2019 Tennessee high school football championship game projections

Finally, after 16 weeks, we’ve made it. This weekend, the TSSAA high school football championships take place in Cookeville. I want to thank everyone who has read, shared, discussed, or noted in some fashion the work I’ve done with these this season. It was a huge leap of faith to assume anyone would be interested in a 342-team analytical preview of Tennessee high school football; it was an even bigger leap of faith to assume anyone would read a Week 7 preview of 100+ games. And yet: we made it. Thank you, everyone, for your support. I don’t know what this will look like in 2020 yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be even better.

There are nine games this week; there were 12 last week. The projections went 8-4 (66.7%) in said games, right along with the expectation. The playoff record is currently 168-42 (80%); the overall record is 1586-389 (80.3%). That’s a good year, and it somehow bested the King of Picks, Donovan Stewart, which I am fairly proud of. (However, Donovan has forgotten more about high school football than I will ever know, so listen to him more than me.)

In order of date and time, the games are listed below, with a short preview for each. All times listed are Central, so games start at 12 PM ET/11 AM CT, 4 PM ET/3 PM CT, and 8 PM ET/7 PM CT each day.

II-A

Thursday, December 5, 11 AM CT

  • (W #3) University School of Jackson 22 vs. (W #2) Davidson Academy 21

Odds of USJ making final: 25.8%
Odds of Davidson Academy making final: 55.8%
Combined odds of this being eventual title game: 14.4%; third-most likely title game

These two schools have taken fun routes to get here. USJ demolished its first two Playoff opponents before drawing Nashville Christian in the semifinal round, a team they lost to 28-27 in the regular season. USJ jumped out to an early lead and never relented, getting into the title game with a 28-7 win. Davidson’s season can be divided neatly into Pre-Nashville Christian and Post-Nashville Christian. A home loss to Franklin Road in Week 1 parlayed itself into a tough road loss to Nashville Christian in Week 3 for an 0-2 start. Davidson is undefeated since, with their latest accomplishment being a relatively easy 27-10 win over Friendship in the semifinals. The system very slightly favors USJ, but Davidson beat USJ 21-12 in the regular season at home.

II-AA

Thursday, December 5, 3 PM CT

  • (W #1) Evangelical Christian 22 vs. (M #1) Christ Presbyterian Academy 20

Odds of Evangelical making final: 69.8%
Odds of CPA making final: 49.4%
Combined odds: 34.5%; most likely title game

No real surprise here as these have been the two best teams in II-AA for most of the season. Evangelical beat everyone but Houston on their schedule and only had serious struggles with Lausanne (21-14 win, regular season) and Battle Ground Academy (quarterfinal round) in the process. CPA, however, took the most challenging route possible to get here for their title defense. Losers of their first four games, it wasn’t until Region play started that they got rolling. When they did, it was over quickly: four Region games plus three Playoff games have resulted in a total margin of 229-63 in their seven wins. CPA lost to Evangelical 30-6 in Week 1, but a lot has changed for CPA since then.

II-AAA

Thursday, December 5, 7 PM CT

  • (W #3) Montgomery Bell Academy 20 vs. (E #1) McCallie 22

Odds of MBA making final: 13.7%
Odds of McCallie making final: 58.1%
Combined odds: 8%; not in top five of most likely title games

MBA getting here feels like a surprise. None of their four losses this season were by more than eight points, but several of their wins – by scores of 17-14, 15-7, 10-7, 12-7 – were just as close. And yet: here they are. McCallie, meanwhile, has shaken off a two-loss streak to end the season and has looked the part of a title contender in their two Playoff games. It’s not quite the McCallie/Baylor showdown once promised, but this should be one of the three best title games of the weekend.

1A

Friday, December 6, 11 AM CT

  • (R7 #1) Lake Co. 32 vs. (R2 #1) Greenback 28

Odds of Lake Co. making final: 48.9%
Odds of Greenback making final: 24.7%
Combined odds: 12.1%; fourth-most likely title game

It shouldn’t be stunning that either of these teams are here; there were a clear top four teams in 1A this season, and both of these teams belonged to the pack. However, it was a bit surprising to see these two edge out their opponents in the fashion that they did. Lake County hasn’t been touched by anyone since Week 2 against Crockett County, but I expected Huntingdon to be a tougher opponent than they were; Lake won 30-20. Greenback continued their remarkable turnaround from an 0-2 start into a 12-0 run, beating the South Pittsburg team that battled Huntingdon for the #1 spot for the entire season in my ratings. Both teams score lots of points, and I’m hopeful that we get a shootout to start Friday.

3A

Friday, December 6, 3 PM CT

  • (R5 #1) Pearl-Cohn 20 vs. (R2 #1) Alcoa 24

Odds of Pearl-Cohn making final: 76%
Odds of Alcoa making final: 76.1%
Combined odds: 57.8%; most likely title game

Here’s another one the system nailed with ease. These were the two best teams in 3A from wire-to-wire, with the only battle being between which team ranked atop my weekly 3A poll. The system initially favored P-C by a tiny amount to start the playoffs, but Alcoa’s been more impressive in dispatching their overwhelmed opponents. P-C’s had a couple of strugglefests, and for that reason, it projects Alcoa to win its fifth straight 3A title. It’s the only remaining title streak above one right now.

5A

Friday, December 6, 7 PM CT

  • (R5 #3) Summit 23 vs. (R2 #2) Central 25

Odds of Summit making final: 3.6%
Odds of Central making final: 1.3%
Combined odds: 0.04%; not in top five, top ten, or top 20 most likely title games

This is the stunner of the year. Both schools enter the game 12-2, but Summit got demolished by Shelbyville late in the season and finished third in their own Region. Meanwhile, Central also got demolished by South-Doyle and lost their final game to Gibbs. This was after some lackluster outings against Fulton (13-12 win) and Hardin Valley (16-7) in a title defense that didn’t meet my expectations. Summit had to win three road games to get here. Central just had to win one, but it was a rematch with South-Doyle that they escaped with a 20-16 win. This wasn’t a final anyone saw coming, even if you were much higher on Central than I was. The nice thing about high school athletics is that it often provides us unexpected events that make little-to-no sense, yet are worth celebrating. Let’s enjoy the weirdness of either of these schools winning.

2A

Saturday, December 7, 11 AM CT

  • (R7 #1) Peabody 25 vs. (R2 #1) Meigs Co. 23

Odds of Peabody making final: 74.8%
Odds of Meigs Co. making final: 49.5%

Combined odds: 37%; most likely title game

No real surprise here, as, again, these were the two best teams in 2A for most of the season. Last year’s champion Peabody could reasonably not be here, though: after a season full of blowouts, they very nearly took a home loss in the quarterfinals to Fairley as a massive favorite…before Fairley’s quarterback threw an interception and fumbled a snap on a kneeldown in the final three minutes. Meigs suffered one loss all season, a 27-16 toughie to South Pittsburg, and mostly blew out the rest. It had to fight for a full 48 against Trousdale County last week, the third-best team in 2A, but managed to get here. Peabody obviously won last season and in 2014, but Meigs has never won; this is their first title game appearance since 1995. History may be in the making.

4A

Saturday, December 7, 3 PM CT

  • (R5 #1) Springfield 11 vs. (R1 #1) Elizabethton 35

Odds of Springfield making final: 4.4%
Odds of Elizabethton making final: 29.7%

Combined odds: 1.3%; not in top ten most likely title games

Elizabethton was the expected winner of the top half of the Class and comes out as the clear best team in 4A; when you beat Greeneville and demolish Nolensville, you’ve clearly earned that right. Springfield feels like such a random title game entrant, having gone 7-3 in the regular season with the fourth-best point differential in its own Region. And yet: they are massively clutch in close games. Springfield went 5-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less this season, including back-to-back overtime wins over Hardin Co. and Haywood to get here. They have a little bit of the Team of Destiny vibe, certainly. But Elizabethton feels clearly better, as would’ve any of the Big Three from East Tennessee.

6A

Saturday, December 7, 7 PM CT

  • (R6 #2) Ravenwood 25 at (R2 #1) Maryville 26

Odds of Ravenwood making final: 35.2%
Odds of Maryville making final: 42%

Combined odds: 14.8%; most likely title game

I’ve been hoping for this one ever since the system pinpointed Ravenwood as the best team in Regions 5-8 in this class in August. They struggled at times, certainly, but two resounding demolitions of Brentwood (34-6) and Houston (42-21) make them a clear, formidable foe for the almighty Maryville. The Rebels have been tested at times this year, but have passed every challenge: 17-3 over Alcoa, 35-24 over a surprisingly tough Farragut team, 12-0 over Oakland in the semifinal. Ravenwood’s path has been tougher, but I still give the very slight edge to Maryville.

Best of luck to all teams this week, and thank you to the fans of all 342 teams covered this year for a great season.

Credit to The Daily Times.

2019 Tennessee high school football Semifinals projections

Hello! We’re in the next-to-last week of these projections. Analysis is limited, as I’m out of town at family Thanksgiving. Last week’s picks went 21-9 (70%), or one below the expected record of 22-8. Overall playoff record is now 160-38 (80.8%), which is solid and fine. Here are the games. (Remember, private schools are off this week.)

1A

  • (R3 #1) South Pittsburg 31 at (R2 #1) Greenback 26
  • (R7 #1) Lake Co. 30 at (R6 #1) Huntingdon 33

2A

  • (R4 #2) Trousdale Co. 21 at (R2 #1) Meigs Co. 23
  • (R7 #1) Peabody 32 at (R6 #3) Riverside 10

3A

  • (R3 #1) Loudon 17 at (R2 #1) Alcoa 30
  • (R7 #3) Covington 16 at (R5 #1) Pearl-Cohn 29

4A

  • (R4 #2) Nolensville 17 at (R1 #1) Elizabethton 28
  • (R7 #1) Haywood 29 at (R5 #1) Springfield 23

5A

  • (R3 #2) Knoxville West 26 at (R2 #2) Central 21 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • (R7 #2) Dyer Co. 24 at (R5 #3) Summit 30

6A

  • (R3 #1) Oakland 23 at (R2 #1) Maryville 34
  • (R7 #1) Houston 24 at (R6 #2) Ravenwood 31

No new playoff odds on Twitter this week – I ended up being way too busy to get them done in image form, but they do exist. Regardless, you can…pretty easily figure out the projected title games. Next week’s title game analysis, obviously, will be much more robust, as I will not be traveling to three cities in two days.

Best of luck to all teams this week!

2019 Tennessee high school football quarterfinals projections

Quarterfinals time! Last week’s Round of 16 projections went 48-12 (80%), bringing the playoff total to 139-29 (82.7%) and the season total to 1557-376 (80.6%). That’s the eighth week of the last nine where the projections have nailed 80% or more of the games played. Pretty good, if you ask me.

I posted the updated TSSAA playoff odds on Twitter on Tuesday. For class-wide analysis, head there, as these are mostly just game picks. In order, here are the projected 2019 BlueCross Bowl matchups:

  • 1A: South Pittsburg vs. Huntingdon
  • 2A: Meigs Co. vs. Peabody
  • 3A: Alcoa vs. Pearl-Cohn
  • 4A: Greeneville vs. Haywood
  • 5A: Powell vs. Shelbyville Central
  • 6A: Maryville vs. Ravenwood
  • II-A: Nashville Christian vs. Friendship Christian
  • II-AA: Evangelical Christian vs. Christ Presbyterian Academy
  • II-AAA: Memphis University vs. McCallie

Also, before we get any further, a quick discussion on the following topic: The Four Most Surprising Entrants in the 2019 TSSAA Quarterfinals, from least- to most-surprising.

  • Giles Co. (15.7% to make quarterfinals) in 3A. Giles County is in 3A-5, the toughest region of 3A, so perhaps they were a little undervalued. They pulled off a mild upset of Fairview in the first round and then a real upset of Stratford in the second to get here. The odds of them advancing past Pearl-Cohn are…slim, sure, but this is still a surprising achievement.
  • Riverside (6.5%) in 2A. If you like basketball comparisons, this offered the same likelihood before the playoffs started as UCF making the Sweet Sixteen in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. And yet: here they are. Riverside stunned Lewis County in the first round and then pulled off another, milder upset of Waverly Central. This was a 5-5 team with an expected record of 6-4 based on point differential, so they were a little better than you’d initially think, but still.
  • Gordonsville (3.7%) in 1A. This doesn’t have as much to do with Gordonsville as it did Gordonsville’s second-round opponent, Whitwell, pulling off the biggest upset of the playoffs of Monterey. Gordonsville did beat Copper Basin as a seven-point underdog, but they were favored to beat their second-round opponent. Had they played Monterey, they likely wouldn’t be here.
  • DeKalb County (1%) in 4A. The stunner of stunners; this would’ve been like Iona defeating North Carolina in the first round last season. DeKalb were big-time dogs to first round opponent Tullahoma; they won, 45-34. They were 19-point underdogs to second-round opponent Marshall County; after trailing 24-14 five minutes left, DeKalb scored twice in the final 4:37 to win, 28-24. This week, they draw Nolensville at home, again as a double-digit underdog. No one would be surprised if they pulled another stunner, right?

The games! Every game, unless I’m told otherwise, starts at 7 PM local time. Some games may be on TV; as best as I can, I’ve tried to reflect that. Otherwise, the projection provides all the information you really need. At the tail end of the post, there will be some additional analysis of each class. What games have the most at stake? What’s the highest-quality matchup out there? First, here’s the predictions.

1A

  • (R2 #2) Oliver Springs 17 at (R2 #1) Greenback 31
  • (R4 #3) Gordonsville 7 at (R3 #1) South Pittsburg 47
  • (R6 #1) Huntingdon 36 at (R5 #1) Huntland 16 (Thursday)
  • (R7 #2) West Carroll 14 at (R7 #1) Lake Co. 45

2A

  • (R2 #2) Oneida 13 at (R2 #1) Meigs Co. 31
  • (R4 #2) Trousdale Co. 24 at (R4 #1) Watertown 20
  • (R6 #3) Riverside 11 at (R5 #1) Forrest 26
  • (R8 #1) Fairley 15 at (R7 #1) Peabody 33

3A

  • (R2 #2) Austin-East 9 at (R2 #1) Alcoa 40
  • (R3 #2) Red Bank 20 at (R3 #1) Loudon 25
  • (R5 #4) Giles Co. 7 at (R5 #1) Pearl-Cohn 38
  • (R8 #1) Wooddale 19 at (R7 #3) Covington 28

4A

  • (R1 #2) Greeneville 25.88 at (R1 #1) Elizabethton 25.92
  • (R4 #2) Nolensville 28 at (R3 #2) DeKalb Co. 17
  • (R6 #1) Hardin Co. 24 at (R5 #1) Springfield 18
  • (R7 #2) Crockett Co. 24 at (R7 #1) Haywood 35

5A

  • (R2 #2) Central 22 at (R2 #1) South-Doyle 28
  • (R3 #2) Knoxville West 20 at (R3 #1) Powell 27 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • (R5 #3) Summit 23 at (R5 #2) Shelbyville Central 25
  • (R7 #2) Dyer Co. 24 at (R7 #1) Henry Co. 29

6A

  • (R2 #1) Maryville 27 at (R1 #1) Dobyns-Bennett 20
  • (R3 #2) Blackman 20 at (R3 #1) Oakland 37
  • (R6 #2) Ravenwood 27 at (R6 #1) Brentwood 19 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
  • (R8 #1) Whitehaven 19 at (R7 #1) Houston 24

II-A

  • (W #2) Davidson Academy 22.8 at (E #1) Friendship Christian 23.3
  • (W #3) University School of Jackson 18 at (W #1) Nashville Christian 29

II-AA

  • (M #4) Lipscomb Academy 18 at (M #1) Christ Presbyterian Academy 26
  • (W #2) Lausanne Collegiate 13 at (W #1) Evangelical Christian 33

II-AAA

  • (E #3) Ensworth 23 at (E #1) McCallie 29
  • (W #3) Montgomery Bell Academy 18 at (W #1) Memphis University 20

30 games in all, with the private school finalists being decided this week. Very exciting times! Here’s the best game by class, with their class-wide ranking next to their name.

  • 1A: (R6 #1) #2 Huntingdon at (R5 #1) #8 Huntland
  • 2A: (R4 #2) #2 Trousdale Co. at (R4 #1) #4 Watertown
  • 3A: (R3 #2) #5 Red Bank at (R3 #1) #3 Loudon
  • 4A: (R1 #2) #1 Greeneville at (R1 #1) #2 Elizabethton
  • 5A: (R3 #2) #2 Knoxville West at (R3 #1) #1 Powell
  • 6A: (R2 #1) #1 Maryville at (R1 #1) #6 Dobyns-Bennett
  • II-A: (W #2) #2 Davidson Academy at (E #1) #4 Friendship Christian
  • II-AA: (M #4) #3 Lipscomb Academy at (M #1) #2 Christ Presbyterian Academy
  • II-AAA: (E #3) #3 Ensworth at (E #1) #1 McCallie

Various notes:

  • The 4A and 5A titles feel like they’ll be decided this week. In both classes, the #1 and #2 teams in my ratings play each other, though the 5A winner will likely have to play #3 South-Doyle on the road next week. Either way, we’re about to see a title favorite or #2 contender get knocked out in both classes. Such is the fun of this current system.
  • There will be several upsets. I think my 80%+ streak ends this week. Favorites are expected to go just 22-8, or around 73%, which would be the worst week since Week 1. 16 of the 30 games are projected to finish with a single-digit margin, and I only count four 30+ point blowouts. It’s a tight, tough week, and a lot is up for grabs.
  • A lot of title favorites have really hard games. I already discussed 4A and 5A, so let’s discuss the rest. Ravenwood, the temporary favorite in 6A, has to beat Brentwood on the road (69.8% odds of happening). Maryville has a tough game with Dobyns-Bennett (66.3%). Nashville Christian has to beat USJ (75.8%) to make the title game. McCallie, the best team in Tennessee this season, has just a 62.2% shot of beating Ensworth and making the II-AAA title game. It’s a thin margin, and someone is going to go home very sad on Friday night.
  • Notable streaks or droughts on the line this week, in no order:
    • Maryville has made the state semifinals 19 years in a row, their last quarterfinals loss being to Knoxville Central in 1999.
    • The winner of Nolensville/DeKalb County will be making the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
    • Fairley, West Carroll, and Wooddale have never made the state semifinals. 
    • Dyer County hasn’t made the state semifinals since 1976.
    • Hardin County hasn’t made the state semifinals since 1998.
    • Huntland hasn’t made the state semifinals since 1998.
    • Houston hasn’t made the state semifinals since 2001.
    • Oneida hasn’t made the state semifinals since 2008.

Best of luck to all teams still in the playoffs!

2019 Tennessee high school football Round of 16 projections

The second round has arrived! Last week, these projections went 91-17 (84.3%), an excellent start. That brings these projections to 1509-364 (80.6%) on the full season, which, again, is a little above what I’d hoped for. Not bad.

This week on Twitter, I posted the updated TSSAA playoff odds, which, as far as I know, aren’t affected by the latest Powell allegations. In order, the current BlueCross Bowl game projections are listed by class. The favorites come first, then the runner-ups, with each team’s most recent title in parentheses:

  • 1A: South Pittsburg (2010) over Huntingdon (2003)
  • 2A: Peabody (2018) over Meigs Co. (never; made final in 1980, 1995)
  • 3A: Alcoa (2018) over Pearl-Cohn (1997)
  • 4A: Elizabethton (1938) over Haywood (never; made final in 1994, 1995, 2018)
  • 5A: Powell (never; made final in 1991, 2011) over Henry Co. (2013)
  • 6A: Maryville (2017) over Ravenwood (2015)
  • II-A: Nashville Christian (2015) over Davidson Academy (2018)
  • II-AA: Evangelical Christian (2005) over Christ Presbyterian Academy (2018)
  • II-AAA: McCallie (2001) over Baylor (1973)

If you have a complaint about these, please post them on the CoachT message boards, because I enjoy the grammar.

The games! Every game, unless I’m told otherwise, starts at 7 PM local time. Some games may be on TV; as best as I can, I’ve tried to reflect that. Otherwise, the projection provides all the information you really need. At the tail end of the post, there will be some additional analysis of each class. What games have the most at stake? What’s the highest-quality matchup out there? First, here’s the predictions.

 1A

  • (R2 #2) Oliver Springs 29 at (R1 #1) Cloudland 15
  • (R2 #3) Coalfield 16 at (R2 #1) Greenback 34
  • (R3 #4) Whitwell 22 at (R4 #3) Gordonsville 28
  • (R4 #2) Clay Co. 7 at (R3 #1) South Pittsburg 40
  • (R5 #2) Cornersville 9 at (R6 #1) Huntingdon 43
  • (R6 #2) McEwen 24 at (R5 #1) Huntland 21
  • (R7 #2) West Carroll 21 at (R8 #1) Middle College 33
  • (R8 #2) Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 8 at (R7 #1) Lake Co. 49

2A

  • (R2 #2) Oneida 19 at (R1 #1) Hampton 25
  • (R1 #2) South Greene 14 at (R2 #1) Meigs Co. 33
  • (R4 #2) Trousdale Co. 25 at (R3 #1) Tyner Academy 24
  • (R3 #2) Bledsoe Co. 13 at (R4 #1) Watertown 31
  • (R6 #3) Riverside 16 at (R6 #1) Waverly Central 24
  • (R5 #3) Eagleville 14 at (R5 #1) Forrest 29
  • (R7 #2) Union City 21 at (R8 #1) Fairley 33
  • (R7 #3) McKenzie 9 at (R7 #1) Peabody 39

3A

  • (R2 #3) GPittman 10 at (R2 #1) Alcoa 40
  • (R2 #4) Kingston 16 at (R2 #2) Austin-East 32
  • (R4 #2) Smith Co. 11 at (R3 #1) Loudon 38
  • (R3 #2) Red Bank 20 at (R4 #1) Upperman 21
  • (R5 #4) Giles Co. 20 at (R5 #2) Stratford 25
  • (R5 #3) East Nashville 11 at (R5 #1) Pearl-Cohn 32
  • (R7 #3) Covington 24 at (R7 #1) South Gibson 23
  • (R7 #2) Milan 22 at (R8 #1) Wooddale 25

4A

  • (R1 #2) Greeneville 30 at (R2 #1) Anderson Co. 26 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • (R1 #3) Sullivan South 12 at (R1 #1) Elizabethton 35
  • (R3 #2) DeKalb Co. 14 at (R4 #1) Marshall Co. 33
  • (R4 #2) Nolensville 17 at (R3 #1) Livingston Academy 26
  • (R5 #2) Creek Wood 16 at (R6 #1) Hardin Co. 29
  • (R6 #2) Lexington 21 at (R5 #1) Springfield 23
  • (R7 #3) Ripley 13 at (R7 #1) Haywood 38
  • (R7 #2) Crockett Co. 29 at (R8 #1) Millington Central 19

5A

  • (R1 #2) Daniel Boone 17 at (R2 #1) South-Doyle 32
  • (R2 #4) Gibbs 25 at (R2 #2) Central 29
  • (R3 #4) Oak Ridge 14 at (R3 #2) Knoxville West 33
  • (R4 #2) Rhea Co. 13 at (R3 #1) Powell 35 
  • (R5 #2) Shelbyville Central 25 at (R6 #1) Beech 24 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
  • (R5 #3) Summit 22 at (R5 #1) Page 24
  • (R7 #3) Clarksville 14 at (R7 #1) Henry Co. 34
  • (R7 #2) Dyer Co. 32 at (R8 #1) Southwind 27

6A

  • (R1 #2) Farragut 14 at (R2 #1) Maryville 37
  • (R1 #3) Bearden 16 at (R1 #1) Dobyns-Bennett 33
  • (R3 #2) Blackman 25 at (R4 #1) Hendersonville 24
  • (R4 #2) Mount Juliet 13 at (R3 #1) Oakland 41
  • (R6 #2) Ravenwood 31 at (R5 #1) Cane Ridge 20
  • (R6 #3) Independence 17 at (R6 #1) Brentwood 27
  • (R8 #2) White Station 17 at (R7 #1) Houston 33
  • (R8 #3) Memphis Central 7 at (R8 #1) Whitehaven 29

II-A

  • (E #3) Donelson Christian Academy 14 at (W #2) Davidson Academy 29
  • (W #5) Fayette Academy 17 at (W #1) Nashville Christian 37
  • (W #3) University School of Jackson 33 at (E #2) King’s Academy 21
  • (W #4) Columbia Academy 20 at (E #1) Friendship Christian 29

II-AA

  • (W #2) Lausanne Collegiate 20 at (M #2) Franklin Road Academy 31
  • (M #4) Lipscomb Academy 23 at (E #1) Grace Christian 25
  • (E #2) Chattanooga Christian 19 at (M #1) Christ Presbyterian Academy 27
  • (M #3) Battle Ground Academy 17 at (W #1) Evangelical Christian 29

II-AAA

  • (W #4) Christian Brothers 16 at (E #1) McCallie 34
  • (E #3) Ensworth 25 at (W #2) Briarcrest Christian 24
  • (E #4) Knox Catholic 22 at (W #1) Memphis University 31
  • (W #3) Montgomery Bell Academy 14 at (E #2) Baylor 24

Below are the best games by class, per my Game Score metric, along with how each team ranks in my Class Ratings. The parentheses is their region and seed; the number directly to the left of the team name is how they rank in their given class.

  • 1A: (R6 #2) #8 McEwen at (R5 #1) #9 Huntland
  • 2A: (R4 #2) #3 Trousdale Co. at (R3 #1) #5 Tyner Academy
  • 3A: (R7 #3) #4 Covington at (R7 #1) #7 South Gibson
  • 4A: (R1 #2) #1 Greeneville at (R2 #1) #3 Anderson Co.
  • 5A: (R5 #2) #4 Shelbyville Central at (R6 #1) #6 Beech
  • 6A: (R3 #2) #11 Blackman at (R4 #1) #14 Hendersonville
  • II-A: (W #4) #5 Columbia Academy at (E #1) #4 Friendship Christian
  • II-AA: (M #4) #5 Lipscomb Academy at (E #1) #6 Grace Christian
  • II-AAA: (E #3) #3 Ensworth at (W #2) #6 Briarcrest Christian

Various notes:

  • There’s a decent chance a title favorite loses. I have the nine favorites as collectively possessing a 40% chance of coming out of the second round unscathed. In order, the most likely upsets: Battle Ground Academy over Evangelical Christian (23.7% chance of happening), Christian Brothers over McCallie (14%), Fayette Academy over Nashville Christian (11.8%). As a bonus, the most likely public school upset: Rhea Co. over Powell (10%).
  • Also, plenty of other upsets! Favorites are expected to go 45.5-14.5 this week. In less silly terms: they’ll win about 75.9% of their games. You can expect 14-15 upsets, which would be 2-3 less than happened last week despite 48 fewer games. These games are much better.
  • Most vulnerable 10%+ championship contenders in each class:
    • 1A: South Pittsburg (2.5% chance of losing to Clay Co.)
    • 2A: Meigs Co. (13.7% chance of losing to South Greene)
    • 3A: Pearl-Cohn (10.6% chance of losing to East Nashville)
    • 4A: Greeneville (40.1% chance of losing to Anderson Co.)
    • 5A: South-Doyle (17.5% chance of losing to Daniel Boone)
    • 6A: Ravenwood (26.8% chance of losing to Cane Ridge)
    • II-A: Friendship Christian (30.5% chance of losing to Columbia Academy)
    • II-AA: Christ Presbyterian (30.6% chance of losing to Chattanooga Christian)
    • II-AAA: Ensworth (47.7% chance of losing to Briarcrest Christian)

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

Tennessee high school football playoff projections, Round of 32

The TSSAA playoffs have finally arrived! Here we are, sitting in the Round of 32, with 108 games on this week’s slate and a whole bunch of predictions. (As a reminder, the II-AAA playoffs start next Friday.) If you’d like to catch up on playoff odds, read this post; it serves as an overall preview with a good bit of analysis.

The Week 11 projections went 139-29 (82.7%), marking the sixth week in seven with an 80% hit rate or above. The final regular season record for these projections comes out to 1418-347 (80.3%), which, for a system projecting every single game from Week 1 onward, ended up doing pretty well. I think that these should be getting somewhere between 79-85% of playoff games correct, which would be a solid rate.

Anyway, the games. Every game, unless I’m told otherwise, starts at 7 PM local time. Some games may be on TV; as best as I can, I’ve tried to reflect that. Otherwise, the projection provides all the information you really need. At the tail end of the post, there will be some additional analysis of each class. What games have the most at stake? What’s the highest-quality matchup out there? First, here’s the predictions.

1A

  • (R2 #4) Harriman 18 at (R1 #1) Cloudland 29
  • (R2 #3) Coalfield 43 at (R1 #2) Hancock Co. 11
  • (R1 #4) Unaka 0 at (R2 #1) Greenback 60
  • (R1 #3) Jellico 0 at (R2 #2) Oliver Springs 52
  • (R4 #4) Byrns [Jo] 0 at (R3 #1) South Pittsburg 54
  • (R4 #3) Gordonsville 19 at (R3 #2) Copper Basin 27
  • (R3 #4) Whitwell 10 at (R4 #1) Monterey 39
  • (R3 #3) Sale Creek 9 at (R4 #2) Clay Co. 31
  • (R6 #4) Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 4 at (R5 #1) Huntland 36
  • (R6 #3) Collinwood 13 at (R5 #2) Cornersville 30
  • (R5 #4) Richland 5 at (R6 #1) Huntingdon 45
  • (R5 #3) Mount Pleasant 24 at (R6 #2) McEwen 23
  • (R8 #4) Washington 4 at (R7 #1) Lake Co. 51
  • (R8 #3) Memphis East 16 at (R7 #2) West Carroll 31
  • (R7 #4) Dresden 18 at (R8 #1) Middle College 34
  • (R7 #3) Greenfield 25 at (R8 #2) Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 21

2A

  • (R2 #4) Cumberland Gap 9 at (R1 #1) Hampton 42
  • (R2 #3) Rockwood 16 at (R1 #2) South Greene 27
  • (R1 #4) Happy Valley 2 at (R2 #1) Meigs Co. 36
  • (R1 #3) Sullivan North 11 at (R2 #2) Oneida 32
  • (R4 #4) Westmoreland 24 at (R3 #1) Tyner Academy 41
  • (R4 #3) East Robertson 17 at (R3 #2) Bledsoe Co. 25
  • (R3 #4) Tellico Plains 1 at (R4 #1) Watertown 43
  • (R3 #3) Marion Co. 4 at (R4 #2) Trousdale Co. 46
  • (R6 #4) Hickman Co. 9 at (R5 #1) Forrest 39
  • (R6 #3) Riverside 12 at (R5 #2) Lewis Co. 27
  • (R5 #4) Summertown 17 at (R6 #1) Waverly Central 26
  • (R5 #3) Eagleville 19 at (R6 #2) Houston Co. 24
  • (R8 #4) Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 2 at (R7 #1) Peabody 41
  • (R8 #3) Douglass [Frederick] 24 at (R7 #2) Union City 29
  • (R7 #4) Adamsville 11 at (R8 #1) Fairley 34
  • (R7 #3) McKenzie 17 at (R8 #2) Mitchell 26

3A

  • (R2 #4) Kingston 25 at (R1 #1) Chuckey-Doak 21
  • (R2 #3) GPittman 38 at (R1 #2) Unicoi Co. 19
  • (R1 #4) West Greene 0 at (R2 #1) Alcoa 52
  • (R1 #3) Johnson Co. 2 at (R2 #2) Austin-East 44
  • (R4 #4) York Institute 0 at (R3 #1) Loudon 46
  • (R4 #3) Sequatchie Co. 5 at (R3 #2) Red Bank 38
  • (R3 #4) Signal Mountain 10 at (R4 #1) Upperman 36
  • (R3 #3) Sweetwater 21 at (R4 #2) Smith Co. 24
  • (R6 #4) Stewart Co. 0 at (R5 #1) Pearl-Cohn 49
  • (R6 #3) Camden Central 10 at (R5 #2) Stratford 39
  • (R5 #4) Giles Co. 22.5 at (R6 #1) Fairview 23.2
  • (R5 #3) East Nashville 34 at (R6 #2) Sycamore 7
  • (R8 #4) Sheffield 0 at (R7 #1) South Gibson 59
  • (R8 #3) Raleigh-Egypt 0 at (R7 #2) Milan 43
  • (R7 #4) Westview 20 at (R8 #1) Wooddale 26
  • (R7 #3) Covington 37 at (R8 #2) Melrose 5

4A

  • (R2 #4) East Ridge 6 at (R1 #1) Elizabethton 41
  • (R2 #3) Howard Tech 13 at (R1 #2) Greeneville 38
  • (R1 #4) Grainger 8 at (R2 #1) Anderson Co. 43
  • (R1 #3) Sullivan South 16 at (R2 #2) East Hamilton 33
  • (R4 #4) Maplewood 6 at (R3 #1) Livingston Academy 34
  • (R4 #3) Tullahoma 31 at (R3 #2) DeKalb Co. 14
  • (R3 #4) Stone Memorial 3 at (R4 #1) Marshall Co. 43
  • (R3 #3) Macon Co. 9 at (R4 #2) Nolensville 35
  • (R6 #4) Jackson South Side 13 at (R5 #1) Springfield 29
  • (R6 #3) Jackson North Side 24 at (R5 #2) Creek Wood 27
  • (R5 #4) Portland 9 at (R6 #1) Hardin Co. 39
  • (R5 #3) White House-Heritage 21 at (R6 #2) Lexington 27
  • (R8 #4) Craigmont 0 at (R7 #1) Haywood 58
  • (R8 #3) Bolton 2 at (R7 #2) Crockett Co. 52
  • (R7 #4) Dyersburg 19 at (R8 #1) Millington Central 28
  • (R7 #3) Ripley 24 at (R8 #2) Fayette Ware 23

5A

  • (R2 #4) Gibbs 19 at (R1 #1) Tennessee 37
  • (R2 #3) Knoxville Halls 23 at (R1 #2) Daniel Boone 27
  • (R1 #4) Cherokee 10 at (R2 #1) South-Doyle 43
  • (R1 #3) David Crockett 21 at (R2 #2) Central 31
  • (R4 #4) Lenoir City 0 at (R3 #1) Powell 58
  • (R4 #3) Walker Valley 8 at (R3 #2) Knoxville West 46
  • (R3 #4) Oak Ridge 28 at (R4 #1) Soddy Daisy 24
  • (R3 #3) Fulton 18 at (R4 #2) Rhea Co. 31
  • (R6 #4) Hunters Lane 1 at (R5 #1) Page 40
  • (R6 #3) Hillsboro 15 at (R5 #2) Shelbyville Central 36
  • (R5 #4) Columbia Central 11 at (R6 #1) Beech 33
  • (R5 #3) Summit 19 at (R6 #2) Gallatin 23
  • (R8 #4) Ridgeway 12 at (R7 #1) Henry Co. 34
  • (R8 #3) Kirby 22 at (R7 #2) Dyer Co. 30
  • (R7 #4) Kenwood 13 at (R8 #1) Southwind 45
  • (R7 #3) Clarksville 23 at (R8 #2) Munford 26

6A

  • (R2 #4) William Blount 7 at (R1 #1) Dobyns-Bennett 42
  • (R2 #3) Bradley Central 33 at (R1 #2) Farragut 28
  • (R1 #4) Science Hill 11 at (R2 #1) Maryville 44
  • (R1 #3) Bearden 21 at (R2 #2) McMinn Co. 32
  • (R4 #4) Lebanon 8 at (R3 #1) Oakland 44
  • (R4 #3) Wilson Central 13 at (R3 #2) Blackman 32
  • (R3 #4) Cookeville 16 at (R4 #1) Hendersonville 35
  • (R3 #3) Riverdale 22.4 at (R4 #2) Mount Juliet 21.6
  • (R6 #4) Franklin 17 at (R5 #1) Cane Ridge 33
  • (R6 #3) Independence 29 at (R5 #2) Smyrna 18
  • (R5 #4) McGavock 1 at (R6 #1) Brentwood 43
  • (R5 #3) Stewarts Creek 11 at (R6 #2) Ravenwood 38
  • (R8 #4) Germantown 9 at (R7 #1) Houston 41
  • (R8 #3) Memphis Central 24 at (R7 #2) Collierville 25
  • (R7 #4) Cordova 4 at (R8 #1) Whitehaven 28
  • (R7 #3) Bartlett 15 at (R8 #2) White Station 26

II-A

  • (W #6) Tipton-Rosemark Academy 20 at (E #3) Donelson Christian Academy 28
  • (W #5) Fayette Academy 38 at (E #4) Middle Tennessee Christian 19
  • (E #6) Grace Baptist Academy 0 at (W #3) University School of Jackson 46
  • (E #5) Mount Juliet Christian Academy 10 at (W #4) Columbia Academy 43

II-AA

  • (M #5) Goodpasture Christian 14 at (E #1) Grace Christian 36
  • (E #4) CAK 22 at (E #2) Chattanooga Christian 27
  • (M #4) Lipscomb Academy 32 at (E #3) Boyd-Buchanan 23
  • (E #5) Webb 9 at (M #1) Christ Presbyterian Academy 30
  • (W #5) Northpoint Christian 3 at (M #2) Franklin Road Academy 43
  • (W #3) First Assembly Christian 11 at (M #3) Battle Ground Academy 44
  • (W #6) Harding Academy 0 at (W #1) Evangelical Christian 51
  • (W #4) St. George’s 14 at (W #2) Lausanne Collegiate 34

Below are the best games by class, along with how each team ranks in my Class Ratings. The parentheses is their region and seed; the number directly to the left of the team name is how they rank in their given class.

  • 1A: (R5 #3) #8 Mount Pleasant at (R6 #2) #10 McEwen
  • 2A: (R5 #3) #16 Eagleville at (R6 #2) #12 Houston Co.
  • 3A: (R5 #4) #15 Giles Co. at (R6 #1) #17 Fairview
  • 4A: (R6 #3) #13 Jackson North Side at (R5 #2) #12 Creek Wood
  • 5A: (R5 #3) #10 Summit at (R6 #2) #9 Gallatin
  • 6A: (R3 #3) #15 Riverdale at (R4 #2) #19 Mount Juliet
  • II-A: (W #6) #10 Tipton-Rosemark Academy at (E #3) #7 Donelson Christian Academy
  • II-AA: (E #4) #8 CAK at (E #2) #7 Chattanooga Christian

Various other notes:

  • There’s probably going to be a couple big upsets. My system has 54 teams as 22-point favorites or greater; the odds are only about 23% that all 54 win their games. Weird stuff happens in high school football. If you want to expand it a little, there’s only a 1% chance every 15-point or higher favorite wins. Something funny will happen.
  • Looking for a favorite or title contender to get upset? These offer the highest odds of a shock outcome. Remember, we’re looking for teams with 5% title odds or higher.
    • Gibbs over Tennessee (13.5% odds of happening; Tennessee 6.5% title odds); Webb over Christ Presbyterian Academy (10.6% odds; CPA 20.2% title odds); Columbia Central over Beech (10.2% odds; Beech 6.5% title odds); Goodpasture Christian over Grace Christian (9.6% odds; Grace 7.8% title odds); Ridgeway over Henry County (9.1% odds; Henry Co. 13.3% title odds).
  • Looking for an outright favorite to lose? Not likely to happen; Maryville (2.9% to lose to Science Hill) offers the, uh, best? odds.

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

2019 Tennessee high school football playoff odds + analysis

This is a companion piece to what’s on Twitter today. A quick explainer:

  1. Remember that this is a loose guide to how the playoff may go. Because one team is 2% more likely to win the title does not necessarily mean they’d beat said team head-to-head. It just means they’ve got a slightly higher chance of winning five straight games. Please do not Tweet at me about this unless you’ve read the rest of the article.
  2. The analysis here is brief by nature. I don’t have the time or energy to discuss why one team is 2% more likely to win the title. That’s what the ratings have gathered after 11 weeks of football; considering they’ve nailed 80% of game predictions in all but one of the last seven weeks, they’re probably going to be accurate.
  3. These are not perfect ratings, and they fluctuate week-to-week. 14-to-18 year olds are…well, not the most consistent people on the planet. As such, it’s hard for them to churn out robotic, in-line-with-ranking performances weekly. What happens if a team wins by 20 more points than they were expected to? Well, they’ll likely get a small ratings bump. If a team that was supposed to win by 28 wins by 4? A small ratings decrease.
  4. Why is (insert team) not favored to beat (insert team)? They haven’t played anybody! (shrug)

1A

Favorites (20% or higher): South Pittsburg (35.1% to win 1A title), Lake County (28.4%), Huntingdon (28.3%)
Second-tier contenders (5% or higher): Greenback (7.1%)

Analysis: As much as high school football can be predictable, you can pretty easily outline the semifinals: South Pittsburg will travel to the Greenback/Oliver Springs winner, while Huntingdon will host Lake County. There’s an 88% chance of the first thing happening and an 87% chance of the second. Huntingdon would be favored because they’re at home. Greenback fans are a little dismayed at being underdogs to South Pittsburg, but I think it’s fair. Greenback lost to Meigs County 27-20; South Pittsburg beat Meigs, 27-16. Also, South Pitt and Greenback own the same number of Top 10000 wins on MaxPreps. Will it be a close game? Of course! Should South Pitt be the favorite right now? I think so.

2A

Favorites: Peabody (53.9% to win 2A), Meigs County (22.3%)
Second-tier contenders: Watertown (7%), Trousdale County (6.7%), Forrest (4.9%)
Darkhorses: Fairley (1.6%), Tyner Academy (1.1%), Hampton (1.1%)

Analysis: Again, looks fair. There’s one thing I feel pretty confident about: Peabody making the 2A title game. Other than that, there’s a lot of uncertainty. The system isn’t quite sure who’s better between a pair of excellent teams in Watertown and Trousdale County (it would favor Trousdale by about 2.5 points on a neutral field), and plenty of secondary contenders lurk in the shadows. Meanwhile, Meigs County has to beat either Hampton (#8 in my 2A ratings) or Oneida (#11) to get to a semifinal against any of Trousdale (#3), Watertown (#4), or Tyner (#6). Peabody, meanwhile, wouldn’t have to play anyone tougher than Forrest (#5) or Lewis Co. (#9) in the semifinals.

3A

Favorites: Pearl-Cohn (45.2% to win 3A), Alcoa (41.9%)
Second-tier contenders: Loudon (5.6%)
Darkhorses: Covington (2.8%), South Gibson (1.8%), Red Bank (1.1%)

Analysis: Predictably, this is the most controversial projection by a mile. Alcoa’s won four straight 3A titles; Pearl-Cohn hasn’t won one since 1997 and has only made the title game once since then. So why is Pearl-Cohn a tiny favorite? Let me offer the following four-step theory:

  1. Pearl-Cohn, not Alcoa, was in the slightly tougher region. Before your eyes hit the back of your head, consider this: in Region play, Pearl-Cohn had to beat East Nashville (#7 in 3A ratings) and Stratford (#10) to finish undefeated. Alcoa played Gatlinburg-Pittman (#11) and Austin-East (#12), but played no other 3A-2 competition tougher than Kingston (#21). Add in that Giles County (#15) was in Pearl-Cohn’s region, and it makes a little more sense.
  2. Alcoa’s non-region schedule was slightly tougher, but Pearl-Cohn’s was nothing to sneeze at. Pearl-Cohn owns the better best win (Montgomery Bell Academy versus Dobyns-Bennett) and three of the best four (Independence, Cane Ridge) before we get to Alcoa’s second-best win (Blackman). The bottom end of both schedules sucked, but it’s hard to find a public school schedule you can’t say that about. Alcoa’s only sin on the season was a two-touchdown loss to Maryville; if you removed that one game from their ratings, they would get about a 1-2 point bump…or enough to still make them co-favorites with Pearl-Cohn, if not about half-a-point favorites on a neutral field.
  3. Alcoa does have the better point differential on the season, but the ratings I use generally have a cutoff point of useful margin of victory, usually set in the 30s. In all honesty, it’s hard to say a team is truly better because they beat an overwhelmed opponent by 56 and not 42.
  4. Also, these two teams are just really good, possibly equally so. Pearl-Cohn allowed more than 15 points in a game once all season; Alcoa never allowed more than 17. I think they are perfectly acceptable co-favorites. The ratings favor Pearl-Cohn by 1.4 points on a neutral field, which translates to…a 53% chance of beating Alcoa. It is, quite literally, a coin flip. If the coin flip goes Alcoa’s way, it is not surprising in any meaningful sense. Same for Pearl-Cohn.

Anyway, focusing on the Alcoa/P-C issue makes it hard to talk about the others in this class, especially because said title game has a 58% chance of coming to fruition. In the 42% chance it doesn’t, here are the most likely culprits: Loudon, who has stunned everyone this year in becoming an East Tennessee force; Covington, who struggled for two weeks midseason and has mostly recovered; South Gibson, who has one loss all season by a single point in the Game of the Year (Haywood, 50-49).

4A

Favorites: Haywood (22.6%), Elizabethton (20.3%)
Second-tier contenders: Anderson Co. (11.8%), Greeneville (11.2%), Hardin Co. (10.6%), Livingston Academy (9.1%), Marshall Co. (8.4%)
Darkhorses: Crockett Co. (1.3%), Nolensville (1.3%), Tullahoma (1.2%), East Hamilton (1%)

Analysis: Meanwhile, this class could get stupid quickly. I’ve never seen seven teams at 8% or higher to win the title, and all of them have great arguments. Let me clarify each.

  1. Haywood: The Tomcats are #6 in my 4A ratings, which should immediately let you know that they would be underdogs to all of Greeneville, Elizabethton, Anderson County, Livingston Academy, and Marshall County on a neutral field. And yet: they’re the 4A favorite. Why? Because they have the easiest path to the semifinals, and finals, by far. Haywood would play no team rated higher than #11 Crockett County in 4A prior to the semifinals. Their toughest-possible 4A semifinal opponent is #7 Hardin County, who they’d be a ~2 point favorite on the road at. That is why Haywood is the 4A favorite. Also, they’re a good football team.
  2. Elizabethton: Betsy’s case makes more sense. They’re #2 in my ratings by 0.8 points behind Greeneville, a team they beat. Why is this the case? The ratings see a Betsy team that had to go 3-0 in one-score games to finish 10-0, including against a Greeneville team they trailed by 14 in the third quarter to. That generally doesn’t happen, and this is before it gets into the case of having to play either Greeneville or Anderson County (#3) in the quarterfinals before likely playing Livingston Academy (#4) or Marshall County (#5) in the semifinals. It is a brutal slate just to make the 4A title game.
  3. Anderson County: Same as Elizabethton, but with the added misfortune of almost certainly drawing Greeneville (#1) in the second round, followed by Elizabethton (#2) in the quarterfinals. If they beat both, crown them 4A champions on the field.
  4. Greeneville: Same as Elizabethton and Anderson County.
  5. Hardin County: Hardin County lost their first game to McNairy Central by 14 and then immediately took off. They’re 9-0 since, though three of the wins were by seven or fewer points. Hardin County’s path to the semifinals is relatively easy to chart: beat #30 Portland in the first round, either #12 Creek Wood or #13 Jackson North Side in the second, beat either #14 Springfield or #16 Lexington in the quarterfinals.
  6. Livingston Academy: #4 team in 4A, 10-0. This is a very good football team that has the misfortune of playing in the top half of the bracket. To make the title game, they have to go through #9 Nolensville in the second round, either #5 Marshall County or #8 Tullahoma in the quarterfinals, and then one of #1 Greeneville, #2 Elizabethton, or #3 Anderson County in the semifinals.
  7. Marshall County: Livingston Academy’s slate, but having to play #8 Tullahoma in the second round.

5A

Favorites: Powell (38%)
Second-tier contenders: Henry County (13.3%), South-Doyle (13%), Knoxville West (8.5%), Beech (6.5%), Tennessee (6.5%), Page (5.1%)
Darkhorses: Shelbyville Central (4.8%), Gallatin (2.1%)

Analysis: Powell went 10-0 against the toughest schedule in 5A by my ratings, so they’re the favorite. Behind them in odds is a Henry County team with a relatively easy semifinals path, a South-Doyle team that is either great (38-10 over Central, 61-7 over Grace) or terrible (7-3 loss to Seymour) that Powell beat, a Knoxville West team that Powell beat, a Beech squad that’s 10-0 with *three* wins by four points or less, a Tennessee High team that surprised everyone to go 9-1, and two Region 5 squads (Page and Shelbyville Central) that essentially played to a draw earlier in the season. Also, Gallatin is here. The most likely game is Powell/Henry County, but there’s just a 17% shot of it happening. Powell has to go through #2 Knoxville West and likely #3 South-Doyle just to make the 5A title game.

6A

Favorites: Maryville (28%), Oakland (25.3%)
Second-tier contenders: Ravenwood (17.5%), Houston (8.4%), Dobyns-Bennett (6.8%), Brentwood (6.3%), Whitehaven (6%)

Analysis: Correctly, everyone is awaiting a Maryville/Oakland rematch in the semifinals. However: this could theoretically not happen. Why? Consider Maryville likely has to travel to Dobyns-Bennett, an 8-2 football team that’s #6 in my ratings, for the quarterfinals. That’s fairly tough! Also, Oakland has to beat either Blackman (#10) or Hendersonville (#13)….okay, they’re just about a semifinals lock. But still: Maryville’s road is a little tougher than you’d think, though they’re #1 in my ratings over Oakland. Other teams involved: Ravenwood is a five-point favorite on a neutral field over anyone in the bottom half of the bracket, though even a quarterfinals appearance requires a win at #8 Cane Ridge. Houston will make the quarterfinals and so will Whitehaven, but only one of them can make the semifinals. Also, Brentwood is still here and would host Ravenwood in the quarterfinals.

II-A

Favorites: Nashville Christian (50.4%), Davidson Academy (22.1%)
Second-tier contenders: University School of Jackson (14.1%), Friendship Christian (9.9%)
Darkhorses: Columbia Academy (1.8%), Fayette Academy (1.2%)

Analysis: Not much of it is needed. Nashville Christian is the only undefeated school in II-A and is an eight-point favorite on a neutral field over every team in II-A, though they do have to play #3 USJ in the semifinals. Their most likely title game opponent would be #2 Davidson Academy, but they have to travel to #4 Friendship Christian to get there. I can’t say I really foresee any team below those four making the title game or winning it all, but high school football is a weird sport.

II-AA

Favorites: Evangelical Christian (52.8%), Christ Presbyterian Academy (20.2%)
Second-tier contenders: Grace Christian (7.8%), Franklin Road Academy (7.3%), Battle Ground Academy (5.6%)
Darkhorses: Lipscomb Academy (3.1%), Chattanooga Christian (1.7%)

Analysis: Pretty similar to II-A, actually. Evangelical has been the best team in II-AA for most of the season, but the real surprise is how well Christ Presbyterian has recovered from an 0-4 start. CPA has been lights-out for the second half of the season, and if you just included ratings from Week 5 onward, they’d be just a one-point underdog on a neural site against Evangelical. However, it’s not quite that simple: just to make the title game, CPA has to beat #7 Chattanooga Christian or #8 CAK, followed by a likely matchup against either #4 Grace Christian or #6 Lipscomb Academy. It’s a tough road made tougher by how close the competition has been in this class this year. CPA/Evangelical is the most likely title game, but Grace/Evangelical isn’t far behind.

II-AAA

Favorites: McCallie (32.7%), Baylor (27.8%)
Second-tier contenders: Memphis University (12.8%), Ensworth (10.8%), Briarcrest Christian (6.7%), Montgomery Bell Academy (5.6%)
Darkhorses: Knoxville Catholic (3%)

Analysis: Things were basically perfect for McCallie until two weeks ago, when they lost to Clearwater Academy International. That was followed by a surprising home loss to Ensworth, and now, McCallie looks like a different team in a bad way. There are zero off days in this insanely tough class; even their opening game against Christian Brothers will be difficult. McCallie gets to avoid Baylor, Memphis University, MBA, and Knoxville Catholic until the finals….which still means they have to go through Ensworth (#3 in II-AAA ratings) a second time or Briarcrest Christian (#6), who was undefeated until Week 11. This class is absolutely bonkers; any non-Christian Brothers winner really does seem realistic.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 11

Welcome back! Last week was our bloodiest in some time: just a 127-36 (77.9%) record, making it the least-predictable week since Week 1. Finally, some serious upset action! This brings the projections to 1279-318 (80.1%) on the season and still 82.6% from Week 5 onward. It’s been a fun, strange season of high school football.

As a reminder, you can keep track of season-long win projections – which are now just a week’s worth of projections – via this spreadsheet, which is linked here:

Because there are so many games to get to and discuss, I’m limiting Week 10 discussion to some brief hits. 37 of 163 (22.7%) games had a final margin of eight points or fewer, though 63 (38.7%) were certifiable 30+ point blowouts. Still: there were more good games than usual. The projections could’ve done a little better, but a 14-19 record in games decided by 7 points or fewer (expected record in these games was 23-10, though it typically redounds to .500ish) meant more upsets than normal. I’ll take it.

Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 10:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 129-101 (56.1%); 13-12 last week
  • 60-69%: 166-87 (65.6%); 13-7 last week
  • 70-79%: 193-82 (70.2%); 22-13 last week
  • 80-89%: 242-27 (90%); 20-2 last week
  • 90-99%: 548-20 (96.5%); 59-2 last week

Outside of a relatively mediocre week for ~12 point favorites and another astounding one for ~18 point ones, these are still mostly performing to expectation. That’s a good sign for the reliability of the projections as they head into the playoffs.

Week 11’s games are below. 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. Here’s the difference this time: all playoff-relevant games will feature a short explainer of what different results may mean to the relevant class and region seeding. As such, this week is a little bit of a departure. Instead of an A-Z home team listing, games are listed from 1A-1 to 6A-8, with private classes after. (If nothing is listed after a game, feel free to assume that it has no effect on seeding.) The remaining non-region games will be listed last. Of the 55 regions in TSSAA football, 52 still have something to settle. Nearly every game this Friday will be important. Let’s talk about them.

Thursday

1A-8

  • Washington 36 at Bluff City 4
    • If Washington wins: They are guaranteed to make the playoffs at 5-3 in 1A-8 thanks to their win over Westwood. Depending on how MASE/Memphis East shakes out, they will either finish as the 3 or 4 seed.
    • If Bluff City wins: Westwood has a 6% chance of defeating Middle College on the road; if they do, they are the 4 seed. In any other scenario, Washington still makes the playoffs as the 4 seed.
  • Oakhaven 0 at Freedom Prep Academy 48
  • Westwood 10 at Middle College 36
    • If Westwood wins: They make the playoffs as the 4 seed, regardless of other events.
    • If Middle College wins: Washington is the 1A-8 3/4 seed, regardless of other events.

2A-8

  • KIPP Collegiate 6 at Douglass [Frederick] 36
    • If KIPP Collegiate wins AND Memphis Academy of Health and Sciences wins: Douglass is the 4 seed in 2A-8 instead of the 3.
    • All other scenarios: Douglass is the 3.
  • Trezevant 7 at Mitchell 30

3A-8

  • Wooddale 58 at King Prep 0

Non-region

  • Oneida 25 at Coalfield 13 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)

Friday

1A-2

  • Greenback 56 at Oakdale 0
  • Midway 12 at Oliver Springs 35

1A-3

  • South Pittsburg 43 at Copper Basin 8
    • If South Pittsburg wins: They are the 1A-3 winners; Copper Basin is the 2 seed.
    • If Copper Basin wins: They are the 1A-3 winners; South Pittsburg is the 2 seed.
  • Lookout Valley 15 at Whitwell 34
    • If Lookout Valley wins: They are the 1A-3 4 seed.
    • If Whitwell wins: They are the 1A-3 4 seed.

1A-4

  • Red Boiling Springs 2 at Clay Co. 48
    • If Red Boiling Springs wins: It’s obviously not likely, but in most scenarios, they’d be the 1A-4 4 seed unless Gordonsville AND Byrns [Jo] win their games. Clay Co. would fall to the 3 seed in most scenarios.
    • If Clay Co. wins: They are the 1A-4 2 seed.
  • Monterey 32 at Gordonsville 14
    • If Monterey wins: They are the 1A-4 winners. Gordonsville gets the 1A-4 3 seed.
    • If Gordonsville wins: They are the 1A-4 winners. Monterey gets the 1A-4 2 seed.
  • Byrns [Jo] 29 at Pickett Co. 14
    • If Byrns [Jo] wins: They make the playoffs as the 1A-4 4 seed.
    • If Pickett Co. wins AND Clay Co. wins: Pickett Co. makes the playoffs as the 1A-4 4 seed. In no other scenario do they make the playoffs.

1A-5

  • Richland 18 at Huntland 31
    • If Richland wins: They make the playoffs as either the 3 seed (Mount Pleasant wins) or the 2 (Moore Co. wins). Huntland would fall from the 1 seed to the 4; Cornersville wins 1A-5.
    • If Huntland wins: They are the 1A-5 champions, regardless of other events.
  • Moore Co. 20 at Mount Pleasant 31
    • If Moore Co. wins: They make the playoffs as the 1A-5 3 seed. If Richland also wins, Mount Pleasant doesn’t make the playoffs.
    • If Mount Pleasant wins: They make the playoffs as either the 2 (Richland wins) or 3 (Huntland wins) seed. Moore Co. is out.

1A-6

  • McEwen 37 at Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 12
    • If McEwen wins: They are the 1A-6 2 seed. Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central is either the 3 (Wayne Co. wins) or 4 (Collinwood wins) seed.
    • If Hollow-Rock Bruceton Central wins: They are the 1A-6 2 seed. McEwen is the 3 seed.
  • Middleton 28 at Perry Co. 31
  • Collinwood 26 at Wayne Co. 23
    • If Collinwood wins: They make the playoffs as either the 3 (McEwen wins) or the 4 (Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central wins) seed. Wayne Co. is out.
    • If Wayne Co. wins: They make the playoffs as the 4 seed. Collinwood is out.

1A-7

  • South Fulton 39 at Gleason 22
    • If South Fulton wins: They are the 1A-7 4 seed ONLY if Dredsen doesn’t beat Humboldt. Otherwise, they AND Gleason are out.
    • If Gleason wins: Out regardless. South Fulton, obviously, would be out.
  • West Carroll 19 at Greenfield 26
    • If West Carroll wins: They are the 1A-7 2 seed. Greenfield would fall to the 3.
    • If Greenfield wins: They are the 1A-7 2 seed. West Carroll would fall to the 3.
  • Dresden 38 at Humboldt 22
    • If Dresden wins: They are the 1A-7 4 seed, regardless of the results of other games. Humboldt would be out.
    • If Humboldt wins: It gets somewhat complicated. They’d have to root for Gleason to beat South Fulton to make the playoffs; otherwise, they’re out. Dresden would also be done.

1A-8

  • Memphis East 23 at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 21
    • If Memphis East wins: They are the 1A-8 2 seed. MASE would most likely be the 4 seed unless Bluff City beats Washington.
    • If MASE wins: They are the 1A-8 2 seed. Memphis East would be the 3.

2A-1

  • Cosby 1 at Hampton 44
    • If Cosby wins: Hampton is the 2A-1 3 seed.
    • If Hampton wins: Hampton is at worst the 2A-1 2 seed; if South Greene beats Happy Valley, Hampton is the 2A-1 champion due to their tiebreaking win.
  • Happy Valley 17 at South Greene 28
    • If Happy Valley wins: They are the 2A-1 champions, regardless of other events. South Greene would be the 2A-1 3 seed.
    • If South Greene wins: They would likely be the 2A-1 2 seed, but if Cosby stuns Hampton, they would win 2A-1.

2A-2

  • Wartburg 3 at Meigs Co. 50
  • Cumberland Gap 8 at Rockwood 27
    • If Cumberland Gap wins: They are the 2A-2 3 seed, Rockwood the 4.
    • If Rockwood wins: They are the 2A-2 3 seed, Cumberland Gap the 4.

2A-3

  • Tellico Plains 13 at Bledsoe Co. 33
  • Polk Co. 0 at Tyner Academy 46

2A-4

  • Westmoreland 29 at Cascade 16
    • If Westmoreland wins: They are the 2A-4 4 seed no matter what.
    • If Cascade wins: They are the 2A-4 4 seed no matter what.
  • Jackson Co. 0 at Trousdale Co. 46
    • If Jackson Co. wins: They can’t make the playoffs, but they can knock Trousdale Co. down to a 3 seed.
    • If Trousdale Co. wins AND East Robertson wins: They win 2A-4. Otherwise, they’re the 2 seed.
  • East Robertson 14 at Watertown 38
    • If East Robertson wins: They are the 2A-4 2 seed. They win 2A-4 ONLY if Jackson Co. defeats Trousdale Co. Watertown falls to either a 2 or 3 seed depending on other events.
    • If Watertown wins: They win 2A-4. East Robertson is the 3 seed.

2A-5

  • Loretto 17 at Eagleville 37
    • If Loretto wins: They are the 2A-5 4 seed. Eagleville is out of the playoffs.
    • If Eagleville wins: They are the 2A-5 3 seed; Loretto is out.
  • Lewis Co. 19 at Forrest 30
    • If Lewis Co. wins: They win 2A-5; Forrest can fall no further than the 2 seed.
    • If Forrest wins: They win 2A-5; Lewis Co. could either be the 2 seed (either a Community win OR a Summertown/Eagleville combo) or the 3 (Summertown and Loretto win).
  • Community 8 at Summertown 35
    • If Community wins: Summertown is the 2A-5 4 seed.
    • If Summertown wins: They are either the 2 seed (Forrest and Loretto win), the 3 (Lewis Co. and Loretto win), or the 4 (all other scenarios).

2A-6

  • Hickman Co. 9 at Houston Co. 30
    • If Hickman Co. wins: They are the 2A-6 3 seed. Houston Co. is the 4.
    • If Houston Co. wins: They are at least the 2A-6 2 seed; they win 2A-6 outright if Riverside beats Waverly Central.
  • East Hickman Co. 19 at Scotts Hill 25
  • Riverside 23 at Waverly Central 31
    • If Riverside wins: They are at least the 2A-6 2 seed if Houston Co. also wins. If Hickman Co. wins, they’d be the 2A-6 champions. Waverly would either fall to the 2 seed with a Hickman Co. win or the 3 seed if Houston Co. wins.
    • If Waverly Central wins: They are the 2A-6 champions. Riverside is the 3 seed.

2A-7

  • Union City 34 at Halls 15
    • If Union City wins: They are at least the 2A-7 3 seed and almost certainly the 2, assuming a Peabody win over Gibson Co.
    • If Halls wins: Union City is the 2A-7 4 seed.
  • Adamsville 21 at McKenzie 22
    • If Adamsville wins: They make the 2A-7 playoffs and can rise as high as the 2 seed if Halls also wins. McKenzie misses the playoffs if Halls wins OR in a Union City/Gibson Co. combo. However, they can still make it as the 4 seed with a Peabody/Union City combo.
    • If McKenzie wins: They are in as either the 2 seed (Halls wins), the 3 (Peabody and Union City win), or the 4 (Union City and Gibson Co. win). Adamsville only makes it as the 4 seed with a Peabody/Union City combo.
  • Gibson Co. 7 at Peabody 40
    • If Gibson Co. wins: They are the 2A-7 2 seed.
    • If Peabody wins: Nothing changes for them, but this result affects everyone else.

2A-8

  • Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 12 at Fairley 30
    • If MAHS wins: They are the 2A-8 4 seed unless KIPP Collegiate wins on Thursday, then they’re the 3.
    • If Fairley wins: Nothing changes for them; MAHS is the 4 seed.
  • Manassas 13 at Hillcrest 26

3A-1

  • North Greene 18 at Claiborne 33
  • Unicoi Co. 30 at Johnson Co. 18
    • If Unicoi Co. wins: They are the 3A-1 2 seed; Johnson Co. is the 3.
    • If Johnson Co. wins: They are the 3A-1 2 seed; Unicoi Co. is the 3.
  • Chuckey-Doak 32 at West Greene 21

3A-2

  • Northview 1 at Austin-East 46
  • Kingston 13 at GPittman 31
    • If Kingston wins: They are the 3A-2 3 seed; GPittman is the 4.
    • If GPittman wins: They are the 3A-2 3 seed; Kingston is the 4.
  • Scott 26 at Pigeon Forge 15

3A-3

  • Brainerd 20 at McMinn Central 27
  • Loudon 19 at Red Bank 32
    • If Loudon wins: They are the 3A-3 champions. Red Bank is the 2 seed.
    • If Red Bank wins: They are the 3A-3 champions. Loudon is the 2 seed.
  • Signal Mountain 23 at Sweetwater 24
    • If Signal Mountain wins: They are the 3A-3 3 seed, Sweetwater the 4.
    • If Sweetwater wins: They are the 3A-3 3 seed, Signal Mountain the 4.

3A-4

  • York Institute 21 at Cannon Co. 28
    • If York Institute wins: They are the 3A-4 4 seed; Cannon Co. is out.
    • If Cannon Co. wins: They are the 3A-4 4 seed; York Institute is out.
  • Upperman 35 at Sequatchie Co. 13
    • If Upperman wins: They are the 3A-4 champions; Sequatchie Co. is the 3 seed.
    • If Sequatchie Co. wins: They are the 3A-4 champions; Upperman is the 2 seed.
  • Grundy Co. 9 at Smith Co. 44
    • If Grundy Co. wins: Smith Co. falls to the 3 seed. I don’t think anything else is affected.
    • If Smith Co. wins: They are the 2 seed, regardless of other events.

3A-5

  • RePublic 0 at East Nashville 57
    • If RePublic wins: Hell freezes over. Also, it could cause East Nashville to fall to the 4 seed if Giles Co. also pulls off a stunner. Any other result and they’re the 3 seed.
    • If East Nashville wins: 3A-5 3 seed.
  • Giles Co. 12 at Pearl-Cohn 52
    • If Giles Co. wins: Paired with a RePublic stunner, it causes East Nashville to fall to the 4 seed. Any other event and East is the 3.
  • Whites Creek 1 at Stratford 46

3A-6

  • Stewart Co. 18 at Fairview 34
  • Cheatham Co. Central 18 at Harpeth 24
  • Camden Central 25 at Sycamore 21
    • If Camden Central wins: They are the 3A-6 2 seed, Sycamore the 3.
    • If Sycamore wins: They are the 3A-6 2 seed, Camden Central the 3.

3A-7

This one is wild because none of the four teams involved have a clear, precise rooting interest.

  • South Gibson 43 at Bolivar Central 6
  • Covington 27 at McNairy Central 23
    • If Covington wins: They make the 3A-7 playoffs and can be the 2 seed (Westview wins) or the 3 (Milan wins). McNairy Central makes it as the 4 seed if Westview wins, but misses the playoffs with a Milan win.
    • If McNairy Central wins: They are no worse than the 3 seed (Westview wins) and can be the 2 (Milan wins). Covington still makes it as the 4 seed with a Milan win, but is out with a Westview victory.
  • Milan 28 at Westview 31
    • If Milan wins: Everything above applies to this game. Milan is no worse than the 3 seed (McNairy wins) and becomes the 2 with a Covington victory. Westview is either the 4 seed (Covington wins) or out entirely (McNairy wins).
    • If Westview wins: Same thing. They’re either the 3 seed (Covington wins) or the 2 (McNairy wins). Milan is the 4 seed with a McNairy win, but is out with a Covington victory.

3A-8

  • Sheffield 11 at Raleigh-Egypt 29
    • If Sheffield wins: They are the 3A-8 3 seed, Raleigh-Egypt the 4.
    • If Raleigh-Egypt wins: They are the 3A-8 3 seed, Sheffield the 4.

4A-1

  • Union Co. 20 at Grainger 32
    • If Union Co. wins: They are the 4A-1 4 seed. Grainger is out.
    • If Grainger wins: They are the 4A-1 4 seed. Union Co. is out.
  • Elizabethton 53 at Sullivan Central 6
  • Greeneville 54 at Sullivan East 2

4A-2

  • Sequoyah 0 at Anderson Co. 65
  • East Ridge 31 at Hixson 19
    • If East Ridge wins: They are the 4A-2 4 seed. Hixson would be out.
    • If Hixson wins: They are the 4A-2 4 seed. East Ridge would be out.
  • East Hamilton 21 at Howard Tech 18
    • If East Hamilton wins: They are the 4A-2 2 seed, Howard Tech the 3.
    • If Howard Tech wins: They are the 4A-2 2 seed, East Hamilton the 3.

4A-3

  • DeKalb Co. 41 at Cumberland Co. 4
    • If Cumberland Co. wins AND Macon Co. wins: DeKalb Co. falls to the 3 seed and Macon Co. wins 4A-3.
    • All other scenarios: Livingston Academy wins 4A-3, DeKalb is the 2 seed, Macon Co. the 3, Stone Memorial the 4.
  • Livingston Academy 32 at Macon Co. 10
    • See above.

4A-4

  • Spring Hill 19 at Lawrence Co. 25
  • Nolensville 20 at Marshall Co. 24 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
    • If Nolensville wins: They win 4A-4. Marshall Co. finishes as the 2 seed.
    • If Marshall Co. wins: They win 4A-4. Nolensville finishes as the 2 seed.
  • Maplewood 13 at Tullahoma 29
    • If Maplewood wins: They are the 4A-4 3 seed. Tullahoma would be the 4.
    • If Tullahoma wins: They are the 4A-4 3 seed. Maplewood would be the 4.

4A-5

  • Springfield 20 at Creek Wood 30
    • If Springfield wins: They are the 4A-5 champions. Depending on the result of White House-Heritage/Montgomery Central, Creek Wood is either the 2 seed (WHH win) or the 3 (Montgomery win).
    • If Creek Wood wins: Same scenario – Creek Wood wins 4A-5, Springfield is either the 2 or the 3.
  • White House 34 at Greenbrier 20
  • White House-Heritage 22 at Montgomery Central 25
    • If White House-Heritage wins: They’re in the playoffs as the 3 seed. Montgomery Central would be staying at home for the postseason.
    • If Montgomery Central wins: This is kind of wild: Montgomery Central would be the 2 seed and would get a first-round home game. WHH would be out.

4A-6

  • Jackson South Side 16 at Jackson North Side 30
    • If Jackson South Side wins: They are the 4A-6 3 seed. North Side would be the 4.
    • If Jackson North Side wins: They are the 4A-6 3 seed. South Side would be the 4.
  • Chester Co. 0 at Lexington 39
  • Hardin Co. 36 at Liberty Tech Magnet 9

4A-7

  • Crockett Co. 35 at Dyersburg 19
    • If Crockett Co. wins: They’re the 4A-7 2 seed; Dyersburg is the 4.
    • If Dyersburg wins: Here’s a wild one: their seed depends on the Lake Co./Ripley game due to opponent records. If Lake Co. wins AND Dyersburg wins, they’re the 4 seed and Crockett stays the 2. If Ripley and Dyersburg win, Dyersburg jumps to a 3 seed as Crockett falls to the 4. Got that?
  • Haywood 41 at Obion Co. 10

4A-8

  • Craigmont 7 at Fayette Ware 38
    • If Craigmont wins: They’re in the playoffs regardless, to my knowledge, but this bumps them up to a 3 seed IF Bolton wins. If they don’t, they’re the 4 seed. Fayette Ware, most likely, finishes as a 2 seed, but would fall to a 4 if Bolton won.
    • If Fayette Ware wins: They’re at least the 2 seed no matter what. However, a Bolton win over Millington makes them 4A-8 champs. Craigmont is the 4 seed regardless.
  • Bolton 5 at Millington Central 42
    • If Bolton wins: Bolton would lock themselves into a top 2 seed, and if Craigmont pulled a stunner, they’d win 4A-8. If not, they’re still the 2. Millington would fall to the 2 seed in the first scenario and the 3 in the second.
    • If Millington wins: They’re 4A-8 champions. Bolton would be the 3 seed.

5A-1

  • Daniel Boone 35 at Cherokee 27
    • If Daniel Boone wins: They’re the 5A-1 2 seed. Cherokee is the 4. This also bumps David Crockett down to a 3 seed.
    • If Cherokee wins: Two scenarios, and we’ll start with the easiest one: David Crockett wins. This means Cherokee’s the 3 and Daniel Boone is the 4. Here’s the upset: Morristown East wins. Cherokee finishes as the 2 seed with a home game, Daniel Boone is a 3, Morristown East is in, and David Crockett is out entirely.
  • Volunteer 34 at Cocke Co. 33
  • Morristown East 11 at David Crockett 39
    • If Morristown West wins: They are in ONLY if Cherokee also wins. If that doesn’t happen, they’re out. 
    • If David Crockett wins: They’re in and are no worse than the 3 seed. A Cherokee win moves them up to a 2.

5A-2

  • Sevier Co. 17 at Carter 28
  • Central 29 at Gibbs 15
    • If Central wins: They lock themselves in as the 5A-2 2 seed behind South-Doyle. The easiest scenario here for Gibbs is that Knoxville Halls wins, which cements Gibbs as the 4 seed. If Seymour wins….well, even TSSAA has no idea – they’ve just got two question marks past South-Doyle and Central.
    • If Gibbs wins: They are in the playoffs, and if Seymour were to win, would rise as high as the 2 seed. Central can fall no further than the 3.
  • Seymour 15 at Knoxville Halls 31
    • If Seymour wins: A Gibbs win combined with this means Seymour is in and Halls is out. A Central win and, again, it gets weird. I don’t know how that shakes out.
    • If Halls wins: They’re the 5A-2 3 seed and Seymour is out.

5A-3

  • Karns 28 at Clinton 35
    • If Karns wins: Already it gets weird. Karns makes the playoffs as the 4 seed IF Knoxville West AND Oak Ridge win their games. This is a pretty likely scenario, but it requires a Karns upset to make it happen.
    • If Clinton wins: Karns is out and Fulton sneaks in as the 4 seed.
  • Oak Ridge 34 at Fulton 17
    • If Oak Ridge wins: They’re locked in as the 5A-3 3 seed. As described above, Fulton would need a Clinton win to make the 5A playoffs.
    • If Fulton wins: They’re the 5A-3 3 seed. Oak Ridge would be the 4.
  • Campbell Co. 3 at Knoxville West 44
    • If Campbell Co. wins: They make the playoffs only if Karns AND Oak Ridge win. All other scenarios mean their postseason demise.
    • If Knoxville West wins: Campbell Co. is out; West is already locked in as the 2 seed.

5A-4

  • Walker Valley 16 at Soddy Daisy 33
    • This one’s simple: a Walker Valley win means they’re the 5A-4 2 seed, a Rhea County region title, and a Soddy Daisy 3 seed. A Soddy Daisy win means a Region championship, Rhea Co. as the 2 seed, and Walker Valley the 3.

5A-5

  • Shelbyville Central 35 at Columbia Central 18
    • If Shelbyville Central wins: They’re the 5A-5 2 seed and Columbia Central the 4.
    • If Columbia Central wins: They’re either the 4 seed (if Summit wins) or the 3 (Lincoln Co. wins). Shelbyville is either the 2 (Summit wins) or the 3 (Lincoln Co. wins).
  • Summit 34 at Lincoln Co. 13
    • If Summit wins: They’re in the playoffs and are the 3 seed. Also, they factor into the Shelbyville/Columbia game as seen above.
    • If Lincoln Co. wins: They need Columbia Central to win to make the playoffs as the 4 seed and bump Summit out of the playoffs. Otherwise, this is a meaningless-but-nice win. 
  • Franklin Co. 7 at Page 40

5A-6

  • Glencliff 0 at Gallatin 64
  • Beech 49 at Hillwood 9
  • Hillsboro 34 at Hunters Lane 12
    • If Hillsboro wins: They’re the 5A-6 3 seed. Hunters Lane would be the 4.
    • If Hunters Lane wins: They’re the 5A-6 3 seed. Hillsboro would be the 4.

5A-7

  • West Creek 17 at Clarksville 40
    • If West Creek wins: They need a Dyer Co. win to make the playoffs. Otherwise, donezo.
  • Kenwood 4 at Dyer Co. 38
    • If Dyer Co. wins: They only factor into this due to potentially helping West Creek sneak in. Otherwise, they’re locked into the 2 seed.
  • Henry Co. 43 at Northwest 9

5A-8

  • Ridgeway 29 at Kirby 26
    • If Ridgeway wins: Ridgeway literally can finish anywhere from 1st to 4th on Friday night, though a win keeps them from falling below the 3 seed. Southwind/Houston factors into this due to overall record; if Southwind pulls a surprise, Ridgeway is the 3 seed. If Houston and Munford win, Ridgeway is the 2 seed. If Kingsbury pulls off a stunner, Ridgeway is the 5A-8 champion. Also, Kirby is locked in as the 4 seed.
    • If Kirby wins: They’re the 5A-8 3 seed and Ridgeway the 4.
  • Brighton 30 at Memphis Overton 22
  • Kingsbury 2 at Munford 49
    • If Kingsbury wins: Unlikely, obviously, but this hands 5A-8 to Ridgeway and locks Munford in as the 3.
    • If Munford wins: They can finish either first or second. A Southwind/Ridgeway combo: 2 seed. Kirby wins: 2 seed. Houston/Ridgeway combo? 5A-8 champions.

6A-1

  • Jefferson Co. 14 at Farragut 32
    • If Jefferson Co. wins: They can’t make it, but they can screw up the field a little. Here’s the combos that still allow Farragut to make it as the 4 seed: Bearden/Morristown West wins or Science Hill/Hardin Valley wins. A Bearden/Hardin Valley combo puts Farragut on the outside looking in.
    • If Farragut wins: They’re in, and can rise as high as the 2 seed if Bearden wins, but would likely finish as the 3.
  • Hardin Valley 34 at Morristown West 14
    • If Hardin Valley wins: They become huge Patriots fans. They’re either the 3 seed (Jefferson Co./Science Hill win) or 4 (Jefferson Co./Bearden) just by virtue of a JeffCo win. Otherwise, a Farragut win keeps them out.
    • If Morristown West wins: I *think* it keeps Farragut in no matter what.
  • Bearden 17 at Science Hill 28
    • If Bearden wins: They can finish as high as the 2 seed depending on a Jefferson Co. win. Regardless, they’d be in under any circumstance that isn’t a Jefferson Co./Hardin Valley combo.
    • If Science Hill wins: They win 6A-1. Depending on the results of the other two games, Hardin Valley (JeffCo/HVA combo) or Bearden (anything else) is in.

6A-2

  • Ooltewah 26 at Cleveland 28
    • If Ooltewah wins: They’re in as the 4 seed, I think, unless I’ve missed something. Cleveland would be out.
    • If Cleveland wins: They become the biggest Lenoir City fans on the planet. Why? Because William Blount beat Cleveland and holds the tiebreaker. If Lenoir City wins, Cleveland is in. If WB wins, Cleveland is out.
  • Heritage 0 at Maryville 66
  • Bradley Central 23.27 at McMinn Co. 23.28
    • Look at that score! 
    • If Bradley Central wins: They’re locked in as the 6A-2 2 seed. McMinn Co. would fall to the 3.
    • If McMinn Co. wins: They’re locked in as the 6A-2 2 seed. Bradley Central would be the 3.

6A-3

  • Cookeville 20 at Blackman 31
    • If Cookeville wins: They’re likely the 3 seed, Blackman the 4. However: if Coffee Co. also wins, Cookeville is the 2 and Blackman the 3.
    • If Blackman wins: They’re the 2 seed no matter what. Cookeville would be the 4.
  • Warren Co. 0 at Oakland 51
  • Coffee Co. Central 9 at Riverdale 41
    • If Coffee Co. Central wins: Riverdale falls to the 4 seed.
    • If Riverdale wins: They either finish as the 3 seed (Blackman wins) or the 4 (Cookeville wins). It may not be fun, but they probably should root for Blackman.
  • Siegel 29 at Rockvale 19
    • The winner doesn’t go 0-10.

6A-4

  • Mount Juliet 24 at Hendersonville 22
    • If Mount Juliet wins: They win 6A-4. Hendersonville can finish as the 2 seed (Rossview wins), the 3 (Lebanon AND Station Camp win), or the 4 (Lebanon AND Wilson Central win).
    • If Hendersonville wins: They win 6A-4. Mount Juliet is the 2 seed.
  • Lebanon 24 at Rossview 18
    • If Lebanon wins: Well, here you go: they can finish as the 2 seed (Mount Juliet AND Station Camp win), the 3 (Mount Juliet AND Wilson Central win or Hendersonville AND Station Camp win), or the 4 (Hendersonville AND Wilson Central win).
    • If Rossview wins: They’re in the playoffs as the 4 seed. Lebanon is out.
  • Wilson Central 32 at Station Camp 9
    • If Wilson Central wins: They either finish as the 2 seed (Mount Juliet AND Lebanon win) or the 3 (Hendersonville AND Lebanon win).
    • If Station Camp wins: Wilson Central is the 4 seed.

6A-5

  • LaVergne 12 at Cane Ridge 44
    • If LaVergne wins: They’re in the playoffs as the 6A-5 4 seed only if McGavock loses.
  • Nashville Overton 17 at McGavock 23
    • If Nashville Overton wins: McGavock is out of the playoffs and LaVergne is in.
    • If McGavock wins: They’re the 6A-5 4 seed.
  • Stewarts Creek 30 at Smyrna 17
    • If Stewarts Creek wins: They’re the 6A-5 2 seed. Smyrna falls to the 3.
    • If Smyrna wins: They’re the 6A-5 2 seed. Stewarts Creek falls to the 3.

6A-6

  • Brentwood 42 at Centennial 16
    • If Centennial wins: They’re the 6A-6 4 seed if they win and Franklin loses. All other scenarios result in them missing the 6A playoffs.
  • Dickson Co. 5 at Franklin 34
    • If Dickson Co. wins: Franklin is still in the playoffs as long as Centennial doesn’t win.
    • If Franklin wins: 6A-6 4 seed.
  • Independence 20 at Ravenwood 35
    • If Independence wins: They are the 6A-6 2 seed. Ravenwood finishes as the 3.
    • If Ravenwood wins: They are the 6A-6 2 seed. Independence finishes as the 3.

6A-7

  • Bartlett 22 at Collierville 23
    • If Bartlett wins: They’re the 6A-7 2 seed. Collierville is the 4 seed.
    • If Collierville wins: They are either the 2 seed (Cordova wins) or the 3 seed (Arlington wins) depending on the Arlington/Cordova result. Likewise, Bartlett is either the 3 seed (Cordova wins) or the 4 (Arlington wins).
  • Arlington 23 at Cordova 30
    • If Arlington wins: They’re the 6A-7 2 seed and Cordova is out of the playoffs.
    • If Cordova wins: My understanding is that they make the playoffs only with a Collierville win to pair with their own. Otherwise, Arlington is the 3 seed.

6A-8

  • White Station 31 at Germantown 18
    • If White Station wins: 6A-8 2 seed, Germantown 4.
    • If Germantown wins: Still the 4 seed unless Memphis Central wins. Then they jump to the 3 seed.
  • Memphis Central 13 at Whitehaven 33
    • If Memphis Central wins: They’re the 3 seed unless Germantown wins – then, out of nowhere, they win 6A-8. Whitehaven falls to the 2 seed.
    • If Whitehaven wins: They’re the 6A-8 champions. Memphis Central is the 3 seed.

II-A East

  • Grace Baptist Academy 30 at Grace Christian Academy 22
    • If Grace Baptist wins: They’re in the playoffs regardless, but a win cements them as the East 6 seed. Grace Christian would stay the 8 seed.
    • If Grace Christian wins: They would be the 7 seed with a Webb School win to pair with their own; otherwise, they’re the 8 seed. Grace Baptist would be the 8 seed if Webb wins; if not, I believe they’re still the 6.
  • Webb Bell Buckle 14 at Middle Tennessee Christian 36
    • If Webb Bell Buckle wins: They’re the East 6 seed. MTCS either finishes as the 4 seed (Grace Christian and DCA win) or the 5 (MJCA wins).
    • If Middle Tennessee Christian wins: They’re the East 4 seed. Webb would be the 7.
  • Donelson Christian Academy 30 at Mount Juliet Christian Academy 14
    • If DCA wins: They’re the East 3 seed, regardless of any other event. MJCA would be the 5.
    • If MJCA wins: They’re the East 3 seed, regardless of any other event. DCA would fall to 4th.

II-A West

This one gets nutty quick. I can’t give you all of the scenarios possible here, because some of them lead to the bottom three seeds being a mystery. That’s the fun with large regions.

  • University School of Jackson 34 at Clarksville Academy 13
    • If USJ wins: Win or lose, they’re locked into the West 3 seed. Clarksville Academy would be out, as they lost to Jackson Christian (the other 1-6 team).
    • If Clarksville Academy wins: It gets weird. In several scenarios, this cements Clarksville Academy as the West 7 seed. In others – especially ones dependent on the outcome of Fayette/Columbia – TSSAA offers no resolution. All I can tell you is that a win seems beneficial to their playoff outlook.
  • Fayette Academy 25 at Columbia Academy 23
    • If Fayette Academy wins: It locks them in as the West 4 seed. Columbia Academy would be the 5. This result also factors into the lower-tier standings in ways that require more words than I have.
    • If Columbia Academy wins: They’re the West 4 seed and Fayette the 5. Simple enough.
  • Jackson Christian 17 at Davidson Academy 43
    • If Jackson Christian wins: TSSAA offers no serious resolution on this, so whatever: I would imagine that they’re in as some seed. If USJ wins, period, they’re in. Davidson Academy is the West 2 seed no matter what happens.
    • If Davidson Academy wins: They’re the West 2 seed. Jackson Christian is 100% in as the 8 seed as long as USJ wins; if they don’t, I don’t know what happens.
  • Nashville Christian 36 at Trinity Christian Academy 10
    • If Nashville Christian wins: Win or lose, they’re the II-A West champions. Dependent on the result of other games, this either locks Trinity in as the West 7 seed (any sort of USJ win) or tosses them into the Mystery Zone (Clarksville Academy wins).
    • If Trinity wins: They’re locked in as the West 6 seed. Nashville Christian, of course, is the 1 seed regardless of what happens.

II-AA East

  • Webb 22 at CAK 27
    • If Webb wins: They’re the East 4 seed. CAK is the 5.
    • If CAK wins: They can finish no lower than the 4 seed, and that’s only if Grace Christian wins. If Boyd-Buchanan wins, they’re either the 3 seed (Chattanooga Christian wins) or the 2 (Silverdale wins). Webb would be the 5 seed.
  • Boyd-Buchanan 24 at Grace Christian 30
    • If Boyd-Buchanan wins: They’re at least the East 2 seed if Chattanooga Christian also wins. If an upset happens and Silverdale wins, Boyd-Buchanan is the II-AA East champion. Grace could finish second (Silverdale/Webb combo), third (Silverdale/CAK combo OR Webb/Chattanooga Christian), or fourth (Chattanooga Christian/CAK).
    • If Grace Christian wins: They are the II-AA East champions. Boyd-Buchanan would be the 3 seed.
  •  Chattanooga Christian 34 at Silverdale Academy 12
    • If Chattanooga Christian wins: They are the II-AA East champions. That’s right – three different teams are going into Friday night with the expectation that they can win this region at the end of the night. Cool! Silverdale would be the 6 seed.
    • If Silverdale wins: They’re the 6 seed no matter what, but this would knock Chattanooga Christian down to either a 3 seed (Webb wins) or a 4 (CAK wins).

II-AA Middle

  • Christ Presbyterian Academy 26 at Franklin Road Academy 25
    • If CPA wins: They are II-AA Middle champions. FRA either finishes as the 2 seed (BGA wins) or the 3 (Lipscomb wins).
    • If FRA wins: They are II-AA Middle champions. CPA is the 2 seed.
  • Battle Ground Academy 21 at Lipscomb Academy 22
    • If BGA wins: They are the II-AA Middle 3 seed. Lipscomb is the 4.
    • If Lipscomb wins: They are either the 3 seed (FRA wins) or the 2 (CPA wins). BGA, under either result, is the 4.

II-AA West

  • First Assembly Christian 0 at Evangelical Christian 45
    • If FACS wins: They win II-AA West. ECS would be the 2 seed.
    • If ECS wins: They win II-AA West. FACS would finish as the 2 seed with a St. George’s win and the 3 seed if Lausanne wins.
  • Northpoint Christian 23 at Harding Academy 25
    • If Northpoint wins: They’re the II-AA West 5 seed. Harding Academy would be the 6.
    • If Harding Academy wins: II-AA West 5 seed. Northpoint 6 seed.
  • Lausanne Collegiate 38 at St. George’s 22
    • If Lausanne wins: They finish second in II-AA West. St. George’s would be the 4 seed.
    • If St. George’s wins: They finish third in II-AA West. Lausanne would be the 4 seed.

II-AAA East

This one is fun because of one specific circumstance. You’ll see it shortly.

  • Baylor 21.1 at Brentwood Academy 20.8
    • If Baylor wins: They’re locked in as the II-AAA East 2 seed with any victory. Brentwood Academy still makes the playoffs as either the 3 seed (Father Ryan/McCallie wins) or the 4 seed (Father Ryan/Ensworth OR Knox Catholic/McCallie). However, under one very specific pairing of wins – Ensworth/Knox Catholic – they’re out, snapping their four-year title streak. If you’re a BA fan, you’ve got to be rooting like crazy for McCallie, right?
    • If Brentwood Academy wins: Safely in as the II-AAA East 2 seed. Baylor would be the 3.
  • Father Ryan 10 at Knox Catholic 36
    • If Father Ryan wins: It ends Knox Catholic’s playoff hopes; under no set of other outcomes would they make it, to my knowledge.
    • If Knox Catholic wins: Happy outcomes first: they are the 3 seed if Baylor and McCallie win and the 4 seed if Baylor and Ensworth win. If Brentwood Academy defeats Baylor, Catholic is out, as they do not win a tiebreaker with Ensworth.
  • Ensworth 12 at McCallie 26
    • If Ensworth wins: They’re in the playoffs as the 3 seed. McCallie is the II-AAA East champion, win or lose.
    • If McCallie wins: Again, they’re the 1 seed no matter what. However: it gets spicy fast for Ensworth. As long as any result other than a Baylor/Knox Catholic combo happens, they’re in as the II-AAA East 4 seed. If those two teams win, their season is over. Ensworth should be rooting for Brentwood Academy, even though their own team winning would be a disaster for BA.

II-AAA West

  • Memphis University 20 at Briarcrest Christian 25
    • If MUS wins: They’re the II-AAA West champions. Briarcrest would be the 2 seed.
    • If Briarcrest wins: They’re the II-AAA West champions. MUS would either be the 2 seed (Christian Brothers wins) or the 3 (MBA wins).
  • Christian Brothers 13 at Montgomery Bell Academy 26
    • If Christian Brothers wins: They’re the II-AAA West 3 seed. MBA would be the 4.
    • If MBA wins: They’re the II-AAA West 3 seed. Christian Brothers would be the 4.
  • Pope John Paul II 38 at St. Benedict at Auburndale 11

Non-region

  • Unaka 19 at Sunbright 32
  • Fayetteville 38 at Sale Creek 7
  • Cloudland 22 at Sullivan North 27
  • Melrose 40 at Hamilton 4
  • Dobyns-Bennett 25 at Alcoa 28
  • Friendship Christian 30 at Stone Memorial 19
  • Lake Co. 36 at Ripley 21
  • Sullivan South 14 at Tennessee 39
  • Powell 27 at South-Doyle 23
  • William Blount 36 at Lenoir City 16
  • Marion Co. 2 at Rhea Co. 44
  • Northeast 38 at Antioch 10
  • Southwind 11 at Houston 38
  • Jellico 8 at Berea (KY) 42
  • Goodpasture Christian 27 at White Co. 28
  • Cornersville 30 at Zion Christian Academy 18

Alright! That’s over 5,600 words to this point on 168 total football games. I don’t know if you need any additional analysis. Over the course of the season, this has traditionally been the space where I talk about five or so games that stand out. Let’s make it different: here’s a list of every game where a Region title and at least two rounds, if not more, of home field advantage is at stake. All of the following games are being played Friday night at either 7:30 ET for Eastern Time Zone teams or 7:00 CT for Central Time Zone teams.

  • South Pittsburg at Copper Basin (1A-3)
  • Monterey at Gordonsville (1A-4)
  • Cosby at Hampton (2A-1)
  • Happy Valley at South Greene (2A-1)
  • Jackson Co. at Trousdale Co. (2A-4)
  • East Robertson at Watertown (2A-4)
  • Lewis Co. at Forrest (2A-5)
  • Hickman Co. at Houston Co. (2A-6)
  • Riverside at Waverly Central (2A-6)
  • Loudon at Red Bank (3A-3)
  • Upperman at Sequatchie Co. (3A-4)
  • DeKalb Co. at Cumberland Co. (4A-3)
  • Livingston Academy at Macon Co. (4A-3)
  • Nolensville at Marshall Co. (4A-4)
  • Springfield at Creek Wood (4A-5)
  • Craigmont at Fayette Ware (4A-8)
  • Bolton at Millington Central (4A-8)
  • Walker Valley at Soddy Daisy (5A-4)
  • Ridgeway at Kirby (5A-8)
  • Kingsbury at Munford (5A-8)
  • Bearden at Science Hill (6A-1)
  • Mount Juliet at Hendersonville (6A-4)
  • Memphis Central at Whitehaven (6A-8)
  • Boyd-Buchanan at Grace Christian (II-AA East)
  • Chattanooga Christian at Silverdale Academy (II-AA East)
  • Christ Presbyterian Academy at Franklin Road Academy (II-AA Middle)
  • First Assembly Christian at Evangelical Christian (II-AA West)
  • Memphis University at Briarcrest Christian (II-AAA West)

Collectively, these are the Games of the Week. You can view their projections above, of course, but also either at this link or right here:

Best of luck to all teams involved in the madness this week! I expect my initial 2019 TSSAA Playoff Projections to be up by next Wednesday, with a full slate of first-round projections out Friday morning. Thanks for reading.

Tennessee high school football projections, Week 10

Nine weeks down, just two weeks to go! The playoffs are almost here, and a lot of playoff spots will be claimed this week. Last week, these projections went 116-27 (81.1%), bringing them to 1152-282 (80.3%) on the season. From Week 5 onward, these projections have gone 619-121 (83.7%). It certainly could be worse.

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

Again, last week’s sample was slightly smaller than usual (143 games compared to the typical 160+), but it was a little disappointing nonetheless in terms of quality play. 27 of 143 (18.9%) games finished with a single-digit margin, while over double that number – 58 (40.6%) – finished with 30+ point margins. The Game of the Week was obviously Knoxville West/Powell, a game that ended regulation at 14-14 and finished with Powell stuffing a West two-point attempt to win 21-20.

This week, in theory, should be better. Favorites are expected to go 131.1-32.9 (79.9%), which is lower than the last several weeks. Perhaps it’s because so many quality Region games are saved for the end of the year.

Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 9:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 116-89 (56.6%); 5-10 last week
  • 60-69%: 153-80 (65.7%); 12-8 last week
  • 70-79%: 171-69 (71.3%); 20-5 last week
  • 80-89%: 222-25 (89.9%); 19-2 last week
  • 90-99%: 489-18 (96.5%); 60-2 last week

Two large upsets did happen: Northview (previously 0-8) over Scott as a 29-point underdog, along with Franklin County defeating Lipscomb Academy as a 29-point underdog. They aren’t the biggest of the year, but both were fairly remarkable. Outside of that, the biggest miss on a game was actually on a correct projection: Middle College, projected to defeat Memphis East by two points, won by 48. Week 9 delivered the second-best Absolute Error (the margin I’m off the projected score by) of the season: 12.29, just missing Week 6’s 12.19. The projections are getting better and better; my goal is to keep this number below 13 the rest of the way.

Here are Week 10’s scheduled 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.

Monday

  • King Prep 4 at Raleigh-Egypt 44 (NOTE: It appears King Prep forfeited this game, so it goes to the books as Raleigh-Egypt 1, King Prep 0.)

Tuesday

  • Craigmont 26 at Bolton 24 (Actual score: Bolton 6, Craigmont 0.) 

Thursday

  • Gallatin 27 at Beech 24
  • Tyner Academy 35 at Brainerd 11
  • Lewis Co. 27 at Camden Central 22
  • Clarksville Academy 16 at Columbia Academy 30
  • Rockvale 7 at Cookeville 41
  • Sheffield 0 at Covington 56
  • Anderson Co. 29 at East Hamilton 19
  • Howard Tech 25 at East Ridge 19
  • Whitwell 4 at Fayetteville 44
  • Shelbyville Central 40 at Franklin Co. 10
  • Tullahoma 29 at Giles Co. 25
  • Dresden 39 at Gleason 20
  • Lake Co. 38 at Greenfield 14
  • Sequatchie Co. 38 at Grundy Co. 12
  • Jackson South Side 6 at Haywood 41
  • Northeast 6 at Henry Co. 44
  • Middleton 0 at Huntingdon 71
  • Cornersville 23 at Huntland 23.3
  • Pigeon Forge 6 at Kingston 36
  • Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 26 at KIPP Collegiate 6
  • Smyrna 23 at LaVergne 25
  • McNairy Central 20 at Lexington 17
  • Page 37 at Lincoln Co. 12
  • Hickman Co. 21 at Loretto 24
  • Silverdale Academy 25 at Marion Co. 21
  • Kirby 41 at Memphis Overton 12
  • Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 14 at Middle College 29
  • Hamilton 0 at Mitchell 42
  • Station Camp 0 at Mount Juliet 44
  • Clarksville 36 at Northwest 20
  • Oak Ridge 16 at Powell 35 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • Craigmont 17 at Raleigh-Egypt 29
  • Bradley Central 30 at Soddy Daisy 17
  • Kingsbury 0 at Southwind 51
  • Battle Ground Academy 34 at Spring Hill 12
  • Nashville Overton 3 at Stewarts Creek 42
  • Crockett Co. 19 at University School of Jackson 26
  • Watertown 20 at Upperman 32
  • Loudon 34 at Walker Valley 17
  • Lebanon 22 at Wilson Central 18

Friday

  • Riverside 22 at Adamsville 17
  • GPittman 12 at Alcoa 37
  • Copper Basin 25 at Andrews (NC) 26
  • McGavock 34 at Antioch 10
  • Collierville 31 at Arlington 20
  • King Prep 0 at Bartlett 67
  • Montgomery Bell Academy 17 at Baylor 21
  • Morristown West 11 at Bearden 36
  • Siegel 10 at Blackman 41
  • Westwood 32 at Bluff City 8
  • Notre Dame 21 at Boyd-Buchanan 37
  • Knox Catholic 21 at Brentwood 31
  • Ensworth 19 at Brentwood Academy 20 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
  • Manassas 0 at Briarcrest Christian 60
  • Ridgeway 36 at Brighton 17
  • Gordonsville 22 at Byrns [Jo] 18
  • Forrest 40 at Cascade 8
  • Pope John Paul II 33 at Centennial 23
  • Hixson 24 at Chattanooga Central 29
  • Webb 21 at Chattanooga Christian 25
  • Sycamore 28 at Cheatham Co. Central 14
  • Bolivar Central 32 at Chester Co. 16
  • Wooddale 16 at Christian Brothers 27
  • Campbell Co. 29 at Clinton 25
  • Oakland 49 at Coffee Co. Central 0
  • McEwen 38 at Community 15
  • Jellico 17 at Cosby 32
  • Bledsoe Co. 35 at Cumberland Co. 8
  • Claiborne 15 at Cumberland Gap 28
  • David Crockett 34 at Daniel Boone 20 (7:00 PM ET, Tri-Cities CW)
  • Science Hill 11 at Dobyns-Bennett 40
  • Grace Christian Academy 5 at Donelson Christian Academy 48
  • Trezevant 17 at Douglass [Frederick] 29
  • Zion Christian Academy 27 at East Hickman Co. 23
  • Harpeth 13 at East Robertson 33
  • Sullivan South 13 at Elizabethton 44
  • Hillcrest 8 at Fairley 38
  • Dickson Co. 14 at Fairview 33
  • Lipscomb Academy 25 at Father Ryan 15
  • Davidson Academy 34 at Fayette Academy 32
  • First Assembly Christian 20.8 at Fayette Ware 20.5
  • Nolensville 26 at Franklin 16
  • Memphis East 9 at Freedom Prep Academy 42
  • Knoxville West 37 at Fulton 8
  • Carter 16 at Gibbs 26
  • Fulton City (KY) 0 at Gibson Co. 56
  • East Nashville 39 at Goodpasture Christian 14
  • CAK 19 at Grace Christian 34
  • Midway 9 at Greenback 43
  • Grainger 10 at Greeneville 45
  • Unaka 0 at Hampton 53
  • West Greene 33 at Hancock Co. 14
  • Trinity Academy Tri-Cities 23 at Happy Valley 20
  • Milan 23 at Hardin Co. 28
  • Farragut 30 at Hardin Valley 16
  • St. Benedict at Auburndale 32 at Harding Academy 21
  • Oakdale 5 at Harriman 36
  • Ooltewah 46 at Heritage 10
  • Hillwood 14 at Hillsboro 45
  • Collinwood 23 at Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 21
  • Cordova 13 at Houston 37
  • Scotts Hill 31 at Humboldt 21
  • Pearl-Cohn 36 at Independence 23
  • Trinity Christian Academy 22 at Jackson Christian 24
  • Cloudland 19 at Johnson Co. 29
  • Rhea Co. 41 at Karns 17
  • Jackson North Side 28 at Kenwood 14
  • Grace Baptist Academy 11 at King’s Academy 41
  • Summertown 19 at Lawrence Co. 20
  • Dyersburg 29 at Liberty Tech Magnet 22
  • McMinn Co. 12 at Maryville 34
  • Clearwater Academy International (FL) 20 at McCallie 29
  • Obion Co. 17 at McKenzie 32
  • Polk Co. 0 at Meigs Co. 51 (7:30 PM ET, WFLI-TV)
  • Memphis Central 30 at Melrose 10
  • Oakhaven 20 at Memphis Business Academy 22
  • Memphis Nighthawks 20 at Halls 29
  • White Station 14 at Memphis University 33
  • Mount Juliet Christian Academy 22 at Middle Tennessee Christian 27
  • Clay Co. 18 at Monterey 30
  • Eagleville 29 at Mount Pleasant 26
  • Evangelical Christian 32 at Munford 17
  • Tipton-Rosemark Academy 6 at Nashville Christian 38
  • Lausanne Collegiate 38 at Northpoint Christian 12
  • Coalfield 17 at Oliver Springs 25 (7:30 PM ET, BBB-TV)
  • Washington 0 at Peabody 49
  • Wayne Co. 32 at Perry Co. 20
  • Creek Wood 27 at Portland 16
  • Cane Ridge 22 at Ravenwood 33
  • Pickett Co. 29 at Red Boiling Springs 23
  • Todd Co. Central (KY) 31 at RePublic 20
  • Moore Co. 30 at Richland 21
  • Millington Central 25 at Ripley 26
  • Warren Co. 12 at Riverdale 38
  • Hendersonville 29 at Rossview 17
  • South Pittsburg 48 at Sale Creek 0
  • Knoxville Halls 33 at Sevier Co. 18
  • Lenoir City 12 at Seymour 34
  • Stone Memorial 16 at Smith Co. 36
  • West Carroll 29 at South Fulton 24
  • Franklin Road Academy 20 at South Gibson 29
  • Central 24 at South-Doyle 23
  • Greenbrier 17 at Springfield 39
  • Bolton 11 at St. George’s 42
  • Houston Co. 24 at Stewart Co. 20
  • Columbia Central 18 at Stratford 32
  • Sullivan North 32 at Sullivan East 19
  • Sweetwater 35 at Tellico Plains 16
  • Cherokee 16 at Tennessee 41
  • Volunteer 25 at Unicoi Co. 34
  • Sullivan Central 25 at Union Co. 31
  • Sunbright 16 at Wartburg 37
  • Westview 35 at Waverly Central 29
  • Friendship Christian 48 at Webb Bell Buckle 1
  • Dyer Co. 41 at West Creek 15
  • White House-Heritage 24 at Westmoreland 21
  • Macon Co. 19 at White Co. 25
  • Montgomery Central 31 at White House 17
  • Germantown 10 at Whitehaven 40
  • Hunters Lane 26 at Whites Creek 19
  • Cleveland 32 at William Blount 21
  • Livingston Academy 41 at York Institute 5

164 games in all, if they’re all played. 88 of them are Region games. Here are the five best, from my perspective.

  • Gallatin (8-0, 3-0) at Beech (8-0, 3-0) (Thursday, 7:00 PM CT). This is the Game of the Week in Tennessee as far as I can tell. I talked about both of these teams last week, and nothing’s changed since: Gallatin beat Hendersonville 27-8 as an 18-point favorite, while Beech defeated Station Camp by 48 (54-point favorite). This not only decides the 5A-6 race, but it also decides the following: who gets home field advantage for the first two rounds, who would host a theoretical rematch in the quarterfinals, and who gets to avoid the 5A-5 winner until the quarterfinals if that happens. You love to see it.
  • McMinn Co. (8-0, 4-0) at Maryville (8-0, 4-0) (Friday, 7:30 PM ET). Disclosure: the ratings don’t expect this game to be close at all. Maryville is favored by 22, and it makes sense; they haven’t lost a Region game since 2000. However, they also aren’t often challenged in Region play by quality competition. This is the best McMinn team in a long time, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them threaten Maryville for 2-3 quarters. However, it’ll take a combination of turnovers + a better-than-expected game from McMinn’s offense to pull off a stunner.
  • Ensworth (6-2, 2-1) at Brentwood Academy (5-3, 1-2) (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Tell me how weird this sentence sounds to you: Brentwood Academy has to win this game to make the playoffs. No, not win the Region; a BA program that’s won four straight state titles needs to win out to feel safe about making the playoffs. They’re favored by a tiny amount here over an excellent Ensworth squad that would wrap up a playoff bid with a win.
  • Central (8-0, 4-0) at South-Doyle (6-2, 4-1) (Friday, 7:30 PM ET). The 5A-2 battle for the title. Central’s played a weak schedule (not entirely their fault) and has mostly done what they should have; South-Doyle, meanwhile, has been a phenomenal squad all but five quarters of the year….and it resulted in a genuinely stunning loss to Seymour (and an expected one to Anderson County). This could be a muddy slopfest in the rain, and I don’t really know who that favors.
  • Anderson Co. (7-1, 4-0) at East Hamilton (6-2, 4-0) (Thursday, 7:30 PM ET). For the 4A-2 title! The winner avoids Elizabethton until the quarterfinals but gets Greeneville in the second round. I don’t know what’s less bad, honestly. Anderson County’s the better team, but East Hamilton has been better than expected this year and their two losses are by nine total points. The two games in this series to date have been won by Anderson 63-14 and 35-3; expect this one to be much closer.
  • Honorable Mentions: Clearwater Academy International (FL) at McCallie (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Knox Catholic at Brentwood (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Pearl-Cohn at Independence (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Cane Ridge at Ravenwood (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Clay Co. at Monterey (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); MASE at Middle College (Thursday, 7:00 PM CT); Coalfield at Oliver Springs (Friday, 7:30 PM ET, BBB-TV); GPittman at Alcoa (Friday, 7:30 PM ET), Franklin Road Academy at South Gibson (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Watertown at Upperman (Thursday, 7:00 PM CT); Lake Co. at Greenfield (Thursday, 7:00 PM CT).

Here’s this week’s schedule in spreadsheet form if you need it:

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

Tennessee high school football projections, week 9

Welcome back for another week! First off, on a personal note: thank you to everyone for the kind words and messages regarding my marriage two weeks back. It’s been a blast so far, and a lot of you played some form of a role in it. Thanks!

Onto the football part. Last week’s projections went 90-19 (82.6%), the fourth-straight week of 82% or higher. This brings the season-long win total to 1036-255 (80.2%), which is slightly above where I’d hoped to be at this point. At this point last year across a much smaller 241-game sample size, the hit rate was 84.6%, but to be hitting levels that high was fairly unsustainable. (The suggested win percentage was more in the range of 79-81%.)

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

Across a much smaller sample of games than usual due to fall break, last week’s games were kind of boring: just three one-point games, only 23 of 109 (21.1%) within single digits, and 48 (44%, or almost half!) of all games being decided by 30 points or more. It wasn’t a great week for the most part. Let’s hope this week is more entertaining, because the sheer star power of the best games is certainly promising.

Favorites are expected to go around 118.9-25.1 (82.5%), which isn’t great, but would be a slightly less predictable week than last. There’s a big run of games – 62 in all – that are projected anywhere from 0.1 to 14 points, though that number is equaled by how many 22+ point margins are expected.

Here’s how the Win Percentage Groups are hanging after Week 8:

  • 50-59% likely to win the game: 111-79 (58.4%); 8-7 last week
  • 60-69%: 141-72 (66.2%); 13-5 last week
  • 70-79%: 151-64 (70.2%); 11-4 last week
  • 80-89%: 203-23 (89.8%); 20-3 last week
  • 90-99%: 429-16 (96.7%); 38-0 last week

An actual pat-on-the-back moment: for the first time all season, every percentage group is within its expected range. Hooray!

Onto things people actually care about. 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.

Monday

  • Freedom Prep Academy 39 at Washington 10 (Actual score: Freedom Prep Academy 34, Washington 12.)

Tuesday

  • Memphis Business Academy 11 at Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 34 (Actual score: Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering 43, Memphis Business Academy 6.)

Wednesday

  • Manassas 26 at Hamilton 19 (Actual score: Manassas 36, Hamilton 34.)
  • Middle College 24 at Memphis East 22 (Actual score: Middle College 60, Memphis East 12).

Thursday

  • Lincoln Co. 17 at Battle Ground Academy 32
  • Hillsboro 22 at Cane Ridge 32
  • Stratford 17 at East Nashville 31
  • Bearden 16 at Farragut 28 (7:00 PM ET, WVLT-TV)
  • Hunters Lane 35 at Glencliff 13
  • Watertown 44 at Jackson Co. 4
  • Douglass [Frederick] 17 at Memphis Academy of Health Sciences 23
  • Fairley 33 at Trezevant 14
  • Clay Co. 21 at White Co. 29

Friday

  • Gibson Co. 26 at Adamsville 14
  • Kingston 2 at Alcoa 43
  • Pigeon Forge 0 at Austin-East 48
  • Knox Catholic 19 at Baylor 27
  • Station Camp 0 at Beech 50
  • William Blount 11 at Bradley Central 39
  • Southwind 35 at Brighton 15
  • Boyd-Buchanan 25 at CAK 29
  • Stewart Co. 27 at Camden Central 23
  • Fulton 25 at Campbell Co. 27
  • Carter 4 at Central 38
  • Anderson Co. 51 at Chattanooga Central 5
  • St. Benedict at Auburndale 4 at Christian Brothers 41
  • Chuckey-Doak 38 at Claiborne 15
  • Jellico 11 at Cloudland 39
  • Daniel Boone 42 at Cocke Co. 22
  • Page 34 at Columbia Central 17
  • Briarcrest Christian 34 at Cordova 11
  • Richland 18 at Cornersville 30
  • South Gibson 22 at Covington 29
  • Haywood 34 at Crockett Co. 18
  • Tennessee 22 at David Crockett 28
  • Macon Co. 17 at DeKalb Co. 25
  • Independence 44 at Dickson Co. 6
  • Ripley 28 at Dyersburg 29
  • Summertown 19 at Eagleville 26
  • Sequoyah 6 at East Ridge 45
  • Westmoreland 27 at East Robertson 18
  • Greeneville 31 at Elizabethton 29 (7:00 PM ET, WCYB-TV)
  • Harding Academy 18 at First Assembly Christian 32
  • Community 0 at Forrest 49
  • Brentwood 36 at Franklin 9
  • Lipscomb Academy 36 at Franklin Co. 7
  • Mount Juliet Christian Academy 8 at Friendship Christian 40
  • Hendersonville 16 at Gallatin 34
  • RePublic 4 at Giles Co. 56
  • Christ Presbyterian Academy 40 at Goodpasture Christian 17
  • Fayetteville 38 at Gordonsville 6
  • Trinity Academy Tri-Cities 15 at Grace Christian 38
  • Middle Tennessee Christian 39 at Grace Christian Academy 18
  • Gleason 8 at Greenfield 44
  • South Greene 24 at Hampton 23
  • Cumberland Gap 27 at Hancock Co. 13
  • Lexington 14 at Hardin Co. 25
  • Greenback 43 at Harriman 8
  • Red Boiling Springs 9 at Hart Co. (KY) 41
  • Karns 42 at Heritage 23
  • Howard Tech 38 at Hixson 10
  • Fulton City (KY) 7 at Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 43
  • KIPP Collegiate 0 at Houston 60
  • Waverly Central 22 at Houston Co. 30
  • South Fulton 35 at Humboldt 27
  • Chester Co. 3 at Jackson North Side 47
  • Liberty Tech Magnet 16 at Jackson South Side 25
  • Hardin Valley 22.6 at Jefferson Co. 22.7
  • Donelson Christian Academy 29 at King’s Academy 24
  • Ridgeway 49 at Kingsbury 2
  • West Carroll 9 at Lake Co. 44
  • Westwood 3 at Lausanne Collegiate 50
  • McGavock 13 at LaVergne 35
  • Stewarts Creek 25 at Lebanon 20
  • Gibbs 36 at Lenoir City 13
  • Loretto 15 at Lewis Co. 37
  • Sale Creek 29 at Lookout Valley 18
  • Sweetwater 16 at Loudon 35
  • Spring Hill 7 at Marshall Co. 36
  • Father Ryan 0 at McCallie 42
  • Dyer Co. 28 at McCracken Co. (KY) 24
  • Union City 22 at McKenzie 28
  • Cleveland 17 at McMinn Co. 32
  • McNairy Central 20 at Milan 30
  • Fayette Ware 17 at Millington Central 27
  • Huntland 25 at Moore Co. 23
  • Dobyns-Bennett 52 at Morristown West 1
  • Oak Ridge 19 at Mount Juliet 28
  • Kirby 28 at Munford 27
  • Jackson Christian 7 at Nashville Christian 39
  • Antioch 10 at Nashville Overton 31
  • Maplewood 12 at Nolensville 34
  • Johnson Co. 38 at North Greene 10
  • Chattanooga Christian 34 at Notre Dame 21
  • Oliver Springs 47 at Oakdale 0
  • Bluff City 12 at Oakhaven 23
  • Riverdale 9 at Oakland 42 (7:00 PM CT, WUXP-TV)
  • Meigs Co. 24 at Oneida 16
  • Maryville 42 at Ooltewah 8
  • Halls 0 at Peabody 53
  • Whites Creek 0 at Pearl-Cohn 62
  • Huntingdon 63 at Perry Co. 0
  • Bledsoe Co. 33 at Polk Co. 9
  • Memphis University 30 at Pope John Paul II 17
  • Knoxville West 20 at Powell 25
  • Smyrna 5 at Ravenwood 42
  • Brainerd 0 at Red Bank 52
  • Soddy Daisy 14 at Rhea Co. 31 (7:30 PM ET, WFLI-TV)
  • Scotts Hill 9 at Riverside 32
  • Blackman 44 at Rockvale 4
  • Unaka 21 at Rye Cove (VA) 31
  • Northview 5 at Scott 34
  • York Institute 20 at Sequatchie Co. 29
  • Seymour 24 at Sevier Co. 22
  • Summit 22 at Shelbyville Central 27
  • Cookeville 34 at Siegel 17
  • McMinn Central 18 at Signal Mountain 28
  • Cannon Co. 19 at Smith Co. 33
  • Whitwell 0 at South Pittsburg 53
  • Knoxville Halls 17 at South-Doyle 34
  • Portland 21 at Springfield 29
  • Evangelical Christian 45 at St. George’s 8
  • Cumberland Co. 13 at Stone Memorial 34
  • Grainger 34 at Sullivan Central 21
  • Happy Valley 25 at Sullivan North 17
  • Sullivan East 9 at Sullivan South 45
  • Midway 33 at Sunbright 15
  • Marion Co. 23 at Tellico Plains 26
  • Columbia Academy 23 at Tipton-Rosemark Academy 20
  • Davidson Academy 40 at Trinity Christian Academy 21
  • Cascade 0 at Trousdale Co. 46
  • Lawrence Co. 7 at Tullahoma 34
  • Webb Bell Buckle 0 at Tyner Academy 50
  • West Greene 20 at Unicoi Co. 32
  • Fayette Academy 22 at University School of Jackson 27
  • Grundy Co. 0 at Upperman 55
  • Morristown East 31 at Volunteer 28
  • East Hamilton 26 at Walker Valley 17
  • Coffee Co. Central 22 at Warren Co. 24
  • Rockwood 28 at Wartburg 18
  • McEwen 39 at Wayne Co. 16
  • Silverdale Academy 11 at Webb 35
  • Creek Wood 31 at White House 16
  • Mount Pleasant 33 at Zion Christian Academy 19

144 games in all, and 119 of them are in Region play. Over the next three weeks, that number will stay high, as important battles and playoff spots will be decided. There are several really, really good games this week, and for the first time all year, I couldn’t narrow it down to just five to profile. Here are the six best games of Week 9, from my perspective.

  • Knoxville West at Powell (Friday, 7:30 PM ET). This is the 5A Game of the Year, and probably the Knox County Game of the Year. Per my ratings, these are the two best teams in 5A, and it’s been pretty well-deserved. Not content with owning 5A-3, West decided to schedule four 6A-1 teams for their non-Region play….and went 4-0. Powell, meanwhile, is responsible for Greeneville and Anderson County’s only losses. The only thing standing in the way of a 10-0 season for these two teams is each other; the winner should be considered the 5A title favorite.
  • Greeneville at Elizabethton (Friday, 7:00 PM ET, WCYB-TV, also Facebook). And this is the 4A Game of the Year, certainly the Upper East Tennessee Game of the Year. These are the two best teams in 4A taking on each other as part of their now-yearly rivalry. Betsy’s just 2-10 in their last twelve against Greeneville, but this is also their best team in quite some time. Greeneville, meanwhile, has recovered nicely from their opening Thursday loss to Powell and has rarely been threatened since.
  • Tennessee at David Crockett (Friday, 7:30 PM ET). The two best teams in 5A-1 – a deep four-team Region – get to play each other for the Region title. Win, and you get to avoid the Knoxville Central/South-Doyle winner until the quarterfinals and you get them at home. Lose, and you have to travel to the Central/S-D winner in the second round. Neither option is lovely, but you’d much rather be first than second.
  • Knox Catholic at Baylor (Friday, 7:30 PM ET). This is East-ish Tennessee heavy so far, but for good reason – the four best games this week simply happen to be taking place in Eastern Time. After a home upset of Brentwood Academy two weeks ago, KCHS has to be riding high into this road battle with Baylor, a one-loss team with their only loss coming to the best team in the state. To feel truly safe about making the playoffs, both teams badly need this win, but Catholic needs it worse; they’d leave this game with a 1-3 Region record if so.
  • Summit at Shelbyville Central (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). Another phenomenal game. This is effectively a battle for second place in 5A-5 – Page has 75% odds of winning out plus they’ve already beaten both schools – but who cares? 5A-5 has three 6-1 or 7-1 teams plus a 5-2 team in fourth place. Getting a home playoff game here is massive, especially when the prize is getting to avoid the Gallatin/Beech loser in round one. (They would have to face the Gallatin/Beech winner in round two, though.)
  • South Gibson at Covington (Friday, 7:00 PM CT). This wasn’t a game I had big eyes on until Covington took a shocking loss at Milan two weeks ago as a sizable favorite. Now, Covington – who had very good odds of a 10-0 season – has to fend off a very strong South Gibson squad at home to win 3A-7, and even then, they need help from one of McNairy Central or Westview. It’s not completely pertinent that you win the Region, as even third place gets to play an okay-ish Melrose team, but extending your home field advantage as long as possible is always recommended.
  • Honorable mentions: Boyd-Buchanan at CAK (Friday, 7:30 PM ET); Stratford at East Nashville (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); South Greene at Hampton (Friday, 7:30 PM ET); Middle College at Memphis East (Wednesday, 7:00 PM CT); Fayette Ware at Millington Central (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Kirby at Munford (Friday, 7:00 PM CT); Meigs Co. at Oneida (Friday, 7:30 PM ET).

Here’s this week’s full projection sheet, which you can view at this link under Week 9 or right here:

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

From Fayetteville's website.

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.