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November 8, 2013
Who makes it to Cookeville?
The Tennessee Prep Football Playoffs get underway tonight with visions of state championships dancing in the heads of those who will take the field.
Many high school football players will end their careers tonight as their teams reach the end of the line and others will dance off the field to prepare for the playoff journey to Cookeville.
Here's a look by TNVarsity.com at the teams our staff expects to see in the finals and those to watch.
The list of 5A teams with a shot is a long one that could end up being like a NASCAR crash in the eastern part of the state.
The 5A team that makes it to Cookeville should find No. 1 ranked Henry County (10-0) waiting. No. 9 ranked Memphis East (8-2) is the only other Associated Press Top 10 5A team from the west.
The race for the finish line out of the east is bumper to bumper with eight teams crowded up in the pack.
Knoxville West (9-1) has only lost to Class 6A power Maryville.
However, the teams that make it out of the east will truly be those who get the breaks and survive.
Either Cleveland or East Hamilton are the TNVarsity.com picks to make it to Cookeville with the Blue Raiders of Cleveland getting the slight edge.
TNVarsity.com's 5A Teams to Watch
1. Henry County
3. East Hamilton
4. Knoxville West
5. Memphis East
7. Rhea County
8. Anderson County
The 4A battle to reach Cookeville should consist of a limited few in the east. Defending state champion Fulton (10-0) has destroyed all competition this season and some experts believe that the Falcons are the best team in the state in any classification.
Nevertheless, Greeneville (10-0) is back and ready to carry another gold ball home.
On Nov. 22, these two teams will likely meet with the winner going on to claim the 4A state championship.
Pearl-Cohn (9-1) and Trezevant (9-1) could be the two teams that will meet up from the west with the state finals as a destination for the winner.
TNVarsity.com's 4A Teams to Watch
6. Giles County
8. Sullivan South
If the Associated Press 3A Top 10 is correct CPA (10-0) and Alcoa (9-1) should meet for the state championship.
Lewis County (10-0) and Fairview (9-1) are others at the top of the list of those in 3A to reach the championship game.
TNVarsity.com's 3A Teams to Watch
4. Lewis County
5. East Nashville
7. Polk County
8. Notre Dame
Can any team in 2A defeat Grace Christian?
This is a legitimate question until Nov. 29 comes up on the TSSAA bracket. On that night, Trousdale County and Grace Christian should play. The fact that the game would be played in Knoxville gives Grace the advantage to win and move on to face Trinity Christian (9-1) or Adamsville (8-2).
TNVarsity.com's 2A Teams to Watch
1. Grace Christian
2. Trinity Christian
5. Trousdale County
7. Marion County
It is always easy to look at the Class 1A TSSAA state playoff brackets and put South Pittsburg (9-1) in the state championship game.
OK, let's do just that with South Pittsburg and Nashville Christian meeting for the 1A state crown.
TNVarsity.com's 1A Teams to Watch
1. South Pittsburg
2. Nashville Christian
3. Union City
4. Columbia Academy
The toughest classification to determine which teams make it to Cookeville for the championship game has been D-II A. That chore has now been made tougher with the addition of BGA and Friendship Christian to the mix.
Knoxville Webb has losses to D-II AA Baylor and Maryville and should be one of the teams to reach Cookeville.
ECS (10-0) and Webb School will meet on Nov. 22 with the winner moving on to face either Friendship Christian or BGA for the state championship.
TNVarsity.com's DII A Teams to Watch
1. Knoxville Webb
3. Friendship Christian
5. St. George's