Via Gannett.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 8

Hello! I’m on my honeymoon right now, so analysis is obviously limited. Last week, the projections went 136-24 (85%), bringing them to 946-236 (80%) on the season. Very good!

As a reminder, you can keep track of season-long win projections via this spreadsheet, which is linked here:

I’ll add in more analysis next week. Favorites are expected to go about 87.8-21.2 (80.5%), and games should be better this week than normal. 55 Region games!

Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 7:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 103-72 (58.9%); 10-8 last week
  • 60-69%: 128-67 (65.6%); 14-5 last week
  • 70-79%: 140-60 (70%); 22-8 last week
  • 80-89%: 183-20 (90.1%); 22-2 last week
  • 90-99%: 391-16 (96.1%); 68-1 last week

Here’s this week’s games:

Thursday

  • Ravenwood 34 at Christ Presbyterian Academy 21
  • Austin-East 19 at GPittman 31
  • Clarksville 28 at Kenwood 16
  • Melrose 54 at King Prep 0
  • Rossview 13 at Lipscomb Academy 28
  • Trezevant 13 at Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 23
  • Oakhaven 8 at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 29
  • Westwood 15 at Memphis East 31
  • Bluff City 0 at Middle College 41
  • Glencliff 0 at Nolensville 62
  • Northwest 25 at Northeast 28
  • Pigeon Forge 16 at Northview 26
  • Centennial 17 at Page 38
  • Mount Juliet 37 at Spring Hill 6
  • Memphis Business Academy 15 at Washington 31
  • Sheffield 0 at Wooddale 53

Friday

  • Arlington 25 at Bartlett 28
  • Franklin Road Academy 22 at Battle Ground Academy 26
  • Jefferson Co. 19 at Bearden 25
  • Monterey 20 at Bledsoe Co. 24
  • Lookout Valley 0 at Boyd-Buchanan 52
  • Moore Co. 31 at Byrns [Jo] 10
  • Cascade 21 at Cannon Co. 28
  • Grace Christian 24 at Chattanooga Christian 27
  • Greenbrier 28 at Cheatham Co. Central 21
  • David Crockett 37 at Cherokee 19
  • Grainger 24 at Chuckey-Doak 30
  • Fulton 25 at Clinton 27
  • Hampton 35 at Cloudland 12
  • Greenback 30 at Coalfield 18
  • Houston 31 at Collierville 16
  • Trinity Christian Academy 20 at Columbia Academy 25
  • McMinn Central 22 at Copper Basin 29
  • Claiborne 29 at Cosby 20
  • Bolton 20 at Craigmont 29
  • Rockwood 31 at Cumberland Co. 9
  • Lee (VA) 18 at Cumberland Gap 25
  • Volunteer 20 at Daniel Boone 43
  • University School of Jackson 31 at Davidson Academy 27
  • Smith Co. 28 at DeKalb Co. 22
  • Farragut 15 at Dobyns-Bennett 35
  • Hamilton 8 at Douglass [Frederick] 41
  • McKenzie 36 at Dresden 18
  • Hixson 2 at East Hamilton 42
  • Chattanooga Central 13 at East Ridge 35
  • Bishop Sycamore (OH) 3 at Ensworth 40
  • Nashville Christian 29 at Fayette Academy 22
  • Northpoint Christian 14 at First Assembly Christian 27
  • Humboldt 32 at Gleason 31
  • Silverdale Academy 31 at Grace Baptist Academy 12
  • Sullivan South 14 at Greeneville 44
  • Johnson Co. 14 at Happy Valley 27
  • Fairview 40 at Harpeth 8
  • East Hickman Co. 18 at Hickman Co. 27
  • Antioch 19 at Hillwood 37
  • Perry Co. 14 at Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 33
  • West Carroll 10 at Houston Co. 32
  • Wayne Co. 1 at Huntingdon 59
  • Pickett Co. 11 at Jackson Co. 36
  • Wartburg 40 at Jellico 15
  • Oneida 30 at King’s Academy 17
  • Scott 16 at Kingston 23
  • Raleigh-Egypt 5 at Kirby 45
  • West Greene 0 at Knox Catholic 53
  • White Co. 8 at Livingston Academy 40
  • Mount Pleasant 29 at Loretto 23
  • Coffee Co. Central 15 at Maplewood 31
  • Walker Valley 33 at Marion Co. 17
  • Giles Co. 17 at Marshall Co. 39
  • Bradley Central 15 at Maryville 34
  • Collinwood 16 at McEwen 33
  • Germantown 22 at Memphis Central 24
  • Fayette Ware 26 at Memphis Overton 18
  • Memphis Nighthawks 32 at Middleton 27
  • Harriman 13 at Midway 33
  • Brentwood Academy 20 at Montgomery Bell Academy 18
  • Springfield 23 at Montgomery Central 28
  • Sevier Co. 30 at Morristown East 22
  • Webb Bell Buckle 14 at Mount Juliet Christian Academy 31
  • Sale Creek 23 at North Georgia (GA) 27
  • McMinn Co. 40 at Notre Dame 13
  • Peabody 43 at Obion Co. 5
  • Sweetwater 39 at Polk Co. 9
  • Trousdale Co. 30 at Portland 12
  • Rhea Co. 24 at Red Bank 26
  • Clinton Co. (KY) 41 at Red Boiling Springs 9
  • Morristown West 11 at Science Hill 40
  • Howard Tech 47 at Sequoyah 3
  • Cleveland 21 at Shelbyville Central 33
  • Soddy Daisy 26 at Signal Mountain 17
  • Lake Co. 50 at South Fulton 10
  • North Greene 0 at South Greene 58
  • Meigs Co. 23 at South Pittsburg 25
  • Sullivan Central 30 at Sullivan East 27
  • Franklin Co. 8 at Summit 38
  • Oliver Springs 41 at Sunbright 4
  • Stratford 33 at Sycamore 12
  • Cocke Co. 12 at Tennessee 48
  • Hancock Co. 10 at Thomas Walker (VA) 37
  • Clarksville Academy 16 at Tipton-Rosemark Academy 32
  • Baylor 38 at Tyner Academy 8
  • Dyersburg 34 at Union City 20
  • Elizabethton 50 at Union Co. 6
  • Henry Co. 46 at West Creek 9
  • Bolivar Central 16 at Westview 39
  • White House 20 at White House-Heritage 30
  • Whitehaven 31 at White Station 20
  • Grundy Co. 25 at Whitwell 26
  • LaVergne 19 at Wilson Central 28

As a reminder, you can view this week’s schedule in full at this link. (It’s Week 8. That’s the sheet.)

Best of luck to all teams this week!

Via the Times Free Press.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 7

Week seven has arrived! Last week was a remarkable one, as the projections went 139-23 (85.8%), well above their 129-33 expectation. This brings the season-long projection record to 810-210 (79.4%), just six wins short of an 80% hit rate. Out of a 1,020-game sample size, this is a pretty good rate to see, and it makes me feel confident that it’ll correctly project somewhere in the neighborhood of 77-83% of the playoff game winners.

As a reminder, you can keep track of season-long win projections via this spreadsheet, which is linked here:

Yet again, last week had a healthy amount of one-point games – ten, with Haywood/South Gibson’s wild 50-49 barnburner leading the pack. This time, though, there were a lot more single-digit games (42), fewer gigantic 40+ point blowouts (25), and the lowest projection error to date (12.19 points off the final score, on average). The average game was decided by 22.9 points, which sounds terrible until I tell you that it was the second-closest week of the year so far behind Week 1.

This week has 42 games projected within single-digits, which sounds great…but it also projects 22 40+ point blowouts and 72 games decided by 20 points or more. However: if it hits the expected average scoring margin this week of 21.5, it’ll be the best week of the year. Funny how Region play almost always ends up creating the best weeks.

Favorites are expected to go about 132.4-28.6 (82.3%), which should mean a slightly less predictable week. Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 6:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 93-64 (59.2%); 17-9 last week
  • 60-69%: 114-62 (64.8%); 13-5 last week
  • 70-79%: 118-52 (69.4%); 22-4 last week
  • 80-89%: 161-18 (89.9%); 33-2 last week
  • 90-99%: 323-15 (95.6%); 54-3 last week

After weeks of promise, the 70-79% group is starting to course-correct; since Week 4, those teams have won 74.1% of their games. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coin-flip tier (50-59%) and the almost-a-certainty tier (80-89%) regress some. Both 60-69% and 90-99% are almost perfectly in line with expectations.

Now, for this week’s games. As always, TV information for games is listed below. All games, unless otherwise noted, start at 7:30 PM Eastern time for EST teams and 7:00 PM Central for CST teams.

Thursday

  • Bearden 21 at Hardin Valley 22 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • Raleigh-Egypt 42 at King Prep 6
  • Kirby 52 at Kingsbury 2
  • Trezevant 24 at KIPP Collegiate 15
  • Brentwood Academy 31 at Knox Catholic 16 (8:00 PM ET, ESPN2)
  • Mitchell 32 at Manassas 3
  • Stewarts Creek 38 at McGavock 9
  • Bluff City 23 at Memphis Business Academy 19
  • Carter 25 at Morristown West 20
  • Rossview 11 at Mount Juliet 33
  • LaVergne 28 at Nashville Overton 18

Friday

  • East Ridge 10 at Anderson Co. 43
  • McCallie 26 at Baylor 15 (7:30 PM ET, WFLI-TV)
  • Hillsboro 19 at Beech 31 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
  • Oakland 39 at Blackman 12
  • Marion Co. 15 at Bledsoe Co. 28
  • Cleveland 17 at Bradley Central 34
  • Signal Mountain 25 at Brainerd 17
  • Arlington 30 at Brighton 27
  • Powell 46 at Campbell Co. 7
  • Franklin 24 at Centennial 27
  • Hardin Co. 51 at Chester Co. 0
  • Lipscomb Academy 27 at Christ Presbyterian Academy 20
  • Briarcrest Christian 29 at Christian Brothers 15
  • Unicoi Co. 27.16 at Chuckey-Doak 27.19
  • Davidson Academy 43 at Clarksville Academy 21
  • Pickett Co. 0 at Clay Co. 50
  • Cherokee 42 at Cocke Co. 24
  • Rockvale 18 at Coffee Co. Central 27
  • Huntingdon 49 at Collinwood 5
  • Franklin Co. 17 at Columbia Central 33
  • Warren Co. 13 at Cookeville 36
  • Lookout Valley 8 at Copper Basin 42
  • Collierville 20 at Cordova 24
  • Millington Central 40 at Craigmont 10
  • White House-Heritage 20 at Creek Wood 27
  • Obion Co. 13 at Crockett Co. 36
  • Wartburg 30 at Cumberland Gap 17
  • Ravenwood 45 at Dickson Co. 1
  • Memphis Nighthawks 5 at Donelson Christian Academy 42
  • South Fulton 29 at Dresden 31
  • Northwest 15 at Dyer Co. 40
  • Father Ryan 5 at Ensworth 33
  • Camden Central 20 at Fairview 31
  • Science Hill 20 at Farragut 28
  • Bolton 8 at Fayette Ware 35
  • Cornersville 15 at Fayetteville 30
  • Grace Christian Academy 0 at Friendship Christian 57
  • McKenzie 17 at Gibson Co. 30
  • Hillwood 44 at Glencliff 15 (10/2/19 NOTE: Glencliff has chosen to forfeit the remainder of this season’s games.)
  • Franklin Road Academy 32 at Goodpasture Christian 21
  • Sullivan East 20 at Grainger 32
  • Montgomery Central 37 at Greenbrier 13
  • Cannon Co. 33 at Grundy Co. 17
  • Adamsville 25 at Halls 18
  • Fairley 50 at Hamilton 1
  • Jellico 23 at Hancock Co. 24
  • St. George’s 32 at Harding Academy 27
  • Ripley 13 at Haywood 42
  • Wilson Central 21 at Hendersonville 23
  • Germantown 17 at Henry Co. 32
  • McMinn Co. 52 at Heritage 0
  • Scotts Hill 15 at Hickman Co. 24
  • Douglass [Frederick] 23 at Hillcrest 22
  • Soddy Daisy 37 at Hixson 11
  • Bartlett 9 at Houston 41
  • Chattanooga Central 12 at Howard Tech 36
  • Greenfield 41 at Humboldt 13
  • Gallatin 50 at Hunters Lane 0
  • Mount Pleasant 25 at Huntland 24
  • Brentwood 30 at Independence 27
  • Columbia Academy 20 at Jackson Christian 24
  • Cascade 25 at Jackson Co. 20
  • Dobyns-Bennett 40 at Jefferson Co. 10
  • Claiborne 18 at Johnson Co. 29
  • West Creek 15 at Kenwood 29
  • Central 31 at Knoxville Halls 16
  • Clinton 3 at Knoxville West 44
  • Gleason 0 at Lake Co. 62
  • Evangelical Christian 34 at Lausanne Collegiate 19
  • Marshall Co. 37 at Lawrence Co. 7
  • Walker Valley 31 at Lenoir City 22
  • Eagleville 27 at Lewis Co. 26
  • Jackson South Side 10 at Lexington 24
  • Jackson North Side 33 at Liberty Tech Magnet 14
  • DeKalb Co. 8 at Livingston Academy 36
  • Community 18 at Loretto 35
  • McMinn Central 8 at Loudon 41
  • Stone Memorial 13 at Macon Co. 29
  • Spring Hill 14 at Maplewood 30
  • Fulton 0 at Maryville 52
  • Bolivar Central 10 at McNairy Central 37
  • Wooddale 30 at Melrose 11
  • King’s Academy 29 at Middle Tennessee Christian 28
  • McEwen 48 at Middleton 13
  • Coalfield 22.4 at Midway 22.3
  • Covington 36 at Milan 17
  • Byrns [Jo] 6 at Monterey 36
  • Daniel Boone 38 at Morristown East 19
  • Tullahoma 15 at Nolensville 28
  • Clarksville 31 at Northeast 22
  • Hatley (MS) 21.6 at Northpoint Christian 22.4
  • Alcoa 57 at Northview 0
  • CAK 31 at Notre Dame 27
  • Karns 17 at Oak Ridge 45
  • Memphis East 31 at Oakhaven 10
  • Harriman 7 at Oliver Springs 38
  • Rockwood 7 at Oneida 26
  • Rhea Co. 27 at Ooltewah 21
  • East Nashville 19 at Pearl-Cohn 35
  • GPittman 51 at Pigeon Forge 0
  • Montgomery Bell Academy 27 at Pope John Paul II 15
  • White House 21 at Portland 27
  • Gordonsville 41 at Red Boiling Springs 7
  • Stratford 49 at RePublic 0
  • Zion Christian Academy 20 at Richland 31
  • Munford 19 at Ridgeway 33
  • Houston Co. 19 at Riverside 21
  • Austin-East 30 at Scott 16
  • East Hamilton 47 at Sequoyah 0
  • Gibbs 27 at Sevier Co. 21
  • South-Doyle 44 at Seymour 2
  • Rosa Fort (MS) 49 at Sheffield 0
  • Lincoln Co. 14 at Shelbyville Central 38
  • Riverdale 41 at Siegel 11
  • Boyd-Buchanan 33 at Silverdale Academy 17
  • Sequatchie Co. 23 at Smith Co. 29
  • Cane Ridge 31 at Smyrna 20
  • Westview 22 at South Gibson 35
  • Cosby 0 at South Greene 54
  • Memphis Overton 6 at Southwind 41
  • Memphis University 46 at St. Benedict at Auburndale 0
  • Lebanon 35 at Station Camp 6
  • Cheatham Co. Central 11 at Stewart Co. 36
  • Greeneville 56 at Sullivan Central 4
  • Hampton 28 at Sullivan North 17
  • Union Co. 18 at Sullivan South 36
  • Forrest 29 at Summertown 11
  • Page 18 at Summit 28
  • Oakdale 16 at Sunbright 27
  • Red Bank 39 at Sweetwater 16
  • Harpeth 14 at Sycamore 29
  • Tyner Academy 38 at Tellico Plains 12
  • Tipton-Rosemark Academy 17 at Trinity Christian Academy 29
  • East Robertson 5 at Trousdale Co. 40
  • Cloudland 39 at Unaka 13
  • Peabody 40 at Union City 8
  • Nashville Christian 20 at University School of Jackson 24
  • Tennessee 47 at Volunteer 11
  • Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 23 at Washington 19
  • East Hickman Co. 16 at Waverly Central 42
  • Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 20 at Wayne Co. 30
  • Grace Christian 24 at Webb 26
  • North Greene 8 at West Greene 43
  • Watertown 28 at Westmoreland 20
  • Freedom Prep Academy 44 at Westwood 5
  • Memphis Central 20 at White Station 26
  • Giles Co. 41 at Whites Creek 17
  • Sale Creek 19 at Whitwell 30
  • Elizabethton 44 at William Blount 11
  • Upperman 42 at York Institute 6

161 games in all, and 149 of them are in Region play. Nearly every game this week will have some amount of an effect on the state playoffs, which means a lot of these games have serious, heightened importance. I whittled it down to a rough list of 14 games worth keeping an eye on, but these five are the best, from my perspective:

  • McCallie at Baylor (Friday, 7:30 PM ET, WFLI-TV). I mean, what more could you want? It’s the best class in the state (II-AAA) with two of the eight or so best teams in Tennessee playing and it’s a historic rivalry AND they’re both undefeated. If McCallie wins this one, it’s hard to see how they lose a game against Tennessee competition (Clearwater Academy from Florida does come to town in Week 10, and that figures to be a close one). Baylor, meanwhile, has lost four of five against McCallie after winning six straight in the rivalry from 2009 to 2013; this is their best team since 2011, so it would be ideal for them to take advantage.
  • Brentwood at Independence (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Two teams with better-than-expected seasons, both sitting at 5-1, both with a real chance to make a run in the state playoffs. (Collectively, one of Brentwood, Ravenwood, and Independence has around a 42% shot to make the state title game.) After a Week 1 loss to Summit, Independence has won five straight. Lately, this series has been pretty close; four of the last five games were decided by 11 points or less, three by 3 points or fewer.
  • Brentwood Academy at Knox Catholic (Thursday, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN2). Yes, ESPN2! This was a little better of a game in preseason when BA was the #1 team in the state and KCHS was, at worst, top eight, but it’s still a game between a top four team and a top 25 team on national television, and we don’t get that very often. Catholic’s playoff odds become dire if they can’t find a way to win this game or the Baylor game in Week 9. All Brentwood has to do to wrap up a playoff spot is win two of their final three Region games, all of which they’re double-digit favorites in.
  • Briarcrest Christian at Christian Brothers (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). This is Briarcrest’s best team in possibly two decades, a group stacked with great playmakers on both sides of the ball. Christian Brothers, meanwhile, has mostly dominated this rivalry as of late: winners of four of the last five and 11 of 14. For Briarcrest to truly prove itself as a II-AAA title contender, this is a win they badly need.
  • East Nashville at Pearl-Cohn (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Essentially everything you’d want from 3A football. These are two of the four best teams in 3A, playing just four miles apart; all it requires is a ride across the Jefferson Street bridge to get from one school to another. My system has been high on Pearl-Cohn all season long, and it’s mostly paid off, but East Nashville is far from anything to sneeze at. The Eagles just beat BGA on the road last Friday and they’ve shut out four opponents. It’s a shame that only one of these two teams can advance past the 3A quarterfinals.
  • Honorable Mentions: Page at Summit (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Nashville Christian at University School of Jackson (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Knoxville Central at Knoxville Halls (Friday, 7:30 PM ET); Eagleville at Lewis Co. (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Cane Ridge at Smyrna (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Houston Co. at Riverside (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Watertown at Westmoreland (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); White House-Heritage at Creek Wood (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Coalfield at Midway (Friday, 7:30 PM ET).

As a reminder, you can view this week’s schedule in full at this link or below:

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

Via the Jackson Sun.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 6

Officially the midpoint week of the Tennessee high school football season! I wrote about checking how things were going state-wide earlier this week; now, we can look at this week in particular, game-by-game. Last week, my projections went 138-28 (83.1%), almost exactly what was expected (138.8-27.2, or 83.6%). The projections are now 671-187 (78.2%) on the full season.

As a reminder, you can keep track of season-long win projections via this spreadsheet, which is linked here:

Last week was a weird one – ten games ended with a one-point margin, which is the most of any week this year…but only 14 other games ended with a margin of seven or less, and 37 games were decided by 40+ points. The best game was clearly Portland/West Creek, an insane game that West Creek won, 51-50. The biggest upset of the week was Greenbrier over White House-Heritage (3.3% odds of happening), which was merely a team on a nine-game losing streak defeating a team that was 3-1 with wins by scores of 42-13, 34-7, and 42-0.

This week should be more competitive. 26 games have a projected margin of four points or less, while 18 additional games are expected to be decided by single digits. There’s still a lot of expected blowouts, to be sure, but that’s the nature of in-season play.

Favorites are expected to go 130.4-32.6 (80%), which is about 3% lower than last week. More upsets, possibly! Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 5:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 76-55 (58%); 8-4 last week
  • 60-69%: 101-57 (63.9%); 14-9 last week
  • 70-79%: 96-48 (66.7%); 17-7 last week
  • 80-89%: 128-16 (88.9%); 29-4 last week
  • 90-99%: 269-12 (95.7%); 70-4 last week

Again, for the most part, these are about exactly where I would expect them to be…except for the unusual stinginess of the 70-79% group. However, over the last three weeks, that group has gone 61-25 (70.9%), so there could be a long-term rise coming. These are the things I force myself to keep track of.

Now, for this week’s games. As always, TV information for games is listed below. All games, unless otherwise noted, start at 7:30 PM Eastern time for EST teams and 7:00 PM Central for CST teams.

Thursday

  • Memphis Business Academy 0 at Freedom Prep Academy 56
  • Manassas 20 at KIPP Collegiate 17
  • Summertown 26 at Loretto 16
  • Hamilton 2 at Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 38
  • Washington 14 at Middle College 31
  • Hillcrest 14 at Trezevant 27
  • Sevier Co. 21 at William Blount 30 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)

Friday

  • Tyner Academy 10 at Alcoa 39
  • Jefferson Co. 15 at Anderson Co. 39
  • Smyrna 40 at Antioch 5
  • Sheffield 0 at Arlington 49
  • Brainerd 6 at Austin-East 42
  • East Nashville 25 at Battle Ground Academy 23
  • Memphis East 31 at Bluff City 10
  • Fayette Ware 29 at Bolivar Central 15
  • Northpoint Christian 26 at Bolton 17
  • Christ Presbyterian Academy 15 at Brentwood 40
  • West Toronto Prep 2 at Brentwood Academy 44
  • Madison Ridgeland Academy (MS) 20 at Briarcrest Christian 28
  • Kingsbury 9 at Brighton 43
  • Chattanooga Christian 24 at CAK 26
  • Nashville Overton 9 at Cane Ridge 39
  • South-Doyle 37 at Carter 8
  • Shelbyville Central 33 at Centennial 25
  • Knox Central (KY) 7 at Central 39
  • East Hickman Co. 15 at Cheatham Co. Central 30
  • Adamsville 26 at Chester Co. 16
  • South Greene 35 at Chuckey-Doak 20
  • Dyer Co. 30 at Clarksville 25
  • Avery Co. (NC) 37 at Cloudland 13
  • Cookeville 32 at Coffee Co. Central 16
  • Zion Christian Academy 28 at Collinwood 20
  • Cascade 24 at Community 28
  • North Georgia (GA) 16 at Copper Basin 37
  • Whitehaven 32 at Cordova 17
  • Middle Tennessee Christian 16 at Cornersville 34
  • Ripley 5 at Covington 48
  • Sycamore 9 at Creek Wood 35
  • Dobyns-Bennett 43 at Daniel Boone 14
  • Tipton-Rosemark Academy 21 at Davidson Academy 38
  • Cannon Co. 21 at DeKalb Co. 26
  • Grace Baptist Academy 8 at Donelson Christian Academy 36
  • Mitchell 21 at Douglass [Frederick] 19
  • Signal Mountain 21 at East Ridge 22
  • Byrns [Jo] 13 at East Robertson 28
  • Cherokee 21 at Elizabethton 41
  • Collierville 16 at Evangelical Christian 28
  • Maryville 38 at Farragut 10
  • Germantown 22.3 at Father Ryan 22.1
  • Jackson Christian 14 at Fayette Academy 37
  • Richland 10 at Fayetteville 38
  • Lawrence Co. 12 at Forrest 34
  • Grundy Co. 10 at Franklin Co. 39
  • RePublic 0 at Franklin Road Academy 53
  • Rhea Co. 25 at Gibbs 20
  • Page 35 at Giles Co. 23
  • Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 35 at Gleason 18
  • Whites Creek 29 at Glencliff 21
  • Hillwood 26 at Goodpasture Christian 37
  • Coalfield 27 at Gordonsville 16
  • Trinity Academy Tri-Cities 10 at GPittman 39
  • Fairview 35 at Greenbrier 20
  • Fulton Co. (KY) 16 at Greenfield 36
  • Fulton City (KY) 6 at Halls 47
  • Johnson Co. 15 at Hampton 29
  • Melrose 14 at Hardin Co. 30
  • Knoxville West 32 at Hardin Valley 10
  • McNairy Central 37 at Harding Academy 15
  • Montgomery Central 38 at Harpeth 6
  • Rockwood 25 at Harriman 14
  • Independence 32 at Hendersonville 21
  • Kenwood 5 at Henry Co. 35
  • Lewis Co. 32 at Hickman Co. 14
  • Boyd-Buchanan 37 at Hixson 17
  • Milan 21 at Huntingdon 38
  • Dyersburg 27.8 at Jackson North Side 28.4
  • Union City 20 at Jackson South Side 24
  • North Greene 13 at Jellico 38
  • Campbell Co. 33 at Karns 30
  • Friendship Christian 35 at King’s Academy 21
  • Stone Memorial 16 at Kingston 28
  • Science Hill 19 at Knox Catholic 31
  • Powell 36 at Knoxville Halls 14
  • Westview 30.6 at Lake Co. 30.8
  • Wooddale 25 at Lausanne Collegiate 27
  • Beech 27 at Lebanon 18
  • Greenback 39 at Lenoir City 15
  • Crockett Co. 15 at Lexington 24
  • Craigmont 19 at Liberty Tech Magnet 28
  • Huntland 38 at Lookout Valley 9
  • Polk Co. 0 at Loudon 48
  • Trousdale Co. 28 at Macon Co. 12
  • Waverly Central 42 at McEwen 18
  • Franklin 30 at McGavock 11
  • Bearden 15 at McMinn Co. 28
  • McMinn Central 7 at Meigs Co. 42
  • Christian Brothers 23 at Memphis Central 20
  • Fairley 10 at Memphis University 39
  • Tellico Plains 23 at Midway 26
  • First Assembly Christian 22.5 at Millington Central 23.1
  • Jackson Co. 10 at Monterey 34
  • Ensworth 20 at Montgomery Bell Academy 15
  • Eagleville 30 at Moore Co. 23
  • Maplewood 14 at Mount Juliet 31
  • Wayne Co. 15 at Mount Pleasant 39
  • Memphis Overton 12 at Munford 38
  • Clarksville Academy 8 at Nashville Christian 41
  • Columbia Central 19 at Nolensville 32
  • West Creek 27.3 at Northeast 27.1
  • Union Co. 33 at Northview 14
  • Clinton 14 at Oak Ridge 40
  • Red Boiling Springs 21 at Oakdale 23
  • Westwood 24 at Oakhaven 17
  • Dresden 23 at Obion Co. 30
  • Upperman 26 at Oneida 15
  • Scotts Hill 35 at Perry Co. 10
  • Sullivan North 31 at Pigeon Forge 14
  • Christian Co. (KY) 12 at Pope John Paul II 38
  • South Pittsburg 21 at Red Bank 30
  • Southwind 24 at Ridgeway 25
  • Blackman 24 at Riverdale 27 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
  • Camden Central 28 at Riverside 18
  • Oakland 59 at Rockvale 0
  • Dickson Co. 13 at Rossview 29
  • King Prep 30 at Rossville Christian Academy 24
  • Pickett Co. 19 at Sale Creek 31
  • Cumberland Gap 7 at Scott 30
  • Bledsoe Co. 23 at Sequatchie Co. 21
  • Heritage 17 at Seymour 33
  • Grace Christian 35 at Silverdale Academy 15
  • Livingston Academy 32 at Smith Co. 18
  • Ooltewah 24 at Soddy Daisy 25
  • Middleton 21 at South Fulton 43
  • Haywood 26 at South Gibson 28
  • Marshall Co. 31 at Springfield 19
  • Raleigh-Egypt 14 at St. Benedict at Auburndale 31
  • Kirby 37 at St. George’s 22
  • Stewarts Creek 42 at Station Camp 5
  • McKenzie 28 at Stewart Co. 23
  • Hunters Lane 5 at Stratford 40
  • David Crockett 52 at Sullivan Central 2
  • Unicoi Co. 35 at Sullivan East 18
  • Northwest 8 at Summit 42
  • Sequoyah 9 at Sweetwater 46
  • Abingdon (VA) 18 at Tennessee 32
  • Lincoln Co. 15 at Tullahoma 30
  • Hancock Co. 17 at Twin Springs (VA) 30
  • Happy Valley 44 at Unaka 1
  • Columbia Academy 8 at University School of Jackson 34
  • Cumberland Co. 10 at Walker Valley 39
  • Siegel 25 at Warren Co. 24
  • White House 19 at Watertown 34
  • Notre Dame 23 at Webb 31
  • Grace Christian Academy 23 at Webb Bell Buckle 30
  • Gibson Co. 30 at West Carroll 16
  • McCallie 36 at West Forsyth (GA) 9
  • Cosby 9 at West Greene 40
  • Clay Co. 21 at Westmoreland 23
  • Portland 23 at White House-Heritage 24
  • Bartlett 20 at White Station 28
  • Gallatin 33 at Wilson Central 13
  • White Co. 27 at York Institute 23

Saturday (?)

  • Hillsboro 14 at Pearl-Cohn 40 (5:00 PM CT)

163 games in all, 36 of them in Region play. Some of these are pretty darn important! Here are the five best games this week from my perspective, plus some honorable mentions.

  • East Nashville at Battle Ground Academy (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Well, this was setting up to be one of the best battles the mid-state will offer this year…until BGA got their doors blown off by Christ Presbyterian last week. Anyway, it’s still really good: East Nashville has started 5-0 without a ton of trouble, outside of their defensive strugglefest with Giles County. BGA is 4-1 with the lone loss. It’s hard to beat this game this week.
  • Haywood at South Gibson (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Haywood has followed up their 2018 4A title game run with another team worthy of title contention; they’re undefeated against state competition, though they did get blown out by Olive Branch (MS). South Gibson, meanwhile, has blown by most observers’ expectations, starting out 5-0 by the skin of their teeth. Their last three wins have come by a total of 18 points, all one-score victories; this will be an excellent proving grounds for them.
  • Madison-Ridgeland Academy (MS) at Briarcrest Christian (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). This promises to be a fun one. Madison-Ridgeland demolished their first five opponents this season to the tune of a 241-29 score…and then lost at Philadelphia (MS), their first real threat on the schedule. Briarcrest, as highlighted in the midseason review, has blown past all expectations, with a 5-0 record and four wins over top 75 teams in the state. Briarcrest’s excellent defense will have their hands full with the Madison-Ridgeland offense, but on the flip side, it doesn’t appear that MRA’s defense is quite on the same level.
  • Westview at Lake Co. (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). This might be the single most-enjoyable game of the week. Westview is having one of the most surprising seasons of all, starting out 4-1 in a year they weren’t expected to get to .500. They average 42 points a game behind Ty Simpson, a four-star QB recruit. Lake Co., meanwhile, has done everything expected of them; they are 4-0 with this game being the only meaningful barrier between them and a 10-0 season. Combined, these two teams are averaging over 86 points a game, and while Lake Co. has yet to allow more than 21 points in a game, they’ve also played just one offense averaging over 30.
  • South Pittsburg at Red Bank (Friday, 7:30 PM ET). It’s such a great thing that this game is happening. The two schools are two of Chattanooga’s best programs, but despite being only 40 minutes apart, they haven’t played each other in at least three decades. (I couldn’t verify it any further.) It’s a match-up of the #1 team in the state’s 1A poll versus the #4 team in the 3A poll. What more could we really want?
  • Honorable Mentions: Powell at Knoxville Halls (Friday, 7:30 PM ET); Upperman at Oneida (Friday, 7:30 PM ET); Blackman at Riverdale (Friday, 7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV); Marshall Co. at Springfield (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Columbia Central at Nolensville (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Cherokee at Elizabethton (Friday, 7:30 PM ET); Chattanooga Christian at CAK (Friday, 7:30 PM ET).

As a reminder, you can view this week’s schedule in full at this link or below:

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

The Dipstick: Checking out Tennessee high school football at the season’s midpoint

We’re essentially at the midpoint of the Tennessee high school football season. Most teams have played at least four games, and a lot of teams have played five; you generally know what you’ve got by now. As such, it makes sense to stop, take a look around, and figure out what’s going on. Call this the Dipstick Report: we’re taking a look at the oil, figuring out if changes need to be made or if things are still fine and good. Here’s a report on all six public school classes, the three private school classes, over- and under-achievers, and odds of going undefeated.

1A

WHAT’S CHANGED: …not much? Of the six teams in preseason that had a 10% or better chance to win the championship, three have risen to the top: Huntingdon (the preseason favorite), South Pittsburg (from #3 to #2), and Lake County (#6 to #3). Whitwell has been a gigantic disappointment, starting out 0-5 and now being projected to finish 2-8/3-7. Greenback and Cornersville’s respective roads have been bumpy, but Greenback has recovered to get back to #4; Cornersville, #8.

The biggest surprise is easily Fayetteville, a preseason 3-7 projected team that now has a 71% shot to go undefeated. They rank #6 in the 1A statewide ratings. Freedom Prep Academy is right behind them, playing in a very easy region with a 96% shot at 10-0. Other notables: Oliver Springs, preseason #7, is #9; Mount Pleasant, #8, is #10.

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. Huntingdon
    2. South Pittsburg
    3. Lake Co.
    4. Greenback
    5. Freedom Prep Academy
    6. Fayetteville
    7. Clay Co.
    8. Cornersville
    9. Oliver Springs
    10. Mount Pleasant
    11. Monterey
    12. Greenfield
    13. Moore Co.
    14. Coalfield
    15. Huntland

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: Mount Pleasant at Huntland (Week 7); Cornersville at Fayetteville (Week 7); Greenback at Coalfield (Week 8); Huntland at Moore Co. (Week 9); Coalfield at Oliver Springs (Week 10); Clay Co. at Monterey (Week 10); Cornersville at Huntland (Week 10); Lake Co. at Greenfield (Week 10); Moore Co. at Mount Pleasant (Week 11); Memphis East at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, listed from #1 seed to #4.

  • Region 1: Cloudland, Jellico, Hancock Co., Unaka.
  • Region 2: Greenback, Oliver Springs, Coalfield, Midway.
  • Region 3: South Pittsburg, Copper Basin, Whitwell, Lookout Valley.
  • Region 4: Clay Co., Monterey, Gordonsville, Byrns [Jo].
  • Region 5: Fayetteville, Cornersville, Mount Pleasant, Huntland.
  • Region 6: Huntingdon, McEwen, Wayne Co., Collinwood.
  • Region 7: Lake Co., Greenfield, West Carroll, Dresden.
  • Region 8: Freedom Prep Academy, Middle College, Memphis East, Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering.

FINAL FOUR PROJECTION: South Pittsburg (1A-3) at Greenback (1A-2); Lake Co. (1A-7) at Huntingdon (1A-6).

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: South Pittsburg (1A-3) vs. Huntingdon (1A-6), Friday, December 6.

2A

WHAT’S CHANGED: Almost nothing. Five of the top six in my ratings are the same teams from mid-August, with only Forrest making a surprise entry. Forrest was expected to be good – #12 in the preseason ratings – but they’ve beaten those expectations by a lot with a 5-0 start. The clear favorite, as it was in preseason, is Peabody, last year’s champions. The gap from first-place Peabody to second-place Meigs County is the same at the gap from second to 11th. Trousdale County ranks fourth in title odds. A couple of the preseason back-end title potentials are still hanging around: Watertown, Tyner Academy, South Greene, etc.

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. Peabody
    2. Meigs Co.
    3. Trousdale Co.
    4. Forrest
    5. Tyner Academy
    6. Fairley
    7. South Greene
    8. Watertown
    9. Oneida
    10. Waverly Central
    11. Eagleville
    12. Gibson Co.
    13. Lewis Co.
    14. Bledsoe Co.
    15. Westmoreland

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: Mitchell at Douglass [Frederick] (Week 6); Watertown at Westmoreland (Week 7); Eagleville at Lewis Co. (Week 7); McKenzie at Gibson Co. (Week 7); South Greene at Hampton (Week 9); Meigs Co. at Oneida (Week 9); Waverly Central at Houston Co. (Week 9); Lewis Co. at Forrest (Week 11); Gibson Co. at Peabody (Week 11); Memphis Academy of Health Sciences at Fairley (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, listed from #1 seed to #4.

  • Region 1: South Greene, Happy Valley, Hampton, Sullivan North.
  • Region 2: Meigs Co., Oneida, Rockwood, Wartburg.
  • Region 3: Tyner Academy, Bledsoe Co., Tellico Plains, Marion Co.
  • Region 4: Watertown, Trousdale Co., Westmoreland, East Robertson.
  • Region 5: Forrest, Summertown, Eagleville, Lewis Co.
  • Region 6: Waverly Central, Houston Co., Riverside, Hickman Co.
  • Region 7: Peabody, Gibson Co., McKenzie, Union City.
  • Region 8: Fairley, Mitchell, Memphis Academy of Health Sciences, Douglass [Frederick].

FINAL FOUR PROJECTION: Trousdale Co. (2A-4) at Meigs Co. (2A-2); Peabody (2A-7) at Forrest (2A-5).

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Meigs Co. (2A-2) vs. Peabody (2A-7), Saturday, December 7.

3A

WHAT’S CHANGED: A lot, actually. Alcoa, who has won four straight 3A titles, is still one of the two best in the class…but they’re no longer the title favorite, because Pearl-Cohn is somehow much better than their already-high expectations. Covington, East Nashville, and Red Bank all look very good, too. The biggest stunner is a Loudon team that wasn’t expected to do much more than 4-5 wins, but is on pace for a 9-1 season with a 21% shot to go undefeated. Past that, there’s been some lower-end surprises, both positive (GPittman, Sweetwater, Stewart Co., Westview, South Gibson) and negative (York Institute, Bolivar Central).

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. Pearl-Cohn
    2. Alcoa
    3. Covington
    4. East Nashville
    5. Red Bank
    6. South Gibson
    7. Upperman
    8. GPittman
    9. Loudon
    10. Wooddale
    11. Stratford
    12. Westview
    13. Austin-East
    14. Milan
    15. McNairy Central

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: East Nashville at Pearl-Cohn (Week 7); Covington at Milan (Week 7); Westview at South Gibson (Week 7); Austin-East at GPittman (Week 8); Stratford at East Nashville (Week 9); Sweetwater at Loudon (Week 9); McNairy Central at Milan (Week 9); South Gibson at Covington (Week 9); GPittman at Alcoa (Week 10); Signal Mountain at Sweetwater (Week 11); Covington at McNairy Central (Week 11); Milan at Westview (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, listed from #1 seed to #4.

  • Region 1: Unicoi Co., Chuckey-Doak, Johnson Co., West Greene.
  • Region 2: Alcoa, GPittman, Austin-East, Kingston.
  • Region 3: Red Bank, Loudon, Sweetwater, Signal Mountain.
  • Region 4: Upperman, Smith Co., Sequatchie Co., York Institute.
  • Region 5: Pearl-Cohn, East Nashville, Stratford, Giles Co.
  • Region 6: Fairview, Camden Central, Sycamore, Stewart Co.
  • Region 7: Covington, South Gibson, Westview, Milan.
  • Region 8: Wooddale, Melrose, Raleigh-Egypt, Sheffield.

FINAL FOUR PROJECTION: Red Bank (3A-3) at Alcoa (3A-2); Covington (3A-7) at Pearl-Cohn (3A-5).

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Alcoa (3A-2) vs. Pearl-Cohn (3A-5), Friday, December 6.

4A

WHAT’S CHANGED: Well…I thought more would have changed by now, but essentially nothing is different. The top two teams in the state are the same (Greeneville and Anderson Co.), though Greenville’s giant margin on the rest of the field has been mostly erased. Elizabethton has been better than expected, which has made them the third-best team in 4A instead of merely fifth-best. Livingston Academy (+3.85 wins over expectation) has been a nice surprise, as has Fayette Ware (+4.57), but largely, not a ton is different from preseason. Other than that…Maplewood is a bit lesser than expected, I guess?

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. Greeneville
    2. Anderson Co.
    3. Elizabethton
    4. Nolensville
    5. Marshall Co.
    6. Haywood
    7. Livingston Academy
    8. Hardin Co.
    9. Tullahoma
    10. East Hamilton
    11. Maplewood
    12. Creek Wood
    13. Springfield
    14. Montgomery Central
    15. Lexington

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: Tullahoma at Nolensville (Week 7); Springfield at Montgomery Central (Week 8); Greeneville at Elizabethton (Week 9); Maplewood at Nolensville (Week 9); Lexington at Hardin Co. (Week 9); Anderson Co. at East Hamilton (Week 10); Creek Wood at Portland (Week 10); East Hamilton at Howard Tech (Week 11); Maplewood at Tullahoma (Week 11); Nolensville at Marshall Co. (Week 11); Springfield at Creek Wood (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, listed from #1 seed to #4.

  • Region 1: Greeneville, Elizabethton, Sullivan South, Union Co.
  • Region 2: Anderson Co., East Hamilton, Howard Tech, East Ridge.
  • Region 3: Livingston Academy, Macon Co., DeKalb Co., Stone Memorial.
  • Region 4: Marshall Co., Nolensville, Tullahoma, Maplewood.
  • Region 5: Springfield, Montgomery Central, Portland, Creek Wood.
  • Region 6: Hardin Co., Lexington, Jackson North Side, Jackson South Side.
  • Region 7: Haywood, Dyersburg, Crockett Co., Ripley.
  • Region 8: Millington Central, Fayette Ware, Craigmont, Bolton.

FINAL FOUR PROJECTION: Marshall Co. (4A-4) at Greeneville (4A-1); Haywood (4A-7) at Hardin Co. (4A-6).

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Greeneville (4A-1) vs. Haywood (4A-7), Saturday, December 7.

5A

WHAT’S CHANGED: I don’t know that any poll blew it as hard as the preseason 5A poll on this site did. Only six of the ten teams are still in the top ten, with #3 and #4 disappearing quickly. The preseason favorite, Central, now ranks #5 through no fault of their own – it’s simply that their competition is way tougher this year. Powell, Gallatin, and South-Doyle have all been better than the numbers anticipated, and Knoxville West has taken an already-very-good team to being great. And that doesn’t even mention who’s behind Central: David Crockett, Summit, Henry Co., Beech, etc. I can’t promise this too thoroughly, but I think this is going to be the most wide-open class of all. I have eight teams at 5% or better to win the title, with nine having a realistic shot to make the title game.

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. Powell
    2. Gallatin
    3. Knoxville West
    4. South-Doyle
    5. Central
    6. David Crockett
    7. Summit
    8. Henry Co.
    9. Beech
    10. Shelbyville Central
    11. Page
    12. Tennessee
    13. Hillsboro
    14. Oak Ridge
    15. Dyer Co.

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: Dyer Co. at Clarksville (Week 6); Southwind at Ridgeway (Week 6); Central at Knoxville Halls (Week 7); Page at Summit (Week 7); Hillsboro at Beech (Week 7); David Crockett at Cherokee (Week 8); Knoxville West at Powell (Week 8); Tennessee at David Crockett (Week 9); Knoxville Halls at South-Doyle (Week 9); Summit at Shelbyville Central (Week 9); Page at Columbia Central (Week 9); Kirby at Munford (Week 9); David Crockett at Daniel Boone (Week 10); Cherokee at Tennessee (Week 10); Central at South-Doyle (Week 10); Oak Ridge at Powell (Week 10); Gallatin at Beech (Week 10); Daniel Boone at Cherokee (Week 11); Central at Gibbs (Week 11); Columbia Central at Shelbyville Central (Week 11); Ridgeway at Kirby (Week 11). Hey, can you tell yet that this is an ultra-competitive class?

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, listed from #1 seed to #4.

  • Region 1: David Crockett, Tennessee, Cherokee, Daniel Boone.
  • Region 2: South-Doyle, Central, Knoxville Halls, Gibbs.
  • Region 3: Powell, Knoxville West, Oak Ridge, Karns.
  • Region 4: Rhea Co., Soddy Daisy, Walker Valley, Lenoir City.
  • Region 5: Summit, Page, Shelbyville Central, Columbia Central.
  • Region 6: Gallatin, Beech, Hillsboro, Hunters Lane.
  • Region 7: Henry Co., Dyer Co., Clarksville, Kenwood.
  • Region 8: Southwind, Ridgeway, Kirby, Munford.

FINAL FOUR PROJECTION: Powell (5A-3) at South-Doyle (5A-2); Henry Co. (5A-7) at Gallatin (5A-6).

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Powell (5A-3) vs. Gallatin (5A-6), Friday, December 6.

6A

WHAT’S CHANGED: Of course nothing’s changed. The top two teams, as it’s been for seemingly 20 years now, are Oakland and Maryville. Whitehaven, as it’s been for ten years, is lurking right behind. The only differences are that Mount Juliet and Farragut, two teams I had singled out to be dark-horse champion picks, are worse than expected, while Dobyns-Bennett has come out of nowhere to own 6A-1. Brentwood’s upset of Ravenwood upset the apple cart a little and cemented Brentwood as one of the pleasant surprises of 2019. They aren’t really a stunning surprise, but Houston has been better than expected, has won every swing game, and has a 68% shot of a 10-0 season.

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. Oakland
    2. Maryville
    3. Whitehaven
    4. Houston
    5. Dobyns-Bennett
    6. Ravenwood
    7. Brentwood
    8. Bradley Central
    9. Independence
    10. Mount Juliet
    11. Cordova
    12. McMinn Co.
    13. Stewarts Creek
    14. Cane Ridge
    15. Science Hill

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: Blackman at Riverdale (Week 6); Science Hill at Farragut (Week 7); Brentwood at Independence (Week 7); Collierville at Cordova (Week 7); Memphis Central at White Station (Week 7); Houston at Collierville (Week 8); Whitehaven at White Station (Week 8); Science Hill at Dobyns-Bennett (Week 10); Cordova at Houston (Week 10); Bradley Central at McMinn Co. (Week 11); Mount Juliet at Hendersonville (Week 11); Independence at Ravenwood (Week 11); White Station at Germantown (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below.

  • Region 1: Dobyns-Bennett, Science Hill, Farragut, Bearden.
  • Region 2: Maryville, Bradley Central, McMinn Co., Cleveland.
  • Region 3: Oakland, Riverdale, Blackman, Cookeville.
  • Region 4: Mount Juliet, Lebanon, Wilson Central, Hendersonville.
  • Region 5: Cane Ridge, Stewarts Creek, Smyrna, LaVergne.
  • Region 6: Brentwood, Ravenwood, Independence, Centennial.
  • Region 7: Houston, Bartlett, Collierville, Cordova.
  • Region 8: Whitehaven, White Station, Memphis Central, Germantown.

FINAL FOUR PROJECTION: Oakland (6A-3) at Maryville (6A-2); Houston (6A-7) at Brentwood (6A-6).

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Oakland (6A-3) vs. Houston (6A-7), Saturday, December 7.

II-A

WHAT’S CHANGED: Lots! Sort of. The current statewide favorite was #5 in the preseason poll, #2 was #6, and #1 and #2 are now #4 and #5. University School of Jackson has emerged out of the pile-up to become the temporary II-A favorite, with Nashville Christian and Fayette Academy right behind. The biggest surprise is probably Donelson Christian Academy (+3.98 wins over expectation), emerging from the cellar to be a serious title contender.

TOP 10 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. University School of Jackson
    2. Nashville Christian
    3. Fayette Academy
    4. Davidson Academy
    5. Friendship Christian
    6. Trinity Christian Academy
    7. Donelson Christian Academy
    8. Columbia Academy
    9. Jackson Christian
    10. Tipton-Rosemark Academy

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: Nashville Christian at University School of Jackson (Week 7); Nashville Christian at Fayette Academy (Week 8); University School of Jackson at Davidson Academy (Week 8); Fayette Academy at University School of Jackson (Week 9); Davidson Academy at Trinity Christian Academy (Week 9); Davidson Academy at Fayette Academy (Week 10); Nashville Christian at Trinity Christian Academy (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, from #1 seed to #6.

  • East: Friendship Christian, Donelson Christian Academy, King’s Academy, Middle Tennessee Christian, Mount Juliet Christian Academy, Grace Baptist Academy.
  • West: University School of Jackson, Nashville Christian, Fayette Academy, Davidson Academy, Trinity Christian Academy, Tipton-Rosemark Academy.

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Nashville Christian (II-A West #2) vs. University School of Jackson (II-A West #1), Thursday, December 5.

II-AA

WHAT’S CHANGED: Preseason favorite Christ Presbyterian Academy has had a disastrous start, beginning the season 0-4 before an upset win over Battle Ground Academy last week. In their #1 stead is Evangelical Christian, who hasn’t won a state title since 2005. Just below them is the surprise of the season: Lipscomb Academy, with head coach Trent Dilfer (yes, the QB), who last won a title in 2007. Battle Ground is right behind them. A special shoutout to Boyd-Buchanan, who went 0-10 last year but is tracking towards a 6-4 or 7-3 season.

TOP 10 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. Evangelical Christian
    2. Lipscomb Academy
    3. Battle Ground Academy
    4. Christ Presbyterian Academy
    5. Franklin Road Academy
    6. Lausanne Collegiate
    7. Grace Christian
    8. Webb
    9. CAK
    10. Chattanooga Christian

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: Chattanooga Christian at CAK (Week 6); Grace Christian at Webb (Week 7); Lipscomb Academy at Christ Presbyterian Academy (Week 7); Evangelical Christian at Lausanne Collegiate (Week 7); Grace Christian at Chattanooga Christian (Week 8); Franklin Road Academy at Battle Ground Academy (Week 8); Webb at Chattanooga Christian (Week 10); CAK at Grace Christian (Week 10); Webb at CAK (Week 11); Christ Presbyterian Academy at Franklin Road Academy (Week 11); Battle Ground Academy at Lipscomb Academy (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, from #1 seed to #5 and #1 to #6 for West.

  • East: Grace Christian, Chattanooga Christian, CAK, Webb, Boyd-Buchanan.
  • Middle: Lipscomb Academy, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Battle Ground Academy, Franklin Road Academy, Goodpasture Christian.
  • West: Evangelical Christian, Lausanne Collegiate, First Assembly Christian, St. George’s, Harding Academy, Northpoint Christian.

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Lipscomb Academy (II-AA Middle #1) vs. Evangelical Christian (II-AA West #1), Thursday, December 5.

II-AAA

WHAT’S CHANGED: How about this: the preseason #1 team in the state is now projected to finish third in its region (Brentwood Academy), and the preseason #3 is expected to miss the playoffs altogether (Knoxville Catholic). McCallie, somewhat out of nowhere, looks like the best team in the state and in this class. Because of how hyper-competitive this class is, a team like Ensworth can be one of the ten best teams in the state…..and also be fourth in its own region. It’s nuts, man. Briarcrest Christian has surprised a lot of people positively; on the flip side, this is one of the more disappointing Montgomery Bell Academy teams anyone can recall.

TOP 10 TEAMS: Are below.

    1. McCallie
    2. Brentwood Academy
    3. Baylor
    4. Ensworth
    5. Briarcrest Christian
    6. Memphis University
    7. Montgomery Bell Academy
    8. Knox Catholic
    9. Christian Brothers
    10. Pope John Paul II

BIGGEST GAMES REMAINING: McCallie at Baylor (Week 7); Brentwood Academy at Knox Catholic (Week 7); Briarcrest Christian at Christian Brothers (Week 7); Montgomery Bell Academy at Pope John Paul II (Week 7); Knox Catholic at Baylor (Week 9); Memphis University at Pope John Paul II (Week 9); Ensworth at Brentwood Academy (Week 10); Ensworth at McCallie (Week 11); Baylor at Brentwood Academy (Week 11); Christian Brothers at Montgomery Bell Academy (Week 11); Memphis University at Briarcrest Christian (Week 11).

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below, listed from #1 seed to #4.

  • East: McCallie, Baylor, Brentwood Academy, Ensworth.
  • West: Briarcrest Christian, Montgomery Bell Academy, Memphis University, Christian Brothers.

TITLE GAME PROJECTION: Baylor (II-AAA East #2) vs. McCallie (II-AAA East #1), Thursday, December 5.

Who’s surprising everyone?

By nature of kids being kids, ratings are going to have a ton of variance. Still, high school football teams mostly oscillate within a reasonable expectation – of the 342 teams I cover, 308 are expected to end up within three wins of their original expectation. However, that leaves 34 teams that have either seriously over- or under-achieved to date. Let’s narrow that down to the five biggest surprises on each side. In the interest of being kind, I’m only writing capsules on teams that have over-achieved; I can’t imagine that anyone, especially players and fans of teams mentioned, want to read about how badly their team has missed expectations.

OVERACHIEVERS:

  1. Fayetteville (5-0, 1A-5, +7.16 wins over expectation). SEVEN POINT ONE SIX!!!!!! This is the third year I’ve done this, and just once has a team even breached +5. Fayetteville went 1-9 last year and has completely reversed course; they’re on track to finish 10-0, with a 71% chance of doing so. What an immense turnaround by new head coach Kenny Morson.
  2. Westview (4-1, 3A-7, +5.26 wins). To be quite honest, I don’t know if these projections quite understood that Westview would be unearthing a four-star quarterback that Alabama and Auburn are both desperate to get. While the offense is, obviously, much better (17.2 more points per game in 2019), the defense has improved quite a bit, too, holding Gibson Co. and Dresden to a combined 16 points. Matt McConnell is their first-year head coach with a record of 54-14 overall now, having already engineered one complete turnaround at Waverly Central. It seems like he’s destined for brighter things.
  3. Cherokee (5-0, 5A-1, +4.59 wins). Check out Cherokee! One of the more consistently okay programs in the state (in the last 14 years, they’ve finished with exactly five losses seven times!) appears to be capital-B Back, exploding past everyone’s expectations to be on track for a 7-3ish season. The key difference from last year to now is clearly the defense, which has gone from being one of the worst units in East Tennessee to one of the best – a 23-point-per-game improvement.
  4. Fayette Ware (4-0, 4A-8, +4.57 wins). It really wasn’t that long ago – 2008 to 2014 – when Fayette Ware lost 66 straight games across seven seasons. This millennium alone, they’re gone winless ten times. Now, out of basically nowhere, they’ve emerged as a shocking playoff team from 4A-8 with a 12% chance at going undefeated. This is one of my favorite stories of the year.
  5. Copper Basin (4-1, 1A-3, +4.52 wins). In a nod to a team on the negative side of this list, Copper Basin took a result that would have been stunning preseason – a 46-27 win over Whitwell – and made it look easy. Copper Basin last finished with a winning record in 2014 and has essentially done very little outside of one 10-win season in 2010; considering they’re on track for a 7-8 win season, they should have a lot to celebrate.

Honorable mentions: Loudon (+4.52 wins), Boyd-Buchanan (+4.25 wins), Knoxville West (+4.13 wins), Gallatin (+4.08 wins), Dobyns-Bennett (+4.01).

UNDERACHIEVERS:

  1. Whitwell (0-5, 1A-3, -6.45 wins under expectation).
  2. Polk County (0-5, 2A-3, -5.69 wins).
  3. Fulton (0-5, 5A-3, -5.67 wins).
  4. York Institute (2-3, 3A-4, -4.54 wins).
  5. Northeast (0-5, 5A-7, -4.50 wins).

Who can still go undefeated?

Per my spreadsheet, it looks like there’s still 45 teams left with a chance to go undefeated. All of these teams are at least 4-0, and around 75% of them are 5-0. Some of them even play each other! (A special shoutout to the incredible Powell/Knoxville West game coming up soon.) Here’s how the teams rank from 1 to 45, in terms of odds of going undefeated.

    1. Freedom Prep Academy (5-0, 1A-8, 95.69% odds of going undefeated)
    2. Oakland (5-0, 6A-3, 94.41%)
    3. Peabody (5-0, 2A-7, 86.93%)
    4. Huntingdon (5-0, 1A-6, 84.68%)
    5. Maryville (4-0, 6A-2, 82.42%)
    6. Fayetteville (5-0, 1A-5, 70.74%)
    7. Houston (5-0, 6A-7, 68.55%)
    8. Covington (5-0, 3A-7, 65.78%)
    9. Livingston Academy (5-0, 4A-3, 62.85%)
    10. Pearl-Cohn (5-0, 3A-5, 61.13%)
    11. Forrest (5-0, 2A-5, 60.96%)
    12. South Greene (5-0, 2A-1, 54.67%)
    13. David Crockett (4-0, 5A-1, 54.08%)
    14. Gallatin (5-0, 5A-6, 52.37%)
    15. Summit (5-0, 5A-5, 39.85%)
    16. McCallie (5-0, II-AAA East, 38.36%)
    17. Elizabethton (4-0, 4A-1, 36.92%)
    18. Red Bank (5-0, 3A-3, 35.76%)
    19. Powell (5-0, 5A-3, 35.17%)
    20. Dobyns-Bennett (4-0, 6A-1, 34.39%)
    21. Lake Co. (4-0, 1A-7, 30.49%)
    22. Briarcrest Christian (5-0, II-AAA West, 30.32%)
    23. Knoxville West (5-0, 5A-3, 27.48%)
    24. Meigs Co. (5-0, 2A-2, 26.99%)
    25. Central (5-0, 5A-2, 25.99%)
    26. Loudon (5-0, 3A-3, 20.67%)
    27. Beech (5-0, 5A-6, 17.53%)
    28. University School of Jackson (4-0, II-A West, 16.83%)
    29. South Pittsburg (5-0, 1A-3, 16.42%)
    30. Nolensville (4-0, 4A-4, 15.20%)
    31. Nashville Christian (4-0, II-A West, 14.44%)
    32. Clay Co. (5-0, 1A-4, 13.76%)
    33. Greenfield (5-0, 1A-7, 12.45%)
    34. Fayette Ware (4-0, 4A-8, 11.73%)
    35. Monterey (5-0, 1A-4, 10.53%)
    36. Houston Co. (5-0, 2A-6, 7.95%)
    37. Rhea Co. (4-0, 5A-4, 5.81%)
    38. GPittman (5-0, 3A-2, 5.64%)
    39. Baylor (5-0, II-AAA East, 5.20%)
    40. East Nashville (5-0, 3A-5, 4.98%)
    41. South Gibson (5-0, 3A-7, 4.94%)
    42. CAK (5-0, II-AA East, 4.35%)
    43. McMinn Co. (4-0, 6A-2, 0.55%)
    44. Cherokee (5-0, 5A-1, 0.32%)
    45. Knoxville Halls (5-0, 5A-2, 0.28%)

We’re on track for around 15-16 undefeated teams in the end, though there were around 20 last season. Six of these teams actually play each other this week: South Pittsburg (5-0) at Red Bank (5-0), Cherokee (5-0) at Elizabethton (4-0), and Powell (5-0) at Knoxville Halls (5-0). That’s pretty good!

Via @JPIIAthletics on Twitter.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 5

Week five has arrived! Last week’s projections finished about two wins below expectation, though still pretty good: 131-35 (78.9%), putting these picks at 533-159 (77%) on the season. It’s about four wins below where I’d like to be, but again, we’ve hit the goal of 77% and all four wins would do is get us to 77.6%. It’s a small-enough margin that I’m comfortable with.

As a reminder, you can keep track of season-long win projections via this spreadsheet, which is linked here:

Last week ended up being better than expected! 39 of 166 (23.5%) games ended with an eight-point or lower margin. The Blowout of the Week Award goes to Macon County, who defeated Glencliff by a final score of 70-8. (Serious credit to Glencliff for going for two.) NINE GAMES (!!!) ended with a one-point margin, which is easily the best output I’ve seen to date. (The best of these had to be Beech-Hendersonville, which ended with a Beech TD on the final play.)

This week is expected to be the least-competitive so far. Only 31 of the 167 games are projected within 7.5 points, and an astounding 74 games have the favorite at 90% or better to win. Hopefully, like last week, it’s more competitive than expected, but there seem to be a lot of likely blowouts. Favorites are expected to go 139.5-27.5 (83.5%). Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 4:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 68-51 (57.1%); 9-9 last week
  • 60-69%: 87-48 (64.4%); 19-12 last week
  • 70-79%: 79-41 (65.8%); 24-11 last week
  • 80-89%: 99-12 (89.2%); 21-2 last week
  • 90-100%: 199-8 (96.1%); 58-1 last week

No real earth-shattering upsets last week, though Smyrna defeated Riverdale as a 23-point underdog, 27-17.

Now, for this week’s games. As always, TV information for games is listed below. All games, unless otherwise noted, start at 7:30 PM Eastern time for EST teams and 7:00 PM Central for CST teams.

Thursday

  • Knoxville Halls 30 at Carter 15 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 21 at Hillcrest 14
  • Hamilton 17 at KIPP Collegiate 25
  • Raleigh-Egypt 13 at Melrose 27
  • Bluff City 7 at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 30
  • Memphis East 30 at Memphis Business Academy 18
  • King Prep 20 at Sheffield 26

Friday

  • Peabody 41 at Adamsville 2
  • Pigeon Forge 0 at Alcoa 64
  • Houston 43 at Arlington 13
  • Cordova 35 at Bartlett 12
  • Sweetwater 29 at Brainerd 19
  • Ravenwood 33 at Brentwood 20
  • Father Ryan 3 at Brentwood Academy 38
  • Munford 27 at Brighton 26
  • Red Boiling Springs 7 at Byrns [Jo] 36
  • Silverdale Academy 15 at CAK 34
  • Cheatham Co. Central 8 at Camden Central 37
  • Antioch 0 at Cane Ridge 52
  • Upperman 37 at Cannon Co. 11
  • Watertown 45 at Cascade 8
  • Seymour 0 at Central 47
  • East Hamilton 31 at Chattanooga Central 12
  • Boyd-Buchanan 22 at Chattanooga Christian 29
  • Volunteer 21 at Cherokee 44 (7:00 PM ET, WCYB-TV)
  • Liberty Tech Magnet 23 at Chester Co. 21
  • Battle Ground Academy 36 at Christ Presbyterian Academy 17
  • Pope John Paul II 25 at Christian Brothers 21
  • Henry Co. 34 at Clarksville 19
  • Trinity Christian Academy 28 at Clarksville Academy 21
  • Gordonsville 16 at Clay Co. 31
  • Heritage 7 at Cleveland 50
  • White Station 27 at Collierville 19
  • Perry Co. 11 at Collinwood 36
  • Nashville Christian 29 at Columbia Academy 15
  • Eagleville 38 at Community 17
  • Oakland 47 at Cookeville 3
  • Mount Pleasant 27 at Cornersville 22
  • Happy Valley 39 at Cosby 3
  • Westview 20 at Covington 38
  • Bolton 7 at Crockett Co. 41
  • Macon Co. 36 at Cumberland Co. 6
  • Oneida 35 at Cumberland Gap 0
  • Cocke Co. 8 at David Crockett 50
  • Grundy Co. 14 at DeKalb Co. 34
  • Centennial 35 at Dickson Co. 16
  • Hardin Valley 10 at Dobyns-Bennett 39
  • Franklin Road Academy 32 at Donelson Christian Academy 13
  • Greenfield 32 at Dresden 19
  • Northeast 14 at Dyer Co. 37
  • Houston Co. 35 at East Hickman Co. 9
  • Grainger 6 at Elizabethton 49
  • Baylor 14 at Ensworth 25
  • Sycamore 14 at Fairview 35
  • Kingsbury 8 at Fayette Ware 36
  • St. George’s 31 at First Assembly Christian 21
  • Loretto 8 at Forrest 41
  • Davidson Academy 28 at Friendship Christian 36
  • Humboldt 22 at Fulton Co. (KY) 40
  • Hillwood 4 at Gallatin 55
  • Olive Branch (MS) 28 at Germantown 16
  • Campbell Co. 23 at Gibbs 27
  • Union City 22 at Gibson Co. 24
  • Stratford 27 at Giles Co. 31
  • Hillsboro 54 at Glencliff 0
  • Scott 9 at GPittman 34
  • Middle Tennessee Christian 21 at Grace Baptist Academy 27
  • Notre Dame 31 at Grace Christian 27
  • Mount Juliet Christian Academy 43 at Grace Christian Academy 10
  • Oliver Springs 23 at Greenback 27
  • Austin-East 18 at Greeneville 39
  • Cloudland 32 at Hancock Co. 16
  • Jackson South Side 10 at Hardin Co. 35
  • Sunbright 19 at Harriman 27
  • Dyersburg 18 at Haywood 40
  • Lebanon 16 at Hendersonville 28 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
  • Sequoyah 23 at Hixson 32
  • Memphis Central 20 at Holmes Co. Central (MS) 26
  • Anderson Co. 34 at Howard Tech 19
  • Beech 47 at Hunters Lane 0
  • Franklin 13 at Independence 36
  • University School of Jackson 31 at Jackson Christian 13
  • East Robertson 25 at Jackson Co. 20
  • Lexington 15 at Jackson North Side 25
  • Unaka 19 at Jellico 34
  • Fulton 38 at Karns 22
  • Northview 8 at Kingston 32
  • Southwind 19 at Kirby 33
  • Harding Academy 14 at Lausanne Collegiate 45
  • Summertown 9 at Lewis Co. 33
  • Columbia Central 27 at Lincoln Co. 25
  • Goodpasture Christian 10 at Lipscomb Academy 38
  • Douglass [Frederick] 25 at Manassas 18
  • Marshall Co. 26 at Maplewood 19
  • Tyner Academy 35 at Marion Co. 13
  • Knox Catholic 10 at McCallie 35
  • Huntingdon 55 at McEwen 4
  • Halls 14 at McKenzie 36
  • Red Bank 44 at McMinn Central 9
  • William Blount 15 at McMinn Co. 32
  • South Gibson 25 at McNairy Central 24
  • Montgomery Bell Academy 9 at Memphis University 31
  • Freedom Prep Academy 36 at Middle College 15
  • Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 35 at Middleton 21
  • Bolivar Central 12 at Milan 39
  • Trezevant 18 at Millington Central 27
  • Fairley 24 at Mitchell 18
  • Pickett Co. 4 at Monterey 47
  • Creek Wood 25 at Montgomery Central 19
  • Fayetteville 30 at Moore Co. 17
  • Farragut 38 at Morristown West 12
  • Wilson Central 25 at Mount Juliet 17
  • Summit 38 at Nashville Overton 3
  • Lawrence Co. 10 at Nolensville 36
  • Sale Creek 21 at North Georgia (GA) 29
  • Chuckey-Doak 53 at North Greene 1
  • Evangelical Christian 42 at Northpoint Christian 0
  • Kenwood 19 at Northwest 23
  • Knoxville West 28 at Oak Ridge 18
  • Coalfield 45 at Oakdale 0
  • Bradley Central 31 at Ooltewah 20 (7:30 PM ET, WFLI-TV)
  • Tellico Plains 30 at Polk Co. 16
  • Clinton 2 at Powell 50
  • Pearl-Cohn 68 at RePublic 0
  • Lenoir City 9 at Rhea Co. 40
  • Lookout Valley 16 at Richland 33
  • Memphis Overton 6 at Ridgeway 44
  • Obion Co. 18 at Ripley 33
  • Rockvale 3 at Riverdale 46
  • Hickman Co. 14 at Riverside 27
  • Meigs Co. 35 at Rockwood 6
  • Station Camp 10 at Rossview 33
  • Jefferson Co. 19 at Science Hill 29
  • East Ridge 19 at Sequatchie Co. 28
  • South-Doyle 41 at Sevier Co. 10
  • Coffee Co. Central 16 at Siegel 32
  • Loudon 29 at Signal Mountain 16
  • McGavock 9 at Smyrna 34
  • Huntland 8 at South Pittsburg 39
  • Whitehaven 29 at Southaven (MS) 17
  • Tullahoma 31 at Spring Hill 10
  • Briarcrest Christian 45 at St. Benedict at Auburndale 1
  • Harpeth 19 at Stewart Co. 28
  • LaVergne 16 at Stewarts Creek 36
  • Livingston Academy 41 at Stone Memorial 5
  • South Greene 37 at Sullivan North 13
  • Sullivan Central 15 at Sullivan South 42
  • Morristown East 8 at Tennessee 43
  • Fayette Academy 32 at Tipton-Rosemark Academy 17
  • Westmoreland 12 at Trousdale Co. 29
  • Claiborne 17 at Unicoi Co. 34
  • Sullivan East 20 at Union Co. 32
  • Blackman 40 at Warren Co. 9
  • Midway 22 at Wartburg 31
  • Westwood 25 at Washington 19
  • Scotts Hill 9 at Waverly Central 43
  • King’s Academy 36 at Webb Bell Buckle 18
  • Gleason 8 at West Carroll 46
  • Portland 32 at West Creek 19
  • Johnson Co. 22 at West Greene 26
  • Walker Valley 28 at White Co. 24
  • Springfield 31 at White House 22
  • Greenbrier 11 at White House-Heritage 42
  • East Nashville 50 at Whites Creek 0
  • Copper Basin 27 at Whitwell 25
  • Craigmont 3 at Wooddale 44
  • Smith Co. 31 at York Institute 21

167 games this week, 145 of them in Region play. While there aren’t a ton of close games on the schedule, an unexpected Week 5 result can turn the season-long projections upside down. Next Tuesday, I’ll have a post that sort of checks how things are going midway through the season – who’s doing better than expected, who’s worse, and what regions have the most left up in the air. If I’ve missed one, email statsbywill@gmail.com. Here are the five best games, plus a few honorable mentions, from my perspective.

  • Baylor (4-0, 1-0) at Ensworth (4-0, 1-0) (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). It’s not exactly out of nowhere, but Ensworth has risen from a preseason fourth-place projection in II-AAA East to second, while Baylor has jumped from fifth to fourth. Considering only four teams from the two II-AAA regions make the playoffs, this game in particular has a ton at stake for both teams. Both are 4-0 and 1-0 in region play, but Baylor still has to play McCallie, Brentwood Academy, and Knoxville Catholic. Considering they’ll be underdogs in two of those three games, they really need a win to feel comfortable about their playoff status. Ensworth, meanwhile, is a double-digit favorite and this and the remainder of their first eight games.
  • Pope John Paul II (3-1, 0-1) at Christian Brothers (2-2, 0-1) (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). A battle of two teams that are slightly better (PJP) or worse (Christian Brothers) than expected. Both lost their first II-AAA West games to better teams, and both really need a win to have playoff status confidence. Christian Brothers endured a tough 13-7 home loss to White Station last week, while PJP pulled off an excellent road win at Father Ryan.
  • Ravenwood (4-0, 2-0) at Brentwood (3-1, 1-0) (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). The Battle of the Woods promises to be unusually special this year. Ravenwood has navigated a tough opening run with wins at Blackman and at home over Pulaski Academy; Brentwood has overachieved expectations a little bit with a road win over Cane Ridge, though last week’s loss at Henry County dampens expectations a little. The spread of Ravenwood by 13.6 points is the lowest remaining projected margin on their schedule; they have a 62% chance of a 10-0 season.
  • South Gibson (4-0, 1-0) at McNairy Central (3-1, 0-1) (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Now this is not a game you’d expect to see! South Gibson was a projected mid-pack team in 3A-7 before the year, but a surprising 4-0 start with a pair of road wins has correctly changed expectations. McNairy, meanwhile, has mostly been what I expected: a 7-3ish team with a tough 57-49 road loss to a far-better-than-expected Westview. This is a massive swing game for 3A-7, as McNairy currently has just a 0.34-win margin on fifth-place Milan. For second-place South Gibson, this is an absolute must-win if they have hopes of keeping pace with 3A title contender Covington.
  • Knoxville West (4-0, 1-0) at Oak Ridge (2-2, 1-0) (Friday, 7:30 PM ET). After a turd of an 0-2 start, Oak Ridge has mostly returned to preseason expectations, smoking Campbell County and pulling off a surprising home win against Farragut. West, meanwhile, is a wrecking crew: they’ve beaten 6A squads Bearden, Farragut, and Jefferson County. If they were in 6A-1, they’d have locked up a playoff spot already with a 3-0 record. If West wins this, they should be able to start 7-0 before the Powell game in Week 8; an Oak Ridge win would completely erase the stench of the first two games and likely allow them to run out to a 4-0 start in 5A-3.
  • Honorable Mentions: Columbia Central at Lincoln County (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Marshall County at Maplewood (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); White Station at Collierville (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Olive Branch (MS) at Germantown (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Whitehaven at Southaven (MS) (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Oliver Springs at Greenback (Friday, 7:30 PM ET).

As a reminder, you can view this week’s schedule in full at this link or below:

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

Building a Better Basketball Offense, Part 7: All of Our Friends

When I started this series back in early May, I figured I may have to adjust the schedule at some point. Life happens. However, I figured it would be date-related, not content-related. The seven pillars of making your offense better seemed fairly obvious to me at the time, and I was greatly looking forward to figuring out how everything would fit together. Over the course of the last three months, I realized that the seventh and final installment of this series could afford to aim a little grander than expected.

Originally, this post was exclusively going to be about…well, posts. Post-ups, post player presences, how to work an offense through the post and still be lethal from the perimeter, etc. The post-up is far from dead in college basketball, and it feels like we may even be having a micro-renaissance of a sort. I’m mildly biased by the fact that the University I attended featured a first-round draft pick in the post, but several coaches seemed to agree.

However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the scope of it would be a little small. Every team could afford to have a post presence, obviously, but not every team currently has one that they’re comfortable running an offense through. Some teams eschew post players entirely, preferring a five-out lineup that spaces the floor with guards running through the paint. Some teams, like my beloved Tennessee, ran out two posts for nearly every possession this past season. The story, as it’s been all along, is that one size does not fit all.

The more important point is that, to this point, I’ve featured 18 programs and their excellent offenses. All of them are different, and all of them achieved their impressive levels of efficiency through their own unique means. Adding three more through a post series would’ve brought it to 21, a pretty good number. The more I thought about what to do for the final installment, though, I began to think of all the great offenses I’d left out. There’s more than 21 great college basketball offenses out there, and while I can’t realistically cover them all, I could cover more than planned. So, as any coach who’s participated in this series could tell you, I started sending emails, one after another.

What I got back was something far greater and expansive than anticipated. What was supposed to be an 8-10 team post turned into 12, then 15, and now, finally, 18. This one post alone will double the amount of teams covered in this series. All of these offenses are worth covering, but they didn’t really fit into any of the first six categories. (In the end, after contemplating putting these teams in a few different categories, I threw up my hands and decided to put them in alphabetical order. Whatever’s most fair.) If they did, they just missed the cut of the relevant original piece. Considering that just two of these 18 teams are in Division I, the likelihood of them getting serious coverage by a stats + video site like this isn’t very high. I want to give them the coverage they deserve. Here’s hoping I got it right.

Every team got their own page, and this is a massive, near-18,000 word piece. If you’re only here to see one or two of these teams, use the table of contents below to click ahead to your team of choice.

Credit to The Daily Times.

Tennessee high school football projections, Week 4

Hello to Week 4! Week 3 was my system’s best week yet, coming in at 142-30 (82.6%) and three-ish games above expectation. That puts the system at 402-124 (76.4%) through three weeks, which is about two wins below where I’d like it to be, but is pretty darn close to the goal of 77% or better after Week 3.

As a reminder, you can keep track of season-long win projections via this spreadsheet, which is linked here:

Onward to Week 4. Last week looked pretty rough on paper, but 36 games out of 172 (20.9%) ended with an eight-point or lower margin. Some of the games were pretty good! There were even two games that ended with the exact same 42-41 score. (Thanks to White House-Heritage, Springfield, Adamsville, and Union City for their collective services.) This week is expected to be similar to last: not many very close games with a lot of likely blowouts. Favorites are expected to go 133-34 (79.7%), which is about 0.6% lower than last week. Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 3:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 59-42 (58.4%); 13-7 last week
  • 60-69%: 68-36 (65.4%); 18-13 last week
  • 70-79%: 55-30 (64.7%); 20-7 last week
  • 80-89%: 78-10 (88.6%); 32-0 last week
  • 90-100%: 141-7 (95.3%); 59-3 last week

Before we move on, there were four 90%+ upsets last week, all of which were pretty stunning: Boyd-Buchanan over Webb (3.6% odds of happening), Hunters Lane over Hillwood (1.7%); and Whitehaven over North Little Rock (AR) (1%). I kept double-checking to see if the Whitehaven numbers were a mistake and they weren’t; North Little Rock appears to have been massively overrated. Either way, all of these are in line with what you’d expect, minus the bizarre 70-79% underperformance. That’ll eventually regress to the mean.

Finally, on to this week’s games. As always, TV information for games is listed below. All games, unless otherwise noted, start at 7:30 PM Eastern time for EST teams and 7:00 PM Central for CST teams.

Thursday

  • Maryville 24.9 at Alcoa 24.6 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 20 at Manassas 14

Friday

  • South-Doyle 34 at Anderson Co. 22
  • Fulton 27 at Austin-East 25
  • Memphis Central 26 at Bartlett 19
  • Franklin-Simpson (KY) 10 at Battle Ground Academy 39
  • Bradley Central 26 at Bearden 20
  • Jackson North Side 32 at Bolivar Central 18
  • St. Benedict at Auburndale 35 at Bolton 12
  • Whitehaven 18 at Brentwood Academy 28
  • Montgomery Bell Academy 15 at Briarcrest Christian 25
  • Wooddale 18 at Byhalia (MS) 27
  • Stone Memorial 14 at CAK 36
  • Seymour 14 at Campbell Co. 34
  • Lenoir City 18 at Carter 28
  • Huntland 32 at Cascade 17
  • Douglass [Frederick] 7 at Center Hill (MS) 37
  • Baylor 46 at Chattanooga Central 1
  • Morristown West 25 at Cherokee 33
  • White Station 16 at Christian Brothers 30
  • Unaka 10 at Claiborne 42
  • Sunbright 7 at Coalfield 37
  • GPittman 36 at Cocke Co. 22
  • Southaven (MS) 25 at Collierville 17
  • Loretto 28 at Collinwood 20
  • Nashville Overton 17 at Columbia Central 29
  • Cannon Co. 25 at Community 26
  • Lausanne Collegiate 22 at Cordova 31
  • Grace Christian Academy 5 at Cornersville 48
  • Brighton 14 at Covington 39
  • King Prep 17 at Craigmont 36
  • South Gibson 30 at Crockett Co. 20
  • Clay Co. 36 at Cumberland Co. 11
  • Columbia Academy 24 at Davidson Academy 34
  • McGavock 24 at Dickson Co. 17
  • Ripley 19 at Dyer Co. 35
  • Hardin Co. 25 at Dyersburg 30
  • Red Bank 27 at East Hamilton 17
  • Stewart Co. 28 at East Hickman Co. 22
  • Brainerd 0 at East Nashville 48
  • Daniel Boone 23 at Elizabethton 37
  • Christ Presbyterian Academy 6 at Ensworth 40
  • Pope John Paul II 22 at Father Ryan 23
  • Trinity Christian Academy 20 at Fayette Academy 31
  • Oakhaven 3 at First Assembly Christian 37
  • Summit 26 at Franklin 16
  • St. George’s 18 at Franklin Road Academy 35
  • South Fulton 45 at Fulton City (KY) 14
  • Sullivan South 23 at Gate City (VA) 29
  • Oakland 42 at Germantown 7
  • Sheffield 2 at Gibson Co. 39
  • Halls 37 at Gleason 18
  • RePublic 6 at Goodpasture Christian 48
  • Friendship Christian 35 at Grace Baptist Academy 12
  • Scott 19 at Grainger 25
  • Oneida 29 at Greenback 15
  • Portland 36 at Greenbrier 14
  • Bledsoe Co. 40 at Grundy Co. 6
  • Cloudland 20 at Hampton 27
  • Central 35 at Hardin Valley 9
  • Freedom Prep Academy 33 at Harding Academy 23
  • Creek Wood 37 at Harpeth 6
  • Liberty Tech Magnet 0 at Haywood 50
  • Beech 24.15 at Hendersonville 24.25
  • Brentwood 34 at Henry Co. 18
  • William Blount 39 at Heritage 16
  • Fairley 22 at Hernando (MS) 30
  • Nashville Christian 40 at Hillwood 17
  • Sequatchie Co. 39 at Hixson 12
  • Evangelical Christian 27 at Houston 23
  • Byrns [Jo] 0 at Houston Co. 38
  • Tyner Academy 29 at Howard Tech 17
  • White House 32 at Hunters Lane 15
  • Camden Central 19 at Huntingdon 37
  • Blackman 32 at Independence 24
  • Clarksville Academy 23 at Jackson Christian 26
  • Red Boiling Springs 8 at Jackson Co. 38
  • Peabody 38 at Jackson South Side 6
  • Powell 57 at Karns 3
  • Hillsboro 25 at Kenwood 15
  • Hillcrest 22 at KIPP Collegiate 16
  • Jefferson Co. 10 at Knoxville West 33
  • Adamsville 15 at Kossuth (MS) 28
  • Humboldt 0 at Lake Co. 64
  • Lebanon 28 at LaVergne 19
  • Warren Co. 18 at Lawrence Co. 28
  • Rossville Christian Academy 12 at Lee Academy (MS) 39
  • East Robertson 8 at Lewis Co. 42
  • Arlington 21 at Lewisburg (MS) 33
  • Spring Hill 14 at Lincoln Co. 32
  • Hayesville (NC) 22 at Lookout Valley 19
  • Glencliff 5 at Macon Co. 40
  • Pearl-Cohn 41 at Maplewood 12
  • South Pittsburg 37 at Marion Co. 11
  • Shelbyville Central 20 at Marshall Co. 28
  • Stellar Prep (CA) 0 at McCallie 51
  • Jellico 18 at McCreary Central (KY) 31
  • Chester Co. 3 at McNairy Central 44
  • Clinton 16 at Meigs Co. 36
  • Memphis Nighthawks 15 at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 29
  • Kingsbury 17 at Memphis Overton 32
  • Melrose 0 at Memphis University 47
  • Greenfield 24 at Middle College 21
  • Donelson Christian Academy 30 at Middle Tennessee Christian 19
  • Cosby 13 at Midway 35
  • Lexington 18 at Milan 23
  • Northpoint Christian 14 at Millington Central 29
  • Harriman 12 at Monterey 34
  • Forrest 32 at Moore Co. 16
  • Gibbs 27 at Morristown East 22
  • Gallatin 23.5 at Mount Juliet 24.1
  • King’s Academy 23 at Mount Juliet Christian Academy 29
  • Fayetteville 20 at Mount Pleasant 28
  • Twin Springs (VA) 33 at North Greene 18
  • Rossview 26 at Northeast 21
  • Montgomery Central 22 at Northwest 28
  • Farragut 28 at Oak Ridge 21
  • Wartburg 46 at Oakdale 2
  • Northview 6 at Oliver Springs 36
  • McMinn Co. 22 at Ooltewah 27
  • Lipscomb Academy 15 at Page 27
  • Hickman Co. 37 at Perry Co. 7
  • Eagleville 49 at Pickett Co. 6
  • Sullivan Central 24 at Pigeon Forge 28
  • McMinn Central 27 at Polk Co. 19
  • Pulaski Academy (AR) 30 at Ravenwood 33 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV, also on something called Stadium?)
  • Mitchell 15 at Ridgeway 27
  • Clarksville 39 at Rockvale 11
  • Kingston 18 at Rockwood 20
  • Hancock Co. 23 at Rye Cove (VA) 24
  • Greeneville 33 at Science Hill 21 (7:00 PM ET, FOX 39 Tri-Cities)
  • Fayette Ware 26 at Scotts Hill 13
  • Loudon 45 at Sequoyah 7
  • Centennial 30 at Siegel 27
  • Riverdale 36 at Smyrna 12
  • Cleveland 26 at Soddy Daisy 24
  • West Greene 14 at South Greene 38
  • Munford 21 at Southwind 28
  • Springfield 34 at Station Camp 16
  • Cane Ridge 21 at Stewarts Creek 34
  • Chuckey-Doak 24 at Sullivan North 28
  • Richland 16 at Summertown 26
  • Copper Basin 20 at Tellico Plains 32
  • Gordonsville 6 at Trousdale Co. 37
  • Franklin Co. 16 at Tullahoma 27
  • Happy Valley 29 at Unicoi Co. 16
  • Washington 7 at Union City 39
  • Knoxville Halls 36 at Union Co. 15
  • Tipton-Rosemark Academy 10 at University School of Jackson 33
  • Livingston Academy 17 at Upperman 29
  • Tennessee 40 at Virginia (VA) 10
  • Sullivan East 25 at Volunteer 35
  • Middleton 17 at Walnut (MS) 45
  • DeKalb Co. 14 at Watertown 36
  • Fairview 32 at Waverly Central 28
  • Riverside 32 at Wayne Co. 17
  • David Crockett 34 at Webb 13
  • Dresden 24 at West Carroll 28
  • Cheatham Co. Central 20 at West Creek 30
  • Obion Co. 13 at Westview 42
  • Cookeville 34 at White Co. 18
  • Sycamore 15 at White House-Heritage 32
  • Westmoreland 29 at Whites Creek 14
  • Signal Mountain 25 at Whitwell 21
  • Antioch 0 at Wilson Central 45
  • Grace Christian 30 at York Institute 22
  • Sale Creek 13 at Zion Christian Academy 36

167 games this week, bringing us to 694 on the year, I believe. It looks like there’s only 21 region games, which makes last week feel like a little bit of a false start, but there’s a lot more of region play to come. If I’ve missed one, email statsbywill@gmail.com. Here are the five best games, plus a few honorable mentions, from my perspective.

  • Maryville at Alcoa (Thursday, 7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV). This is the Game of the Year in East Tennessee, bar none. Alcoa shocked everyone last year by winning 34-28, their first win in this crosstown series since 2010. Alcoa hasn’t lost a game since September 8, 2017 to Maryville and is the clear 3A title favorite; Maryville has demolished three overwhelmed opponents to the tune of a 138-28 total score. I can’t wait to see this one.
  • Pulaski Academy (AR) at Ravenwood (Friday, 7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV). This…..might be the lower-case game of the year in Middle Tennessee. Pulaski has one of the meanest offenses in the nation, averaging 50.3 points per game last year and winning a game 84-68 (!!!!!!!) already this season. You know who they are because they have The Coach That Never Punts. Ravenwood, meanwhile, survived a great test from Blackman 16-13 last week and has mostly looked like the serious 6A contender everyone expected them to be.
  • Whitehaven at Brentwood Academy (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Whitehaven pulled off a true Upset, but BA themselves got knocked off by McCallie at home, 28-23. The ratings still see BA as the better team, but Sonny Moore is massively down on Whitehaven for reasons I don’t quite get. I wouldn’t be surprised at all by another Whitehaven win.
  • Gallatin at Mount Juliet (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). This game wasn’t on my radar at all to start the year, but it certainly is now. Gallatin is 3-0 after going 5-6 last year; they’ve yet to win a game by less than 21 points. Mount Juliet lost what initially looked like a stunner to Stewarts Creek in Week 1, but now looks like a quality loss to a team that has a very real shot at a 10-0 season. This isn’t a required win for either, but Mount Juliet really needs to reassert their case as a possible 6A contender.
  • Beech at Hendersonville (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Normally, it’s hard to find a fifth game that stands out; there’s usually 2-4 great ones and then I pick the best-looking good game. Not the case this week! This rivalry is the first game of the entire season where I’ve had to go to the hundredths to see who was favored; the projection I first received was literally Beech 24.2, Hendersonville 24.2. That alone would make this a must-watch game, even if it wasn’t between two very good teams.
  • Honorable Mentions: Pope John Paul II at Father Ryan (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Evangelical Christian at Houston (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Blackman at Independence (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Cleveland at Soddy-Daisy (Friday, 7:30 PM ET); Shelbyville Central at Marshall County (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Farragut at Oak Ridge (Friday, 7:30 PM ET).

A special Honorable Mention as a biased alumnus: Warren County won a must-win game over Rockvale last Friday, 36-35. It’s their first Region win since October 14, 2016, and I couldn’t be prouder. They’re tracking towards a three or four-win season, which sounds meager, but even 4-6 would be their best regular season record since 2007. Go Pioneers! Thanks to Bobby Rader for giving them a mention at around 12:20 AM ET on the Vol Network BYU postgame show.

If you’d like to view it, here’s this week’s spreadsheet. The season-long sheet is linked here.

Best of luck to all teams involved this week.