Take away the classifications. Take away the regions. Put all the football teams from Northwest Georgia into one big pot.
And from that, see who rises to the top 10.
In partnership with other newspapers in the region, The Daily Citizen is introducing the Northwest Georgia Prep Power Poll, a top-10 ranking of teams from the northwest corner of the Peach State. The poll will publish weekly during the 2012 regular season and again after the state playoffs.
The newspaper has invited nine publications — the Calhoun Times, Daily Tribune News, Catoosa County News, Cedartown Standard, Dade County Sentinel, Rockmart Journal, Rome News-Tribune, Summerville News and Walker County Messenger — to participate and vote on a weekly top-10 list from 31 GHSA high schools in the defined area, which includes Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties.
Those teams in that 10-county area are: Adairsville; Armuchee, Calhoun, Cartersville, Cass, Cedartown, Chattooga, Christian Heritage, Coahulla Creek, Coosa, Dade County, Darlington, Gordon Central, Gordon Lee, Heritage-Catoosa, LaFayette, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Model, Murray County, North Murray, Northwest Whit-field, Pepperell, Ridgeland, Ringgold, Rockmart, Rome, Sonoraville, Southeast Whitfield, Trion and Woodland-Bartow.
In all, that’s 31 schools across five of the GHSA’s six classifications.
However, classifications and regions are irrelevant to do with the poll, which will provide a gauge for how teams are faring pound-for-pound in their schedule compared to other nearby schools. Dalton is no doubt a bigger school than Christian Heritage, and thus three classifications higher.
However, if Christian Heritage is undefeated while Dalton is hovering around .500, don’t expect to see the Catamounts still above the Lions in the power poll.
The rankings are based on a point system from each publication’s vote.
Each publication sends in a top 10 list. First-place votes receive 10 points, second-place votes receive nine points and so on down to the 10th-place votes receiving one point. After the points are added up, the 10 highest point totals make up the Northwest Georgia Prep Power Poll.
All teams who received votes but did not make the top 10 will be listed under “others receiving votes” and are in range to enter the top 10 if their winning ways start or continue.
In this week’s version, the preseason poll, six publications voted. Calhoun, the defending Class 2A state champions, received all six first-place votes in competition with higher-classification schools, evidence that classes and regions are null and void.
Ridgeland received five second-place votes, enough to garner the second spot. Below the Panthers, and predicted by some to be their toughest Sub-region 7B-4A competition, is Dalton. The Cats earned a second-place vote, two third-place votes and three fourth-place votes. Rounding out the top 10 are Cartersville, Cedartown, Rome, Gordon Central, Pepperell, Darlington, and Ringgold.
The only other school from Whitfield or Murray counties to receive a vote was Northwest Whitfield, which is the first team mentioned in the “others receiving votes” category and one spot from the top 10.
Most Northwest Georgia teams won’t kick off until Aug. 31, but some will begin play this week. The only team in Murray or Whitfield counties playing Friday is Dalton, which travels to Ringgold.