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Gwinnett Football Chatter: Should Grayson Be Out of the Top 10?

A week ago, Grayson was No. 1 in Georgia and the nation. Now they're unranked altogether. What do you think about that?

Earlier this week, a blogger on ajc.com asked if it was too harsh to drop previously top-ranked Grayson all of the way out of the top 10 in Class AAAAAA after its 22-7 loss at Parkview.

Part of the justification for the drop, according to blogger Todd Holcomb, was that the rankings reflect where the teams are now and not an indication where they'll finish. (By the way, former No. 3 Walton also fell out of the rankings after a lopsided loss to North Cobb).

"Losing 22-7 to an unranked team is not playing like a Top 10 team," explained Holcomb, who also is one of the founders of the Georgia High School Football Daily newsletter, which covers state football better than anyone else.

Rankings are a tough thing to do. I know. In my more than 20 years with the AJC, I served some time as the paper's high school sports editor. No one thing was more of a lightning rod than our weekly rankings.

Moving teams ahead or behind other teams is one thing, but what to do with the No. 1 team in the state's largest classification when it loses an early season game to an unranked, though certainly talented, team is something entirely different.

I get Holcomb's explanation, but can't help but think Grayson, the defending state champ and last week's No. 1 in national rankings, should have stayed in the top 10. At least at No. 10. There still would have been room for Parkview at No. 9, if it was necessary to put the Panthers ahead of the Rams.

The Georgia Sports Writers/Associated Press poll had Grayson No. 8.

The Rams are the defending champs and probably still the favorite. They should have received the benefit of the doubt.

What do you think? Should the Rams have fallen out of the top 10? Let us know in the comments below.

OTHER CHATTER

Just what Buford needed: Bukford, which was upset by Gainesville two weeks ago, took things out on Hancock Central 43-0 last week, and things seems right again in Wolves Nation. Looking at the remaining schedule, you might expect some more lopsided wins before the playoffs begin.

Speaking of rankings: Gwinnett teams are ranked thusly this week — Class AAAAAA, Norcross (No. 3 in AJC and AP), North Gwinnett (No. 5 AJC, No. 9 AP), Parkview (No. 10 in AJC and AP), Grayson (No. 8 AP); Class AAA, Buford (No. 4 in AJC and AP); and Class AA, Greater Atlanta Christian (No. 10 AP).

Youngblood Out: Parkview quarterback Rob Youngblood is out with a broken collarbone he suffered late in the Panthers win over Grayson, prompting coach Cecil Flowe to find a quick replacement. "It's broke, so we've got to do something else [at quarterback], but we will. We'll find a way," Flowe said after the game.

In the Pros: Of the more than 90 former Georgia high-schoolers who were on opening-day rosters of NFL teams, seven are from Gwinnett, two of whom play for the Atlanta Falcons (Michael Palmer of Parkview and Jonathan Massaquoi of Central Gwinnett). According to the Georgia High School Football Daily, former Gwinnettians in the pros also include: Jeff Backus, Norcross (Detroit Lions), Larry Grant, Norcross (San Francisco 49ers), Jared Cook, North Gwinnett (Tennessee Titans), Drew Butler, Peachtree Ridge (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Cameron Heyward, Peachtree Ridge (also the Steelers).

Under Armour All-Stars: According to the Mill Creek football website, defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin has been invited to play in the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game, scheduled Jan. 4. He joins three other Gwinnett Players on the roster: Robert Nkemdiche (Grayson), Alvin Kamara (Norcross) and Trey Johnson (Central Gwinnett).

So, Who's Best in Gwinnett? After last week's 31-21 win at North Gwinnett, the Norcross Blue Devils are playing the best ball in Gwinnett right now. The Blue Devils are balanced on offense, have one of the state's best defenses and have potential to make a big play at any time — even special teams. Norcross at Mill Creek on Sept. 28 should be interesting.

Game of the Week: We ask you weekly to vote in our Gwinnett Game of the Week poll, but we have our own opinion, too. Friday's Parkview vs. Archer game matches teams coming off standout performances — Parkview beat Grayson 22-7, and Archer once again took Brookwood to the limit in a 20-19 loss. The winner takes a big step in its quest for a playoff spot. Want another option? How about undefeated Shiloh at South Gwinnett.

How 'bout those Generals? Shiloh is 3-0 for the first time since 1991, according to Georgia High School Football Historians data, when the Generals started 4-0 and finished the regular season 9-1. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to Norcross.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I'm kind of tired of the rankings myself. This is a wake-up call for these kids." — Grayson coach Mickey Conn told the Gwinnett Daily Post after last week's loss to Parkview, which knocked the previous No. 1 Rams out the state rankings.

GWINNETT PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Justis Rosser, Parkview: Flowe said Rosser, a junior linebacker/running backer, played "out of his mind" in the win over Grayson. Rosser had six total tackles, one caused fumble and two fumble recoveries, and also had 48 yards on five carries rushing. His strip of the ball from a Grayson in the fourth quarter clinched the victory.

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