Bainbridge jumps to No. 2; Lee reigns again in Herald's Fab 5 Poll

Lee County QB Stephen Collier and the Trojan offense scored a school record 70 points against Northside Columbus on Friday.

Lee County QB Stephen Collier and the Trojan offense scored a school record 70 points against Northside Columbus on Friday.

Fab 5 Poll

1. Lee County.......(7-2)

The Trojans put up 70 points last week. Any questions? They stay No. 1 with a huge showdown Friday against No. 2 Bainbridge.

Next: At Bainbridge, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

2. Bainbridge.......(6-3)

The Bearcats move up from fourth to No. 2 on the strength of their win earlier this year against Cairo, which beat No. 3 Westover and No. 4 Monroe. Had Monroe beaten Cairo, the poll would have had a big shakeup.

Next: vs. Lee County, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

3. Westover..........(6-3)

The Pats have a had a big year and will host a playoff game for the first time in history.

Next: vs. Albany High, 7 p.m., Saturday.

4. Monroe..............(6-3)

The Tornadoes drop one spot after losing to Cairo. There is no team that is not ranked in the Fab 5 that would have a prayer to beat Cairo, which is why Monroe stays in the Top 5.

Next: vs. Worth County, 7:30 p.m., Friday.

5. Early County...(6-3)

The Bobcats stay at No. 5, because the next two teams on the bubble are Seminole and DWS. Early beat Seminole and would be a huge favorite against any GISA team.

Next: vs. Cook, 8 p.m., Friday.

ALBANY — The Fab 5 Poll ends after next week, and it may be the last of its kind. There have been discussions about altering the Fab 5 next year. Nothing has been settled, but there’s a possibility — if there is enough interest — to have two polls next fall.

One poll would be for GHSA schools and one for GISA schools. The way the poll exists now, all 25 teams in The Herald’s coverage area are ranked in one poll. The Herald does not cover Class AAAAAA Colquitt County, or the Thomasville schools, or Cairo or Brooks County. Obviously, if those football teams were in the coverage area, they would be ranked.

The Herald does vote for those teams every week in the Associated Press state polls (where does Brooks County think the lone vote for being No 1 in the state comes from, anyway? It’s not coming from Atlanta).

The biggest problem with the poll is that every team in Southwest Georgia isn’t covered by The Herald. The second problem is that the poll includes teams from both the GHSA and GISA, but the poll is based on the overall performance of the teams. There is no breakdown for classes. Lee County and Bainbridge are Class AAAAA schools and are ranked in the same poll as Randolph Southern, which has only 115 students. The intent of the Fab 5 Poll is to list the top five teams, regardless of school size.

Teams are not ranked based on how they fare against schools their size — it’s how they would fare against the field of 25 teams.

The GISA schools are eligible for the poll, but it’s difficult to know if Deerfield, the best team in all of GISA, would beat Early County, which is ranked No. 5 in the poll. In a two poll format, Deerfield would have been the No. 1 team all season and Westwood would have been ranked No. 2 all season in a GISA Fab 5. In fact, those two teams would have been ranked that way for the past three years, and the critics of that poll would have screamed for the two GISA teams to play each other.

All polls are criticized because polls don’t determine who plays who, so there is always the question: What if so-in-so played so-in-so? But records based on weaker schedules have to be considered, just as records against tough schedules are considered.

Early County is the victim of playing in the most competitive GHSA Class AA region in all of Georgia. Four teams from Region 1-AA have been ranked in the Top 10 this season, and Brooks County and Fitzgerald are as good as any AA team in the state.

So even Early County’s losses have been legitimate. The Herald factors that competitive schedule into the poll. Early could have easily gone unbeaten in another region. The Bobcats lost to Class AAAAA Bainbridge, which was ranked just above Early until this week. Movement is difficult in the poll, because the teams don’t play enough common opponents.

Bainbridge moves up to the No. 2 spot in the poll based on its 17-14 win against Cairo earlier this season. The reason it took a while for the Bearcats to make the move is that, in the opinion of The Herald, Monroe was better than Cairo. The Syrupmakers beat Monroe, 28-20, on Friday. That allowed Bainbridge to leap-frog Monroe and Westover, which also lost to Cairo, and move to the No. 2 spot, behind Lee County.

The Trojans have lost two games this year by a total of 10 points, including a tough loss to state-ranked Thomasville County Central. There is no team in the Herald coverage area that would be favored against TCC, so when critics point to Lee’s losses, understand that fact.

The only team with an argument is Bainbridge, and the Bearcats can end the season as the No. 1 team in the Fab 5 with a win in Bainbridge on Friday night against Lee County.

In the end, the top two teams are meeting for that No. 1 spot in the Fab 5 on the final week of the regular season.


Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

There should be 1 poll and it should reflect the BEST team in the class in which that team participates. It's impossible to do otherwise fairly.


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