Poll Talk: Colquitt County back at No. 1

North Gwinnett’s eight-week reign as the No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA is over.

Colquitt County, which spent a week at the top in August, is back in front in a season in which only one undefeated team remains in the highest classification.

That would be Archer, 9-0 and the winner of its first-ever region champion. Archer, ranked No. 4 this week, has not played a team with a current winning record.

Colquitt County (7-1) is undefeated in Georgia, as its loss came to Hoover, a nationally ranked team that is No. 1 in Alabama’s highest class, on Aug. 30. Colquitt defeated Valdosta 17-10 last week.

Collins Hill moved to No. 6 after the 53-25 victory over previously unbeaten North Gwinnett, which fell to No. 3. Collins Hill, North Gwinnett and defending state champion Norcross, ranked No. 5, each have only one Region 7-AAAAAA loss. If they remain tied, a three-way coin flip would determine the No. 1 seed.

(The real loser in the Collins Hill-North Gwinnett game was Mill Creek. The Hawks effectively are eliminated from playoff contention. They previously would’ve been able to beat Collins Hill in the final game and qualify. Remember that Mill Creek lost only 50-47 to North in a wild finish earlier this month. Meanwhile, another team that is smiling is Norcross, which now has the best chance of getting the No. 1 seed. Norcross has no hard games left and is the most likely to win out.)

Moving into the Top 10 this week are Hughes for Peachtree Ridge in AAAAAA, Woodward Academy for North Oconee in AAA and Mount Pisgah Christian and Darlington for Mount Paran Christian and Emanuel County Institute in A.

Mount Pisgah (8-0) is ranked for the first time by the AJC since joining the GHSA in 2006.

The top game statewide this week matches No. 1 Sandy Creek against No. 2 Carrollton in a Region 5-AAAA.


1. (2) Colquitt County (7-1)

2. (3) Lovejoy (8-1)

3. (1) North Gwinnett (7-1)

4. (5) Archer (9-0)

5. (6) Norcross (7-2)

6. (9) Collins Hill (7-1)

7. (4) Camden County (7-1)

8. (7) North Cobb (7-1)

9. (8) McEachern (7-1)

10. (NR) Hughes (7-1)


1. (1) Tucker (8-0)

2. (2) Northside-Warner Robins (8-0)

3. (3) Kell (8-0)

4. (4) Stephenson (7-1)

5. (5) Gainesville (7-1)

6. (6) Thomas County Central (8-1)

7. (7) Creekside (9-0)

8. (8) Ware County (7-1)

9. (9) Allatoona (7-1)

10. (10) North Paulding (7-1)

Class AAAA

1. (1) Sandy Creek (7-0-1)

2. (2) Carrollton (8-0)

3. (3) Griffin (8-0)

4. (4) Monroe Area (8-0)

5. (5) Statesboro (8-0)

6. (6) Mary Persons (8-0)

7. (7) Cedartown (8-0)

8. (8) Marist (6-2)

9. (9) Burke County (5-2)

10. (10) Wayne County (7-1)

Class AAA

1. (1) Buford (8-0)

2. (2) Cartersville (8-0)

3. (3) Washington County (8-0)

4. (4) Carver-Columbus (7-1)

5. (7) Callaway (7-1)

6. (9) Elbert County (6-2)

7. (5) Hart County (7-1)

8. (NR) Woodward Academy (7-2)

9. (8) Appling County (7-2)

10. (6) St. Pius (6-2)

Class AA

1. (1) Lamar County (8-0)

2. (2) Lovett (7-1)

3. (3) Greater Atlanta Christian (8-0)

4. (4) Washington-Wilkes (8-0)

5. (5) Calhoun (7-1)

6. (6) Benedictine (8-0)

7. (7) Brooks County (8-1)

8. (8) Bowdon (9-0)

9. (9) Jefferson (6-2)

10. (10) Vidalia (7-1)

Class A

1. (1) Eagle’s Landing Christian (7-0)

2. (2) Aquinas (8-0)

3. (3) Seminole County (8-0)

4. (5) Johnson County (8-0)

5. (6) Marion County (8-0)

6. (4) Landmark Christian (8-0)

7. (10) Clinch County (5-3)

8. (NR) Mount Pisgah Christian (8-0)

9. (7) Prince Avenue Christian (7-1)

10. (NR) Darlington (7-1)

234 comments Add your comment

Swamp Lizard

October 27th, 2013
1:29 pm

@ Todd …. I owe you and all Johnson Co fans an apology ….. I doubted them, the teams they had played, and thought ECI would run all over them. Big win that validates them as a Top 5 team in Class A. Congrats!

Camden 79

October 27th, 2013
1:43 pm



October 27th, 2013
1:43 pm

Camden dropped from 4 to 7? I guess having to come from behind to edge Brunswick does question how good the Cats are. We will find out Friday night when they play Lowndes. I am glad the Packers are back at number 1.

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
2:51 pm

Yeah, I guess the Camden thing requires an explanation. …

Camden didn’t drop 3 places because of the Brunswick game. It dropped mainly because North Gwinnett lost badly, which caused a re-evaluation of the entire Top 10.

So as far as the rankings go, it’s more costly to have lost to North Gwinnett by 20 than it used to be.

So let’s look at Camden’s body of work –

- Lost by 20 to the #3 team.
- Won by 4 against a borderline Top 10 team (Valdosta)
- Won by 13, 6 and 7 against borderline Top 20 teams (Tift, Brunswick, Coffee)

Isn’t that how you’d expect at No. 7 team to perform?

Let’s put it another way –

Norcross, North Gwinnett, Collins Hill are 1-1 against each other. Each has beaten two teams that I would put in the top 12 (which would include Peachtree Ridge).

Camden played one of those teams and lost by 20. Camden has one team that I’d put in the top 12 (Valdosta).

Those teams have better resumes than Camden to this point, IMO. If Camden smashes Lowndes, then it might look different.

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
2:53 pm

As far as bias, we had four Region 1-AAAAAA teams ranked in the Top 10 one week. Five of the seven have been ranked at one point or another. Sounds more like South Georgia bias than the other way around.

Team Tigerblood

October 27th, 2013
3:34 pm

Someone from NG payin AJC. How they loose Sphire and the game in that fashion and only drop two spots???

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
3:42 pm

Losing Sphire is not relevant in the rankings except perhaps to mitigate the loss. North Gwinnett led 25-24 in the third quarter and didn’t have its QB from there (actually from a bit earlier). How the teams might do from here out is not taken into consideration. It’s what you’ve done, not what you’re going to do, that counts.

If you want to give more weight to how a team is doing lately, versus earlier in the season, that’s fine. That’s a question of ranking philosophy. But as far as I’m concerned, the season started Aug. 23, and NG has blown out Norcross and blown out Camden. How many other teams have two wins that impressive?


October 27th, 2013
3:59 pm

Like I’ve been saying tucker is the best team in ga period

Team Tigerblood

October 27th, 2013
4:09 pm

Touché. I got you. How is the process at AJC? Does a panel meet or something?


October 27th, 2013
4:14 pm

Lowndes has won four Region 1-AAAAAA and still can’t get any respect. On the other hand, Valdosta has lost three games to Region 1 foes, albeit by a total of 7 points, On THE ROAD, and Todd says he still considers the Cats a Top 12 team. Now that’s respect!


October 27th, 2013
4:20 pm

@57Cat – Lowndes squeaked by Valdosta, was blown out by Colquitt and has yet to play Camden, so Valdosta is justified to still be ahead of Lowndes. They had all of the easier opponents first unlike Valdosta, who started region play on the road @ Camden.

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
4:24 pm

As far as Lowndes/Valdosta, I’m not sure where they rank. My point w/ Valdosta was to discuss where to rank Camden. Fwiw, Maxwell (computer) ranks Valdosta #11 and Lowndes #12. Peachtree Ridge is #10. Archer is #13. :)

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
4:26 pm

Team Tiger – I do the rankings. Input comes from several people who cover AJC games. But the AJC rankings have never been a vote. Been one person selecting them since 1952.

Just saying

October 27th, 2013
4:32 pm

Todd your explanation makes no sense in regards to why Camden went from 4 to 7. Lovejoy has not beat a top ten team, nor have they beat a top 20 team or played a top 20 team. They lost to the only ranked team in 6 A they have played, which is Colquitt. Yet they are the number 2 team behind the team that beat them. What is the logic in that?


October 27th, 2013
4:33 pm

Congrats to Hughes for their top 10 ranking. I think this is a first for their school in football and it is well earned.


October 27th, 2013
4:46 pm

Todd I’m from N. Fla, follow Ga football, grew up in South Ga, Ware Co. I think you explanations were on the mark. Region 1-AAAAAA is tough but Camden didn’t blow out Coffee, Tift or Brunswick. I follow all the state teams closely and time will tell, but I think your rankings are spot on.


October 27th, 2013
4:50 pm

@jvillebil – Where have you been, guy? We used to see you pretty regularly on the blogs, but this is your first in while. Good to see you again.

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
4:56 pm

Just saying –

Tthe difference between No. 2 and No. 7 is minimal. I think all agree that Colquitt deserves to be #1 right now. After that, it’s like saying you’re 7th in the league in hitting at .325 and the second-place guy is .331. It’s a logjam. It wouldn’t take much to argue yourself from No. 7 to No. 2 and vice-versa.

That said, Lovejoy has played a Top 20 team, according to the unbiased Maxwell Ratings. Alpharetta is No. 16, ahead of Tift and Coffee.

Also, Lovejoy’s only defeat is a 4-point loss to the #1-ranked team. Lovejoy had a first-and-goal in the final seconds. Lovejoy was one play from beating the top team and is undefeated otherwise. Camden was not in the game, so it would take a lot more imagination to get them to 8-0. Lovejoy also gets a lot of benefit-of-the-doubt points for its success last season. Camden also got that benefit of the doubt – until North Gwinnett got trounced. If Colquitt gets trounced, Lovejoy will lose its equity the same way.

HSFB Follower

October 27th, 2013
5:04 pm

I don’t know about this. I get the explanation on Camden but I’m just not too sure they should have fell out of the Top 5. If anything we have grown accustom to Camden County blowing out teams and now they are not however they are winning, finding ways to win close games-something they failed to do in previous years, their defense is hawking for sure and as a team have improved from the NG game which was their first game under a new coach. The bottom of region 1 is a lot better than I think some realize. Archer at four is very suspect as is all of Region 8 so I don’t think they should have jumped Camden. Region 7 is another ball of wax for sure especially with NG falling and how Collins Hill is looking. All in all it’s all going to shake out but we love chatting it up don’t we!

Lovejoy is a solid No.2 and they are coming on very strong with many on the defense back and they re scoring in every facet of the game every week. Very dangerous football team for sure. Don’t get too caught up in their schedule, we know they are in a weak region yet they are handling their business and learned from the Colquitt loss.

In 5A I know Kell won but Stephenson should have jumped them but then again do we really trust Stephenson?

Oh it’s getting good!


October 27th, 2013
5:11 pm

I think Todd’s explanation of the Camden ranking is spot on. It’s not rocket science. lol


Gwinnett Fan

October 27th, 2013
5:12 pm

Mill Creek not making the playoffs is a shame. They are a very good team. Might be time for Georgia to consider power rankings. It would solve this problem and eliminate the region brackets which have not been ideal for years.

North is in trouble if Sphire can not get healthy and if the defense does not start to figure a few things out.

Gwinnett Fan

October 27th, 2013
5:14 pm

They use the power rankings in single A might be time to consider in other classifications.

Todd, can you give use a current preview of this system for AAAAAA?

Titletown USA

October 27th, 2013
5:20 pm

I notice that most of the criticism about rankings come from a tunnel view perspective of fans from one particular team (thus a singular point of view). However, when you step back and take a collective and comprehensive analysis, I think they make perfect sense. Especially when you consider that they are just talking points and food for thought and do not carry weight like the BCS polls.

Every team can make valid arguments for higher ranking and lower ranking of other teams, but what is most important Is putting all those ideas into one collective field of data.

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
5:31 pm

”They use the power rankings in single A might be time to consider in other classifications. Todd, can you give use a current preview of this system for AAAAAA?”

It would take some hours of work to apply the GHSA points system to Class AAAAAA.

But if you used the Maxwell Ratings (computer), then all seven Region 1 teams would make it, and four would play home games in the first round. Brunswick would be seeded #31. Only Lovejoy would make it in R2.

Teams that would not make it — Rockdale County, Luella, Alcovy, Newnan, South Forsyth, North Forsyth.

Teams that would make it — Tift, Coffee, Brunswick, Harrison, Cherokee, Mill Creek.

Todd Holcomb

October 27th, 2013
5:36 pm

I think you could put Archer anywhere from #1 to #10 and make some argument. They haven’t lost. They haven’t beaten a team with a record better than 4-4. What do you do with that? Just because you win all your games in the regular season doesn’t mean you are a Top 10 team. There’s a special graveyard set aside for the countless Georgia teams that finished 10-1.But just because you don’t play the hardest schedule doesn’t mean you can’t be No. 1.


October 27th, 2013
6:05 pm

the rankings should be how you think the team will finish the season as of the particular weeks rankings. If a team loses a key player then that should come into play especially if that player will not be back. If you feel a team is not the same without a certain player their ranking should be lower until the replacement player plays as good or better. Just my opinion but that is the way the big boys -colleges do it from what I can tell.


October 27th, 2013
6:17 pm

Todd I think you do a great job with the polls, blog and newsletter. Polls are always gonna be debatable. Keep up the good work!

Just a Fan

October 27th, 2013
6:23 pm

Looks like Cedartown might be ranked a little high in AAAA-undefeated but all games so far against poor competetion.


October 27th, 2013
6:39 pm

A Packer Fan’s Opinion!

If Valdosta qualifies for the playoffs, take my word for it, they will be clicking on all cylinders and will be hard to beat. They were the toughest team we played all year. Good D that swarms the ball and covers receivers very well. Two great running backs and a QB with a good arm. Also one of the best coaches in the state.

Hope they keep playing with energy and go into the playoffs expecting to win every week.

Pack has been 3rd or 4th in Region 1 the last few years and made it to the Semi-Finals a few time.

Hang in there Cats! Keep your head up and make a good run!

Cobb Fan

October 27th, 2013
7:22 pm

“But if you used the Maxwell Ratings (computer), then all seven Region 1 teams would make it, and four would play home games in the first round. Brunswick would be seeded #31. Only Lovejoy would make it in R2″.

“Teams that would not make it — Rockdale County, Luella, Alcovy, Newnan, South Forsyth, North Forsyth”.

“Teams that would make it — Tift, Coffee, Brunswick, Harrison, Cherokee, Mill Creek.”

I LIKE THAT SYSTEM A WHOLE LOT MORE. Region One and Gwinnett should not be penalized for having too many good teams. Maybe the new guy at GHSA will take a look at it. And something has got to be done with the “City teams” competing against County teams in the playoffs. regular seaon no problem but come the playoffs you should only compete against teams that follow the same enrollment rules that you do.

bob jones

October 27th, 2013
7:38 pm

what good is the rankings now if you can not win in the playoffs and win state.that is what you are really going for.the final rankings is what really count.


October 27th, 2013
7:57 pm

I think the polls are fun to watch. It’s more fun to watch the blogs. Let’s raise a banner–”we’re #1 (week 9)”


October 27th, 2013
8:07 pm

Why Stockbridge is not ranked with one lost to the #3 team? That honestly they could have beaten.


October 27th, 2013
8:19 pm

Sportsnut– Congrats to Lovejoy on your new pre-season #2 ranking!

Only 20 more days till the start of the Lovejoy football season!


October 27th, 2013
8:22 pm

Bottom line is that if you finish #4 in your region chances of you winning the state are slim to none, just be thankful you make the playoffs. If you go back and look at all the teams sitting in the #4 slot or lower in their state their regions, you have Grayson at number 4 currently and Walton at number 5 in their regions. Two years ago they played for the state championship. Region 1-AAAAAA throws everything into a debate, because the only school that could possibly eventually go to AAAAAA in South Ga is Ware County. In the past 10 years they have played both Lowndes and Valdosta in their schedule beating Lowndes only once and Valdosta twice but quit playing them both 2 years ago because all it did was get their players beat up before region and add a couple of losses on the record. Bottom line is that if Coffee, Tift and Brunswick want to make it to the big dance they’re going to have to step up their program and bump somebody.


October 27th, 2013
8:25 pm

There is bias in any poll . if you are not good enough to be in the top four in your region, then I just don’t think you have a lot to complain about. No doubt some teams will not get into the playoffs that are better then some that will. Any other method will always be subjective. With the current system you know you have to be in the top four in your region.


October 27th, 2013
8:28 pm

@57Cat, I got transfered to the Orlando area and working a ton of hours. Just got back to the Jacksonville area. I make it on line once in a while on the Friday night chat. I try to catch the TV game, find the online radio for Valdosta, Colquitt or one of the other 1-AAAAA good games and then have a friend that gives me live updates on Ware and Pierce. I go a couple of Ware games and big games in South Ga if I make it in time. Plan on being at the Camden/Colquitt game.

Old Bear

October 27th, 2013
8:53 pm

@ ShsTiger – I’m not sure if you watched the same Griffin/Stockbridge game that everyone else saw. We saw the one where your team was held under 100 total yards, while Griffin rolled up almost 500 while winning going away, where kickoff returns (one a TD and another long return that set up the other TD) were the only real offense that Stockbridge could generate, where the Stockbridge defense was consistently one step behind the Griffin offense all night long.

You’re right (in a way, I guess). Stockbridge COULD have beaten Griffin. Anything COULD have happened. But the chances of Stockbridge winning that game were slim to none after the first quarter.


October 27th, 2013
8:58 pm

Lots of crying today. Why?

Old Bear

October 27th, 2013
8:59 pm

BTW, I do think that Stockbridge should be ranked. They’re as good as Burke Co. or Wayne Co., and possibly Marist, too.

Old Bear

October 27th, 2013
9:00 pm

@ Sportsnut – Congrats on the #2 ranking. Good to see Lovejoy that high in the poll. Good luck in the playoffs.

Camden 79

October 27th, 2013
9:23 pm



October 27th, 2013
9:39 pm

Don’t count North Cobb out……….

No doubt

October 27th, 2013
9:51 pm

Norcross will win it all. Smoked Colquitt in their scrimmage (yes I know it was a scrimmage but you play to win, this is not the NFL). Propst was calling timeouts at the end of the third trying to score before the JV fourth quarter. That is all.


October 27th, 2013
10:22 pm

@ Old Bear == Thanks. The kids are just playing football. To think, Lovejoy at the end of Clayton and Griffin at the beginning of Spalding, doing their thing. I am hoping both can have a nice long run and we get a chance to talk in the Dome. You know Mundy’s Mill has taken 1st in their region. Same as last year. 0-4 out the blocks and come on at the end. They just need to take the next step.

Suwanee 0wns

October 28th, 2013
1:43 am

Thank you for preparing the rankings, Mr. Holcomb. This week in particular was very difficult.

Colquitt is the clear Number 1 so that was easy.

Everything else is very hard to figure. If we look no further than Region 7, one could make an argument for any of those 3 teams as the division leaader. North seems to be waning, Norcross is waxing, and Collins Hill has put together a consistent strong season with the exception of 1 game against Norcross. Pehpas, the most accurate method to rank those 3 teams would be to ask the Lovejoy coach which team he most wants to play in the quarterfinals.

I think we should all be glad there is a decent playoff system in Georgia so that the teams can resolve it on the field rather than basing the worth of a season on coaches, sportswriters, or computers.

It might make some sense to base entry to the playoffs upon computer rankings. That would avoid leaving out strong teams like Mill Creek, Cofee, or Tift. But even if the current system is flawed, we can safely assume that the eventual best team in the state was among the top 4 teams in their own region. The current system will yield a deserving undisputed champion.

I really do think Mr. Holcomb had an impossible task this week. Personally, I would rate North lower and Camden and Norcross higher. But those are nuances that can really only be proven on the field. The Cobb teams could easily be higher, but we will not know until the playoffs. Nobody has mentioned it, but I think Mr. Holcomb did a good job by ranking Langston Hughes this week. Hughes is still a bit of an unknown, but they have played strong games all season, and their close loss to Creekside establishes them as a respectable team. They could very well go deep in the playoffs – and it would look foolish if they were never ranked.

I also wonder whether there may be a Region 6 team that will do well in the playoffs, especially considering they may be facing relatively weak Region 8 teams in the first round. We just do not know at this point.

The playoffs this year will be very exciting, and probably full of surprises. I think this year’s playoffs will be Georgia High School Football at its best.

Old Bear

October 28th, 2013
1:58 am

@ Sportsnut – If we both make it that far we’ll definitely have to try and meet up. Griffin has the talent to do some damage, but they’ve had it before and got tripped up (sometimes stomped) in the playoffs.

And yes, it’s good to see a revival of quality football down here on the south side. I saw where Mundy’s Mill has come on strong, too. I’d also like to see Lamar Co. make it in AA. They’re our neighbor down here, and the only really good small school in our area. They have the coaching and the seniors to make some noise this year.

Good luck to you guys. I’d love it if we had a south Atlanta school represent in the Dome in every classification possible.

Old Bear

October 28th, 2013
2:22 am

@ Suwanee 0wns – I don’t have any problems with the rankings. In 6A, it’s a big jumble of teams after Colquitt. As Todd commented earlier (more or less), any of the next 6 or so schools could be pulled from a hat and listed accordingly. And I believe that classification is wide open as far as who could win it.

My main problem is with how Region 4 in Class 4A determines their 4 state playoff entries. They take the top 4 teams from each sub-region and have them play each other in crossover play-in games, with the #1 seed from sub-region facing the #4 seed from the other, #2 vs #3, and so on. An undefeated team faces the very real prospect (since they’ll likely be meeting for the second time in the season) of stubbing their collective toe against a sub-.500 team before they even get a chance to compete in the state playoffs. I’ve never seen the like.

It would make more sense to add another regular season game and take the top 2 seeds from each sub-region to the state playoffs. If the argument is that the sub-regions are too small to allow for that, then the region might want to count crossover games opponents from the sub-region count as region games, much like the SEC does in college football. I just don’t see the wisdom of a region putting their best teams at risk of sitting at home on the basis of one potentially poorly played game. Maybe someone can tell me why the current set-up is a good one.

Old Bear

October 28th, 2013
2:36 am

I butchered that second sentence in the last paragraph. It should read, ” If the argument is that the sub-regions are too small to allow for that, then the region might want to count crossover games AGAINST opponents from the OTHER sub-region count as region games, much like the SEC does in college football.”

I hope that clears it up a little.


October 28th, 2013
8:54 am

Lowndes isn’t looking for respect. Respect won’t even buy you a cup of coffee. Wins will.