The 2012 high school football playoffs are almost completely here.
I phrase it this way because Classes 2A, 3A, and 4A are in playoff mode this week; while 1A, 5A, and 6A are playing their final games of the regular season.
At this moment, the 4A bracket intrigues me, specifically, the top half of the North bracket. There you find the team everyone has already awarded the state title to – Noxubee County.
Perhaps deservedly so, but the road through the top half of the bracket has its share of Northeast Mississippi teams to get through.
First up in the first round for Noxubee will be Shannon. That leads to a potentially fun second round pairing with Noxubee and Lafayette, the two-time defending 4A champion. Then there is the potential for another fun (perhaps my favorite word for hard, challenging, etc.,,) third round pairing with undefeated Itawamba AHS.
This is all great theater for high school football fans.
But with all the attention focused on the top half, the road through the bottom half might be a nice road for area teams like Corinth, New Albany, and Amory.
Good luck to all here.
In 3A, Charleston lurks in the bottom half of the North bracket, which sets up a potential meeting with Aberdeen Nov. 16.
In the top half, a wonderful chance for an area matchup of Booneville-Mooreville next week; and then look forward to the potential of Booneville-Water Valley Nov. 16.
And in 2A, while Calhoun City won over its rival last week, I still like the run Bruce could make. Bruce is in the top half of the North bracket, and watch for the potential matchup Nov. 16 against West Bolivar.
Maybe a bit of wishful thinking, but maybe not – good chance for Calhoun City and Baldwyn to meet Nov. 16 as well?
Then there are the end-of-the-season games.
Just to mention 1-6A, you have for the fourth spot in 1-6A, Columbus at 3-3, and DeSoto Central, Grenada, and Tupelo at 2-4. I just do not see the math favoring Tupelo against Columbus or Central.
In 1-5A, how about those Saltillo Tigers?
I was covering their contest against West Point a couple of weeks ago, and someone on the sideline was already figuring it would come down to beating Lake Cormorant. Good math.
I would like to think Saltillo would not be in this must-win position if they had taken care of business against Center Hill, but 5A football is a pretty tough place.
Good luck to the Tigers.
And in 1A, it took several weeks to get to an important game in 1-1A after Vardaman beat Falkner. But here we are with Falkner vs. Smithville for the No. 2 spot, and a home game first round of the playoffs.
David Wheeler has been contributing to the high school sports coverage of the Daily Journal since 1985.