Each week, The News & Observer high school sports writers D. Clay Best and J. Mike Blake will be sharing their AP football ballots online with a few thoughts on each.
Best is the sports editor for three community newspapers owned by The N&O – the Garner-Cleveland Record, the Clayton News-Star and The (Smithfield) Herald. Blake is the sports editor of two – The Cary News and Southwest Wake News.
Clay’s thoughts: The question of the week is how far do you drop Scotland County and Charlotte Catholic. For me, Scotland doesn't fall as far as Charlotte Catholic, which is still among the top 4A teams in the state, but top 10 teams don't get shutout 27-0 (as CC did against Mallard Creek) very often. When ranking 4A teams I get the feeling the Charlotte area is the SEC and everybody else in the state is everybody else in college football. Who knows exactly where everybody else falls in relation to those teams. … Likewise, 20-point losses aren't ideal for top 10 teams but when it's to a top-10 team in the state of Tennessee as was the case for Asheville against West Knoxville last week, it can be understood. … It appears 2A was the place to be for upsets last week. … Still waiting on that Sept. 26 Kenan-Princeton game to learn a lot more about the eastern half of the 1A ranks.
JMB’s thoughts: Yep, I dropped Scotland completely out of the top 10 in 4A for a “good loss” to Southern Durham in the final minute. Why? Because there are so many deserving 4A teams and it’s early in the year. My rankings are very fluid in the first half of the year because no one really has a full “body of work” at this point. Same goes for why, in 3A, I moved out Asheville for an out-of-state loss and Freedom for a tie. In 2A, I jumped Southwest Onslow over East Lincoln, despite East Lincoln’s win, and welcomed Farmville Central. Alleghany County replacing Pamlico County was my only 1A change.
|2. Mallard Creek||Mallard Creek||Mallard Creek|
|3. New Bern||Dudley||Wake Forest|
|5. Independence||Wake Forest||Independence|
|6. Mooresville||New Bern||New Bern|
|7. West Forsyth||Mooresville||Scotland County|
|8. Scotland County||West Forsyth||Mooresville|
|9. Middle Creek||J.H. Rose||Middle Creek|
|10. Wake Forest||Middle Creek||Charlotte Catholic|
|1. Southern Durham||Southern Durham||Southern Durham|
|3. Havelock||Havelock||Northern Guilford|
|4. Northern Guilford||Northern Guilford||Havelock|
|5. Concord||Concord||Southern Guilford|
|10. Asheville||Southern Guilford||Asheville|
|1. Southwest Onslow||Southwest Onslow||Southwest Onslow|
|2. East Lincoln||East Lincoln||Monroe|
|T4. Monroe||Shelby||East Lincoln|
|6. Farmville Central||Monroe||Washington|
|7. Reidsville||Northeastern||Farmville Central|
|8. Newton-Conover||Farmville Central||Franklin|
|1. Wallace-Rose Hill||Wallace-Rose Hill||Wallace-Rose Hill|
|2. Princeton||Swain County||Murphy|
|3. James Kenan||Mt. Airy||James Kenan|
|4. Murphy||James Kenan||Mt.Airy|
|5. Mt. Airy||Murphy||Princeton|
|6. Swain County||Princeton||Tarboro|
|7. Robinsville||Robbinsville||Swain County|
|T8. West Montgomery||West Montgomery||Plymouth|
|10. Plymouth||Alleghany County||Whiteville|