It was a fun first round. I still think the score was reversed on the Northside game. I might be ready to believe that Whitewater won, but at no point was the score 28-0. Just don’t believe it. …
No need to kick the Eagles when their down. It had been 13 straight first-round wins until Whitewater beat the No. 1-ranked team in Class AAAA 28-21.
Meanwhile, three of my favorite biases – Gwinnett County, Region 1-AA and Region 6-AA – were impressive in the first round. About 90 percent of the time when there’s a team ranked despite a questionable W-L record, it’s a team from one of these places.
Is there a Gwinnett bias in the AJC rankings? Generally, yes. It’s because Gwinnett teams so often deliver in the playoffs.
Mill Creek 32, Etowah 6.
Parkview was the only Gwinnett team to lose, and it took a 52-yard FG by a region champion playing at home to do it. The rest went 10-0. Four of them won on the road vs. higher-seeded teams.
There was a complaint in an early season Poll Talk blog that it was a Gwinnett conspiracy to have all its AAAAA teams put in two regions, thereby ensuring eight Gwinnett teams would make the playoffs.
Instead, Gwinnett got a bad deal because ONLY eight Gwinnett teams could’ve made the playoffs. Is there any doubt that Peachtree Ridge (which has beaten No. 4 McEachern) and Dacula (which has beaten No. 3 Brookwood) would’ve made the playoffs in just about every region except the ones they played in? Would those teams have won regions 5 and 6?
Meanwhile, Region 1-AA (Thomasville, Fitzgerald, Cook) and Region 6-AA (Buford, Westminster, Lovett) also stood up in the first round. They fare perennial winners in the playoffs: Westminster (7-3) beat North Oconee (9-1), and Lovett (7-3) beat Elbert County (9-1), and Fitz clobbered Dublin. This is why teams like Westminster and Thomasville stay in the rankings with three losses.
Now, for things I wasn’t so smart about. …
-Northside & TCC. Nobody saw Northside coming, but I gave Thomas Central too much benefit of the doubt with its two losses. TCC, which lost 15-0 to Dutchtown, was not a top 10 team.
-Region 3-AAAA: When Griffin couldn’t beat teams badly enough, the Bears began dropping in the polls for winning ugly. Maybe the region was better than we thought. Dutchtown, Whitewater, Starr’s Mill and Griffin all advanced in the first round.
-Grady & Region 5-AAA. I wrote off Grady after the Blessed Trinity loss and wrote off St. Pius after the Grady loss. No teams from this region are rankings, but I’ve got to think at least one ought to be now after a 4-0 sweep in the first round.
-Coastal Georgia: Not saying I should’ve ranked Statesboro or Ware or Glynn Academy or Brunswick, but those teams apparently are pretty goood. That region swept Region 4, which I can’t say that we overrated since Lovejoy didn’t get ranked until it became 9-0.
-Burke/WaCo: Overrated, and I was guilty. In fact, Washington County has been the team that I have most consistently overrated the past three seasons, each time getting as high as No. 5 in AAA only to drop out of the playoffs early.