Each team has played at least five games, which means region races are shaping up, and we have to start looking ahead toward the playoffs.
So, let’s do that. Let’s look at the potential playoff matchups if the season ended today. Seedings are based on the current standings on gasports.com.
The last two seasons, Cobb County sent 12 and 11 teams to the postseason respectively. If the playoffs started this week, that number would again be 11, with some interesting opening round contests for some of the teams.
No. 1 McEachern vs. No. 4 Alcovy — would advance to face winner of Camden County, Newnan
No. 2 Hillgrove vs. No. 3 Rockdale County — would advance to face winner of Colquitt County, East Coweta
No. 3 North Cobb at No. 2 Newton — would advance to face winner of Langston Hughes, Tift County
No. 4 Harrison at No. 1 Lovejoy — would advance to face winner of Westlake, Lowndes
No. 1 Etowah vs. No. 4 Norcross — would advance to face winner of Dacula, South Forsyth
No. 2 Milton vs. No. 3 Peachtree Ridge — would advance to face Archer, Chattahoochee winner
No. 3 Lassiter at No. 2 Collins Hill — would advance to face Alpharetta, Central Gwinnett winner
No. 4 Walton at No. 1 North Gwinnett — would advance to face North Forsyth, Grayson winner
On face value, it looks like a bad draw for many of our squads. North Cobb appears to have the easiest road as a No. 3 seed. If Lassiter could upset Collins Hill in the opening round, the Trojans could set themselves on a collision course with the Warriors in the state quarterfinals — if they can get that far.
It would appear that McEachern and Hillgrove would face potential state championship-like games in Round 2 — against Camden County and Colquitt County respectively – but if either wants to be a title contender, they are going to have to beat these teams down the line anyway. So, what difference does it make if they face off in Round 2 or at the Georgia Dome?
Currently, Harrison would hold the No. 4 seed from Region 4AAAAAA, but it is likely that the Hoyas will be joined by Marietta and North Cobb in a three-way race for the last two spots. The Warriors already have one tiebreaker in hand with a head-to-head victory over Harrison.
In Region 5AAAAAA, the top four teams have already separated themselves from the bottom four (Wheeler, Woodstock, Roswell, Cherokee) and should fight for the playoff spots among themselves.
Games still on the schedule that will have direct impact on the seedings – Tonight: North Cobb at Hillgrove. Oct. 18: McEachern at North Cobb, Milton at Lassiter. Oct. 25: Harrison at Hillgrove, Walton at Milton. Nov. 1: Marietta at North Cobb, McEachern at Harrison, Walton at Etowah. Nov. 8: Marietta at Harrison, McEachern at Hillgrove.
Class AAAAA Region 5AAAAA/7AAAAA
No. 1 North Paulding vs. No. 4 Pope – would advance to face Flowery Branch/Mays winner
No. 2 Allatoona vs. No. 3 Sequoyah – would advance to face Gainesville/M.L. King winner
No. 3 South Paulding at No. 2 Creekview – would advance to face Stephenson/Heritage winner
No. 4 East Paulding at No. 1 Kell – would advance to face Tucker/Clarke Central winner
There are currently four teams with one loss in Region 5AAAAA. While it is anybody’s race, North Paulding gets a slight nod as the No. 1 seed because it already holds wins against East and South Paulding.
The Buccaneers get a slight nod for the No. 2 seed because they will host North Paulding and East Paulding in the final two weeks of the season.
Right now though, South Paulding holds a tiebreaker with Allatoona, but the Bucs currently have five wins while the Spartans have four.
Kell is the clear No. 1 in Region 7AAAAA. The Longhorns are the only undefeated team and they should stay that way.
Pope is considered the No. 4 seed for the moment, but Sprayberry has yet to play a subregion game and Riverwood’s loss came at the hands of Kell.
The Longhorns also hold a tiebreaker with Creekview if the teams end the season on top of their respective subregions, and have the same record.
Games still on the schedule that will have direct impact on the seedings – Tonight: Sprayberry at Riverwood. Oct. 18: Pope at Sprayberry. Oct. 25: Riverwood at Pope, Sprayberry at Kell, South Paulding at East Paulding. Nov. 1: Kell at Pope, North Paulding at Allatoona. Nov. 8: East Paulding at Allatoona, Creekview, Kell, Pope, Sequoyah, Sprayberry, and Riverwood each have play-in games.
In the latest Class A Private School Power Rankings, Mount Paran Christian in ranked No. 7 and Whitefield Academy is No. 12. Walker, which has struggled the last few weeks, is ranked 21st and currently, would be left on the outside of the playoffs.
The Eagles would host No. 10 Fellowship – the team they will face next week in a Region 6A (B) matchup. The survivor would advance to take on the Darlington/Pace Academy winner.
The Wolfpack would travel to No. 5 Aquinas with the winner advancing to take on either Mount Pisgah Christian or George Walton Academy.
The top 16 teams in the power rankings make the playoffs.
John Bednarowski is the sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jbednarowski