Edwin Evers is not giving up his No. 1 ranking without a fight, though he may be fighting a losing battle.
For the briefest of moments last week, Andy Morgan took over the top spot. The 2010 Elite Series event on the California Delta dropped off, and with it, Evers’ 25th-place finish. That was enough to dip his average just below Morgan’s.
Then Evers went and replaced the event with a 14th at the St. Johns River event over the weekend. So much for that. Evers now holds a 4-point lead over Morgan for the top spot. Plus, the 2010 Clear Lake event will drop off this week (Evers finished 23rd), so his average will only improve. That’s how good Evers has been over the last two years. A 23rd finish actually hurts his average.
Before we talk more about the St. Johns River event, we should probably touch more on the dropping of the California Delta event. Particularly, that it signals the start of Kevin VanDam’s surge toward the top.
When Bass Rankings launched, people were beside themselves that KVD was ranked third. Our argument (and really, it wasn’t an argument. Just facts) was that his poor beginning to the 2010 season was weighing him down. Now, with the California Delta event dropping, and the Clear Lake event dropping this week (VanDam’s worst tournament in the last two years), expect him to climb.
He already did this weekend, from fourth to third after he replaced his poor California Delta event with a 24th at the St. Johns River. Barring a poor showing at Lake Okeechobee this weekend, VanDam should take over the top spot sometime in the next week.
Now that that’s over with, back to the St. Johns River.
Keith Combs, fresh of his third over the weekend, has supplanted himself back in the top 10, while Todd Faircloth’s second-place finish got him back in the top 20. And to keep the synergy going, Alton Jones’ win jumped him from 61st back into the top 50 (49th).
The largest jump from guys who made the top 10 was by Randy Howell, going from 106th to 77th. Though, Cliff Crochet (174th to 147th), Brent Chapman (66th to 40th) and Terry Scroggins (59th to 36th) had leaps of their own.
If you can believe it, Skeet Reese, Greg Hackney and Dean Rojas either had minor jumps or fell in the rankings over the weekend. Though, in actuality, their movements were more about the dropping off of the 2010 event than anything (Reese and Hackney finished second and third, respectively).
Some other notable movements, good and bad, include John Crews slipping from 79th to 87th after his win at the Delta dropped, though it could have been much worse had he not finished 27th over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Aaron Martens only fell one spot in the standings (16th to 17th), but he dropped nine points after finishing 84th. What helped him was losing a 54th at the 2010 Delta event. Replacing a bad tournament with a bad tournament doesn’t hurt as much.
Then there is Michael Iaconelli. He had been on a pretty good run, but dropping his fourth at the Delta and finishing 58th at the St. Johns River has him falling outside the top 25 (26th). Then there are Tommy Biffle (48th to 37th) and Cliff Pace (32nd to 45th), who nearly flip-flopped.