Chasing perfection: Tennessee’s 29 remaining undefeated high school football programs

There’s three weeks left in the Tennessee high school football season, but there’s 29 undefeated programs still left. That’s pretty remarkable! Last year, 20 teams finished the season undefeated. The stats expect around 18-19 undefeated programs this season, too. (For the record, no more than 25 can finish undefeated, as eight of the teams play each other before the season ends.) Below, I’ve analyzed each team’s run to date and what they’ve got to do to finish undefeated. Some have it easier than others; some have a tall road ahead of them. Let’s check them out.

Beech

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 7.9-2.1 (4.5-0.5)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.5-0.5 (4.5-0.5)
  • Odds of 10-0: 49.76%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Embracing chaos. By final scores, Beech probably should’ve lost a game by now. They’ve either trailed or been tied in the second half of four of their seven wins, and their two biggest wins came in wild fashion: beating Henry County in Week 2 on a missed field goal and coming back from 17-6 down with three minutes left to beat Hendersonville at the buzzer in Week 4. It’s hard to confidently state Beech is even the best team in 5A-6 (more on that later), but all you have to do is win the games on your schedule, which Beech has done.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Three games remain for Beech, and two of them are projected blowouts (Station Camp in Week 9, Hillwood in Week 11). It’ll all come down to Week 10 versus Gallatin, who’s also undefeated. If Beech wins that, they’ll go 10-0. Pretty simple!

Briarcrest Christian

  • Record: 7-0 (4-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 5.2-4.8 (2.1-2.9)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.6-0.4 (4.7-0.3)
  • Odds of 10-0: 62.55%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: By being dramatically better than expected. Briarcrest returned 16 starters from an 8-4 team in 2018, but they had a brutal schedule on the horizon (Madison Academy in Alabama, Montgomery Bell Academy, Christian Brothers, and Memphis University) and had to find a new QB. No problem: they’ve smoked five of their seven opponents, having to squeeze out two impressive wins over MBA and Christian Brothers. Like Beech, Briarcrest maybe should’ve lost one by now, but if they’ve made it this far, what’s stopping them from 10-0?

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: One guaranteed win (Manassas, Week 10), one potentially tricky game (Cordova, Week 9), and one battle to the death (Memphis University, Week 11). My system, as it shows above, gives Briarcrest about a 62-63% shot of getting through these unscathed. If they do, everyone should be rooting for them to meet McCallie in the playoffs.

Central (Knoxville)

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 8.9-1.1 (5.7-0.3)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.5-0.5 (5.5-0.5)
  • Odds of 10-0: 53.03%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Central won the 5A title last year thanks to a couple of upsets; logically, they were favored in every game in preseason. Things have mostly gone to plan, minus a pair of tighter-than-expected wins at Fulton and Hardin Valley. They’ve done everything expected of them, though the path to a 2019 title repeat looks much more difficult.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: A pair of should-be wins (Carter, Week 9; Gibbs, Week 11) bookend a massive, season-deciding game: on the road at South-Doyle in Week 10. S-D just lost to a mediocre Seymour team, but it’s the same group with a pair of blowout wins over Grace Christian and Gibbs. If Central wins, they should be able to get to the 5A quarterfinals without a serious test.

David Crockett

  • Record: 6-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 8.2-1.8 (5.3-0.7)
  • Current Expected Record: 8.5-0.5 (5.5-0.5)
  • Odds of 9-0: 53.79%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: By continuing one of the most remarkable resurgences in Tennessee high school football history. David Crockett, a school with one winning season from 1980 to 2014, turned from a traditional East Tennessee punching bag into a 5A power overnight. The same team that hadn’t won more than seven games in a season ever (per Massey) has now won 16 straight regular season games, and only one of this year’s has even been close: a 28-21 road win at Webb.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: There’s three games left on the DC schedule, and the next two are the wooliest: Tennessee High this week and Daniel Boone in Week 10. DC is favored in both, but by just six points over Tennessee and 17 over Daniel Boone. The odds that they win both are in the neighborhood of 54%. Week 11 should be an easy win over Morristown East, but MoEast just pulled off a fairly surprising upset of Sevier County.

Dobyns-Bennett

  • Record: 7-0 (4-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 5.2-4.8 (3.3-2.7)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.6-0.4 (6-0)
  • Odds of 10-0: 56.37%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: They emerged from five years of mediocre 6A play to become the best team in 6A-1 out of basically nowhere. The Indians returned ten starters from a 4-6 team, lost their QB, RB, and three-fifths of their OL…and turned into an absolute mauling crew. The same defense that allowed 30 points per game in 2018 is allowing 6.6 in 2019.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: All they’ve got to do is get through two should-be-easy wins (Morristown West and Science Hill) and merely go to Alcoa in Week 11 to complete their first undefeated regular season since 2012. Easy enough. D-B is favored by around four points, but that may change by the time the game arrives.

Elizabethton

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 7.0-3.0 (4.6-1.4)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.4-0.6 (5.4-0.6)
  • Odds of 10-0: 42.29%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Elizabethton – Betsy for short – has long been a very good team that can’t seem to crest the hill of being great. This year seems different. Shawn Witten (Jason’s brother) has crafted a crushing offense (41.4 PPG) that’s smoked everyone on its schedule and has just one win within a 14-point margin. Seven straight Betsy teams have finished with either two or three losses; this might be the team to break the mold.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Remember Greeneville? The same Greeneville everyone left for dead after their Week 1 loss at Powell? Well, Greeneville’s undefeated since, and they’ve averaged 47.8 PPG in their six wins. If Elizabethton can beat the Greene Devils at home on Friday, they’re going undefeated.

Fayetteville

  • Record: 7-0 (5-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 2.5-7.5 (1.0-4.0)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.9-0.1 (5-0)
  • Odds of 10-0: 94.21%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: The single most shocking turnaround in Tennessee high school football. Fayetteville’s in its eighth season of football and went 9-3 twice in 2015 and 2016, but they went 1-9 in 2018. They were atrocious, scoring just 8.3 PPG. Kenny Morson, a 50-year-old career offensive coordinator, came to town. Fast forward nine months, and Fayetteville is 7-0, almost certainly going 10-0, with a ton of inspiration at its back. Kenny Morson, far and away, is my pick for Coach of the Year.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Fayetteville’s already won their region, so very little. Their remaining three games see the Tigers as 30+ point favorites in each.

Forrest

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 6.9-3.1 (3.2-1.8)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.8-0.2 (4.8-0.2)
  • Odds of 10-0: 77.65%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Forrest is essentially always good; a couple of mediocre years (9-13 across 2017/2018) are the outliers among 11 straight winning seasons from 2006 to 2016. However, it’s pretty rare that they’re ever great. (2015/2016 came closest.) That’s not the case in 2019: Forrest is a very serious 2A contender with a defense that’s allowed more than 15 points once all season. It might very well be their best team in school history.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: The next two should be easy wins: Community (49 point favorites) and Cascade (32). Week 11, however, presents a real challenge: Lewis Co., at home, for both their first 10-0 season in school history (from what I could find) and the region title.

Freedom Prep Academy

  • Record: 8-0 (6-0) prior to forfeit; now 1-7 (1-5)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 7.9-2.1 (7.2-0.8)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.96-0.04 (7.96-0.04)
  • Odds of 10-0: 95.98%

Freedom Prep forfeited their first seven wins of the 2019 season on October 15. As such, they are no longer eligible for a true undefeated season, but have won their eight games as they were played on the field.

Gallatin

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 5.4-4.6 (3.4-1.6)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.4-0.6 (4.5-0.5)
  • Odds of 10-0: 42.34%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: After a great run in the early 2000s (21-4 from 2001-2002), Gallatin spent most of the next 16 years just kinda being….there. Twice, Gallatin won 10 games (2006 and 2011) but never made it past the second round of the state playoffs. Behind an insane defense (four straight shutouts, five overall), they have an undefeated squad that should get to 9-1, if not 10-0.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: A very easy win (Glencliff, Week 11) will come after two tough tests: Hendersonville at home this week (~18 point favorites) and a region-deciding battle with Beech (a literal tossup; Beech is favored by 0.07 points as I type) in Week 10.

Houston

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 7.4-2.6 (2.9-1.1)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.9-0.1 (3.9-0.1)
  • Odds of 10-0: 88.43%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: I thought Houston would be good as usual; they’ve made the playoffs seven straight years and got to the second round in 2018. However, they’ve been quite a bit better than I’d anticipated: two toss-up type games in Weeks 1 and 2 turned into 24- and 35-point blowouts, and only Bartlett has given them a serious 48-minute game since. It’s just an excellent football team.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: How’s this for inaccuracy? In the preseason, I said Cordova would be tied for first with Houston at year’s end; now, it’s Houston projected to defeat Cordova by 25 points. Anyway, they’re big-time favorites the rest of the way. Any type of loss would be a serious stunner.

Houston Co.

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 6.0-4.0 (2.3-2.7)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.2-0.8 (4.6-0.4)
  • Odds of 10-0: 38.51%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Who could’ve guessed that both Houstons in Tennessee would be undefeated? Houston Co. was projected fourth in 2A-6 in August. While the schedule has been a bit easier than anticipated, it would’ve been hard to guess in the preseason that Houston Co. would win all three of its Region road games. They’re a legit 7-0, and only one game has been within 17 points.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Well, lots. Week 9 brings Waverly Central to Houston Co., where the Fighting Irish are favored by around eight points. Week 10: at Stewart Co., where Houston Co. is a tiny four-point favorite. If they can win a pair of somewhat-weighted coin flips, they’re going 10-0.

Huntingdon

  • Record: 8-0 (4-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 9.1-0.9 (6-0)
  • Current Expected Record: 10-0 (6-0)
  • Odds of 10-0: 99.997%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Same as usual? The Mustangs were great last year and took a surprise home loss in the quarterfinals to Cornersville, but it was a team that scored 48 PPG and brought back 15 starters. Guess what happened: that offense averages 48.3 PPG now. Outside of a near-upset loss to Milan three weeks ago, has any of this been surprising?

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: It’s over. Huntingdon is a gigantic favorite in their two remaining games.

Knoxville West

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 5.1-4.9 (3.4-2.6)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.3-0.7 (5.3-0.7)
  • Odds of 10-0: 36.19%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: They turned back the clock. From 2010 to 2014, Knoxville West went 58-12, making the state title game twice and winning it all in 2014. After that, they came back to earth: 24-21 from 2015 to 2018, never presenting themselves as a serious statewide or even regional threat. And then they returned eight starters on offense and went from one of the least-interesting offenses in East Tennessee to one of its best. Oddly enough, a 34-31 opening win in overtime over Bearden, a team that’s now 2-5, remains their closest game of the season.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Well, they merely have to win the East Tennessee 5A Game of the Year this week. A road trip to Powell from West takes about 20 minutes of real time, but the battle itself will take three-ish hours. West is about a five-point underdog; a win there certainly matters in the sense of getting home field advantage through the quarterfinals. And going undefeated and all that.

Lake Co.

  • Record: 7-0 (4-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 8.5-1.5 (5.7-0.3)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.7-0.3 (5.9-0.1)
  • Odds of 10-0: 73.59%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: From the season preview: “One thing’s a near-certainty: Lake Co. will win this region, and is likely to make the state semifinals.” Nothing about that has changed since August. Lake Co. has messed around a couple of times (26-21 win over Crockett Co., allowing 50 points to Westview) but has always come back around to take home a win. Is there anything you couldn’t love about an offense that scores 52 points per game?

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: The next two games are near-locks (West Carroll and Greenfield). In Week 11, Ripley could present something of interest on the road. Lake Co. is favored by 15 right now, but it’s fair to wonder how important of a game it would be to Lake Co. when they’ve already wrapped up their Region and every non-10-0 accomplishment.

Livingston Academy

  • Record: 8-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 5.7-4.3 (2.9-1.1)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.9-0.1 (3.9-0.1)
  • Odds of 10-0: 91.99%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: I blew it on this one. Livingston’s made the playoffs two years in a row but hasn’t advanced past the first round; I figured even a second-round visit would be a fair projection. Not the case. Livingston’s won at Upperman, defeated Cookeville, smoked DeKalb Co., and has done more than anyone could’ve hoped for.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: They’re 35- and 26-point favorites in their final two games. Unless Macon Co. is way better than the ratings think, this is a 10-0 football team.

Loudon

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 4.5-5.5 (2.6-2.4)
  • Current Expected Record: 8.7-1.3 (4-1)
  • Odds of 10-0: 8.13%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Another out-of-nowhere stunner. Loudon brought back 18 starters from their 2018 team, which would typically be a great sign…if said team hadn’t gone 3-8. The Redskins seem adept at pairing good years (8-4 in 2017, 13-1 in 2014, 10-3 in 2009, 11-2 in 2005) with awful ones (3-8 last year, 2-9 in 2015, 4-6 in 2011, 2-8 in 2004). Perhaps we’ve caught them at an opportune time. Either way, Loudon has demolished everyone, winning every game by 21+ points.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: I can’t tell if it’s a good or bad thing for them, but Loudon’s rise has coincided with their Region as a whole getting better. Sweetwater (Week 9) is a much better team than normal, and Red Bank – where Loudon will be multiple-score underdogs – is likely the best non-Alcoa/Pearl-Cohn team in 3A. If Loudon gets out of this at 10-0, Jeff Harig is easily the East Tennessee Coach of the Year. Even 9-1 merits serious consideration.

Maryville

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 9.1-0.9 (5.9-0.1)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.9-0.1 (3.9-0.1)
  • Odds of 10-0: 89.62%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: On the heels of a horrifying self-destruction in the 6A semifinals to Oakland, Maryville came in with a chip on their shoulder and….well, sorry, it’s Maryville. Did you expect anything different? They’ve played one great opponent (Alcoa) and won by two touchdowns. Everything else has been the typical formality.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Maryville’s final three games are in Region play. Maryville hasn’t lost a Region game since 2000. Let me know what you’re expecting. Actually, there is one game of real note: McMinn Co. in Week 10. Why? Because McMinn Co. is also 7-0 and headed for their best season in some time. Of course, this means that McMinn Co. is only a 23-point underdog as it stands.

McCallie

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 7.5-2.5 (3.6-1.4)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.5-0.5 (4.8-0.2)
  • Odds of 10-0: 55.50%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Think of it this way: everyone knew McCallie was going to be very, very good in August. I don’t know that anyone expected this, though. McCallie is the best team in Tennessee, as evidenced by wins over Brentwood Academy (the four-time defending state champions), Knoxville Catholic (2017 5A champions), and Baylor (one of the ten best teams in the state). They’re 7-0 in the toughest Region of the toughest class in the state.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: And, because of that, it still isn’t easy to finish this off. McCallie will beat Father Ryan this week, but they have to navigate home dates with Clearwater Academy (FL) in Week 10 (currently nine-point favorites) and Ensworth to finish the season (14). It’s slightly more likely than not that they get to 10-0, but it’s no guarantee.

McMinn Co.

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 5.5-4.5 (3-3)
  • Current Expected Record: 8.5-1.5 (4.5-1.5)
  • Odds of 10-0: 3.75%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Returning back to life! Similarly to Knoxville West, McMinn Co. was very good for a short period of time (27-8 across 2009, 2011, and 2012) and has wrestled with mediocrity since. The path to their return seems kind of simple: they returned 18 starters, including seemingly every skill-position starter. If you do that, improvement is likely coming your way. Have they benefited from some easier-than-anticipated games (Ooltewah, Bearden, Notre Dame)? Certainly. But it does not matter. They are 7-0, and you can’t remove that.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Well, they gotta play at Maryville in Week 10, and that isn’t fun. They’ve also got a home date with Bradley Central the week after, where they’re two-point favorites. Basically: if McMinn Co. does what they’re supposed to, they’ll finish 9-1. Losing two games would suck, but it would still be just their second 8+ win season in the last ten years.

Monterey

  • Record: 8-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 6.4-3.6 (3.4-1.6)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.6-0.4 (4.6-0.4)
  • Odds of 10-0: 64.03%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: To be honest, this one’s flown well under the radar for me. Monterey’s opponents have gone 14-46 this season; as such, it seems like they’ve beaten up on a lot of patsies. However, some of these teams were not patsies in the preseason: Lookout Valley (-4.64 wins below expectation), Jo Byrns (-3.22), and Harriman (-2.04) have all been worse than expected, and to Monterey’s credit, they just got done defeating their toughest opponent yet (Bledsoe Co.) on the road, 26-7.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: They have to play the two other decent teams in 1A-4 in Weeks 10 and 11. The premier challenge here is Clay Co. in Week 10: a 6-1 team that’s pretty good indeed. This is already the best Monterey team of my lifetime no matter what happens.

Nashville Christian

  • Record: 7-0 (5-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 6.1-3.9 (4.5-3.5)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.9-0.1 (7.9-0.1)
  • Odds of 10-0: 87.92%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: For whatever reason, Nashville Christian took their bye week in Week 1 and then immediately shot past expectations. NCS has rarely blown anyone out – they have just two wins by 14+ points all season – but they’ve thrived in turning nearly every game into a thrilling, heart-stopping show that typically ends in an NCS victory. Their last two wins are their best: a 28-27 road win at USJ, followed immediately by a 28-27 overtime win at Fayette Academy. Their season-long point differential suggests a 6-1 or even a 5-2 team more so than 7-0, but who cares? They play Jackson Christian this week – a school that’s also allergic to playing anything other than thrillers – and even if the spread is giant, I expect something fun.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Or maybe that’s hope instead of expectation. Nashville Christian is favored by 26+ points in their remaining three games; they’ve already beaten the best their Region has to offer and then some. Closing your season by playing three of the four worst teams in your nine-team Region has to be nice.

Nolensville

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 7.0-3.0 (3.3-1.7)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.2-0.8 (4.5-0.5)
  • Odds of 10-0: 38.68%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: They were expected to be good, but Nolensville was also expected to get stuck in the four-team muck atop 4A-4. Instead, they’ve risen above it on the back of an outstanding defense (40 points allowed all season) and a somewhat fortunate schedule. A 13-7 win over Tullahoma in Week 7 is the highlight.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Nolensville is an interesting case: they’ll be favored in all three of their remaining games, but none of them are guarantees and all of them figure to be tough. Maplewood (Week 9) is probably the easiest…but Maplewood also seems to be figuring things out, with two straight wins after a 1-5 start. The deciding game between 9-1 and 10-0 should be Marshall Co. in Week 11, but Franklin in Week 10 could also have other plans.

Oakland

  • Record: 7-0 (4-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 9.7-0.3 (6.8-0.2)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.97-0.03 (6.97-0.03)
  • Odds of 10-0: 97.13%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: They are Oakland. Their scheduled opponents were/are not. Sorry to report this.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Show up and not lose as 33-point favorites to Riverdale. Wake me up when they’re 13-0 and playing either Dobyns-Bennett or Maryville in the 6A semifinals.

Peabody

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 9.4-0.6 (4.8-0.2)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.96-0.04 (4.96-0.04)
  • Odds of 10-0: 96.35%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: The preseason 2A favorite has been just as good as expected, crushing all competition (the closest game was a 35-14 win in Week 1 over Milan) and mostly running warmups for the state playoffs.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: They’ll get to 9-0, and then they should get to 10-0 with a win at home over 31-point underdog Gibson Co., but I’ve seen weirder things. Consider them the 2A favorite until proven otherwise.

Pearl-Cohn

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 6.4-3.6 (4.2-0.8)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.8-0.2 (5-0)
  • Odds of 10-0: 75.62%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Most everyone knew this would be another excellent Pearl-Cohn group, but how good would they be? Two months later, here’s your surprising answer: they might just be better than Alcoa, and they might be 3A title favorites. P-C has done it all, from beating Cane Ridge by 26 to winning at MBA by six to shutting out East Nashville at home in Week 7. (Also along the way: blowout wins over Stratford and Maplewood and a sweaty shootout win over Hillsboro.) This is a great group of players and coaches, and I’m fascinated to see if this team can be the one to bring P-C fans their first title in 22 years.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: A pair of wins (Whites Creek and Giles Co.) bookend a pretty tough road test at Independence in Week 10. Indy isn’t a perfect team, but they’re 5-2 with wins over Blackman and Hendersonville. It should be one of the best games Middle Tennessee has to offer in 2019.

Powell

  • Record: 7-0 (4-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 6.3-3.7 (4.2-1.8)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.3-0.7 (5.5-0.5)
  • Odds of 10-0: 42.07%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Powell only missed the 2018 playoffs because of an ineligible player; they were, at worst, a seven-win team that may have won a game or two in the playoffs. They returned a lot of talent from that team, were angry, and, well, you get this: a 7-0 football team that started the year with two massive home wins over Greeneville and Anderson Co. and hasn’t looked back.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: I mean, if they make it through this, they should be the 5A favorite. This week’s game with Knoxville West (also undefeated) is the obvious highlight, but don’t ignore Week 10’s home finale against Oak Ridge (4-1 after 0-2 start) or Week 11’s road test at a very good South-Doyle team. They’re slightly more likely to lose one of those than go 10-0, but again, even 9-1 would be a great season.

Red Bank

  • Record: 7-0 (3-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 7.6-2.4 (4.7-0.3)
  • Current Expected Record: 8.9-0.1 (4.9-0.1)
  • Odds of 9-0: 87.49%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: To be honest, I don’t know if they’d be here if the game with South Pittsburg had happened in Week 6. Red Bank was a nine-point favorite, but it was a matchup of the best team in 1A and a top-five team in 3A. Who knows what would’ve happened? Anyway, here’s the positive: Red Bank is a certain win over Brainerd and a likely win over Loudon from an undefeated season, which looked like a flimsy proposition when they had to come back to beat Ooltewah 17-16 and East Hamilton 21-14.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Mentioned above: beat Brainerd, who they’re massive favorites over, and beat Loudon, who they’re sizable favorites over. I have them as the third-best team in 3A, which means they should be considered a serious title contender.

South Greene

  • Record: 8-0 (2-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 6.8-3.2 (2.9-1.1)
  • Current Expected Record: 9.3-0.7 (3.3-0.7)
  • Odds of 10-0: 40.83%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: South Greene made the 2A quarterfinals thanks to an officiating controversy last season; they probably shouldn’t need that help in 2019. Similar to other teams on this list, a schedule that had several expected land mines mostly cleared out, and only Chuckey-Doak, of all teams, has given South Greene a full 48-minute game. No word on whether the first down spots were correct in that one.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: There’s two games left, and SG is favored in both….but neither is a lock. Hampton this Friday features South Greene as a one-point favorite, while the season finale against Happy Valley has SG favored by 13. The odds of them winning both are, as shown above, about 41%. It’s more likely they finish 9-1 than 10-0, but it obviously wouldn’t be a stunner if they completed an undefeated season. If you’re curious, the team they’re most likely to play for their second-round game at home is……..Oneida.

South Pittsburg

  • Record: 6-0 (1-0)
  • Preseason Expected Record: 8.2-1.8 (3.5-0.5)
  • Current Expected Record: 8.98-0.02 (3.98-0.02)
  • Odds of 9-0: 97.99%

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Our 29th and final undefeated team! South Pittsburg has been a perennial power for, oh, my entire life. This year is no different; the Pirates, though fortunate the Red Bank game was cancelled, have cleared through a mostly-light schedule with ease. They used their unexpected extra week of practice to beat an excellent Meigs Co. team by double-digits. It’s close enough between them and Huntingdon that I’d hear out either as the marginal 1A favorite.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO: Well, they draw Whitwell this week, which looked like a great game two months ago. Other than that, it should be smooth sailing and an undefeated season.

One thought on “Chasing perfection: Tennessee’s 29 remaining undefeated high school football programs

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