High school football: Week 2 AP Poll hits and misses

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerSeptember 4, 2012 

Early in the season, it can be expected that high schools polls will tend to change from week to week.

Voters learn more about each team, teams we thought were at the top of the heap because of past performance are found out to be in rebuilding mode, and teams with a reputation of past shortcomings come out and surprise early on.

So far this year, however, there have been very few significant alterations to the preseason poll. The biggest has been Burke County, which tied for first in Class AAA and lost its opening game.

A few other top teams have fallen, but many have fallen to other even better teams (see: Flowery Branch losing to Northside-Warner Robins). Eventually, things will shake up. But this week, don’t expect too much of a change.

Here are the polls, and I encourage comments below. I’ve heard from many of you in my email, and I’d love to get others in on the conversation as well.

Class AAAAAA

1. Grayson (9) 2-0 99 1

2. Camden County (1) 2-0 89 2

3. Walton 2-0 74 3

4. North Gwinnett 2-0 62 4

5. Lassiter 1-0 57 7

T-6. Lowndes 1-0 38 8

T-6. Norcross 1-0 38 5

8. Valdosta 1-0 32 9

9. Lovejoy 1-0 21 NR

10. Colquitt County 1-1 17 10

Others receiving votes: Hillgrove 14, McEachern 4, West Forsyth 3, Milton 1, Newnan 1

How I voted:

1. Grayson

2. Walton

3. Camden County

4. Norcross

5. North Gwinnett

6. Lassiter

7. Lowndes

8. Valdosta

9. Colquitt County

10. Hillgrove

Overvalued…

How about this for this week’s overvalued team: Camden County. Bold, yes. Wrong, perhaps. But here’s my issue: I don’t think Camden County is better than Walton, and I don’t like springing it to No. 2 over a team that was the state runner-up and has shown no signs of stepping backward.

Undervalued…

This is one of those cases where I can honestly say no one. I think we all have a good idea which teams are at the top of the heap, and which teams are chasing in the rearview.

Just right…

Grayson, Camden County, Walton. Yes, I mentioned Camden County here, too. I don’t think it’s No. 2, but there is no question that it is a top-3 team. Those three teams are the class of Class AAAAAA, and it’s not close right now.

Class AAAAA

1. Tucker (9) 1-0 99 1

2. Northside-Warner Robins (1) 1-0 90 2

3. Kell 1-0 71 3

4. MLK, Jr. 1-0 65 5

5. Stephenson 0-0 54 7

6. East Paulding 1-0 48 6

7. Warner Robins 1-0 45 9

8. Allatoona 1-0 20 NR

9. Gainesville 0-1 17 8

10. Thomas County Central 1-0 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Heritage-Conyers 6, Northgate 6, Creekview 5, Flowery Branch 5, Southwest Dekalb 4, Ware County 3, Union Grove 2, Jenkins 1.

How I voted

1. Tucker

2. Northside-Warner Robins

3. Kell

4. East Paulding

5. Northgate

6. Warner Robins

7. MLK, Jr.

8. Gainesville

9. Allatoona

10. Stephenson

Overvalued…

I’ll put one star next to my pick last week of Flowery Branch as the overvalued team. Sure, it’s loss came to Northside-Warner Robins, but 45-7 is bad no matter how you slice it. It just served to show how big of a difference there was at the top. This week, I say Stephenson. That’s a little more bold, and I doubt I’ll be so quickly proven correct on this one.

Undervalued…

Sure, I claim Gainesville as the underrated team for two weeks, and it goes and loses to West Forsyth, and the top-notch quarterback I was hyping tosses four interceptions. After watching a replay of the game, though, the junior Deshaun Watson didn’t look bad. Just a few bad breaks. I expect Gainesville to be back to its winning ways soon enough, though it faces Class AAA No. 2 Buford this week. I say Northgate is our undervalued team right now. I am the only one casting it a vote, and I’ve got it at No. 5. Overrated on my ballot? Likely. But I like the team.

Just right…

Tucker and Northside-Warner Robins. Not much to say here. They’re the best teams in the classification right now. (Same bit as last week. I might just leave this here for the whole season.)

Class AAAA

1. Sandy Creek (9) 1-0 99 1

2. Cairo (1) 1-0 91 2

3. Marist 1-0 71 5

4. Baldwin 1-0 66 4

5. Statesboro 1-0 59 6

6. Carrollton 0-1 45 3

7. Griffin 1-0 35 7

8. Stephens County 1-0 33 10

9. Burke County 0-1 19 8

10. Westside-Macon 1-0 11 NR

Others receiving votes: Jonesboro 7, Grady 7, Cedartown 2, Stockbridge 2, Monroe Area 1, Perry 1, Ridgeland 1

How I voted:

1. Sandy Creek

2. Cairo

3. Baldwin

4. Stephens County

5. Westside-Macon

6. Marist

7. Carrollton

8. Statesboro

9. Grady

10. Stockbridge

Overvalued…

Not much. I still have Marist ranked a touch lower than the rest of the voters, but not enough to be significant.

Undervalued…

I’ve got Stephens County significantly higher than the rest of the voters. I do have a hard time picturing it as the No. 4 team in the state, but it is a solid club annually, and this year is no different. The way things are set up, I’m not surprised to see them among the elite.

Just right…

Sandy Creek. As with the other classifications, the top of the heap is fairly easy to pick at this point.

Class AAA

1. Peach County (7) 1-0 97 1

2. Buford (2) 1-0 91 2

3. Carver-Columbus (1) 1-0 79 3

4. Washington County 2-0 65 4

5. St. Pius X 1-0 59 5

6. Thomson 1-0 57 7

7. North Oconee 1-0 32 8

8. Elbert County 0-1 23 6

9. Appling County 0-1 17 9

10. Dodge County 1-0 16 NR

Others receiving votes: Dawson County 5, Cartersville 4, Jackson 4, Blessed Trinity 1

How I voted:

1. Peach County

2. Buford

3. Washington County

4. Carver-Columbus

5. St. Pius X

6. Thomson

7. Appling County

8. Dawson County

9. North Oconee

10. Elbert County

Overvalued…

I’ll give you a surprising pick, especially considering I still have it ranked No. 2 on my ballot. Buford should be commended for its win over Elbert County last week. That was a huge win, but, I’ll admit, I’ve gotten spoiled by its style of victory in the past. The two met last year in the playoffs and it was a 49-13 win for Buford. This year, it was 14-3. What I learned from that game is that the Wolves, while very good, have returned to the rest of the pack.

Undervalued…

Dawson County. Again. Dawson County. I have it at No. 8. It received two other votes for the first time this week, and not surprising it was. Dawson County has played two games, and has outscored its opponents 77-0. Now, the opponents haven’t been great, but that’s impressive nonetheless. With its next four games against North Forsyth, Forsyth Central, North Hall and Banks County, the team has a very good chance of starting out 6-0 before a big matchup with Buford.

Just right…

Peach County. Do you see a trend with the No. 1 teams?

Class AA

1. Calhoun (10) 1-0 100 1

2. Fitzgerald 1-0 87 2

3. Brooks County 2-0 68 4

4. Cook 1-0 63 5

5. Lovett 2-0 60 6

6. Lamar County 1-0 50 3

7. Greater Atlanta Christian 2-0 47 8

8. Bremen 1-0 23 9

9. Vidalia 1-0 21 T-10

10. Laney 1-0 12 NR

Others receiving votes: Bowdon 7, Early County 6, Westminster 4, Toombs County 1, Heard County 1

How I voted:

1. Calhoun

2. Lamar County.

3. Fitzgerald

4. Cook

5. Lovett

6. Brooks County

7. Greater Atlanta Christian

8. Bremen

9. Vidalia

10. Bowdon

Overvalued…

Not much. I may not have the same picks, but it’s close to the same teams.

Undervalued…

Missed the mark on Jefferson and Wesleyan. Both picked up losses in their games last week. This week, I say Lamar County. My apologies to that team, as that is as much of a jinx as I can give.

Just right…

Calhoun is the class of AA. Expect it to stay that way for awhile.

Class A

1. Lincoln County (8) 1-0 98 1

2. Wilcox County (1) 1-0 83 2

3. Calvary Day (1) 2-0 69 3

4. Eagle’s Landing Christian 1-1 62 6

5. Aquinas 1-0 52 5

6. Wilkinson County 0-1 38 4

7. Prince Avenue Christian 2-0 36 7

8. Charlton County 1-0 31 9

9. Landmark Christian 1-1 27 8

10. Emanuel County Institute 1-0 21 10

Others receiving votes: Savannah Christian Prep. 18, Dooly County 7, George Walton 5, Holy Innocents’ 2, Commerce 1

How I voted:

1. Lincoln County

2. Calvary Day

3. Prince Avenue Christian

4. Eagle’s Landing Christian

5. Landmark Christian

6. Wilcox County

7. Dooly County

8. Savannah Christian Prep.

9. Aquinas

10. Charlton County

Overvalued…

Well, Wilcox County did pick up a win over Wilkinson County. But I still say it is the overvalued team of Class A. It’s not a knock on that team as much as a compliment to the other teams I have at the top.

Undervalued…

This one isn’t changing from last week either.

Just right…

Lincoln County. It just seems right that I close out this post by putting the No. 1 team in the just right category. I think it’s pretty much agreed on which teams are the best.

Who do you think should be ranked? Where did I screw up? Any other teams in the area that deserve more attention? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, and come back each week to see the new polls.

—Twitter @leprepsports

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