If there ever was a perfect year for a four-team national playoff in high school football, 2013 would have been the perfect one.
The country's top three teams all finished as undefeated state champions, and the No. 4-ranked team, Miami Central, lost only to rival Booker T. Washington.
Ultimately, it was Washington that rose above the rest to claim the No. 1 ranking and the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national title. Washington narrowly held off strong bids from both Allen and St. John Bosco to hold on to the top spot it first claimed in September.
It knocked off Norcross, Miami Central and Bishop Gorman this season, three state champions that finished ranked in the Xcellent 25.
Allen stated its case with an impressive 63-28 thumping of Pearland for the Class 5A-I title, while St. John Bosco notched a statement win, 20-14, over De La Salle.
Final MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (1) Washington (Miami), 14-0
Season complete. Class 4A state champion. MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national champion.2. (2) Allen (Texas), 16-0
Allen went the distance and capped off an unbeaten season with a 63-28 victory over Pearland. Story3. (3) St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), 16-0
In a game for the ages, St. John Bosco knocked off powerhouse De La Salle, 20-14. Story4. (5) Central (Miami), 14-1
Season complete. Class 6A state champion.5. (6) Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.), 15-0
Season complete. Class 4A-II state champion.