It’s tough to write a preview article about college football when the college football schedule changes so frequently. I am pretty sure Alabama is playing Kentucky and Auburn is facing off against Tennessee this weekend, but that’s just as of my typing this sentence. SEC schedules are in a state of fluidity at the moment.
Luckily, the AHSAA football playoff brackets are a little more concrete. And now that we have moved into the third round, I feel safer in making my eventual state champion picks.
Class 1A: This classification is always so awesome. Nothing epitomizes “high school football in Alabama” like Class 1A. As a general rule, there are few (if any) college prospects, but these teams play with the tenacity and grit of an SEC Championship Game. All that being said, I like Brantley to take home its first title since 2012. The Bulldogs have only surrendered 77 points all year, and 36 of those were scored by Florala. You have a better chance of being attacked by an actual bulldog on the way to the game than you do of scoring on this defense.
Class 2A: Mars Hill Bible is my choice to win it all here. Yes, it has two losses. However, one of them was to Jasper, which resides in 6A, and the other was to American Christian via COVID related forfeit. All of the other contests saw Mars Hill bible get downright Old Testament on their opponents. The Panthers played for the 1A title last season and came up just short, but I witnessed the team’s unified borg-like mentality and physicality first hand. It’s practically going to take Divine Intervention to take out Mars Hill Bible this season.
Class 3A: Fyffe. That’s probably all I need to say, really — simply, “Fyffe.” If you know high school football in Alabama, you know that is enough. I don’t know why this team is always so good, but it is as it has won four of the last state titles in its respective classifications. Make it 5/7 even as it has moved up to 3A.
Class 4A: This classification is difficult to predict. The teams remaining have prospects galore. Respective teams have players to committed the likes of Tennessee, Georgia and UCLA, for example. However, I am going to go with a surprise pick in Gordo as that school probably has the best QB left in the bracket.
Class 5A: Get the kids out of the pool because 5A is bringing thunder this year. Of the final eight squads, all have an incredible case to be the favorite. UMS Wright wins more than Harlem Globetrotters; Ramsey has a defense that the Pittsburgh Steelers would appreciate; Central Clay is coached by a legend; Pleasant Grove’s offense puts up points like a porcupine on the debate team; St. Paul’s is — well, you get the point. Every team left in this bracket is fantastic. So, how do I choose? When in doubt, I will pick Danny Horn’s crew every time. Central Clay for the three-peat!
Class 6A: In the end, I think this class comes down to Opelika and Pinson Valley. Blount is my dark horse, but I can’t go again OHS’ defense and PVHS’s talent. I really wants to say the Bulldogs get it done for Opelika, but I have to go with Pinson Valley to hoist the title.
Class 7A: We can all pretend other teams have a shot, but Thompson High School is absolutely loaded. In fact, it would be the biggest shock of the playoffs if the Warriors did not repeat as state champs this year.
Luke Robinson is a regular columnist, contributor to BMetro, AHSAA Radio Network broadcaster and Sportz Blitz team member.