It’s been a lackluster start to the season for high school football teams in the desert. Palm Springs is the only ranked team (ninth in the CIF Southern Section Central Division), and Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs are the only teams with winning records.
Let’s take a look at CalPreps.com to get as much as an objective look as possible at the desert’s teams in comparison to other teams in the Southern Section. CalPreps uses a complex formula based on results to rank all of the teams in the country. Here’s how they rank the Desert Valley League teams in the Central Division:
Palm Springs (ninth out of 32 teams), Palm Desert (15th), La Quinta (17th), Indio (25th), Cathedral City (28th) and Coachella Valley (31st)
Palm Springs (129th out of 402 teams), Palm Desert (212nd), La Quinta (238th), Desert Hot Springs (267th), Shadow Hills (269th), Indio (293rd), Cathedral City (302nd), Coachella Valley (369th), Desert Mirage (386th) and Xavier Prep (392nd)
These rankings roughly divide the desert’s teams into three tiers — Palm Springs, Palm Desert and La Quinta; Desert Hot Springs, Shadow Hills, Indio and Cathedral City; and Coachella Valley, Desert Mirage and Xavier Prep.
Here are The Desert Sun’s power rankings:
1. Palm Springs (3-2, last week No. 1): The Indians couldn’t keep up with Inland Division power Redlands, but with Palm Desert and La Quinta each winless, they remain atop the power rankings. It’s clear the DVL title is up for grabs this year.
2. Palm Desert (0-4, 3): The Aztecs were close to capturing their first victory of the season in a 31-28 loss to San Jacinto. They move up a spot because they moved the ball on offense more effectively than La Quinta lat week.
3. La Quinta (0-5, 2): For the second time in school history, the Blackhawks have opened the season 0-5. With their offensive struggles in a 24-0 loss to Roosevelt, they drop to third in the power rankings.
4. Desert Hot Springs (3-2, 5): After losing to two ranked opponents on the road in the East Valley Division, the Golden Eagles are looking to knock off No. 2 Rim of the World at home Friday.
5. Shadow Hills (2-2, 6): The Knights overtake Cathedral City because of their comparative success against a common opponent, Banning. While Shadow Hills lost to the Broncos 50-47 last week, Cathedral City lost to Banning 62-32 on Aug. 31.
6. Cathedral City (2-2, 4): After getting off to a slow start last week against Desert Mirage, the Lions got on the board in the second quarter and won 28-0. On Friday, they face another De Anza League team, Twentynine Palms.
7. Indio (1-4, 8): The Rajahs climb one spot in the rankings after earning their first victory of the season by shutting out Yucca Valley 32-0. They are idle this week.
8. Coachella Valley (1-3, 7): The Arabs fell 28-7 to Calexico on the road. They will aim to knock off Banning on the road before opening DVL play.
9. Desert Mirage (0-5, 9): After an emotional loss in the Date Bowl to Coachella Valley two weeks ago, the Rams lost 28-0 to Desert Mirage on Friday. They are idle this week.
10. Xavier Prep (0-5, 10): The Saints nearly won their first game on Friday, but lost 35-27 in the final minute to Hueneme. Wide receiver Daniel Stabile caught four passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
1. Desert Christian Academy (3-1, last week No. 1): Ranked third in Division I, the Conquerors lost 34-3 to Desert Hot Springs on Friday in their first-ever 11-man game.
2. Desert Chapel (4-0, 2): Ranked second in Division II, the Eagles blew out Marywood-Palm Valley 64-8 on Thursday.
3. Marywood-Palm Valley (1-3, 3): The Firebirds lost 64-8 to Desert Chapel on Thursday.