Football Picks: Last week was a big bust (4-6). The overall record took a hit dropping a few percentage points - 112-37 (75%).
It's championship week! We will have state champions as the high school season comes to a close. We'll have conference champions on the college side.
We'll also have the four playoff teams. The field of wannabes is being whittled down. Two teams are in - Georgia and Michigan (win or lose this week).
TCU and USC will be the other two in with wins. But... what if? The door could be open for Ohio State or Alabama.
Alabama could benefit from not playing Georgia. LSU is toast even with an SEC title after losing its third game last week.
Would the committee pick a two-loss Bama for the fourth spot? If we don't have status quo on Saturday, they'll have to make a tough decision.
The FPI has Georgia and Bama as the top two teams. It has Ohio State and Michigan as the next two (in that order). Will those metrics come into play? We'll see.
Thompson vs. Auburn: Auburn has been playing high school football since 1911. They are still seeking their first state title.
I don't know if I've ever seen a bigger collapse from any team at any level than the loss the Tigers suffered in their only meeting with Thompson. It was 2020.
Auburn led 28-19 with 1:18 to play. They had already gone into victory formation. Thompson players were already crying on the sideline. Auburn fans booed Mark Freeman for calling his final timeouts.
But... a blocked punt for a touchdown, an onside kick recovery and pass completion led to the game-winning field goal. It assured that it's really 'not over 'til it's over.' Thompson was the victor.
That has stuck in the craw of Auburn fans ever since and will forever more. This might be the year to finally get over the top, but Thompson is 4-1 in title games under Freeman. Thompson 27, Auburn 24
Piedmont vs. St. James: St. James, like Auburn, has never won a state title either. The program has only been around since 1973 though.
Jimmy Perry reached the championship game in 6A while at Lee but lost to Clay Chalkville in overtime. That was in 1999.
It would be fitting for Perry to get his first and the first for the school in the program's 50th season.
Piedmont does have Jack Hayes, the state's all-time leading passer. The defending champs had a monumental comeback to beat another Capital City team in Montgomery Academy last year. St. James 30, Piedmont 28
Ramsey vs. Charles Henderson: Charles Henderson's dream season continues. The Trojans were 2-8 last year and 1-8 the year prior.
Henderson is making its third title appearance. The last was in 2013. Their lone title came in 1980. Ramsay won its only championship in 2016.
Jywon Boyd has been on a tear since he tore through Tallassee in week two. The Rams may have a few guys who can contain him. Ramsey 26, Charles Henderson 23
Cherokee County vs. Andalusia: The door opened up for Andalusia in dropping down a class this year. The problem - Catholic moved up with competitive balance into the same classification. The Bulldogs broke down that door last week at Cramton Bowl.
Our good friend and THS alum, Shannon Glenn, is the public address announcer for Andalusia games. He'll be in Auburn this week I'm sure. Andalusia 34, Cherokee County 20
Mountain Brook vs. Saraland: Saraland avenged their only loss with a solid performance against Theodore last week. Alvin and Simon just watched.
Mountain Brook beat Muscle Shoals handily. You know they've got the Swampers. Mountain Brook 23, Saraland 20
Utah vs. USC: I'll note one of my good picks and avoid the busts. USC was my surprise team. They've taken care of business and will be a playoff team with one more win.
Everybody has already awarded Caleb Williams the Heisman. Utah did hand Williams and the Trojans their only defeat. ESPN Matchup Predictor favors the Utes with a 61.2% chance of victory. USC 38, Utah 30
Kansas St. vs. TCU: For the likes of Alabama and Ohio State to back their way into the playoff we need a few upsets. Notably the USC game and this one with this season's Cinderella in TCU.
TCU has already won the regular season battle. The Horned Frogs scored 21 unanswered in the second half for a come-from-behind victory in Fort Worth. TCU 41, K-State 31
Coastal Carolina at Troy: The Trojans are playing for the Sun Belt crown at home this weekend. Coastal has been the team to beat in the conference in recent years but not this season. Troy 37, Coastal 31
Clemson vs. North Carolina: Clemson blew their chance at the CFP with last week's loss to South Carolina. North Carolina has a guy who can throw it around the yard in Drake Maye (ala Spencer Rattler). Clemson 30, N. Carolina 23
LSU vs. Georgia: All that talk about a two-loss SEC champ in the playoff is gone with the wind that blew through Kyle Field on Saturday night. LSU is a lame duck even if they win this week.
This game has no significance other than seeding for Georgia. Georgia 30, LSU 20