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.

Via Gannett.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 8

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s this week’s games:

Thursday

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

Friday

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

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

Best of luck to all teams this week!

Via the Times Free Press.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday

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

Friday

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

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

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

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

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

Via the Jackson Sun.

Tennessee high school football projections, week 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday

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

Friday

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

Saturday (?)

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

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

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

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

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

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

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

1A

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

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

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2A

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

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3A

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

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4A

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

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

5A

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

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

6A

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

TOP 15 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS: By region below.

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

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

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

II-A

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

TOP 10 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

II-AA

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

TOP 10 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

II-AAA

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

TOP 10 TEAMS: Are below.

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

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

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

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

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

Who’s surprising everyone?

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

OVERACHIEVERS:

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

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

UNDERACHIEVERS:

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

Who can still go undefeated?

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

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

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