Wesleyan replaces Buford as state’s most likely to go 15-0

Now that Buford is beaten, which Georgia team has the best shot of going undefeated?

My first thought is Lowndes, but it’s pretty tough going unbeaten in Class AAAAA. Much depends on home-field advantage and coin tosses. There’s so much depth. Plus, the No. 2 team, Grayson, beat Lowndes the last time they played.

In AAAA, there’s no clear-cut favorite yet, so I wouldn’t pick any of those teams to go 15-0.

Gainesville is No. 1 in AAA, but the Elephants have never gone undefeated. Plus, many would say once-beaten Carver of Columbus remains the team to beat.

In AA, nobody would be surprised if Buford went 14-1, so it’s tough picking any of those, although Calhoun and Fitzgerald look awfully good. And don’t forget Lovett, the team that ended Buford’s 32-game winning streak last week.

My choice would probably be Wesleyan. A friend asked me last week if Wesleyan is unbeatable in Class A, and the answer is no. Wesleyan was not a dominant state champion last year, although the 2009 team is better than last year’s team that peaked at the right time.

Here are the 11 teams that I think are most likely to go undefeated, and their chances. Note that I don’t think any team has a better than 50-50 chance of going undefeated looking at it this early in the season. Let me post this before I change my vote to Lowndes.

Wesleyan (40 percent)

Lowndes (35 percent)

Calhoun (30 percent)

Fitzgerald (30 percent)

Gainesville (25 percent)

Grayson (25 percent)

Westside, Macon (20 percent)

Griffin (20 percent)

Peach County (20 percent)

North Gwinnett (12 percent)

Lovett (10 percent)

Todd Holcomb is co-publisher of Georgia High School Football Daily, a free email newsletter. To join his mailing list, go here.

This week’s rankings:

CLASS AAAAA

1. Lowndes (3-0)

2. Grayson (3-0)

3. North Gwinnett (3-0)

4. Northside, Warner Robins (2-0)

5. Stephenson (2-0)

6. M.L. King (3-0)

7. Newnan (3-0)

8. Peachtree Ridge (2-1)

9. McEachern (3-0)

10. Camden County (1-2)

CLASS AAAA

1. Tucker (3-0)

2. Griffin (3-0)

3. Southwest DeKalb (2-1)

4. Westside, Macon (3-0)

5. Hillgrove (3-0)

6. North Clayton (3-0)

7. Sandy Creek (2-1)

8. Clarke Central (3-0)

9. Bainbridge (3-0)

10. Mount Zion, Jonesboro (3-0)

CLASS AAA

1. Gainesville (3-0)

2. Peach County (3-0)

3. St. Pius (3-0)

4. Carver, Columbus (2-1)

5. Carrollton (3-0)

6. LaGrange (2-1)

7. Washington County (3-0)

8. Burke County (3-0)

9. Creekview (2-0)

10. Flowery Branch (2-1)

CLASS AA

1. Calhoun (3-0)

2. Fitzgerald (3-0)

3. Lovett (3-0)

4. Buford (2-1)

5. Jefferson County (3-0)

6. Pepperell (3-0)

7. Brooks County (2-0)

8. Dublin (2-0)

9. Jefferson (3-0)

10. Charlton County (2-0-1)

CLASS A

1. Wesleyan (3-0)

2. Lincoln County (3-0)

3. Wilkinson County (3-0)

4. Savannah Christian (3-0)

5. Wilcox County (2-1)

6. Johnson County (3-0)

7. Bowdon (3-0)

8. Chattahoochee County (3-0)

9. Treutlen (3-0)

10. Twiggs County (2-1)

195 comments Add your comment

MHS

September 13th, 2009
6:51 pm

The Mays Raiders snubbed yet again. When will this paper and its writers finally recognize what they have tried to ignore all along and that is the fact that the Raiders are LEGIT contenders in AAAA. The win from Friday night displayed a team that started slow but refused to lose. Lack of Disipline??? Try raw emotion of a team coming together for what will continue to be a run towards a championship. Watch out 5AAAA there is only one undefeated left and they plan on staying that way.

Bear_Backer

September 13th, 2009
6:56 pm

Be it known…Griffin High has a very talented team this year, like most years. They are fast, and the new spread offense is fitting for a team with the speed of Griffin High. That being said, they are also small. The first real test will be against Mt. Zion of Jonesboro this friday, and they are fast AND big. They beat us last year, and are also off to a great start to their season. (congrats) I hate to say it, but after seeing GHS early on, and knowing what they have, I’m afraid they will struggle this friday and lose to Mt. Zion. Just being objective. The game is in the bears den, so maybe the fans will be extra loud and help out the Bears. the game is also on TV,and will probably (my guess) be picked as one of the games of the week, so it should be a good one. Go Griffin. The team nobody knows about, We’re # 2 !!!

Todd Holcomb

September 13th, 2009
6:58 pm

I was on the borderline with Mays. I hope the Raiders are LEGIT, but remember that they were undefeated this time last season and didn’t make the playoffs. That’s why I went with Mount Zion, a team that made the quarterfinals last season.

Todd Holcomb

September 13th, 2009
6:59 pm

Good comments on Griffin. I’m eager to see how Air Bear will do against a pretty good team.

benadawg

September 13th, 2009
7:08 pm

Has any of you ever heard of the Chattooga Indians? apparently not…Calhoun has been a thorn in our side for some time, if we can get by them then we will be in the dome…Go indians!!!

NCHS KING

September 13th, 2009
7:08 pm

Reguarding to the new standings…hillgrove is no match or even close to North Clayton…The match up of the year is Griffin vs. North Clayton…The winner of that game will win state and the loser will be runner-up…LETS GO EA-GLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truth Be Told

September 13th, 2009
7:35 pm

Todd
I know that you must play the schedule put before you so with that said… Mays has not faced a quality opponent yet. Carver, and Douglas are not what they used to be and Whitewater has never been strong. When play and defeat a quality opponent early in the season then maybe you will get the recognition you deserve. I think the same thing is going to happen this year that happened last year…you are going to speed by every one you play because they can not match your speed and then you will run into Banneker who matches you in that department and then you will struggle. Not saying you will lose but you will find it hard when you meet a team that matches up well with you. You lost at home last year. You travel to Banneker this year. Same scenario. you come in undefeated because you were able to outrun everyone.

Let' get real

September 13th, 2009
7:49 pm

How in the world can you be 1-2 and ranked in the top 10. I don’t care who you have played. Stop ranking teams on last year.

Lovett Fan

September 13th, 2009
7:53 pm

Lovett is better than you think they are. Remember that they broke Buford’s streak and that is not that easy.

Bulldog Bravo

September 13th, 2009
8:09 pm

Why can’t Newnan be in the discussion for undefeated teams?

decatur where it is greater

September 13th, 2009
8:09 pm

Todd
I agree with you about home field advantage in the playoffs. Stephenson is the only AAAAA school that has not been scored on this year through three games. Tucker fell 16-0, Mcnair 42-0, and Columbia 68-0. The last two foes were not that great but tucker is the same team that is #1 in AAAA.

CJ Dawg

September 13th, 2009
8:16 pm

I grew up in Camden, when it was much smaller and played football there for 3 years on the Varsity. This year, I have to say , we have no shot. Our play at QB is too bad. Our best option is below 5′5. Our ‘throwing’ QB is more or less a slinger with no idea where he is throwing it. He also cannot manage a game. If we had a good QB, we would be legit as ever. It is tough to swallow, but my Cats are not going far this year. But look out next year. A kid is coming up that can do it allllllll

Jonathan Megrue

September 13th, 2009
8:24 pm

Union Grove…Union Grove…

Grayson Student

September 13th, 2009
8:26 pm

to say it but yall gotta start showin south some love… they deserve it

John Wells

September 13th, 2009
8:50 pm

First, thank you AJC for “finally” giving Newnan a little space in your newspaper. It’s about time! However, I find it mildly amusing that you did not include the Cougars in your list of teams that “might” go undefeated this year. Still no respect!!!!!!

decatur where it is greater

September 13th, 2009
9:00 pm

union grove is playing for third place in 2AAAAA. They cant beat stephenson or MLK

MAD-DONNA

September 13th, 2009
9:04 pm

Let’s k.i.r! Mays is a inner-city, predominantly black school, and will never get the ink it deserves. Plus, it makes no sense to rate a team on what they did last year, when a team is doing better than they are now! Real lame excuse man!

Joe

September 13th, 2009
9:16 pm

Mays or any other Atlanta City School will never get any praise on here that’s just the truth it sucks but it is what it is. Mays was undefeated in the regular season a couple of years ago and they still wasn’t ranked as one of the best the state had that let’s you know right there that it is a bias towards predominantly black schools on here.

MAD-DONNA

September 13th, 2009
9:17 pm

Let’s k.i.r.!

Let's get real

September 13th, 2009
9:27 pm

Don’t over look Union Grove. Them boys are for real!!!

SouthGARules

September 13th, 2009
9:27 pm

In AAAAA, several teams will be eliminated due to multiple teams from regions ranked in top 10. Todd, like you said, a lot depends on coin flips & who has the home field advantage. However, the teams in AAAAA that probably have the best chance going undefeated in the regular season would be Grayson & Newnan. Newnan’s biggest test will be in the regular season finale versus East Coweta & Grayson’s will be Parkview or South, but the South game is at Grayson. I know its says the whole season, but you have to get through the regular season first. Also, the Lowndes/NSWR winner & Stephenson/MLK winner stand a good chance, but Regions 1 & 2 are tougher than Regions 4 & 8.

Tell The Truth

September 13th, 2009
9:34 pm

Joe and all you other Mays supporters – GET REAL. Mays has played a weak schedule. You all keep hollering about respect. You earn respect. Mays is a good team with some good players, but a state contender, get real. They have never advanced past the second round, and I don’t see that string being broken yet. They always flame out in the second round.
Until these city teams get in the playoffs and win, nobody is going to get on this board pushing them as a state contender. Consider this, for all the talent that Douglass has had, the Astros haven’t won a playoff game away from Lakewood Stadium since Dec. 5, 1975.
However, teams like Southwest DeKalb and Stephenson get recognition because at least they make it to the playoffs and some years do something. During the 1980s and 1990s, SWD was a serious playoff contender. Stephenson and MLK have been playoff teams that have won some big games. Mays HAS NOT beaten anybody of note in the playoffs.
I am sure no one would have been surprised last Friday if Whitewater would have won. Enjoy your mild success, because when the playoff begins, it will most likely be one and done, but no more than a second round appearance.

#1scout

September 13th, 2009
9:44 pm

TODD, I just wanna know how is it that AAA Washington County begined the season ranked? AAA Burke County beat WACO last season, and wasn’t even ranked this season. WACO was ranked #4 when the two played each other last season. If you compare their schedules you will see the toughness of the opponents. Burke first 4 opponents is AAAA teams: Effingham, ranked Ware County, ranked Statesboro, and ranked Brunswick. WACO first 4 opponents is: Cross Creek, Greene County, Morgan County, and Troup County. Have you or anybody heard of these teams? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Burke Couty is getting robbed. NOTE, Burke Co. beat AAAA ranked Statesboro and AAAA ranked Ware Co. without several key Bears due to injuries from the Effingham County game. That along should tell you that Burke County is loaded with talent. So, go ahead and give it up cause the kids DESERVE it. DO IT BEARSSSSS……..

HSBallfan

September 13th, 2009
9:49 pm

.. for the sake of accuracy, mr decatur, the tucker-stephenson “game” you mentioned was a pre-season scrimmage and doesn’t really mean squat. But, also for the sake of accuracy, this is not nearly the same Tucker team as last year, and does not merit that #1 ranking. Also for the sake of accuracy, we said the same thing same time last year about Tucker LOL. Only thing that counts is the standings after 11 weeks, and then we’ll see what happens. Right now Tucker looks like an 8-2 team to me.

Michael

September 13th, 2009
10:20 pm

It is about time that Mceachern broke the top ten. Woodstock has a good team this year and they should go far into the playoffs. Stephenson has not really played a good team during this football *season* in an official game yet. Let’s see how they do up against good competition like MLK.

john

September 13th, 2009
10:25 pm

congrats to fitzgerald this week, I read alot of talk about these AA teams up north, they got 3-4 even 5 maybe good athletes on their team, well…. I have seen fitz blank coffee in the preseason until this past fri. they dont have any 4 or 5 star athletes, they play with such precision and intensity, speed, never mind have one heck of a coach they play as one. the huricane is coming for buford, let me know if FEMA needs to be called….

TRUE BLUE

September 13th, 2009
10:27 pm

NCHS KING, TUCKER , MARIST,OR SWD WILL WIN STATE THIS YEAR.REGION 6-AAAA WILL DOMINATE AGAIN THIS YEAR.THEY PLAY PHYSICAL FOOTBALL FOR 4 QUARTER AND I DON’T THINK AS A TEAM GRIFFIN OR NORTH CLAYTON CAN.

Gerry

September 13th, 2009
10:30 pm

#1 scout are you serious who the hell has ever heard of burke county you backwoods retard.

BAD GLAD

September 13th, 2009
10:36 pm

Clarke Central is back! Coach Ryals has a big-time QB in JR Martay Mattox. Also- HSFB upset of the week: TROUP over WACO! I’m gone!!!

TRUE BLUE

September 13th, 2009
10:39 pm

MICHEAL, DOES THE WORD STEPHENSON SCARES YOU. YOU KNOW WE ARE OVERRATED AND SHOULDN’T BE RANK AT ALL ACCORDING TO AJC COMPUTER RANKING.SO, WHY ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT STEPHENSON.

Michael

September 13th, 2009
10:54 pm

True Blue, I happen to like Stephenson and have been following them since the days of Kregg Lumpkin, Isreal Route and Reggie Ball. I was just saying that Stephenson hasn’t scheduled good teams in the their early season games. I hope this doesn’t hurt them by not making them playoff ready unlike North Gwinnett (played powerhouse Prattville), Camden County (played very good out state teams like Hoover of Alabama & First Costal of Floride plus in state powerhouse like Grayson). My only kncok on Stephenson is their coach doesn’t think big enough by playing good non-region games (NcNair and Columbia were scrimmages for them) early in the season to get his team play off ready.

Todd Holcomb

September 13th, 2009
11:01 pm

Joe: I would love to see Mays make a run this year. I like seeing teams in the semifinals or finals that haven’t been there. But let’s face the facts: Mays has never had one season in its history that was deserving of a final Top 10 ranking. Not one. Mays has never made it to the final 16 of the state playoffs. So every time that Mays was ranked, including No. 8 in 2003 with the 10-0 record, it turned out to be a mistake. Mays was 10-0 in 2003 and lost in the second round. Most teams that are good, but not good enough to make the Top 10, lose in the second round. I’ve got no problem with Mays, but it’s simply false for anyone to say that Mays historically has been underrated because in fact, the opposite is more often true.

re Newnan: I wasn’t listing every team that could go undefeated, just the 11 that I thought had the best chance. The chance of Newnan going undefeated is certainly less than 10 percent, IMO. If Newnan couldn’t go 15-0 with the team it had last season, I don’t see it happening now. That’s not to say this isn’t a very good team. But 15-0? That’s a longshot, to say the least.

SouthGARules: Good points. One thing that makes it tough for Lowndes is the fact that the Vikings must win in McConnell-Talbert Stadium vs. Northside, which has won about 40 straight there.

#1 Scout: I like WaCo and Burke. WaCo returned just a little more of the nucleus of 2008 than Burke, but Burke returned The Man in Brigham. It’s hard to argue you on that point. I could see anyone ranking Burke higher. But just know that I’m not ranking 2008. And Burke has to go to WaCo this time.

Lovett

September 13th, 2009
11:17 pm

I put money on Lovett going undefeated. Who is harder to beat than Buford, it doesn’t seem like anyone could beat the team that ended Buford’s reign.

Joe

September 13th, 2009
11:25 pm

Tell The Truth the only reason why Mays or any other Atlanta city school never make it far is cause the teams usually don’t be as big as county schools. Atlanta city schools are not as big as county schools and the kids usually don’t big as big but the city schools usually produce NFL caliber players.

TruFan

September 13th, 2009
11:27 pm

As far as potential undefeated teams, Wesleyan and Calhoun (both play in weak regions and are classic “neighborhood bullies”) make some sense, as does Fitzgerald, who looks impressive. Griffin (if they survive Mt. Zion) and North Gwinnett are long shots, but have the talent to pull it off. However, why no mention of Lincoln County? Larry Campbell always finds a way to wring the last drop of talent and gutsy performances from his players. History bears this out…what other active coach in GHSA can boast 8 undefeated seasons and 11 state chanpionships? Oh, and before I’m accused of being a “backwoods retard”…check your stats and history. There IS quality football played outside Metro Atlanta and Valdosta…in LC’s case, consistently for the last 35+ years…and no, I’m not an alumnus, just a knowledgeable fan who is not a homer.

Joe

September 13th, 2009
11:30 pm

Todd Holcomb it’s not that Mays isn’t talented enough it’s cause the kids are not as big and the city schools are not as big as the county schools. Mays, Douglass & Washington has all produced NFL players it’’s just unfortunate that our city schools never win in high school but it is what it is we still good quality teams.

Yo

September 13th, 2009
11:44 pm

The problem with Fizgerald’s chances are that they have Brooks Co. (has looked very good also) and Thomasville to go through to be undefeated. Not easy!

WHOA

September 13th, 2009
11:58 pm

MICHAEL, DO U RECALL A YEAR OR TWO AGO WHEN THERE WAS THIS ARTICLE IN THE SUMMER ABOUT STEPHENSON LOOKING FOR A TEAM TO PLAY FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS?? NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY STEPHENSON.. NOT THIS EARLY ANYWAY

Michael 18

September 14th, 2009
12:06 am

Thanks Grayson student for showing south some love looking forward to the game this week

daylon baker

September 14th, 2009
12:57 am

todd hillgrove is #5 and that is a respectable ranking spot but trust me when i say there are only two teams that can play with hillgrove this season. that is tucker and sw dekalb. top recruit synjyn days and hillgroves triple option offense is hard to stop and not to mention the excellent defense hillgroves defense is playing. hillgrove beat rome and seqouya who were both preseason top 10 teams in AAAA. this week is hillgrove’s homecoming against decatur, i encourage you to go and see hillgrove play and i think you will definetly agree.

AstroFan

September 14th, 2009
1:48 am

Mays is getting snubbed the same way Douglass used to get snubbed in our heyday. It’s always going to be that. Win the state championship, probably will still get voted #2. Yall can easily run the table and still barely get ranked. City teams just don’t get the respect. Look at Grady, they’re 3-0 and beating snot out of everybody and still not being ranked. TAKE IT PERSONAL and leave the anger on the field.

JD

September 14th, 2009
3:05 am

hey astro…..inner city schools (atl) suck! sorry but its a fact!

Suwanee 0wnz

September 14th, 2009
3:06 am

SouthGARules,

You always have insightful comments. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

I would like to point out that North Gwinnett has a good chance of going undefeated during the regular season. They are not going to be tested by a tough opponent again until their final game of the season at Peachtree Ridge. While that is an away game, “away” is only 5 minutes away and there will be as many North fans as Lions fans in attendance. It is not the same as driving 5 hours to Valdosta to play in front of a packed stadium of hostile fans.

North starters have only given up 2 touchdowns in 3 games against at least one very tough opponent. The D Line is a wrecking crew and size will NOT keep them out of the backfield. In the meantime, North’s 6’ 5” QB is for real. The 2 Alabama committed OT’s are providing plenty of protection to give him a good look at 4 or more receivers in the pattern. As you know, a team that can execute Mumme’s system is capable of scoring at any time. Even the best teams do not have 5 strong DB’s to keep tight coverage on all the receivers.

At worst, P Ridge will be a toss up for North. So I would give North a 50% shot of going into the playoffs undefeated.

BTW, Buford’s years of recruiting top talent from North, Collins Hill, and Flowery Branch appear to be over. We’ll see how they do over the next few years relying only on talent from Buford and Mill Creek. Buford still has an awesome coaching staff, but they are not going to have the same level of talent.

BEARMAN

September 14th, 2009
5:27 am

BEAR BACKER,

THAT’S WHY THE GAME IS ON T.V. TWO GOOD TEAMS AND I THINK GRIFFIN WILL BE READY.

GRIFFIN 35
MT ZION 21

SPX fan

September 14th, 2009
5:35 am

Hey Astro Fan Saint Pius X is ranked and will CRUSH Grady. SPX is for real and could go undefeated

dawgma

September 14th, 2009
6:17 am

Yawn! Single A private school ball team located in Atlanta going undefeated is about as exciting as the MTV music awards show.

The real story is Wesleyan surpasses Buford as the Best team money can buy in the baby divisions of football in Georgia.

The Cannon Rules!

September 14th, 2009
7:03 am

Todd…

They don’t deserve it “YET” but after the RAIDERS from EAST PAULDING march thru the Indians AT McEachern this week let’s see IF you will drop a 1-2 Camben team and list our RAIDERS who will then be 3-0 and on the top of 5A-AAAAA!!!

daylon baker…

I would reserve the talk about Hillgrove going undefeated until they play Hiram who is sitting at 3-0 also!!!! They have a much improved team this year and have been “lighting-up” the scoreboard.

and finally all these MAYS supporters need to remember when they came to “THE BONEYARD” year before last and got a lesson about who the REAL RAIDERS are, they brought their “LOWNDES imitation THUG game” and EAST PAULDING sent em’ packing back to the ATL!!!!

GET READY McEachern the clock is ticking and you know what’s coming to Powder Town Friday night…It’s RAIDER TIME…

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!! GO RAIDERS!!!!!

TJ

September 14th, 2009
7:10 am

South Gwinnett does deserve some love. To me, this is for the Region 8 AAAAA championship. Could be Parkview as well but that is hype for another time. But not looking past this week, Grayson has to stop the Comets this week. This will test the Grayson defensive backs, one of which has commited to BYU. My prediction is the defensive line will be in the backfield disrupting the passing game all night long.

wolverine fan

September 14th, 2009
7:12 am

Cannon Rules…….I hope EP has one heck of a good pass defense, because they will need it against McEarchen…….

rwdekalbfan

September 14th, 2009
7:13 am

Metro Atlanta teams need to earn respect by beating quality teams and advancing deep into the playoffs. Inflated winning records against mediocre teams and early playoff exits will not do it. Rankings are good for school morale but its what you do in the playoffs against quality teams that earn you that respect.