If there's one thing I've never understood the need for in high school football, it's rankings.
To be a champion, you have to know you can win. It takes bravado to make the big play when the game is on the line, as well as overcoming the odds when the chips are down.
BUFORD - Jess Simpson prefers to win games. He's not shy about it, he doesn't apologize for it. Just ask him.
Here's a little tip for all the Facebooking football players out there: It's never a good idea to send trash talk to an upcoming opponent, especially when that opponent is the three-time defending champions.
It was a little more difficult to decipher what the most compelling local story to the high school football season was this year over most.
Four local football teams will play tonight in the second round of the state playoffs. Chances are, at least one will lose. There's no shame in that.
It's always fun to watch the reaction of a team experiencing success in the playoffs that isn't used to playing once the regular season is complete. This year, that team is White County.
It's been a good run for football in Northeast Georgia. In the last three years, Hall County has sent four teams to the semifinals, Jefferson has won two region titles, Commerce keeps getting to the playoffs, and Buford, well, Buford has been Buford. But like good things do, it's coming to an end - for everybody, of course, except Buford. For the rest of the area, the offseason's coming early this year. It's already come ...
The regular season is over and only two Hall County teams move into the playoffs. Gainesville is the Region champ in 8-AAA and Flowery Branch as a No. 2 seed in 8-AAAA.
It was pretty obvious that Friday's Region 8-AAA title victory for Gainesville was especially sweet. Not many people were going to bet money when the season started that the Red Elephants would be the ones hoisting the region title trophy like they did.
Gainesville had to overcome the loss of about 99 percent of its offense and 3/4 of its defense.
Before the football season even started, Flowery Branch was written off and given the "rebuilding year" label, despite reaching the Class AAA state semifinals last year and the finals in 2008. Not only did the Falcons lose all their top playmakers from 2009 to either graduation or transfer, they were moving up a classification and into Region 8-AAAA, headed by Apalachee, Clarke Central and Rockdale County.
At the end of the game, it is going to come down to each teams' playmakers. Very few teams have better playmakers than Clarke Central this year.
At the end of week 10, all Hall County teams have played nine games and had a bye week. Region 8-AAA teams Gainesville and Johnson have play-in games, with Gainesville at White County for the region title and the top seed in the Class AAA playoffs. Johnson plays Stephens County and if the Knights win, they become a No. 4 seed.