been beaten up and repeatedly taken to the woodshed.

·         Most of the many principles on which RPS operates have been repeatedly proven to work. True, RPS has more trouble in playoff games and true that RPS has never come up with a good way to measure the amount of travel and the affect on a team for that travel, but it's hard to continue tweaking something that is correct 82 percent of the time.



In the final analysis of these preseason rankings, a few things may jump out at you. No. 1 is that Union is undoubtedly the top team in two states. That's hard not to argue.

But Arkansas immediately puts up a battle with four of the top 10 teams and nine of the top 20. Okies will point to having 11 of the top 16 teams, though.

By the time we get to 60 schools, Arkansas has 27 represented. The only way that number will get reduced is if Oklahoma takes a lot of points away from Arkansas in the handful of games that will be played between teams from the two states. If, say, Oklahoma schools swept Arkansas, and pulled off several upsets along the way, the rankings would reflect Oklahoma's dominance somewhat by more Oklahoma schools crawling into the Top 60.

It should also be noted that if we had gone to the Top 80 or Top 100, Oklahoma's dominance would become more and more apparent. Again, when you are dealing with Oklahoma's top 100 schools, you've still not even crossed too far into the 1/3 mark of the total pool. In Arkansas, you've gone below the halfway mark.


So here it is, the first Bi-State Big Sixty. See you on the message boards.


  1. Tulsa Union             119.3

  2. Springdale               116.7

  3. Ft. Smith Southside            115.7

  4. Jenks                      114.4

  5. Moore                     113.8

  6. Broken Arrow    113.4

  7. Lawton                    113.4

  8. Cabot                      113.0

  9. Westmoore              109.4

10. Stuttgart                  109.1

11. Sapulpa                   108.0

12. Fayetteville              107.8

13. Carl Albert               107.6

14. Lawton Ike               107.5

15. Ponca City               107.2

16. Tulsa Washington            107.2

17. Conway                   106.9

18. Russellville               106.9

19. West Memphis            106.8

20. Pine Bluff                 106.8

21. Bryant                     106.4

22. Little Rock Central  106.2

23. Midwest City      105.8

24. Guthrie                    105.4

25. Ardmore                  105.1

26. El Dorado                105.0

27. Tulsa East Central  105.0

28. Edmond Santa Fe            104.9

29. Putnam North    104.4

30. Ft. Smith Northside            104.0

31. Muskogee                104.0

32. Bartlesville               103.7

33. Wynne                    103.7

34. Lawton MacArthur            103.7

35. Jacksonville             103.6

36. Owasso                   103.6

37. Stillwater                 103.2

38. LR McClellan            103.0

39. Sylvan Hills              102.7

40. Del City                   102.2

41. Pulaski Academy            101.5

42. Warren                    101.4

43. Texarkana                101.4

44. Norman                   101.2

45. McAlester                101.1

46. Watson Chapel  101.1

47. Ada                         100.9

48. Chickasha               100.8

49. Jonesboro                100.8

50. Rivercrest                100.5

51. Edmond North    100.0

52. Bentonville                 99.9

53. Lake Hamilton             99.8

54. Clinton, Okla.      99.8

55. Camden Fairview   99.7

56. Glenpool                    99.5

57. Searcy                      99.3

58. Putnam City               99.0

59. Edmond Memorial             98.8

60. Mustang                   98.2

Next to enter the Big Sixty: Norman North (98.1), Shawnee (97.8), Enid (97.7).

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