2019 Tennessee high school football championship game projections

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

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

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

II-A

Thursday, December 5, 11 AM CT

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

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

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

II-AA

Thursday, December 5, 3 PM CT

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

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

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

II-AAA

Thursday, December 5, 7 PM CT

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

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

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

1A

Friday, December 6, 11 AM CT

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

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

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

3A

Friday, December 6, 3 PM CT

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

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

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

5A

Friday, December 6, 7 PM CT

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

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

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

2A

Saturday, December 7, 11 AM CT

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

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

Combined odds: 37%; most likely title game

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

4A

Saturday, December 7, 3 PM CT

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

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

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

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

6A

Saturday, December 7, 7 PM CT

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

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

Combined odds: 14.8%; most likely title game

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

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

Credit to The Daily Times.

2019 Tennessee high school football Semifinals projections

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

1A

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

2A

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

3A

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

4A

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

5A

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

6A

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

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

Best of luck to all teams this week!

2019 Tennessee high school football quarterfinals projections

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

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

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

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

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

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

1A

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

2A

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

3A

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

4A

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

5A

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

6A

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

II-A

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

II-AA

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

II-AAA

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

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

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

Various notes:

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

Best of luck to all teams still in the playoffs!

2019 Tennessee high school football Round of 16 projections

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

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

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

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

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

 1A

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

2A

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

3A

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

4A

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

5A

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

6A

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

II-A

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

II-AA

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

II-AAA

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

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

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

Various notes:

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

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

Tennessee high school football playoff projections, Round of 32

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

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

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

1A

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

2A

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

3A

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

4A

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

5A

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

6A

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

II-A

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

II-AA

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

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

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

Various other notes:

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

Best of luck to all teams involved this week!

2019 Tennessee high school football playoff odds + analysis

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

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

1A

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

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

2A

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

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

3A

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

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

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

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

4A

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

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

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

5A

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

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

6A

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

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

II-A

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

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

II-AA

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

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

II-AAA

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

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

Tennessee high school football projections, week 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week 11’s games are below. As always, TV information for games is listed below. All games, unless otherwise noted, start at 7:30 PM Eastern time for EST teams and 7:00 PM Central for CST teams. Here’s the difference this time: all playoff-relevant games will feature a short explainer of what different results may mean to the relevant class and region seeding. As such, this week is a little bit of a departure. Instead of an A-Z home team listing, games are listed from 1A-1 to 6A-8, with private classes after. (If nothing is listed after a game, feel free to assume that it has no effect on seeding.) The remaining non-region games will be listed last. Of the 55 regions in TSSAA football, 52 still have something to settle. Nearly every game this Friday will be important. Let’s talk about them.

Thursday

1A-8

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

2A-8

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

3A-8

  • Wooddale 58 at King Prep 0

Non-region

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

Friday

1A-2

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

1A-3

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

1A-4

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

1A-5

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

1A-6

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

1A-7

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

1A-8

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

2A-1

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

2A-2

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

2A-3

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

2A-4

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

2A-5

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

2A-6

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

2A-7

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

2A-8

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

3A-1

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

3A-2

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

3A-3

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

3A-4

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

3A-5

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

3A-6

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

3A-7

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

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

3A-8

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

4A-1

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

4A-2

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

4A-3

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

4A-4

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

4A-5

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

4A-6

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

4A-7

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

4A-8

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

5A-1

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

5A-2

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

5A-3

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

5A-4

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

5A-5

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

5A-6

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

5A-7

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

5A-8

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

6A-1

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

6A-2

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

6A-3

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

6A-4

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

6A-5

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

6A-6

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

6A-7

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

6A-8

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

II-A East

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

II-A West

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

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

II-AA East

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

II-AA Middle

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

II-AA West

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

II-AAA East

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

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

II-AAA West

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

Non-region

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

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

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

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

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