Some have asked why Valdosta can be ranked nationally in one poll, yet remain unranked in its own state by three human polls, including the AJC’s.
The answer is that Valdosta lost a ton of key players and wasn’t ranked in preseason. Then when
the ‘Cats beat Lincoln, a team that had been ranked nationally, that probably factored in the mind of the national pollster, but in Georgia, there were already teams ahead of Valdosta that hadn’t done anything ‘wrong’ to get replaced.
Further, I’d offer that very little separates No. 3 and No. 11 in the AAAAA state rankings. It’s just one of them deals, as they say in racin’.
Point of all this is this is – We’re fixin’ to find out how some people stand in this state’s highest class, with Valdosta, M.L. King, Walton and Lassiter chief among them.
Five things I’m eager to find out this weekend -
1 – How good are MLK and Valdosta? MLK travels to Valdosta on Friday. MLK is ranked largely because of its strong returning core from last season and the addition of RB JoMonde Hunter and DL Kenderius Whitehead. Can the Lions validate their ranking? Or can Valdosta prove it should’ve been ranked all along.
2 – Who will win the Super Bowl of East Cobb? That’s what Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo has called this week’s Walton-Lassiter game, which matches unbeaten teams from Region 5-AAAAA. Walton is the ranked team. We’ll find out which teams belongs in the Top 10. The team’s marquee players – Walton RB Tyren Jones and Lassiter QB Eddie Printz – are pals from their days of playing rec ball in the fourth grade with the East Cobb Vikings.
3 – Is East Coweta Top 10 material? Another unbeaten but unranked team is East Coweta, which hasn’t played the schedule to get the respect it wants. Newton (3-1), EC’s opponent Friday, is the best team East Coweta will have seen so far.
4 – Who will take charge of Region 6? West Forsyth (5-0) travels to Alpharetta (4-1) in a game between the only Region 6 teams with more than one victory. The winner is in the driver’s seat to win what would be either’s first region title ever. WF opened in 2007, Alpharetta in 2004.
5 – Who is the No. 4 seed in Region 1? It’s assumed that Valdosta, Colquitt County and Lowndes are the top three in this season. Coffee plays at Tift County, and the winner is probably in the playoffs in this storied five-team region. The loser is probably done.