High school football: Week 3 AP Poll hits and misses

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 12, 2012 

In each of the six classifications, the team that began the season at No. 1 still currently sits atop the rankings. Grayson, Tucker, Sandy Creek, Peach County and Calhoun each carry spotless records, while Eagle's Landing Christian lost a game against a higher classification, and has regained its No. 1 ranking this week.

Only Burke County, which began the season tied for first in Class AAAA with Sandy Creek, is not still among the leaders.

One team that fell from near the top of the heap after a loss on Friday was Buford, which was ranked No. 2 in Class AAA. The Wolves lost to Gainesville and dropped to No. 6 in the rankings, allowing Carver to jump up to No. 2.

Carver will have a stiff test of its own this week, however, when it travels to Colquitt County.

Here's a look at the full rankings, how I voted and where I think voters went astray. As always, chime in in the comments or on Twitter @leprepsports

Class AAAAAA

1. Grayson (10) 2-0 109 1

2. Camden County (1) 3-0 97 2

3. Walton 2-0 90 3

4. North Gwinnett 2-0 71 4

5. Lassiter 1-0 67 5

6. Lowndes 1-0 51 T-6

7. Norcross 1-0 41 T-6

8. Colquitt County 2-1 36 10

9. Lovejoy 1-1 16 9

10. West Forsyth 2-0 14 NR

Others receiving votes: McEachern 5, Hillgrove 2, Johns Creek 2, Archer 1, Coffee 1, South Cobb 1, Valdosta 1.

How I voted:

1. Grayson

2. Walton

3. Camden County

4. Norcross

5. North Gwinnett

6. Lassiter

7. Lowndes

8. Colquitt County

9. West Forsyth

10. Hillgrove

Overvalued…

Finding the team that's is overvalued in Class AAAAAA is no easy task. Last week, I gave the nod to Camden County, simply because I didn't think it was right to ignore last year's state runner-up, Walton. I'll stick to that theory simply for lack of choices in this week's rankings. Even though I was almost impressed enough to elevate Camden County this week. We'll see what happens on Friday.

Undervalued…

Norcross. It beat Parkview 20-0 this week, and most would say that isn't as big of a deal as, say, seven years ago. But Parkview isn't a weak team. It simply plays in a very difficult region. We'll find out a lot more about Norcross when it faces No. 4 North Gwinnett this week.

Just right…

I'll go outside the box and say West Forsyth just for a change of pace. It has beaten Gainesville and Flowery Branch already this season and has a somewhat favorable schedule going forward. I'm not quite sure how good this team is yet, but ninth or 10th in the rankings seems just right to me.

Class AAAAA

1. Tucker (8) 2-0 107 1

2. Northside-Warner Robins (3) 2-0 102 2

3. Kell 2-0 87 3

4. MLK, Jr. 2-0 71 4

5. Stephenson 1-0 62 5

6. Warner Robins 1-0 50 7

7. East Paulding 2-0 49 6

8. Allatoona 2-0 25 8

9. Gainesville 1-1 24 9

10. Thomas County Central 2-1 20 10

Others receiving votes: North Paulding 5, Heritage-Conyers 3.

How I voted

1. Tucker

2. Northside-Warner Robins

3. Kell

4. East Paulding

5. Warner Robins

6. MLK, Jr.

7. Gainesville

8. Allatoona

9. Stephenson

10. Thomas County Central

Overvalued…

Stephenson is still the biggest point of contention between my ballot and the consensus. That said, I'm not sure if it is overvalued, or if I just place high value on the other teams near the top of the class as well. I think it's more likely the latter, and Stephenson can easily work its way up near the top of the heap.

Undervalued…

I'm staying out of this one. Two weeks ago, I claimed Gainesville was undervalued, and it picked up a loss. Last week, it was Northgate. Do you see that team on the ballot? Nope. Not this week. I won't fall for it....East Paulding.

Just right…

This time, it's Gainesville. The team has been incredibly spotty so far, as high-profile quarterback Deshaun Watson has already thrown eight interceptions in two games, eclipsing the six he threw all of last season. But it was playing stiff competition, and he might only throw a couple more the rest of the season. I think we learned this team wasn't quite a state title contender yet, but it's still very good.

Class AAAA

1. Sandy Creek (11) 2-0 110 1

2. Statesboro 2-0 80 5

3. Carrollton 1-1 69 6

4. Griffin 2-0 68 7

5. Stephens County 2-0 63 8

6. Marist 1-1 55 3

7. Cairo 1-1 52 2

8. Burke County 1-1 46 9

9. Westside-Macon 2-0 23 10

10. Grady 2-0 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Jonesboro 10, Baldwin 8, Monroe 3, Ridgeland 2, Perry 1, Eastside 1.

How I voted:

1. Sandy Creek

2. Stephens County

3. Cairo

4. Westside-Macon

5. Carrollton

6. Marist

7. Statesboro

8. Burke County

9. Baldwin

10. Grady

Overvalued…

Am I missing something with Statesboro? Good team, yes. But it is 2-0 with wins against two teams that are a combined 0-4. Its last win, against Richmond Academy, was by a slim three-point margin. And this is good enough to jump from fifth to second...why?

Undervalued…

Stephens County again. I look ahead on its schedule, and I see a very good shot at a 10-0 regular season. Games against Monroe Area and Eastside won't be easy, but the rest of the schedule is very winnable. Unless, of course, I've jinxed it as well.

Just right…

Burke County. Is it still one of the best teams in the state? Maybe. But let's let it prove it before elevate it back near the top of the rankings. Sandy Creek is the only team I'm confident in to remain up there right now.

Class AAA

1. Peach County (11) 2-0 110 1

2. Carver-Columbus 2-0 90 3

3. Washington County 3-0 76 4

4. St. Pius X 2-0 74 5

5. Thomson 2-0 72 6

6. Buford 1-1 62 2

7. Dodge County 3-0 41 10

8. Appling County 1-0-1 28 9

9. Cartersville 2-0 9 NR

10. Swainsboro 1-1 8 NR

Others receiving votes: Pierce County 7, North Hall 6, Elbert County 6, Central-Carrollton 5, Blessed Trinity 5, Jackson 3, North Oconee 2, Morgan County 1.

How I voted:

1. Peach County

2. St. Pius X

3. Washington County

4. Carver-Columbus

5. Thomson

6. Buford

7. Appling County

8. Dodge County

9. Cartersville

10. North Hall

Overvalued…

Alright, homers. I'll give you an opportunity to send me plenty of angry emails this week. I'm putting Carver in this slot right now, not because I don't think it is a very good team (I do). I say it is overvalued because I think people around the state consider the Tigers to be state title contenders today. I don't. Not today. I think they have a little ways to go before we can make that assumption. I give it all the credit for a win against a very solid AAAA team last Thursday, but Carver is going to have to show a little more before I'll say it can win a state title.

Undervalued…

Poor Dawson County. Another team hit by my curse. Ahead by two touchdowns with barely more than four minutes remaining in the game, and it lost 35-28 in regulation. No longer can I call it undervalued, and I'll be very interested to see how it rebounds. This week, I say St. Pius X. I think all the voters agree that it is a very good team, but I think I'd take a step further. I think it's a great team. A 50-14 win over North Oconee backs that point up. Tough matchups loom on the horizon (at Thomson and at home against Lovett), but if St. Pius gets through those, there will be no ignoring it.

Just right…

North Hall. I have it at No. 10, consensus is about No. 12. I think this team is interesting because, honestly, when I previewed it at my previous newspaper, I didn't think it had a heck of a lot of talent. But it has won easily in its first two games and could be rebuilding itself into the team it was just a few years ago. It has a ways to go, yet, but I think we can take a little notice at this point.

Class AA

1. Calhoun (10) 2-0 109 1

2. Brooks County (1) 3-0 93 3

3. Fitzgerald 2-0 90 2

4. Cook 2-0 73 4

5. Lovett 2-0 65 5

6. Greater Atlanta Christian 3-0 54 7

7. Lamar County 1-0-1 39 6

8. Vidalia 2-0 34 9

9. Early County 2-0 20 NR

T-10. Bowdon 2-0 9 NR

T-10. Washington-Wilkes 2-0 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Westminster 6, Toombs County 2, Laney 1, Heard County 1.

How I voted:

1. Calhoun

2. Brooks County

3. Lamar County

4. Fitzgerald

5. Cook

6. Lovett

7. Greater Atlanta Christian

8. Vidalia

9. Bowdon

10. Westminster

Overvalued…

This is one of those boring ones where I say that no team is really all that overvalued. Sorry.

Undervalued…

Lamar County, but this one may be on me. Reviewing its resume a little closer, I have a hard time convincing myself that I'm right in putting it at No. 3. Top 10? Sure, but I think the field may be right in putting it more in the neighborhood of No. 6 or 7.

Just right…

I like Brooks County at No. 2. One overzealous voter may think a win over Valdosta is enough to push it past Calhoun--a team which, let us not forget, is the returning state champion and was the runner-up for three consecutive years before that. I can understand the boost when you consider Calhun has allowed 76 points in two games (both wins), but I'm not going to drop the champs yet. Let's at least wait and see what happens against Carrollton on Friday.

Class A

1. Eagle's Landing Christian (6) 1-1 100 4

2. Calvary Day (5) 2-0 84 3

3. Prince Avenue Christian 3-0 78 7

4. Wilcox County 1-1 70 2

5. Aquinas 2-0 66 5

6. Wilkinson County 1-1 59 6

7. Lincoln County 1-1 51 1

8. Dooly County 2-0 28 NR

9. Commerce 2-0 13 NR

10. Charlton County 1-1 12 8

Others receiving votes: Emanuel County Institute 11, Marion County 8, George Walton 8, Brookstone 5, Athens Academy 5, Walker 4, Darlington 2, Holy Innocents' 1.

How I voted:

1. Calvary Day

2. Prince Avenue Christian

3. Eagle's Landing Christian

4. Aquinas

5. Lincoln County

6. Dooly County

7. George Walton

8. Wilcox County

9. Wilkinson County

10. Holy Innocents'

Overvalued…

I'll say Eagle's Landing Christian, but it's not because I don't think it is good enough to be No. 1. Is it the best team in Class A? Quite likely, but I think Calvary Day and Prince Avenue Christian have earned Nos. 1 and 2 for now.

Undervalued…

By my ballot, it would be Holy Innocents', which lost 24-14 to Riverwood last week. It plays George Walton and Eagle's Landing Christian in the next two weeks, however, and I would be a little surprised if it held its place in my top 10 through that.

Just right…

Prince Avenue. No. 2 or 3 is an adequate place for this team, which has followed a great run in the state playoffs last year with a superb start to 2012. It is 3-0 after a 28-12 win of Savannah Christian last week. Don't be surprised if this team stays near the top for weeks to come.

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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