By Brandon Speck
College football’s playoff system has diminished the meaning of winning a conference. Mississippi high school football teams, though the MHSAA doesn’t really reward it, still value winning their divisions.
With two weeks to go – three in Classes 1A, 5A and 6A – division title chances are taking form.
In 1-3A, Booneville and Kossuth are both 3-0. Assuming both win this week against Belmont and Benton County, the rivals would be scheduled to play a regular-season finale for the division title and the first of two first-round home playoff games. Booneville beat Benton County 16-8 Friday.
“This possibly means if we win against Kossuth, we’re division champs,” Blue Devils QB Preston Stroupe said, “if we beat Belmont, too. But we do have to play at Belmont. It’s going to be tough.”
No division is as confusing as 1-4A, where four teams are 2-1.
Itawamba AHS, which along with Corinth was considered by most to be the favorite to win the division, is 1-2. There is plenty to be decided. Current top four Shannon, Amory, Corinth and Pontotoc still have to play games against one another. IAHS hosts Pontotoc on Friday with its playoffs hopes either firming up or hanging by a thread on the result.
On the rise
The Journal’s Week 10 small school rankings remained the same with all five teams winning, but there was some shakeup among the large schools.
Oxford, Starkville and Lafayette remained the top three, but Corinth (6-3)replaced Itawamba AHS after a dominating 64-25 win against the Indians in Corinth.
Shannon beat Amory and moved into the No. 5 spot for the first time all season. Corinth visits Shannon (5-3)on Friday.