High school football: Week 11 AP Poll hits and misses

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerNovember 8, 2012 

This week, we had a No. 1-ranked team fall for just the fourth time this season.

Carver topped Peach County on the road, which not only knocked the Trojans from their perch, but also elevated the Tigers to No. 2.

For the most part, things stayed pretty calm aside from that, though Gainesville’s loss to Loganville should definitely register in the category of upsets. With that loss, the Red Elephants fell clear out of the top 10 in Class AAAAA.

This is a point of the season where it is easy for teams to start looking ahead. Most region battles are sewn up, and a lot players start looking toward the playoffs without focusing on the task at hand.

And while that may not always matter in the standings, it can certainly affect momentum in some cases.

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

Also, be sure to join me online at 3:30-5 p.m. on Friday for the prep football chat on the Valley Preps Blog.

Class AAAAAA

1. Camden County (11) 9-0 110 1

2. Lassiter 9-0 96 2

3. Norcross 9-0 89 3

4. Grayson 8-1 77 5

5. North Gwinnett 8-1 61 6

6. Lowndes 8-1 49 4

7. Lovejoy 8-1 44 7

8. West Forsyth 8-1 27 8

9. McEachern 7-2 21 9

10. Walton 7-2 12 T-10

Others receiving votes: Parkview 7, Colquitt County 4, North Cobb 4, South Gwinnett 3, Valdosta 1.

How I voted:

1. Camden County

2. Norcross

3. Lassiter

4. Grayson

5. Lovejoy

6. North Gwinnett

7. Lowndes

8. McEachern

9. West Forsyth

10. Parkview

Overvalued…

Tough call, but I think there’s a definite gap between Grayson at No. 4 and North Gwinnett at No. 5. Here’s my thinking: Grayson is the favorite to win Class AAAAAA. Yes, I know all about how dominant Camden County has been, and I certainly think it is on a similar platform with Grayson. That said, I think we can officially get past the minor hiccup that team experienced against Parkview and realize that this is still one of the most dominant teams in the state of Georgia. North Gwinnett is in a fine place—and I noted as much last week—but when it’s all said and done, I think we’ll realize how big of a difference there was between those teams.

Undervalued…

I didn’t throw a vote Colquitt County’s way, but it did receive four points in the poll. I’ll tell you—I saw it play Carver earlier this season, and while Carver certainly wasn’t the team then that it is today, Colquitt was dominant. That’s a very, very good football team down there in Moultrie, and I don’t doubt it’ll be playing deep into the playoffs.

Just right…

Lowndes. I have it at No. 7, though I certainly think No. 6 is appropriate. It lose a game to a very good team last week (Camden County), but that is more a sign of how good Camden County is than a knock on Lowndes’ ability. Is Lowndes a state title contender? As of right now, you’d have to say it’s going to have a tough time with the teams up at the top. But don’t sleep on it.

Class AAAAA

1. Northside-Warner Robins (11) 8-0 110 1

2. MLK, Jr. 9-0 98 2

3. East Paulding 9-0 87 3

T-4. Thomas County Central 8-1 71 6

T-4. Allatoona 9-0 71 7

6. Kell 8-1 54 8

7. Tucker 7-2 44 4

8. Ware County 8-1 28 NR

9. Warner Robins 7-2 16 9

10. Stephenson 6-2 12 10

Others receiving votes: Creekview 6, Gainesville 4, Flowery Branch 3, Whitewater 1.

How I voted

1. Northside-Warner Robins

2. MLK, Jr.

3. East Paulding

4. Thomas County Central

5. Allatoona

6. Kell

7. Tucker

8. Stephenson

9. Gainesville

10. Ware County

Overvalued…

I don’t think there’s a team that’s really overvalued (again). I think, because of a couple losses among the top teams, Class AAAAA generally trends toward the undervalued side.

Undervalued…

I think Gainesville, but just by a little. Was that a surprising loss it had against Loganville? Certainly. But I still think it is among the top 10 teams in the classification. It needs to be more consistent on the defensive side of the ball if it wants to have a chance in the playoffs.

Just right…

Thomas County Central and Allatoona both got bumps due to Gainesville’s loss, and I think that’s a good thing. They’re tied at No. 4, and I think that’s accurate, too. Allatoona has earned a top-notch ranking with its good play this year. Maybe it isn’t on the same level as some of the other top teams, but you can’t deny what it has accomplished on the field.

Class AAAA

1. Sandy Creek (11) 9-0 110 1

2. Marist 8-1 95 2

3. Burke County 8-1 92 3

4. Monroe Area 9-0 70 6

5. Stockbridge 8-1 59 7

6. Griffin 8-1 51 9

7. Jonesboro 8-1 46 8

8. Westside-Macon 8-1 31 10

9. Carver-Atlanta 9-0 18 NR

10. Cairo 7-2 13 NR

Others receiving votes: Carrollton 9, Ridgeland 8, Statesboro 2, Chamblee 1.

How I voted:

1. Sandy Creek

2. Marist

3. Burke County

4. Monroe Area

5. Westside-Macon

6. Stockbridge

7. Griffin

8. Jonesboro

9. Carrollton

10. Statesboro

Overvalued…

I’m struggling on this one. Last week, I said Carrollton, but it lost to Sandy Creek and slipped down the rankings. I don’t think another team really deserves this distinction right now. With that said…

Undervalued…

I think Carrollton goes from overvalued to undervalued in one week. It lost to Sandy Creek, and voters suddenly considered it outside the top 10. I agree it’s a fringe team, but let’s remember the team it lost to.

Just right…

Last week I said Monroe. This week, it’s Monroe Area. It won a big game against Chestatee to clinch its region title. Chestatee never made it into the top 10, but I think it should have gotten more consideration. Monroe Area has certainly earned a No. 4 rankings.

Class AAA

1. Thomson (11) 9-0 110 2

2. Carver-Columbus 8-1 94 4

3. Buford 6-3 74 3

T-4. Peach County 8-1 70 1

T-4. Washington County 8-1 80 5

6. Cartersville 9-0 66 6

7. North Oconee 8-1 35 9

8. St. Pius X 7-2 30 10

9. North Hall 8-1 18 NR

10. Pierce County 8-1 16 NR

Others receiving votes: Appling County 8, Blessed Trinity 8, Callaway 6.

How I voted:

1. Thomson

2. Carver-Columbus

3. Buford

4. Peach County

5. Cartersville

6. Washington County

7. St. Pius X

8. North Oconee

9. North Hall

10. Pierce County

Overvalued…

Once again, it’s incredibly difficult to find a team that’s overrated. If I had to pick, I’d say Washington County, simply because it is tied with Peach County. I think Peach County is the better team, though you can’t argue with the quality of the losses (if there is such a thing). Washington County lost to Thomson; Peach County lost to Carver—the top two teams in Class AAA. That’s how close things are at the top.

Undervalued…

Cartersville is the unlucky recipient of a drop in ranking after Carver’s big win against Peach County. The Tigers jump to No. 2, and undefeated Cartersville drops to No. 6. It isn’t fair, but that’s the way it goes with an upset like that.

Just right…

Two teams: North Hall and Thomson. Thomson has been on the verge of being No. 1 for awhile now. It has a number of quality wins this year, and is very deserving of the top spot. North Hall is a welcome addition to the top 10 after its impressive regular season so far. Week in and week out, it continues to impress with sizeable wins. Its opponents haven’t been overly difficult, but it has done everything it has needed to. This week, it gets Buford. There isn’t really anything riding on this game, as North Hall has already clinched the region title (thanks to two Buford forfeits). But this is definitely a gauge on where the Trojans are in the playoff picture.

Class AA

1. Calhoun (10) 9-0 109 1

2. Brooks County (1) 9-0 100 2

3. Vidalia 9-0 84 3

T-4. Lamar County 8-0-1 68 4

T-4. Fitzgerald 8-2 68 5

6. Heard County 9-0 53 6

7. Cook 7-2 42 7

8. Greater Atlanta Christian 7-2 34 8

9. Jefferson 8-1 30 9

10. Washington-Wilkes 8-1 6 T-10

Others receiving votes: Screven County 4, Early County 2, Bleckley County 2, Bowdon 2, Lovett 1.

How I voted:

1. Calhoun

2. Brooks County

3. Lamar County

4. Vidalia

5. Heard County

6. Jefferson

7. Fitzgerald

8. Cook

9. Bowdon

10. Washington-Wilkes

Overvalued…

Fitzgerald has a couple of decent wins, and its losses haven’t been bad. That said, I don’t think it has done enough to be ranked ahead of one undefeated team and tied with another. I think the other teams have earned their place in the top five. Not sure that Fitzgerald has at this point. Won’t be surprised to see it contend in the playoffs, though.

Undervalued…

To reiterate the previous statement, I think Heard County hasn’t gotten the respect it deserves. The team has played very well and, despite an easier schedule, deserves a top-five ranking.

Just right…

Calhoun, once again, is in the right spot. It’s the best team in the classification and is a favorite to win its second consecutive state championship.

Class A

1. Eagle's Landing Christian (11) 8-1 110 1

2. Athens Academy 9-0 90 T-2

3. Lincoln County 8-1 88 T-2

4. Emanuel County Institute 8-1 76 4

5. Prince Avenue Christian 8-1 65 5

6. Savannah Christian Prep. 7-2 54 6

7. Calvary Day 8-1 42 8

8. Wilcox County 7-2 36 7

9. Walker 9-0 26 9

10. Wilkinson County 6-3 9 10

Others receiving votes: Brookstone 2, Landmark Christian 2, Seminole County 2, Irwin County 2, Johnson County 1.

How I voted:

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian

2. Athens Academy

3. Lincoln County

4. Prince Avenue Christian

5. Emanuel County Institute

6. Calvary Day

7. Walker

8. Savannah Christian Prep.

9. Brookstone

10. Wilcox County

Overvalued…

I started to say Wilkinson County here, simply because it has lost each of its games against top teams. But a two-point loss to Lincoln County is nothing to hang your head about. If I had to pick, that is the team I would name. That said, I still think Class A is fairly solid.

Undervalued…

Perhaps it’s because I’ve followed Brookstone all year, or perhaps it’s because I’m simply clouded. But I really believe the Cougars are worthy of a top-10 ranking right now. No. 9 is sufficient.

Just right…

I’ll echo last week and say the top five are in good shape, though I might shake the order up a little.

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 @leprepsports, and come back each week to see the new polls.

Also, don’t forget to join me online at 3:30-5 p.m. on Friday for the prep football chat.

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