Projecting the playoff field: Pairings reveal intriguing early games

It’s never too early to speculate on state playoff pairings. Yes, Sept. 2 is stretching it. Most teams haven’t played a region game. But the GHSA long ago released the playoff pairings, showing which regions go head-to-head in the first round. The pairings change each year. Some fans don’t pay attention to that until they’re stuck playing Lovett in the first round. You call that a fourth seed? Really?

Below, we project the first-round matchups in each class. Some highlights:

*The winner of Region 2-AAAAA (we’re picking Stephenson) wouldn’t play a currently ranked team until the semifinals. No. 1 Lowndes also could have a sweet draw – if it can win Region 1.

*No. 1 Tucker, No. 2 Northside and No. 3 Statesboro will be in the same half of the Class AAAA draw if they win their regions.

*In AAA, Sandy Creek would have no ranked teams in its quarter if it wins its region.

*No. 3 Carver of Columbus projects to face Region 6’s No. 4 seed in the first round. We think it will be Lovett, but if not, GAC or Westminster is no walk in the park. Region 1 (Cook, Fitzgerald, etc.) could be favored to sweep Region 2 (Tattnall County is the defending champ).

-In A, expect blockbuster second-round matchups between Region 5 (No. 2 ELCA and No. 7 Wesleyan) and Region 3 (No. 1 Savannah Christian and No. 4 ECI). Only two will make the quarterfinals.

Class AAAAA

(R3 #1) Camden County vs. (R4 #4) South Cobb

(R5 #2) Lassiter vs. (R6 #3) North Forsyth

(R7 #1) North Gwinnett vs. (R8 #4) Dacula

(R1 #2) Colquitt County vs. (R2 #3) Newnan

(R8 #1) Grayson vs. (R7 #4) Peachtree Ridge

(R2 #2) M.L. King vs. (R1 #3) Valdosta

(R4 #1) McEachern vs. (R3 #4) Windsor Forest

(R6 #2) Alpharetta vs. (R5 #3) Etowah

(R6 #1) Roswell vs. (R5 #4) Woodstock

(R4 #2) Hillgrove vs. (R3 #3) Bradwell Institute

(R2 #1) Stephenson vs. (R1 #4) Coffee

(R7 #2) Norcross vs. (R8 #3) Central Gwinnett

(R1 #1) Lowndes vs. (R2 #4) East Coweta

(R8 #2) Brookwood vs. (R7 #3) Collins Hill

(R5 #1) Walton vs. (R6 #4) Centennial

(R3 #2) Jenkins vs. (R4 #3) Harrison

Class AAAA

(R3 #1) Starr’s Mill vs. (R4 #4) Lovejoy

(R5 #2) Kell vs. (R6 #3) Southwest DeKalb

(R7 #1) Lambert vs. (R8 #4) Heritage (Conyers)

(R1 #2) Thomas County Central vs. (R2 #3) Brunswick

(R8 #1) Flowery Branch vs. (R7 #4) Creekview

(R2 #2) Ware County vs. (R1 #3) Warner Robins

(R4 #1) Creekside vs. (R3 #4) Northgate

(R6 #2) Marist vs. (R5 #3) Hiram

(R6 #1) Tucker vs. (R5 #4) Pope

(R4 #2) Banneker vs. (R3 #3) Whitewater

(R2 #1) Statesboro vs. (R1 #4) Lee County

(R7 #2) Chattahoochee vs. (R8 #3) Loganville

(R1 #1) Northside (Warner Robins) vs. (R2 #4) Glynn Academy

(R8 #2) Clarke Central vs. (R7 #3) Johns Creek

(R5 #1) East Paulding vs. (R6 #4) Mays

(R3 #2) Griffin vs. (R4 #3) North Clayton

Class AAA

(R3 #1) Burke County vs. (R4 #4) Stockbridge

(R5 #2) Cedar Grove vs. (R6 #3) Troup

(R7 #1) Allatoona vs. (R8 #4) White County

(R1 #2) Americus-Sumter vs. (R2 #3) Mary Persons

(R8 #1) Gainesville vs. (R7 #4) Cartersville

(R2 #2) Baldwin vs. (R1 #3) Worth County

(R4 #1) Sandy Creek vs. (R3 #4) Grovetown

(R6 #2) LaGrange vs. (R5 #3) Stone Mountain

(R6 #1) Carrollton vs. (R5 #4) Grady

(R4 #2) Eastside vs. (R3 #3) Washington County

(R2 #1) Peach County vs. (R1 #4) Crisp County

(R7 #2) Dalton vs. (R8 #3) Stephens County

(R1 #1) Cairo vs. (R2 #4) Westside (Macon)

(R8 #2) North Hall vs. (R7 #3) Ridgeland

(R5 #1) St. Pius vs. (R6 #4) Shaw

(R3 #2) Thomson vs. (R4 #3) Henry County

Class AA

(R3 #1) Dublin vs. (R4 #4) Morgan County

(R5 #2) Callaway vs. (R6 #3) GAC

(R7 #1) Calhoun vs. (R8 #4) North Oconee

(R1 #2) Fitzgerald vs. (R2 #3) Tattnall County

(R8 #1) Elbert County vs. (R7 #4) Dade County

(R2 #2) McIntosh County Academy vs. (R1 #3) Thomasville

(R4 #1) Putnam County vs. (R3 #4) Laney

(R6 #2) Westminster vs. (R5 #3) Heard County

(R6 #1) Buford vs. (R5 #4) Manchester

(R4 #2) Southwest vs. (R3 #3) Jefferson County

(R2 #1) Vidalia vs. (R1 #4) Brooks County

(R7 #2) Pepperell vs. (R8 #3) Hart County

(R1 #1) Cook vs. (R2 #4) Appling County

(R8 #2) Fannin County vs. (R7 #3) Rockmart

(R5 #1) Carver (Columbus) vs. (R6 #4) Lovett

(R3 #2) Swainsboro vs. (R4 #3) Lamar County

Class A

(R3 #1) ECI vs. (R4 #4) Dooly County

(R5 #2) Wesleyan vs. (R6 #3) Bowdon

(R7 #1) Wilkinson County vs. (R8 #4) Prince Avenue Christian

(R1 #2) Miller County vs. (R2 #3) Charlton County

(R8 #1) Athens Academy vs. (R7 #4) Aquinas

(R2 #2) Wilcox County vs. (R1 #3) Mitchell County

(R4 #1) Brookstone vs. (R3 #4) Johnson County

(R6 #2) Bremen vs. (R5 #3) Landmark Christian

(R6 #1) Darlington vs. (R5 #4) Whitefield Academy

(R4 #2) Marion County vs. (R3 #3) Savannah Country Day

(R2 #1) Clinch County vs. (R1 #4) Terrell County

(R7 #2) Lincoln County vs. (R8 #3) Commerce

(R1 #1) Seminole County vs. (R2 #4) Turner County

(R8 #2) George Walton Academy vs. (R7 #3) Washington-Wilkes

(R5 #1) ELCA vs. (R6 #4) Trion

(R3 #2) Savannah Christian vs. (R4 #3) Greenville

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24 comments Add your comment

The Cannon Rules!!!

September 2nd, 2011
6:54 am

FIRST!!!

(R5 #1) East Paulding vs. (R6 #4) Mays

WOW!!!…If this was to happen the MAYS folks would FREAK OUT have to come again to
“THE BONEYARD” to face the RAIDERS…they still haven’t got over the LAST TIME they paid a visit here…while interesting there is a LOT of football to play between now and then!

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

GO RAIDERS!!!!

Tiger4Life

September 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

Wow, I would love to see that match-up early in the playoffs. I see Region 6AAAA going 4-0 in the first round.

AVikingFan

September 2nd, 2011
10:40 am

Mannnn. A lot of work went into those predictions this early in the season! Great job GHSF Daily!

I think GHSF Daily has Lowndes’ 1st round county correct but the team might be different. Newnan could well be making a return trip to the Concrete Palace to play Region 1’s 2nd place Vikings. Colquitt’s fans say they are loaded and are ready to take 1st place this year, when the region games start. We should have a war with them in their Hog Pen this year. Newnan, in last year’s playoffs, appeared to have a good team coming back this year. They may even challenge for 1st place in their region.

Bulldawg Rick

September 2nd, 2011
12:04 pm

That’s the “Beauty” of HS football…

We all come on here & “smacktalk” about the rankings, etc… But at the end of the “day” (season), it’s all settled on the field!!

Go Wolves!! One for the Thumb!

Records Guy

September 2nd, 2011
12:21 pm

Some interesting results for your playoff teams so far:

(R1 #1) Lowndes 2-0
(R1 #2) Colquitt County 2-0
(R1 #3) Valdosta 1-0
(R1 #4) Coffee 1-1
(R2 #1) Stephenson 1-0
(R2 #2) M.L. King 1-0
(R2 #3) Newnan 1-0
(R2 #4) East Coweta 1-0
(R3 #1) Camden County 1-0
(R3 #2) Jenkins 1-0
(R3 #3) Bradwell Institute 0-1
(R3 #4) Windsor Forest 0-0-1
(R4 #1) McEachern 1-0
(R4 #2) Hillgrove 1-0
(R4 #3) Harrison 0-1
(R4 #4) South Cobb 1-0
(R5 #1) Walton 1-0
(R5 #2) Lassiter 1-0
(R5 #3) Etowah 1-0
(R5 #4) Woodstock 1-0
(R6 #1) Roswell 0-1
(R6 #2) Alpharetta 1-0
(R6 #3) North Forsyth 0-2
(R6 #4) Centennial 1-0
(R7 #1) North Gwinnett 1-1
(R7 #2) Norcross 1-0
(R7 #3) Collins Hill 1-0
(R7 #4) Peachtree Ridge 0-1
(R8 #1) Grayson 2-0
(R8 #2) Brookwood 0-1
(R8 #3) Central Gwinnett 1-0
(R8 #4) Dacula 0-2

swatguy

September 2nd, 2011
12:23 pm

Mays would welcome a playoff game versus East Paulding. Fact was East Paulding did defeat Mays last they played. Mays was without 4 starters (a D1 WR and D1 LB), as well as others. Without because a few gutless Newton Co. players began fighting in the previous playoff game. I was there. Several Newton Co. players assualted a player on there sideline, Mays players rescued and defended. GHSA disregarded the facts and suspended 8 or so players. Shameful.
So, Mays will not be fearful, far from that.

swatguy

September 2nd, 2011
12:24 pm

Their sideline

Bluecrewfan

September 2nd, 2011
1:04 pm

I sure hope you’re wrong about the region 1 seeding. Hopefully, Tift County can squeeze into one of those 4 playoff spots in region 1-AAAAA. Based on their performance over the past two years, I understand why you wouldn’t pick them for one of the spots, but I wouldn’t count them out just yet this year.

HeadEast

September 2nd, 2011
2:06 pm

Okay it was a 21-3 shellacking but you can’t go back to 2007 to project what would happen this year. Mays might not even make the playoffs, don’t they have to get by Marist and Tucker and Carver? Of course they managed to duck SW dekalb so they’ll probably squeak in.
Menwhile Pau;lding county will take a whipping in the Boneyard tonight. I think th eifnal will be 56-2.

THEHILLISREAL

September 2nd, 2011
2:25 pm

That 1st round matchup for Mays would be great, so we could shut CANNON RULE. But,
highly (Pick a adjective: Improbable, Farfetched, Implausible, Remote, Unlikely) seeing that East Paluding (counterfeit Raiders) have only once in there 20 year history back to back winning season… history isn’t on there side. TICK! TICK! …..ssssssssssssssssss…. Oh, Well the cannon fizzle out.

If your not a B.E.Mays Raider you must be a HATER!

Tiger4Life

September 2nd, 2011
3:01 pm

@THEHILLISREAL

LOL, I’m gonna pick “implausible”

I like the “If your not a B.E.Mays Raider you must be a HATER!”, I really hope thats the match-up, 10 more weeks and we’ll findout.

But as everyone knows (*=*) We Are TUCKER (*=*)

rwdekalb

September 2nd, 2011
3:20 pm

Hey “Tiger4Life” the Tucker secondary better be ready tonight. I am sure Marist will try and loosen up that Tucker defense with some well thought out pass plays. I hope this game is as good as some of the other meetings between these two teams.

rwdekalb

September 2nd, 2011
3:22 pm

Come on Mays. You guys and Grady seem to be the best city of Atlanta teams. So represent well.

RealisticEPFan

September 2nd, 2011
3:32 pm

@thehill

East Paulding has had a winning record each of the past 5 years and been in the playoffs 4 of the 5

2006, 12-2, Semis AAAA
2007, 12-1, Qtrs AAAA
2008, 9-3, 2nd Rnd, AAAAA
2009, 6-4, AAAAA
2010, 10-3, Qtrs AAAA

Predicting playoff matchups this early on has even less value then the top 10 rankings. The past is the past and should EP make the playoffs they will be a tough pop for anyone.

Personally, all respect to Kell as the defending region champs until proven otherwise on the field.

Tiger4Life

September 2nd, 2011
4:09 pm

@rwdekalb

yeah, I know. Our secondary will be challenged with play action and trick plays, hopefully they will be ready.

tiftcountybluedevil

September 2nd, 2011
4:22 pm

i think tifton will be in the playoffs coffee wont

Tell The Truth

September 2nd, 2011
5:21 pm

AJC I guess we all know who your pick is for that Stone Mountain vs. Cedar Grove game in 2 weeks then. How bout you make The Pirates a 14 point underdog again and see what they do this time. SMH needs to get ready for them Washington Bulldogs though this week. They are physical and athletic. Let’s GO 3-0!!!!!!

green&white fight fight fight

September 2nd, 2011
5:46 pm

Sounds good for the eastside eagles. Let’s bring the region home on our way to the dome!!!!

RAIDER FAN

September 2nd, 2011
6:20 pm

@the hill
I really think you should check your facts on something before you comment on it otherwise people will know you don’t have a clue. WAIT! TOO LATE. But there is a long way to go before the afore mentioned predictions will begin to pan out. I think we’ll just start with Paulding Co. tonight and let the season play itself out. GOOOO (REAL) RAIDERS!!!!!

RAIDER FAN

September 2nd, 2011
6:22 pm

Oh! I do like the fact that they show us as R5 #1

RAIDER FAN

September 2nd, 2011
10:58 pm

Looks like the P.C. fans will have to listen to the radio really loud on the way home after being deafend by the cannon (7 times) tonight. Next up, Douglas co. Can someone trailer the cannon to the game next week?

THE "CANNON RULES"...

September 14th, 2011
10:20 am

@ swatguy…

You MAYS supporters make it WAY too easy!!!…
You STILL want to cry about having players missing (suspended) from the games you LOST!!! The MAYS team THAT year tried to play “THUG BALL” ALL year…I remember post from MARIST folks, from TUCKER folks, and others ALL YEAR about how the MAYS players taunted and took cheap shots…The NEWNAN game you speak of was NOT the first game where MAYS had players thrown out of the game for fighting!!!

If MAYS showed up at “THE BONEYARD” for a playoff game short players who were suspended…it was by their OWN actions and I lay that dead on the coach’s, they should have stopped that the FIRST time it happened…it’s called discipline!!!

Hopefully…they learned from the experience and don’t let it happen again!

@ THEHILLISREAL…

Going into week 4 the EAST RAIDERS are 3 / 0 having scored 127 points over these 3 games while allowing a VERY stingy 15 points!!! Sounds like “THE CANNON” has a lot more SIZZLE than fizzle to me!

A GREAT game this week at “THE BONEYARD” against a talented and LOADED KELL team!!! This game is going to go a long way in determining who wants the region championship the worst!

But Win or Lose you want be shutting up “CANNON RULES”…

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

GO RAIDERS!!!!

Football Fan

September 14th, 2011
4:05 pm

@THE “CANNON RULES” going into week 4 Mays is 3-0 having scored 130 points over these 3 games while allowing a VERY stingy 6 points!!!

The "CANNON RULES"!!!!

September 15th, 2011
8:57 am

@ Football Fan…

Nice Stat…BUT you fail to mention that this record was against teams with a combined record of 1 / 8!!

Let’s see where they are 3 weeks down the road as they next face Miller Grove, Lithonia, & Tucker with combined records of 8 / 1!!!

and before you go there EAST has ALSO faced the weaker part of it’s schedule having faced 3 teams with combined records of 2 / 7 and facing the next 3 weeks against teams that are a combined 5 / 4 to date!

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

GO RAIDERS!!!!…EAST PAULDING RAIDERS!!!!