High school football: Week 4 AP Poll hits and misses

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerSeptember 19, 2012 

There is a new No. 1 in the state’s biggest classification as defending state champion Grayson went down in major upset fashion to Parkview, 22-7.

Camden County took over the No. 1 spot following Grayson’s loss.

With the win, Parkview jumped back into the rankings for the first time in awhile, holding down the No. 10 spot.

Walton, which had been ranked No. 3, also lost and dropped out of the rankings, opening the door for Lassiter to take No. 2.

Colquitt County, which defeated Carver 33-0 on Friday, moved up to No. 5 in the Class AAAAAA rankings. Following its loss, Carver dropped to No. 7 in Class AAA.

Also around the area, Brookstone received eight points in this week’s poll, good enough for 12th in Class A.

Elsewhere…When former Carver assistant Olten Downs left for Riverdale prior to the 2011 season, he was inheriting a team that had gone 2-8 in 2010 and hadn’t cracked the top 10 since 2005, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.

He led the team to four wins last season and now has it 3-0 and ranked No. 8 in the state.

Not a bad start.

Granted, the team has plenty of stiff competition remaining on its schedule with games against Griffin, Spalding and Jonesboro in region play. But the state has been put on notice that a good program may be in the making in Riverdale.

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. Camden County (10) 4-0 109 2

2. Lassiter (1) 3-0 93 5

3. Norcross 3-0 87 7

4. Lowndes 3-0 79 6

5. Colquitt County 3-1 47 8

6. West Forsyth 3-0 40 10

7. North Cobb 2-0 37 NR

8. Grayson 2-1 32 1

9. North Gwinnett 2-1 29 4

10. Parkview 2-1 24 NR

Others receiving votes: Lovejoy 15, Johns Creek 6, Walton 4, McEachern 2, Marietta 1.

How I voted:

1. Camden County

2. Norcross

3. Lassiter

4. Lowndes

5. Colquitt County

6. West Forsyth

7. Parkview

8. North Cobb

9. Grayson

10. Lovejoy

Overvalued…

I’m going to mess with your heads a little bit on this one. I’m going to say maybe Parkview. Do I have it ranked higher than the rest of the pack? Yes. But that was an award for beating the top team in the state. It’s possible, however, that game was an aberration, and Parkview is more alike to its 4-6 finish a season ago.

Undervalued…

Parkview. See what I’m doing here? Perhaps the win over Grayson was an announcement that the team once considered to be the standard in the state is, indeed, back. It has already defeated Peachtree Ridge, 3-0, earlier this season. That defense might be one of the better defenses in the state. The fact is: We just don’t know. Its offense only scored three in the win over Peachtree Ridge and was shut out the following week by Norcross.

Just right…

In reality, Parkview is probably in the right spot. It isn’t the best team in the state (yet), but it has shown significant enough progress to indicate it is returning to relevancy for the first time since 2005.

Class AAAAA

1. Tucker (6) 3-0 105 1

2. Northside-Warner Robins (5) 3-0 104 2

3. MLK, Jr. 3-0 80 4

4. Stephenson 2-0 75 5

5. East Paulding 3-0 72 7

6. Thomas County Central 3-1 42 10

7. Allatoona 3-0 40 8

8. Gainesville 2-1 39 9

9. Kell 2-1 19 3

10. Warner Robins 1-1 16 6

Others receiving votes: Heritage-Conyers 12, Union Grove 1.

How I voted

1. Tucker

2. Northside-Warner Robins

3. East Paulding

4. MLK, Jr.

5. Stephenson

6. Allatoona

7. Gainesville

8. Thomas County Central

9. Kell

10. Warner Robins

Overvalued…

I was on the verge of saying Thomas County Central before taking a closer look at what it had done this season. That team isn’t overvalued, and it’s only two spots higher than where I’ve got it. It has defeated Marist, Cairo and lost by just two points to Colquitt County. No, that’s a good team, and I don’t really see an overvalued team this week.

Undervalued…

Ha! East Paulding survived my jinx of being picked the undervalued team last week. Clearly, we’ll have to try again. I have East Paulding at No. 3 on my ballot, two spots higher than its finish. It hasn’t played great competition, but it has taken care of business, outscoring its three opponents by a combined 139-17, including back-to-back shutouts. Decent.

Just right…

Tucker and Northside-Warner Robins, but the time may come when those two need to switch places. It has won in such an impressive fashion that you forget the opponents it has faced aren’t weak. It outscored Flowery Branch and Westside-Macon, both of which have spent time in the top 10 this season, by a combined 87-25 and shut out Veterans 49-0 in its third game. It’s still early, but this team is looking like a state champion.

Class AAAA

1. Sandy Creek (11) 3-0 110 1

2. Statesboro 3-0 90 2

3. Griffin 3-0 86 4

4. Marist 2-1 72 6

5. Stephens County 3-0 68 5

6. Burke County 2-1 64 8

7. Carrollton 1-2 27 3

T-8. Jonesboro 2-1 21 NR

T-8. Riverdale 3-0 21 NR

10. Monroe 2-1 11 NR

Others receiving votes: Westside-Macon 10, Washington 8, Eastside 4, Monroe Area 4, Chamblee 3, Perry 3, Ridgeland 2, Spalding 1.

How I voted:

1. Sandy Creek

2. Stephens County

3. Marist

4. Statesboro

5. Burke County

6. Griffin

7. Westside-Macon

8. Riverdale

9. Monroe

10. Carrollton

Overvalued…

Statesboro still hasn’t gotten a win against a team that jumped off the page for me. But the team I ranked No. 2 hasn’t really either. I won’t say Statesboro is overvalued, then. I’ll just say that we’ll know for sure where it stands when it plays Burke County this week.

Undervalued…

Stephens County. Again, I’ll note that this team’s schedule looks conducive to a perfect regular season. The Indians will have to execute, of course, but things look promising.

Just right…

Burke County. As mentioned for Statesboro, we’ll find out where this team really stands next week.

Class AAA

1. Peach County (10) 3-0 109 1

2. Thomson (1) 3-0 97 5

3. Washington County 4-0 89 3

4. Buford 2-1 76 6

5. St. Pius x

6. Dodge County 3-0 51 7

7. Carver-Columbus 2-1 43 2

8. Cartersville 3-0 30 9

9. Appling County 2-0-1 24

10. Morgan County 3-0 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Blessed Trinity 7, Swainsboro 4, Woodward Academy 3, Gordon Central 2, Ringgold 1.

How I voted:

1. Peach County

2. Thomson

3. Washington County

4. Buford

5. St. Pius X

6. Carver-Columbus

7. Appling County

8. Dodge County

9. Cartersville

10. Swainsboro

Overvalued…

No one, really. Just look at my ballot compared to the state consensus. We are in agreement basically across the board.

Undervalued…

St. Pius X is not immune to my curse. I said that I considered it a state title contender and listed it as the undervalued team last week, and it promptly fell to Thomson. No matter. I still think it’s one of the best teams in the state. That said, no team is really undervalued this week. Take note, though, that I do have Carver ranked a touch above the rest of the back. The loss to Colquitt County wasn’t pretty, but I think it will help the Tigers down the road.

Just right…

Just about everyone. Boring, I know. But that’s just the way it is.

Class AA

1. Calhoun (10) 3-0 109 1

2. Brooks County (1) 3-0 99 2

3. Cook 3-0 87 4

4. Vidalia 3-0 58 8

5. Lovett 2-1 54 5

6. Fitzgerald 2-1 52 3

7. Lamar County 2-0-1 50 7

8. Washington-Wilkes 3-0 36 NR

9. Bowdon 3-0 21 10

10. Greater Atlanta Christian 3-1 13 6

Others receiving votes: Early County 12, Westminster 7, Laney 2, Bacon County 2, Northeast-Macon 2, Benedictine Military 1.

How I voted:

1. Calhoun

2. Brooks County

3. Cook

4. Lamar County

5. Vidalia

6. Fitzgerald

7. Lovett

8. Bowdon

9. Greater Atlanta Christian

10. Westminster

Overvalued…

I like it. But I don’t Lovett. All lame jokes aside, Lovett is a very solid team. I don’t know enough about it to say one way or the other, and there’s no shame in an eight-point loss to Marist. That said, I don’t think it’s a top-5 team. Not currently, at least.

Undervalued…

Again, the resume isn’t totally there for Lamar County, but I have it ranked higher than the rest of the pack. We’ll find out where it stands in the next two weeks as it faces a couple of talented teams.

Just right…

Piggybacking on what I said a week ago that Brooks County’s strong play wasn’t enough to jump it over Calhoun, I’ll say that Calhoun is just right at No. 1. Still, one voter put the defending state champions at No. 2, but I just don’t see the reasoning there. After its 46-35 win over Carrollton last week, Calhoun looks as strong as ever. It has won 18 games in a row, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.

Class A

1. Eagle's Landing Christian (8) 3-1 105 1

T-2. Prince Avenue Christian 3-0 82 3

T-2. Calvary Day (3) 3-0 82 2

4. Wilcox County 2-1 79 4

5. Aquinas 2-0 64 5

6. Wilkinson County 1-1 60 6

7. Lincoln County 2-1 50 7

8. Commerce 3-0 20 9

T-9. Charlton County 2-1 14 10

T-9. Marion County 2-0 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Emanuel County Institute 10, Brookstone 8, George Walton 6, Walker 4, Athens Academy 3, Dooly County 2, Johnson County 1, Our Lady of Mercy 1.

How I voted:

1. Calvary Day

2. Prince Avenue Christian

3. Eagle's Landing Christian

4. Aquinas

5. Lincoln County

6. Wilcox County

7. Commerce

8. George Walton

9. Brookstone

10. Wilkinson County

Overvalued…

Eagle’s Landing Christian, but it’s only because I’m stubborn. It has done enough to prove it may still be the best in Class A, but I’m sticking with Calvary Day and Prince Avenue at 1 and 2.

Undervalued…

Here’s a little love for the local team: Brookstone. And I know I’ll catch all kinds of flak if it is unable to top Wesleyan, a very difficult opponent on Friday. That said, this team appears to be going in a positive direction under new coach Brad Dehem, and a win over Wesleyan would most likely let it creep into the state’s top 10.

Just right…

I’m sticking with Prince Avenue. The team has played well and is proving that last year’s run in the state playoffs was no fluke. 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.

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