Playoff picture taking shape for Southwest Georgia teams

We are only a few short weeks away from the GHSA football playoffs and only one week away from the GISA football playoffs & there is still a lot of sorting left to do. Here is how it shakes out in our neck of the woods:

Region 1-A
Unfortunately, right now every team in Region 1-A is on the outside looking in with a Region Championship being the only way to be one of the 16 teams that will advance to the postseason. In the Class A Football Power Ratings that were released today, the highest rated team from Region 1-A is the Randolph-Clay Red Devils at 16th, the final spot. The Red Devils have already lost to Miller County which hurts, but they still have Terrell County and Mitchell County left on the schedule, which will be no cakewalk. The Miller County Pirates, Mitchell County Eagles & Terrell County Greenwaves all still have a shot to win the region in the final two weeks. Here are the scenarios:
For Terrell County to win the region: Win out. Terrell County in undefeated in region games in 2015 and has home games against Miller County & Randolph-Clay remaining. Any loss will most likely eliminate the Greenwaves from playoff contention.
For Miller County to win the region: The Pirates have a non-region game against Schley County this Friday night but finish the season at Terrell County. If Miller County can beat the Greenwaves, they will win Region 1-A.
For Randolph-Clay to win the region: Win out. If Randolph-Clay wins their remaining games, they will win Region 1-A but they can’t afford another loss, especially to Terrell County.
For Mitchell County to win the region: The Eagles already have two losses in the region and need to win both of their final games and pray for two Terrell County losses.

Bradley’s Prediction: Randolph-Clay wins the region and earns a berth in the playoffs & Terrell County sneaks in as the 16th seed.

Region 1-AA
We know who the top team in the region is going to be: Brooks County, even with a loss to Thomasville this Friday night, will win Region 1-AA. The Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes still control their own destiny to claim the 2nd place prize of home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs while the Early County Bobcats are holding strong in 3rd place with a most-likely 4-2 final record in region play. The battle for fourth place is where the fun will be as Pelham, Seminole County, Berrien & Thomasville all vie for the final spot. All four teams have 1-3 region records and all four have two more games to play.
Let’s assume that Fitzgerald will beat both Berrien & Seminole County for the sake of the 4th place discussion. Here is what the 1-AA four will need to happen:
Pelham: The Hornets have two winnable games remaining at Seminole County and against Berrien at home. Two wins will put the Hornets in the playoffs but a split will put their hopes on the line against a team that most likely has beaten them already.
Seminole County: Unfortunately, the Indians have Fitzgerald still remaining on the schedule in the regular season finale. A split in those final two games would go a long way but two wins is unlikely.
Berrien: The Rebels have for the most part been in every region game they have played except for one and I don’t expect that to change in the final weeks of the regular season when they host Fitzgerald and travel to Pelham. They will most likely split to earn a playoff berth but two losses would end their season.
Thomasville: The Bulldogs are in a rough spot. They’ve only won one game this season and if they finish the season with back-to-back upset wins against Brooks County and Early County, they will still finish in a tie with either Pelham or Berrien.

Bradley’s Prediction: Brooks County, Fitzgerald & Early County all earn their 1st, 2nd & 3rd spots in the region while the Berrien Rebels split their final two games and beat out the Pelham Hornets for the 4th seed in the playoffs.

Region 1-AAAA
One side of Region 1-AAAA is signed, sealed & ready for delivery to the Region 1-AAAA Championship Game but where it’s going to be played and against whom is still a big mystery as we head into the final regular season week for the region. The Bainbridge Bearcats are a perfect 8-0 for the first time in school history and have clinched the Division B title despite still having a game against the Westover Patriots this Friday night. Division A however is a completely different story. If things shake down like we expect them to this Friday night (and with the way this season has gone why wouldn’t it?) we will have a three-way tie for the first place in the Division. Since there are three home games for the Dougherty County schools this weekend we’ll a game in Hugh Mills Stadium Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights. The Saturday night game between Americus-Sumter & Dougherty County is irrelevant to the playoff discussion so it won’t be listed below.
Thursday Night
Crisp County at Monroe: The Tornadoes pulled a big upset of Cairo last week in the Syrup City that put them right in the thick of the Division race. This will be a good game between Monroe & Crisp County where the Yellow Jackets of Thomas County Central will be pulling for a Crisp County victory to avoid the three-way tie.
Friday Night
Cairo at Albany: The Syrupmakers need a win to stay in the hunt for the Division title and the Indians will be making their final regular season attempt at a win to avoid going 0-9.
Worth County at Thomas County Central: The Jackets don’t need a win against Worth County when it comes to the divisional race because they have already played all division opponents but I wouldn’t leave it to chance with a potential three-way tie looming.

Bradley’s Prediction: Bainbridge finishes the regular season undefeated. Crisp County beats Monroe on Thursday night & Thomas County Central wins the Division setting up a rematch between the Bearcats & Yellow Jackets in The Jackets’ Nest where history has proven that anything can happen.

Region 1-AAAAAA
The entire region had a bye week last week as they gear up for the final push to the playoffs in one of the most competitive and talented regions in all of the state of Georgia. So far this season Colquitt County and Camden County have separated themselves from the pack. The Packers and the Wildcats will face off in the regular season finale in Chris Gillman Stadium in Kingsland, Georgia, for what will most likely be the region championship game. The Packers have the Tift County Blue Devils this week who have dropped three straight and the Wildcats of Camden County prepare for the long trip across the state to Leesburg to face off against the injury depleted Lee County Trojans. Not to be forgotten, the Winnersville Classic between the Valdosta Wildcats and Lowndes Vikings will take place this year at Martin Stadium, home of the Vikings, where a playoff spot could possibly be on the line if Tift County or Lee County pull off improbable upsets.

Bradley’s Prediction: Colquitt County wins the region, Camden County is the 2nd seed & Lowndes and Valdosta in that order are the 3rd & 4th seeds.

This season the Region 1’s have been paired with the Region 4’s in the playoff brackets and here are our projected 1st round matchups in A, AA, AAAA & AAAAAA.

Twiggs County at Randolph-Clay
Terrell County at Marion County

Brooks County v. Monticello
Fitzgerald v. Putnam County
Early County at Lamar County
Berrien at Macon County

Bainbridge v. Eagles Landing
Thomas County Central v. Griffin
Worth County at Locust Grove
Cairo at Jonesboro

Colquitt County v. Harrison
Camden County v. North Cobb
Lowndes at Hillgrove
Valdosta at McEachern

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