Stephenville high school has been a mainstay atop the polls of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine since the early 1990s, but this year the Yellow Jackets have been left off the list.
"To be honest, I haven't even looked at it," said Stephenville head coach Joseph Gillespie. "It's fun to look at who Dave Campbell and those other guys are picking, but our concern isn't where we start but where we end up. It doesn't concern me. I know where we are and where we'll end up. Not a single team in Texas has played a game yet, so it doesn't mean anything."
The Yellow Jackets are picked to return to the playoffs from District 8-4A behind returning district champion Everman, who is ranked No. 6 by TFM, despite not returning a single offensive starter from last season.
Stephenville's young offense will open the season against No. 9 Aledo and No. 2 Denton Guyer.
"What a way to get your feet wet? You have to open the season against the No. 9 and No. 2 teams," said Gillespie. "But we'll take care of business, play hard and get better every week. It's not about where we start, but where we finish. We're not looking for this to be a 10-game season, we want a 16-game season."
Stephenville also missed the cut of the Top Five Darkhorses from Class 4A, but Coach Gillespie compared his squad to a similar situation in recent history.
"Denton Guyer, if I remember right, wasn't ranked at this time last year and we found out they were a pretty good football team, and now they're ranked No. 2."
Other area teams were also listed in the magazine.
Dublin was picked to finish seventh in District 8-2A, with No. 23 Bangs, No. 5 Darkhorse Comanche and Brady making the postseason.
"After last season, we figured we'd be picked in the bottom of our district, so I'm not very surprised by that," said Dublin head coach Dwayne Ross. "But we look to surprise some people this year. I figured Bangs would be the favorite, they also won the JV district, and handed our JV their only loss of the season. We have some good, young players that could help us surprise some people. Those rankings are for the media and people to look at. We still have to go play each game one at a time."
Hico just missed the postseason last year and won't have an easy time getting over the hump this year.
The Tigers are returning four starters each on both sides of the ball, and are picked sixth in District 16-2A with No. 16 Troy, No. 3 Darkhorse Crawford and McGregor making the playoffs.
In the 1A ranks, Deleon is the top Darkhorse to watch out for and is the District 15-1A favorites, with Tolar finishing second and Santo fifth.
Defending Division I Six-Man State Champion Strawn, is the early favorite with the top ranking and Gordon picked to finish fourth in their district.
To see the full edition of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine, the magazine will hit stores on Monday.