Final rankings blog: We agree on No. 1

Metro Atlanta teams won four state titles for the first time since 1970.  As recently as 2005, metro teams didn’t win any.

What does this mean? Probably that metro Atlanta won’t win any in 2015. The South will rise again. But metro Atlanta is only getting bigger.

Also, Camden County, Northside and Charlton County aren’t ranked. The last time that’s happened – with all three unranked in the end – was 1993.

I doubt that means anything either, unless we should do a better job in preseason rankings. All started No. 1.

The final rankings are very difficult to settle on this season, especially in AAAAA and AAAA, when so many top teams got toppled unexpectedly.

Congrats to Brookwood, Chattahoochee, Sandy Creek, Buford and Clinch County.

Let the criticism begin …

CLASS AAAAA

  1. Brookwood (14-1)
  2. Colquitt County (9-6)
  3. Grayson (10-4)                 
  4. North Gwinnett (11-1)  
  5. Collins Hill (10-4)              
  6. Valdosta (11-2)                
  7. Lowndes (10-3)                
  8. McEachern (10-2)           
  9. Hillgrove (10-3)                
  10. M.L. King (8-4)  

CLASS AAAA

  1. Chattahoochee (15-0)
  2. Starr’s Mill (14-1)
  3. Tucker (13-1)
  4. Statesboro (11-3)
  5. Kell (12-1)
  6. Brunswick (8-4)
  7. Ware County (10-3)
  8. Griffin (10-2)
  9. Dutchtown (11-2)
  10. East Paulding (10-3)

CLASS AAA

  1. Sandy Creek (15-0)
  2. Carrollton (14-1)
  3. Peach County (13-1)
  4. Cairo (12-1)
  5. Burke County (11-3)
  6. Grady (11-2)
  7. St. Pius (9-3)
  8. Baldwin (10-2)
  9. Cedar Grove (8-5)
  10. Gainesville (10-2)

CLASS AA

  1. Buford (14-1)
  2. Calhoun (14-1)
  3. Carver (13-1)
  4. Cook (12-1)
  5. Westminster (8-4)
  6. Fitzgerald (10-3)
  7. Thomasville (9-4)
  8. Lovett (10-4)
  9. Brooks County (7-6)
  10. Swainsboro (10-1)

Class A

  1. Clinch County (15-0)
  2. Eagle’s Landing Christian (12-1)
  3. Savannah Christian (13-2)
  4. Wesleyan (12-2)
  5. Wilcox County (11-2)
  6. Johnson County (11-1)
  7. Wilkinson County (11-3)
  8. Lincoln County (10-3)
  9. Emanuel County Institute (10-3)
  10. Darlington (10-2)

224 comments Add your comment

Stone

December 12th, 2010
1:48 pm

Final AAAA Rankings....This is crazy

December 12th, 2010
1:58 pm

How can a team that played in the quarter finals be ranked less than 8th? How can a team that lost in the second round be ranked in the top eight?

It was proven on the field that quarter finalist are in the top eight and those who lost in the second round are no better than 9th.

Big Don

December 12th, 2010
1:59 pm

Good state championship games!!! Good talent showcased from all over the state of GA. Colquitt County exceptional speed and a very good quarterback. Much better than 9-6 record indicates!! Congrats Brookwood, you beat a lot of good teams and finished the deal with good defense and explosive backs!!! Good team effort Brookwood!!

wesleywhatwhat

December 12th, 2010
2:01 pm

let the BCS decide ;)

Come On

December 12th, 2010
2:26 pm

Where was Monroe Area in the AAA they lost two games and the Cedar Grove team is in there

Slinger

December 12th, 2010
2:46 pm

I saw the top six in AAA – The top three are correct but Grady was better than Cairo and Burke County by far and should be # 4 .

sportsmommy74

December 12th, 2010
2:55 pm

@Come On, Cedar Grove made the top ten, because we deserve to be there. We beat Woodward Academy, beat Cartersville and Gainesville. We played a pretty tough schedule and gave Stephenson and LaGrange a run for their money. We’re not the Cedar Grove of old, the one that everyone ran over. We’re there because we deserve it. Notice has been given to the rest of AAA that we’re a better program than what we used to be. Congrats on a great season Cedar Grove….

Raider

December 12th, 2010
2:59 pm

Todd,

I get that ELCA’s only loss was to Clinch, but please justify Savannah Christian not being No. 2 in Class A. If you can say that Colquitt is the second best team in AAAAA with SIX losses, then please explain this OBVIOUS slight to Savannah Christian.

Football Fan

December 12th, 2010
3:08 pm

WHY is Burke County ranked #5 AAA that is CRAZY!!!!

GHSF Daily

December 12th, 2010
3:08 pm

“It was proven on the field that quarter finalist are in the top eight and those who lost in the second round are no better than 9th”

Not sure how it was proven on the field that Westminster, for example, was no better than the No. 9 team in Class AA because Westminster couldn’t beat Calhoun in the second round. What teams beat Westminster? Buford, Buford, Calhoun, Carrollton. Westminster beat semifinalist Lovett with a running clock. The draws tell you how far the teams advanced. Rankings are a subjective attempt to tell you how good the teams performed this season. Ranking teams based on rounds advanced in the state playoffs is one way to do it, but it’s not a realistic look at how good the teams really are, IMO.

”Where was Monroe Area in the AAA they lost two games and the Cedar Grove team is in there.”

Cedar Grove 34, Gainesville 25
Gainesville 49, Monroe Area 17

There’s more to it than that because Cedar Grove also had two losses to non-playoff teams when their star WR did not play in early season, but I don’t think anyone would argue that Monroe Area was better than Gainesville, and Cedar Grove beat Gainesville in the playoffs.

GHSF Daily

December 12th, 2010
3:20 pm

“Burke County by far and should be # 4 .” and ”WHY is Burke County ranked #5 AAA that is CRAZY!!!!”

Cairo was ranked ahead of Burke County entering the playoffs. Both lost to Carrollton. What happened to change things? I don’t think Burke should be rewarded for getting to play Carrollton later than Cairo did.

”The top three are correct but Grady was better than Cairo and Burke County by far and should be # 4 .”

I can see putting Grady at #4. … Grady might’ve been better than those two, but they didn’t play, so we have to look at how each handled their seasons. All three lost to good teams, but Cairo never lost otherwise, and Burke avenged its loss (and I’m not counting a loss to Lowndes, which would’ve beaten all three). Grady lost to Blessed Trinity. I know that’s ancient history, but when you’re judging three pretty equal teams, I think it’s admissible evidence. But if you want to argue that Grady was competitive in its playoff loss and the other two weren’t so much, I’d say that’s a fair argument. You might be right.

Final AAAA Rankings....This is crazy

December 12th, 2010
3:31 pm

“Rankings are a subjective attempt to tell you how good the teams performed this season. Ranking teams based on rounds advanced in the state playoffs is one way to do it, but it’s not a realistic look at how good the teams really are, IMO.believe that teams should gain or lose rankings based on their “on field performance” not what others subjectively think. You can’t argue some teams have an easier draw than others because eventually to be the best you have to beat the best. If your team can not rise to the task each week then there is no way you can argue that that they were better than teams that won.
I

gap118

December 12th, 2010
3:39 pm

The rankings should not be based just on how far you made it into the playoffs. If you had to face the team that ended up #1 and that was your only loss for the year then you could and maybe should be in the top 5 as long as there were no other 1 loss teams. Still a great finish to the high school football season.

GHSF Daily

December 12th, 2010
3:49 pm

”I get that ELCA’s only loss was to Clinch, but please justify Savannah Christian not being No. 2 in Class A. If you can say that Colquitt is the second best team in AAAAA with SIX losses, then please explain this OBVIOUS slight to Savannah Christian.”

Tough question, although not one I wasn’t anticipating. The short answer is that the variables in Class AAAAA were much different than in Class A. there wasn’t an ELCA-like team vying for Colquitt’s spot.

As far as ranking philosophy, I start with the premise that the playoff champion will be ranked No. 1. If Team A beats Team B in the PLAYOFFS, then I rank Team A higher.

If I do that in Class AAAAA, Colquitt County must be ranked higher than Grayson, and all the teams on that side of the draw, including North Gwinnett (11-1), which has 5 fewer losses. Colquitt won that draw, and they deserve to be No. 1 among those teams, just as Brookwood is No. 1 over all 32 teams in the draw.

Then, I look for teams on the other side that might be more deserving of the No. 2 ranking than the state runner-up. But as I said, there really isn’t an ELCA-like team on Brookwood’s side of the AAAAA draw.

If Lowndes had beaten Collins Hill and lost to Brookwood, then Lowndes is probably No. 2 ahead of Colquitt. But Collins Hill is the best candidate from Brookwood’s side to be No. 2, and I didn’t think CH had done enough to ”jump” Colquitt. But I think the argument could be made to put CH ahead. In fact, I think an argument could be made to put Colquitt anywhere from No. 2 to No. 7, depending on your ranking philosophy.

In the case of Savannah Christian, that’s probably the toughest call to make of any in the rankings. It’s hard not to see it as an insult. But I had a choice: Be politically correct and put SC at #2 just to avoid having to take criticism, or I could take a hard look at the seasons of SC and ELCA and make a controversial decision. Both beat Wesleyan, both lost to Clinch. One lost to Calvary Day.

GHSF Daily

December 12th, 2010
3:52 pm

”The rankings should not be based just on how far you made it into the playoffs. If you had to face the team that ended up #1 and that was your only loss for the year then you could and maybe should be in the top 5 as long as there were no other 1 loss teams.”

I agree with you, Gap.

Raider

December 12th, 2010
4:11 pm

“In the case of Savannah Christian, that’s probably the toughest call to make of any in the rankings. It’s hard not to see it as an insult. But I had a choice: Be politically correct and put SC at #2 just to avoid having to take criticism, or I could take a hard look at the seasons of SC and ELCA and make a controversial decision. Both beat Wesleyan, both lost to Clinch. One lost to Calvary Day.”

I understand your reasoning, but I think you give far too much credit to ELCA for playing in a weak region and far too little credit to a team that won all of its playoff games on the road. ELCA’s signature win came against Wesleyan, while their playoff wins came over Washington-Wilkes (4-7) and George Walton (10-2, but in a very down 8-A this year) whereas Savannah Christian won at Region 1-A champs Mitchell County (only other loss to AA Thomasville), won at Charlton County in the Swap (9-3, but not nearly the Charlton of old), at the House that Larry Built in Lincolnton (10-3) and at Wesleyan. I don’t think that it would have been politically correct to put SCPS as No. 2 just because they made the finals. I think it would have been deserved based on who they had to beat and where they had to do it. Again, sort of like the same argument for having Colquitt there.

hurricane

December 12th, 2010
5:12 pm

The top 8 teams in the state would get the top 8 spots than you decide the last two. Gainsville and st.plus should not be automatic. that’s crazy

GHSF Daily

December 12th, 2010
5:16 pm

Raider: Good points. I might argue that SC put itself in the position of having to win those tough games b/c of stumping its toe in the regular season. Also, I didn’t mean to say that putting SC at #2 was PC. I meant to say that putting SC at #2 — simply because they made the final, by default — would be PC. SC’s case for the #2 record is very strong, no doubt. Your points about the accomplishments on the road in the playoffs are very good.

uwillbtuckedaway

December 12th, 2010
5:30 pm

Congratulations to Chattahooche.

Watched some of the game on Friday and was quite impressed with your team on both sides of the ball.

The Freshmen running back is a BEAST already.

Also, congratulations to Starr’s Mill on a great season too!

Finally had a chance to watch a replay of the semi-final game. Still clearly Starr’s Mill was the better team that night, and our mistakes combined with your play making landed you in the dome.

Thoughts of the fun of watching a Hooch Tucker match up did cross my mind.

Maybe next year!

the facts

December 12th, 2010
5:31 pm

martin luther king at #10 at 8 and 4 something is not right !! Hell is gonna be full of cheating officials ,biased sportswriters;and the Ghsa. you all need to repent and prepare to face your maker

AAA

December 12th, 2010
5:45 pm

So Monroe Area only loses 2 games this year, one to the state champ and one to the #10 team, and no ranking? You make excuses for Cedar Grove, but Monroe played 3 qtrs of the Gainesville game w/o their starting QB who had a dislocated shoulder. Politics as usual.

Felon

December 12th, 2010
5:58 pm

AAA-aside from Monroe’s 2 losses, they did not play anyone. They should have a stellar record considering the competition they faced all year. They got hammered in their last game-a true relfelction of that teams’ ability.

plowboy

December 12th, 2010
6:32 pm

This Viking fan believes that everyone knows that NSWR and Camden should be ranked and the officiating crew of Rusty Wynn and Don Lyles should be FIRED !!!!

NYCDAWGFAN

December 12th, 2010
6:40 pm

Burke County deserves to be number 4, but I am cool with and understand the number 5 ranking. Congrats to all the champs, this was truly a great year of high school football. I’m looking forward to next years rankings… Where will the Burke County Bears start next year with all of the skill players returning?

FIRE

December 12th, 2010
6:48 pm

RAIDER–
First you guys are a great football team and arguing over whether who should be #2 and #3 is really challenging. Here is how I see it:
ELCA was up on Clinch 27-26 with 1:30 to go in the fourth at Clinch in the pouring rain and lost. You guys had a neutral field vs Clinch and never led in the game. The region anyone plays in is irrelevant, ELCA doesn’t pick its region. You lost to Calvary which gave you a second loss. You shouldn’t have lost that game and you would have been number 2. Your path through the playoffs wasn’t as bad as you make it out. By fnishing fourth you landed into a great bracket. Charlton and Lincoln were way down this year. You did the same thing that ELCA did which is go to Wesleyan and beat them. So what is the difference between ELCA and you besides the fact that ELCA played Clinch tougher than you did at Clinch? You lost to Calvary which is like ELCA losing to Landmark. They didn’t and you did. You don’t lose to Calvary and you have a legitimate complaint. Give ELCA your path to the dome and they are in it as well.

bgn46lewis

December 12th, 2010
7:03 pm

I agree with Fire regarding ELCA. They had Clinch beat at Clinch. They were ranked #2 before that game and lost to the #1 team. Of course I am a Henry County fan. On a side note, I find it funny that Dutchtown beat Thomas County Central which beat Colquitt County. Does that mean Dutchtown could beat Colquitt County?

Player of the year: Timmy Byerly – Chattahoochee QB (51 TD’s = enough said)

I assume he has a scholarship to play at the next level…where is he going?

sportsmommy74

December 12th, 2010
7:09 pm

@AAA, really no excuses were made, facts were presented and the rankings are what they are. If we had been able to have our WR ready for the games that we lost early we might have been a two loss team as well. We played a tougher schedule than you guys did. Sour grapes aren’;t good for anyone.You would think that we should all stick together since we are 3A.

sportsmommy74

December 12th, 2010
7:10 pm

And another thing, how is it politics as usual? Cedar Grove hadn’t even been to a playoff game since 1991… I’m confused….

GO UG!

December 12th, 2010
7:16 pm

Fire, well said. Hats off to the AJC, you got the single A rankings correct. ELCA is the #2 team. I was at the Clinch/ELCA game and ELCA gave that game away. I am not taking anything from Clinch because they never quit fighting.

GO UG!

December 12th, 2010
7:17 pm

Oh and Savannah Christian, you didn’t get near the yards rushing on Clinch as ELCA did.

GO UG!

December 12th, 2010
7:20 pm

Let me clarify I don’t mean literally gave the game away I mean had they had one more break it would have been a different game.

poor.ole.lambert

December 12th, 2010
7:46 pm

To All … I have been pondering for some time … I would like to congratulate Buford on 4 straight. I do believe they should stay in AA … they cannot compete at the AAA, AAAA, or AAAAA levels … not enough students or talent of players as compared to the larger schools and elite larger programs. These other classifications just have too many kids to pick from … Buford can only pick from 1 middle school and clearly they don’t recruit! I’m surprised their numbers don’t allow them to play in A. They are the best AA program in Georgia football history, but no where close as it relates to the best in Georgia High School history. Just thinking!

I don’t like Marist, but they would dominate Buford! There history proves they believe they can compete with the larger programs and they do! Great job to Marist!

@ GO UG! … they got flooded by a strong and mighty river – the Hooch. Good team – Starr’s Mill; great team in the Hooch.

Too bad next year will be rough for Hooch!

Purist

December 12th, 2010
7:49 pm

I saw Carrollton play St. Pius, Burke County, and Cairo. St. Pius was by far better than both Burke County and Cairo. In fact, St. Pius (other than Sandy Creek obviously) gave Carrollton their toughest game all year. Therefore, St. Pius should be ranked higher than both Cairo and Burke County.

GHSF Daily, you really don’t know what your talking about. Both Burke and Cairo were weak teams and had they played in a tougher conference, would not have made the playoffs. Therefore, they both made it by default.

iTiSi

December 12th, 2010
7:50 pm

Love the fact the AJC HS sports team is claiming 4 champions from the “metro Atlanta” area. That is quite a stretch but was to be expected. It’s not good enough for them just to say 4 North GA champions. Nope, got to have that Atlnata tag stuck to them. Would bet most of them, if not all, would disagree with being lumped in with Atlanta schools. Bet you next year they will be claiming any champion from Macon northward! Doing such as this is, in my book, rather childish.

Raider

December 12th, 2010
8:35 pm

FIRE and GO UG, please don’t think for a second that I am bashing ELCA at all in any way. Just stating my case before the jury, lol. But UG, I could argue your two points by saying that ELCA didn’t hold the Clinch offense to nearly the rushing yards that SCPS did and that if SCPS had one more break (not fumbling after the field goal) it would have been a different game. Again, not at all a swipe at ELCA, just a good debate. You say po-TA-to, I say po-Tah-to. We’re all No. 2 because there can only be one No. 1, and the Panthers are a very deserving champion.

Douglas Patterson

December 12th, 2010
8:59 pm

Interesting and ??? that you put the runnerup in the championship game 2nd in all categories except the A classification. Why Eagles Landing before the runnerup Savannah Christian? Pehaps because it’s an Atlanta area school?

Chan

December 12th, 2010
9:04 pm

Just because Marist chooses to play in AAAA, doesn’t mean anything. Buford would roll over Marist by a minimum of two touchdowns. I’m being kind to Marist. Buford has better players and that’s the bottom line.

GO UG!

December 12th, 2010
9:08 pm

Raider, good post you had me laughing. I think we can all agree that Clinch, Savanna Christian and ELCA are THREE GOOD TEAMS!
Cmon Doug, it has nothing to do with ELCA being 30 miles south of Atlanta, they are a strong team. Do you know how many yards that there sophmore running back gained on Clinch? I think even you would be impressed.

SickandTired

December 12th, 2010
9:10 pm

I have a hard time understanding how you’d leave South Gwinnett out of the top 10. Their losses were to Lowndes, State Champion Brookwood and quarterfinalist Mill Creek. Plus you have a MLK team that they beat at 10. I’ll hang up and listen.

SickandTired

December 12th, 2010
9:11 pm

South Gwinnett also beat Grayson.

GO UG!

December 12th, 2010
9:12 pm

Douglas, again ELCA had Clinch beat in the final two minutes of the game at Clinch, 27-26. SC only scored 2 TDs on Clinch. I bet you if Clinch had to pick between ELCA and SC to play a rematch it wouldn’t be ELCA.

JAYBO

December 12th, 2010
9:29 pm

A 8-4 Brunswick 3 spots ahead of an 11-2 Dutchtown in AAAA….are you serious????? You got to be kidding me!!!!!

WHAT??

December 12th, 2010
9:47 pm

You folks are crazy if you think that ELCA should be ranked above SCPS. Now that’s not a slap at ELCA. FIRE, the ELCA stats against Clinch mean nothing and I’m not sure why they are even in the conversation considering they were not playing for the championship. Now, go back and look at how Clinch scored against SCPS. Big plays….the punt return and passes. Turnovers were the key to the game and it gave Clinch a short field. SCPS gave up less that 50 yards rushing. Actually, both teams defenses were good. Clinch was EXTREMELY fast!! Shoulda coulda woulda doesn’t count!!! As good as ELCA was, they were not in the big game and SCPS should be 2nd. They absolutely should have been there and deserved to be!

WHAT??

December 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

UG, did ELCA BEAT Clinch????

WarEagle

December 12th, 2010
10:03 pm

Why is Brunswick (4 losses) ranked and Marist (3 losses, including a 2OT loss to Tucker and a loss by just 3 to state champs Hooch in the playoffs) not?

Brwil6

December 12th, 2010
10:19 pm

Hooch fan here. Agree with WarEagle. Why isn’t Marist ranked in the top 10 ? That was the 2nd toughest game that Hooch played in the 15-0 run.

Thehillisreal

December 12th, 2010
10:23 pm

Grady should be ranked 4th. They collasped against peach county.

GHSF Daily

December 12th, 2010
11:01 pm

”Why is Brunswick (4 losses) ranked and Marist (3 losses, including a 2OT loss to Tucker and a loss by just 3 to state champs Hooch in the playoffs) not?”

Marist’s best win is over SWD, a team that lost handily in the first round. Brunswick’s best win is over Ware County, a team that made the QF. Brunswick also beat Coffee, a team probably on par w/ SWD, if not better.

Marist lost to a non-playoff team, Dunwoody, 20-0. Brunswick’s worst loss was to Statesboro, which made the semifinals.

If close matters, which it does to some degree, then, yes, Marist played Tucker & Chattahoochee close, but Marist also played Lakeside close, needing overtime to beat a team that finished 2-8. Brunswick went overtime with Valdosta (#6 in AAAAA) and overtime with Statesboro (#4 in AAAA).

”Hooch fan here. Agree with WarEagle. Why isn’t Marist ranked in the top 10 ? That was the 2nd toughest game that Hooch played in the 15-0 run.”

The problem is that Marist didn’t play that like often enough.

WHAT??

December 12th, 2010
11:05 pm

And, honestly, these “rankings” mean nothing especially to the GHSA.

B-TownWolves5Peat

December 12th, 2010
11:09 pm

If your not ranked #1……… who really cares, 2-10 who remembers you?