Faves and ‘Dogs

 Louisville Wildcats

As I was looking back over the playoff schedule today, I realized something: We could lose a lot of area teams. I know, it’s the third round, where the mismatches are few, but few NeMiss teams can be considered clear-cut favorites.

I’ve decided – against my better judgment, I’m sure – to rate the chances of each of the 10 remaining area teams advancing this Friday. Winners will play for the North half title and a trip to Jackson (except for Marshall Academy, which is in the MPSA Class AA semis). I’m using a 1-10 scale, with 6-10 meaning that team is a favorite, 0-4 an underdog, and 5 even money (no wagering!).

Class 5A

Tupelo (vs. South Panola): 3. The Golden Wave lost 22-9 to the Tigers in the regular season. This one’s at home, but SP is in playoff mode now.

Starkville (vs. Olive Branch): 4. Sure, Starkville beat the Quistors 17-14 four weeks ago, but I don’t think it got OB’s best effort. Also, Starkville’s been up and down all year.

Class 4A

Itawamba AHS (vs. Noxubee Co.): 6. A lot of folks are making Noxubee the fave, but consider this, for what it’s worth: IAHS beat Shannon 28-27; Shannon beat West Point 36-35; West Point beat Noxubee 22-0.

West Point (at Kosciusko): 5. West Point won this matchup 17-14 on Oct. 12. Both teams are allegedly better since then, and Kosy gets the Wave at home this time.

Class 3A

Aberdeen (at Corinth): 5, in the lone NeMiss-only game. One always wonders how long those high-octane offenses will hold up in the playoffs; Nettleton made it to Jackson last year before running out of gas.

Corinth (vs. Aberdeen): 5, obviously. The Warriors have been not only playing well overall, but they’ve made big plays late in games. They’re as hot as any team around.

Ripley (vs. Louisville): 3. Louisville is the big fish in a small pond this year. No disrespect, Ripley, but 12-0 means little when you’ve never faced a team like this. Hope you prove me wrong.

Class 2A

Baldwyn (vs. Hollandale Simmons): 7. That might seem  a bit high, considering Simmons just beat Eupora 26-16, and Eupora beat Baldwyn 14-6 – on Sept. 28. Then again, Baldwyn just pounded Riverside, 41-12, a team that beat Simmons 28-26 on Oct. 5.

Class 1A

East Webster (vs. Mound Bayou JFK): 8. On paper, JFK looks like it could be the first team to come within 24 points of East Webster. Maybe, but the Hornets won’t get much closer than that.

MPSA Class AA

Marshall Aca. (vs. Winston Aca.): 6. The Brent Adams show rolls on to Jackson. Well, Clinton technically.

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2 Comments

Filed under Football

2 responses to “Faves and ‘Dogs

  1. roastbeef1

    As an Itawamba fan, Noxubee scares me big time. It always seems like Noxubee produces a pretty physical team (it might be different this year, I haven’t seen them play). IAHS has only played two really physical teams in my eyes, Amory (somewhat) and Senatobia. Both games, they struggled. Noxubee will also have the second most team speed Itawamba has seen behind only Shannon. That was IAHS’s biggest struggle against Shannon.

    Coaching wise, I think we’ll win. We should win the qb and rb battle as well. The key matchups will be Patterson versus our secondary and in the battle in the trenches. I don’t like the way we match up in those. Noxubee is also a little more battle tested than we are.

    I think Jefcoat will have a big game though. I don’t think we’ll be able to run a lot on them and you could see a lot of the air game this week going to Mitchell, Colburn, and Cox. We should also win the special teams battle which is huge in a closely contested ball game like this. I think we’ll win, but it’ll be a shootout. Something along the lines of 35-28.

  2. I talked to coach Mitchell today, and he called Noxubee the “most athletic” team he’s seen so far, and he said the defense was the best the Indians have faced. I also talked with Jefcoat, and he’s brimming with confidence. Looking forward to seeing how he handles that defense.

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