1. Central, 2-1, defeated Auburn 42-14: That's more like it. Utilizing a physically dominating offense and defense, the Red Devils were able to put together a complete performance that more closely resembled what we expected from them this season. As they continue to improve, they look more and more like a state title contender once again.
2. Hardaway, 2-0, did not play: Now, the Hawks may or may not have suffered a loss this week against a talented Lee County squad. As it is, though, the game was canceled due to weather and Hardaway remains undefeated. No matter how you slice it, Hardaway has improved quite a bit this season.
3. Carver, 1-2, lost to Douglas County 39-13: We're giving the Tigers the benefit of the doubt here, but the leash is getting shorter. This is the first time since 2005 that the Tigers have had a losing record three or more games into the season. That was Dell McGee's first year at the helm, and the Tigers finished 3-7. We're not expecting that kind of dropoff at all, but there some obvious things the team needs to fix.
4. Northside, 1-1, lost to Spencer 35-28: Northside suffered one of those losses where half of its game really impressed you and the other half made you scratch your head a little. The Patriots we saw in the first half last Thursday looked like a team that could contend for a region championship. Then suddenly, they allowed Spencer to claw back in and win. We'll see which Patriots team takes over going forward.
5. Columbus, 1-1, lost to Upson-Lee 20-0: The offense struggled to get moving against Upson-Lee, but that was always going to be a challenging game for the Blue Devils. Columbus has another stiff test coming up against Callaway, and a win there would put the team right back on the map.
6. Harris County, 1-1, did not play: We've seen a close win and a close loss for the Tigers, so right now we're not exactly sure what kind of team to expect. The Tigers get a contest against Shaw next, so we should start to see some separation between these teams in the rankings soon.
7. Shaw, 1-1, defeated Kendrick 21-14: It still wasn't the kind of offensive output we came to expect from the Raiders last year, but it was a win. And, again, the defense played exceedingly well. If the defense can hold serve while the offense gets up to speed, Shaw might still be able to put together a playoff push this season.
8. Smiths Station, 1-2, lost to Jeff Davis 32-14: It doesn't seem right to place the Panthers this low after they played three strong quarters against a solid Jeff Davis team last Friday. Smiths Station is better than its record and its ranking and should be able to climb the list as the season goes along.
9. Russell County, 0-3, lost to Dothan 15-14: How painful is it to have to rank the Warriors here again? For the second consecutive week, Russell County nearly ended its long losing streak, but lost by a single point. The team deserves better, and you secretly hope they will get over the hump at some point this season.