High school football: Bingham headlines Deseret News preseason top 25 rankings

Published: Wednesday, July 16 2014 5:20 p.m. MDT

as Bingham High School and Lone Peak High School play in the 5A State football semi-final Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

Over the past five years, Bingham has helped put Utah high school football on the map nationally.

Three times in the past five years the Miners have finished the season ranked nationally in the MaxPreps top 50, including last year’s best-ever No. 19 ranking. In the two years that Bingham didn’t crack the top 50 — 2011 and 2012 — Lone Peak represented Utah with a No. 77 national ranking and Jordan with a No. 30 ranking.

See the Deseret News' preseason Top 25 rankings here.

The notion that high school sports teams here in Utah don’t get the respect they deserve nationally just simply isn’t true.

If history repeats itself, somebody from Utah is going to finish near the top 50 again this season, and not surprisingly Bingham is the most likely team.

For the fifth-straight year and the sixth time in the past eight years, Bingham’s football team begins the season ranked No. 1 in the Deseret News preseason top 25 rankings. The Miners have advanced to the 5A semifinals seven of those eight seasons and captured the state title four times.

The preseason top 25 was determined based on projections submitted to the Deseret News by coaches from each classification.

With six returning defensive starters but only two offensive starters, the Miners might not be at their best when the season starts on Aug. 22.

“We might struggle a little bit offensively early while we get some things figured out, but defensively it’s going to keep us in games against even Bishop Gorman (Nevada) or Brighton or whoever,” said Bingham coach Dave Peck.

Bingham travels to Bishop Gorman in Week 3, a daunting challenge after the Las Vegas private school finished with a No. 66 national ranking last season.

A year ago, however, Bingham traveled to nationally ranked Valor Christian, Colorado., and rallied for a 24-21 overtime victory, the only loss for the Eagles who ended the year ranked No. 24.

That win set the tone for Bingham, which was ranked No. 1 in the Deseret News top 25 all season.

Checking in at No. 2 in the rankings is defending 4A champ Timpview, which ended the 2013 season ranked No. 71 nationally.

Like Bingham, Timpview is heading out of state for a marquee preseason showdown against Mission Hills, California, on Aug. 30. The Grizzlies ended last year four places behind Timpview in the MaxPreps national rankings at No. 75.

Led by returning starting quarterback Britain Covey and a defense that led 5A and 4A last season with a 13.3 ppg average, Timpview certainly has the potential to come home victorious.

Brighton, Jordan, East and Herriman round out the top six in the preseason rankings, and of the three Jordan seems to have the biggest upside with nine returning starters offensively and six defensively.

The only team Jordan doesn’t play in the preseason top six is Timpview, so led by senior quarterback Austin Kafentzis, the ‘Diggers will have a chance to prove on the field if they're Utah’s best.

Davis, Lone Peak, Pleasant Grove and Logan make up the remainder of the preseason top 10.

If you’re a high school football fan, the Deseret News is your source over the next month to prepare you for the 2014 season, which kicks off on Friday, Aug. 22.

Beginning Aug. 3 with Class 1A and continuing through Aug. 19 with Region 1, the Deseret News will publish a preview for all 16 regions in the state.

From Aug. 4 to Aug. 19, in-depth previews for all 103 teams playing varsity football this year will be published at DeseretNews.com.

For complete schedules on all 103 teams and class-by-class preseason rankings, visit DeseretNews.com.

See the Deseret News' preseason Top 25 rankings here.