I'll admit to you that when I went to Bearden for the Bulldogs game with Central on CSS, I was sure that the Bobcats would win in a run away.
Let's face it, they entered the game number two in the state having outscored their first 4 opponents 153-16. Central hadn't been tested.
Then there was the only comparative score that I could base my pre-game opinions on. Both teams had played Farragut. Central beat the Admirals, 34-7 while the Bulldogs had been trampled by Farragut, 27-14. Surely there was no way that the Bulldogs could pull off the upset and beat mighty Central.
Goodness gracious was I wrong. Not only did Bearden bear Central, they manhandled them to the tune of a 21-6 shellacking. The game didn't make me think less of Central as much as it gave me a newfound respect for Bearden and the job Bill Wilson has done with the Bulldogs.
Just a couple of weeks earlier, Bearden had almost knocked off the top ranked team in 5A, Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett, losing 10-6. I don't think there's any question now that Bearden will be a major player in the state playoffs with a real shot to make some serious noise on the way to Murfreesboro.
Then there was the Farragut/Powell game. The Panthers hadn't looked good against anyone this season going into the match up, while the Admirals had looked good in the win over Bearden.
As it turned out, our predictions were wrong again. Powell ended up winning the game in overtime and making a statement to the rest of Region 3-4A. There are many examples of how parity is alive and well, but none greater to me that what has happened to Alcoa.
The Tornadoes have 2 losses on their record. Alcoa may be the best 2A team in America. They are loaded across the board and are still my favorite to win a third straight championship. But, when the season comes to an end, the Tornadoes will look back and realize they lost to two other state champions in Maryville and Fulton.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how the power in the state has shifted from West Tennessee to the East. This is a perfect example of my analogy. It's kind of the Pat Summitt approach. Pat always schedules the best teams in America so that her Lady Vols are battle tested when the post season rolls around.
By the time we get to the playoffs, all of our teams will be more than ready because they've had to play each other throughout the regular season. Yes, parity is alive in East Tennessee. But, it's because of that parity that East Tennessee will dominate the state in the playoffs again this year.
Packer Report: Parity Alive and Well
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