AAAAA playoff draw: Brutal for some

My pal Chip Saye sent me a mock draw for the Class AAAAA playoffs today, and it’s pretty interesting.

Here are some highlights:

Lowndes is projected to play at Camden County in the second round, which is widely known by now. But the winner would face another juggernaut in the quaterfinals, probably either McEachern or the Region 7 champion (Peachtree Ridge or North Gwinnett).

How’s that for a stacked quarter of the draw?

No. 1 Grayson and No. 4 Newnan also share a quarter, and a coin flip would determine which would have home-field edge if they play.

The third quarter figures to have Northside, Woodstock and the Peachtree Ridge-North Gwinnett winner.

The lowest quarter has the fewest ‘big-name’ teams. Stephenson is the highest ranked and would be seeded to play the Region 6 champ, Roswell or Lassiter.

I’ll post the potential matchups in other classes later this week.

Here is AAAAA, and note that I’m not sure I agree with Chip that North Gwinnett and Lassiter are winning their regions. I might have to pick Peachtree Ridge and Roswell. But Chip is killing me in the predictions this season. I’ll stick to rankings.

Newton at Camden County*
East Coweta at Lowndes
Brookwood at McEachern*
Walton at Peachtree Ridge
Valdosta at Newnan*
Bradwell Institute at M.L. King
Harrison at Grayson*
Collins Hill at Roswell
Kell at North Gwinnett*
Dacula at Woodstock
Pebblebrook at Northside*
Union Grove at Windsor Forest
North Forsyth at Lassiter*
Etowah at South Gwinnett
Beach at Stephenson*
Colquitt County at Westlake
*Regoin champion

This week’s rankings:

1. Grayson (9-0)
2. Northside, Warner Robins (8-0)
3. North Gwinnett (8-0)
4. Newnan (8-0)
5. Lowndes (7-1)
6. Stephenson (8-0)
7. McEachern (8-0)
8. Peachtree Ridge (7-1)
9. Camden County (6-2)
10. Woodstock (7-1)

1. Griffin (8-0)
2. Westside, Macon (8-0)
3. Southwest DeKalb (7-1)
4. Sandy Creek (7-1)
5. North Clayton (7-1)
6. Hiram (8-0)
7. Marist (6-2)
8. Tucker (7-1)
9. Apalachee (8-0)
10. Thomas County Central (7-1)

1. Gainesville (8-0)
2. Peach County (8-0)
3. St. Pius (8-0)
4. Carver, Columbus (7-1)
5. Washington County (8-0)
6. Carrollton (8-0)
7. LaGrange (7-1)
8. Jackson (8-0)
9. Baldwin (6-2)
10. North Hall (6-2)

1. Calhoun (8-0)
2. Fitzgerald (8-0)
3. Buford (7-1)
4. Jefferson County (8-0)
5. Charlton County (7-0-1)
6. Lovett (7-1)
7. Thomasville (6-2)
8. Westminster (6-2)
9. Jefferson (8-0)
10. Swainsboro (7-1)

1. Wesleyan (9-0)
2. Savannah Christian (8-0)
3. Lincoln County (7-1)
4. ECI (7-1)
5. Twiggs County (7-1)
6. Wilkinson County (7-1)
7. Greenville (8-0)
8. Miller County (7-1)
9. Johnson County (7-1)
10. Wilcox County (6-2)

246 comments Add your comment

Usual Noises

October 25th, 2009
6:45 pm

What!? Where’s Grady?


October 25th, 2009
7:29 pm

Spread the word. EAGLENATIONRISING is buying a round for all the AJC Sports Blog posters in the lobby hotel bar at the Omni Hotel during State Championship weekend. Also invited – Chip Saye, Todd Holcomb, and Michael Carvell.

EagleNationRising and HomeFieldAdvantage had a side wager on the Colquitt vs Warner Robins game. ENR guranteed us that Warner Robins would “violate” Colquitt. I pointed out to him the fact that the AP, Chip Saye and the AJC picked Colquitt, but he wrote paragraph after paragraph explaining how Rush Propst and his Alabama type team could not stay on the field with an accomplished, tough team from Warner robins Georgia.

The “friendly wager” was made on an AJC blog so it can not be denied. All posters are invited.
A table will be available with name tags where our nicknames – or blog handles – will be written so we can meet each other, and drink up ENR’s money. Lets spread the word and have a huge turn out. The more the merrier. Hopefully we can start doing this every year at the same time and location.

I think EagleNationRising should also say GOOOOOOO PACKERS!


October 25th, 2009
7:51 pm

I’m thinking off of the top of my head that the Region 7 second seed goes on the side of the bracket with Lowndes and the Region 7 champion goes on the side with Northside. Correct me if I am wrong but that means Camden/Lowndes winner would get the winner of McEachern/loser of NGwinnett and Ptree ridge.


October 25th, 2009
7:58 pm

McEachern run to a state championship very likely looks like this.

1st round – Region 8 seed 4
2nd round – loser of N Gwinnett/Ptree Ridge game
3rd round – winner of Camden/Lowndes
4th round – winner of Grayson/Newnan
5th round – winner of Colquit/Stephenson/Northside/North Gwinnett

looks like a fun trip for the McEachern Indians who will have to prove
through that gauntlet that offense really does win state championships.


October 25th, 2009
8:01 pm

In the above post the 5th round I should have said winner of Colquit/Stephenson/Northside/Region 7 champ (who IMO will be North Gwinnett)


October 25th, 2009
8:11 pm

I’m with you YO – No way will we meet the WINNER of PeaRidge and NG until the title game. Also, I differ from Todd in that last week when I filled out my brackets I listed Centenial instead of Kell, and Norcross instead of N. Forsyth. Other than those two we were the exactly the same.


October 25th, 2009
8:17 pm

Todd If Warner Robins was “looking ahead” to this week’s match up with NSWR when they were SHUTOUT by Colquitt, maybe the can beat their cross town rivals. ENR said last week that is very possible and he knows those two teams better than anyone. Just ask him.. Also IF Colquitt beats NSWR, yeah yeah “IF” is a big word, Lowndes is region Champ! Don’t write us in that bracket on the left side in INK just yet.


October 25th, 2009
8:30 pm

As a NG fan i am really hoping northside wins out and that we win that last game against ptreeridge. the loser of the region 7 championship game is gonna be in a very very difficult part of the draw. the winner will get northside in the 3rd round. this is much preferable to a lowndes team who no one wants to play in the playoffs. even if they lost earlier in the season. i think almost everyone would agree that lowndes is still better than northside w.r.


October 25th, 2009
8:31 pm

Todd: In looking back at the predictions for AAAAA playoffs, you have predicted 24 of the 32 playoff teams.
These are the 8 that were projected, with the probable teams in parenthesis..

Warner Robins (Colquitt Co), Tift (Valdosta), Luella (Newton), Savannah Johnson (Beach), Creekside (Pebblebrook), East Paulding (Harrison), Norcross (North Forsyth), & Parkview (Dacula).

Who would you say is the biggest surprise & disappointment in AAAAA this year? Mine would be South Gwinnett, Colquitt County, McEachern for surprises & Norcross, Tift County & Creekside as disappointments. Also, who would have thought that right now Grayson would have more WINS than Brookwood & Parkview COMBINED.

Grayson Student

October 25th, 2009
8:35 pm

lookin at potential left side of bracket i do believe the state champion will emerge from the left… whether it be lowndes newnan or grayson… the right side has north gwinnett and northside which would both be great opponents but any of the 3 i listed have the defense to win, dont count out south gwinnett tho, they can and will sneak up on some people


October 25th, 2009
8:39 pm

good picks southGARules. im with ya all the way that south gwinnett and colquitt county are very much improved. those 2 teams are gonna beat someone their not supposed to in the playoffs. north forsyth is a lot better than people give them credit for. they have never been a factor in football but over the past 3 years have progressed and are now better than norcross. parkview got some tough injuries otherwise they would be in over brookwood or dacula.


October 25th, 2009
8:50 pm

yo: looks very possible. The #4 seed will probably be the Brookwood/Parkview winner which if it’s Brookwood, it would be a rematch from the Corky Kell Classic. If Lowndes upsets Camden, then it’s possible that McEachern could play at home until the finals unless they lose a coin flip with Grayson/Newnan. In that case, they would be looking at maybe a 75 mile bus ride to Newnan & less to Grayson.


October 25th, 2009
8:58 pm

BulldawgBite: Thanks, I know you are looking forward to the NG-PRidge game in 2 weeks. I am looking to go to this one, it will be one of the top games in the state on Nov 6th. I know Brookwood & Parkview will be playing for the right to play McEachern, but playing for the Region 7 title trumps that game. (sorry BROOKWOOD MOM)

Hornet Nation

October 25th, 2009
8:58 pm

Would anyone like to comment on what I see as an obvious recognition and rankings bias? Unless you come from South Georgia, Atlanta (inside the I-285 perimeter) or Gwinnett County then your SOL.

Tell the Truth

October 25th, 2009
8:59 pm

Usual Noises: You beat me to the punch. Good one.
SouthGARules: I agree with you on the disappointment and surprises, especially with Creekside. I am not sure if the coaching change played a big part. I think they may have changed their offense from the triple option. Also, Chapel Hill is very much alive in the playoff hunt from Region 4-AAAA. They end with Lovejoy and Westlake, two winnable games.
The Newton-Union Grove game should be pretty interesting because the loser will likely make the trip to Camden County.


October 25th, 2009
9:00 pm

Greyson Student – seems like you are forgetting about what appears to be a very good McEachern team. EagleNationRising, trying to shift attention from Colquitt’s shutout over the Warner Robins team that was supposed to “VIOLATE” them, annointed McEachern as the next great team. I admit they sure look good on paper to me.

On the left side of the bracket will most likely be Camden, Lowndes, McEachern, either PeaRidge or NG, Newnan, MLK, Roswell, and Grayson. Wowwwwwww! What a bracket!

Hornet Dave

October 25th, 2009
9:12 pm

For surprises, throw in North Forsyth – any team with “Forsyth” in its name making the AAAAA playoffs looks like a typo. For disappointments, add Wheeler because it’s sad to see a team that won its region and beat the eventual state champs just three years ago lose 19 games in a row.


October 25th, 2009
9:13 pm

Hornet Nation I think you are right. There is that bias because that is where the better teams are until one of the teams from the other areas proves other wise. Frankly I think Colquit made a statement this week that with only 1 loss they have as much right to be in the top 10 as any of the 8-10 place teams. Their only loss being to Lowndes.


October 25th, 2009
9:24 pm

Creekside has lost 4 in a row since their offensive line coach passed away!! Also, is Colquitt County really that good or is everybody jumping on thier band wagon because they hail from God’s gift to football, South Georgia?? Everything will work itself out believe me!!

Tell the Truth

October 25th, 2009
9:28 pm

Hornet Nation: Actually, Stephenson, Newnan and Woodstock are all outside the perimeter. Roswell is having a good year record-wise and could make some noise in the playoffs, however, it is hard to judge that team against the rest of the state now since they have not faced a team that is above .500.

Again, where are the Grady fans?


October 25th, 2009
9:34 pm

the championship game might not necessarily be won by left side. it is so much more difficult for any team. there are two ways to look at it. left sides championship teams confidence should be high after playing a hellacious schedule while they may also be banged up :/ right side = way easier

Todd Holcomb

October 25th, 2009
10:16 pm

Most surprising in AAAAA have been Colquitt County (up) and Norcross (down). Doesn’t surprise me that Colquitt is good, but it’s happened a season sooner than I might’ve expected.

As for rankings bias, Hornet, I don’t see what you’re talking about. Gainesville and Calhoun don’t fit those discriptions (South Georgia, metro ATL outside 285 and Gwinnett County), and they’re No. 1.

As for Roswell, I’d say that after McEachern, there’s no good way to rank the next five — Peachtree Ridge, Camden, Lassiter, Roswell, Woodstock. Might as well pull those names from a hat. They have different pros and cons, but they add to up to about the same thing. They’re appear to be pretty even. I’m sure we’ll find in the playoffs how good they are. One will probably go out in the first round, and another will make the semifinals. It’s anybody’s guess which one it will be.

re: Grady fans: Grady is another example of how W-L record is overrated and strength of schedule is underrated. Nothing against Grady. It’s a good football team that is well-coached. But not a Top 10 team.

Todd Holcomb

October 25th, 2009
10:21 pm

rankings bias II: OK, perhaps Hornet is talking about Class AAAAA in the rankings bias. Yes, I am showing a bias against Region 6-AAAAA right now. That region went 1-4 in the state playoffs last season and did not have a Top 10 team, and because 6-AAAAA teams haven’t played much outside the region to prove otherwise, I’m concerned nothing has changed this season. It’s not surprising that the two best teams in 6-AAAAA are undefeated because they haven’t played each other. So, yes, I’ve chosen to favor two teams that reached the state final last season (Peachtree Ridge, Camden) in the rankings over Roswell & Lassiter. But as I said, there’s no good way to separate those five teams I listed. It’s pretty clear that Roswell and Lassiter are good, and I don’t take issue to anyone that would put them in their Top 10 ahead of Peachtree Ridge, Camden County or Woodstock. I just happen to rank Roswell and Lassiter 11th and 12th.


October 25th, 2009
10:27 pm

I wish people would stop crying about these rankings, rankings will mean nothing here in about three weeks.Hornet Dave Roswell is rank in the coaches poll. Be glad that highschool football has a playoffs system instead some stupid BCS system like college football. If Lassiter, Roswell,Colquitt,etc, are that good they will take care of business in playoffs. Championship are won on the football field, not by polls and rankings!!!!!


October 25th, 2009
10:54 pm

For “yo” and others who think offense can win state this year, check out Lassiter. They get Roswell at home on Friday to decide the region championship, then (if they win) have perhaps the easiest path to the Dome. Don’t forget that Lassiter is coached by the “other” ex-Hoover coach, so he knows how to win in the big games and play for championships. Cobb County football has been taken to the next level — it could be McEachern vs. Lassiter in the state championship game.


October 25th, 2009
10:59 pm

For those who think offense can win state this year, check out Lassiter. They get Roswell at home on Friday to decide the region championship, then (if they win) have perhaps the easiest path to the Dome. Don’t forget that Lassiter is coached by the “other” ex-Hoover coach, so he knows how to win in the big games and play for championships. Cobb County football has been taken to the next level — it could be McEachern vs. Lassiter in the state championship game.

Hornet Dave

October 25th, 2009
11:34 pm

The problem with Camden is over what you consider for the rankings. While I have no doubt that they are among the 10 best in the state, if you rank based on performance, Camden has played three actual football teams and lost to two of them. Fortuneately, there are playoffs so it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. :)

Panola Road's Finest

October 25th, 2009
11:38 pm

Why is it that Marist is still in the top ten after losing badly to St. Pius and SWD, but MLK falls for the first time to a higher ranked opponent and drops out of the list completely.

Hornets Fan

October 25th, 2009
11:44 pm

Looks like Hiram Hornets proved they deserved to be in top ten by defeating Hillgrove.


October 26th, 2009
12:01 am

Parkview will make the playoffs!!!It’s going to come down to the Parkview vs.Brookwood game…..Broncos, you’d better watch out!! I hope the coaching gets a WHOLE LOT SMARTER,BRAVER AND PLAY THE RIGHT PEOPLE LIKE THEY WANT TO WIN!!!!!

Get Real

October 26th, 2009
12:08 am

because no one really likes you chokers from SWD. Tucker is about to lay the wood to your backside next week.

Get Real

October 26th, 2009
12:09 am

Grady not in the rankings because St. Pius just beat them like a rented mule…..Grady found out what it was like to play a real team.

cane fan

October 26th, 2009
12:11 am

cant wait for fitzgerald to thomasville in 2 weeks, how would you compare the two teams TODD H. ? I know they are not in 5A , but for 2A they are both good teams


October 26th, 2009
12:13 am

HomeFieldAdvantage: Colquitt beat Warner Robins. You won the bet. However, you are fooling yourself if you are taking the liberty to add other people to the fray. Colquitt beat Warner Robins. You will get your drink.

As for saying, Go Packers…are you kidding yourself? Go Packers will be the last thing on your mind after we (Northside) shows you what a zonw blitz looks like. Eagle fans do not cheer for other programs.

Warner Robins was not looking ahead to Northside. Those guys completely understood that they needed to beat Colquitt or their hopes of reaching the state playoffs were slim. They simply turned the ball over too much. Warner Robins had every opportunity to win that game.

It has become the hallmark of their program. It will be interesting to see how those guys over there at Warner Robins inevitably evaluate their own program.

As for Northside, we are still on track. We take each week at a time. There is no week like this week for everyone who has ever walked the hallways of Northside High School. There will be multiple pep rallies from pre-bell hour in the morning, through breaks, through lunch periods, and concluding each day. It is the BIG GAME in Warner Robins. It is great to be a Northside Eagle!

Get Real

October 26th, 2009
12:13 am

All teams in AA stand no chance as either Buford or Charlton County will win the title again……….Lovett got lucky against Buford and gave them a wake up call. Only team that can hang with Buford is Charlton County.


October 26th, 2009
12:18 am

Todd: Roswell is UNDEFEATED. They are one of only a few metro Atlanta programs that compete in AAAAA and actually have a State Championship. Less the ten current Atlanta schools in class AAAAA have a State Championship. You guys should forget all the college prospect hype. I NEVER thought that a program like Roswell would be undefeated this late in the season and nranked. It is a borderline joke!

Roswell has eon State Championships without having players with big time reputations and fanfare in football and in basketball. There are very, very few metro Atlanta programs with any tradition of winning. Roswell is one of them and someone should show Roswell some respect!

For all of those who believe that McEachern is anything less than one of the five best AAAAA teams in Georiga, stop fooling yourself. They have thoroughbred athletes and a strong coaching staff. I saw them this past Friday night and they were VERY impressive.

As for potential pairings, the home teams are going to roll. Mark it down.


October 26th, 2009
1:32 am

SWD plays plays smash mouth football, runs the ball well with great defense…. that’s a strategy for success. Tucker will show up Ken Malcome should be the difference this upcoming week. Panther Pride!!!!


October 26th, 2009
1:58 am

After handily taking care of Walton this weekend, let’s hope that Lassiter finally enters the rankings and gets some respect. Cobb schools not named Walton, Marietta or McEachern have a hard time getting on anyone’s radar.

Friday Nights Lights Fan

October 26th, 2009
4:10 am

Hiram is looking pretty darn good heading into the playoffs…but will they get by Sprayberry?


October 26th, 2009
6:28 am

If Jimmy Southard were still playing, the Decatur Bulldogs would rule the roost.

SWD Panther

October 26th, 2009
6:53 am

Get real we gon see okay they gon lay the wood we just beat a team 21-7 that drug tucker 32-7 but we aint worried about yall haters just make sure you get over the disappointment when we win Friday

War Jacket

October 26th, 2009
7:02 am

Don’t understand why Sprayberry gets snubbed again. Granted they have two losses, but one was to Lassiter (a 5A school) in which the Jackets held them to their lowest point total of the year (14). I guess after we put the beat down on Hiram this week, you won’t be able to ignor us then.


October 26th, 2009
7:23 am

Left bracket is brutal! Anybody can come limping out of there will win it all. I do not think teams on the right side of the bracket will be as beat up and are as good as the left. Very lopsided bracket overall. I will not even try to predict a winner. Anybody can win or lose any given Friday.

War Jacket

October 26th, 2009
8:19 am

Well Sprayberry gets snubbed again by the AAAA rankings. Hopefully that will change after the beat down they will administer to Hiram this Friday.


October 26th, 2009
8:24 am

Tell the Truth – I agree that Chapel Hill still has a chance. Lovejoy and Westlake are both improved from last year though. I am really proud of Chapel Hill this season. They have put together back-to-back good seasons after never having one in school history!

Trojan Man

October 26th, 2009
8:32 am

Lassiter isn’t ranked because of what happen last year in the playoffs? Todd you must have been one of those people who had Ole Miss ranked in the top 10. By the way Lassiter had the lone playoff win last year on the road at region champ Etowah.

White Trash

October 26th, 2009
8:42 am

One good thing about Camden loses were they came early in the year verse some great teams with a young squad and they were able to get a taste of playing great teams and a taste of a lose, and now they were able to correct there problems and now they are steam rolling.

The Cannon Rules!!

October 26th, 2009
8:49 am

Friday Nights Lights Fan / War Jacket…

Hiram showed me a LOT las friday night as they kept coming back against a FAST, Well coached and HUGE Hillgrove team. Hiram scored on Offense & Defense and corrected first quarter mistakes to keep a highpowered Hillgrove team in check in the vital 4th quarter…

The Hiram / Sprayberry match-up this friday should be something to see as the winner obviously locks up the sub-region.

Harrison has Marietta this week and EP has Cherokee coming to
“THE BONEYARD”…another Harrison loss and EP taking care of Cherokee “SHOULD” put EP in the 4th seed for Region 5A/AAAAA
BUT…BUT…BUT…as I have said many times before, while I would of course like to see EP make the playoffs again, I don’t think it matters this year if EP or Harrison draws the 4th seed as that team gets the DUBIOUS honor of traveling to Grayson and baring a gift from “the football gods” neither EP nor Harrison can handle Grayson this year!!!


October 26th, 2009
8:54 am

Exactly, why do I even bother reading this paper? Unfortunatley, it’s the only one with as wide of circulation. Hopefully, one day, this will change. Until then, I guess I am signing off for good. It’s pretty amazing that the Sports Dept. has the same agenda as the other departments within the AJC. I’ll just start expanding my news/sports gathering in cyber world and reading the more local rags.


October 26th, 2009
9:08 am

Keeping up with everything region 6 AAAA is probably the toughest region don’t be surprised to see 2 of those teams facing each other in the championship again. Southwest Dekalb, Marist, Tucker, Stone Mountain.