Football coaches are fond of saying rankings don't matter.
In a certain way that may be true because an low or unranked team isn't prohibited from winning a state championship.
However, it's rare in football for a low or unranked team to win a state title. And this year's rankings painted a very accurate picture for how things turned out on the playing field.
Here's the rundown for the championship games played Friday and Saturday in Cookeville:
Class 6A — No. 3 Memphis Whitehaven defeated No. 1 Maryville.
Class 5A — No. 1 Hendersonville Beech defeated No. 8 Columbia.
Class 4A — No. 5 Knox Fulton defeated No. 2 Covington (Fulton beat No. 1 Giles County in the semifinals).
Class 3A — No. 3 Christian Academy of Knoxville defeated No. 8 Milan (CAK beat No. 1 Alcoa in the quarterfinals).
Class 2A — No. 3 Friendship Christian defeated No. 4 Adamsville.
Class 1A — No. 1 Gordonsville beat No. 4 Huntingdon.
Division II — No. 1 Ensworth topped No. 2 Memphis University School in Class AA. Knox Webb was the highest-ranked Class A team, and it won that championship.
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Christian Academy of Knoxville's easy 48-14 state-championship victory over Milan means Elizabethton could lay claim to a pure state title. The Cyclones can consider themselves public-school state champions.
Elizabethton lost 44-34 to CAK in a Class 3A semifinal contest that came down to the final minutes.
It may sound a little like sour grapes, but the facts are what they are. There is not a level playing field between a school like CAK and Elizabethton. For them to be competing for the same state title makes the TSSAA's classification system a farce.
CAK, and any school like it, should compete only at the state's highest level.
The TSSAA openly acknowledges the inherent advantages of schools like CAK with its multiplier rule. However, even though CAK's adjusted enrollment of 770 would put the Warriors in Class 4A for the next four years, the TSSAA had a rule on top of a rule to keep the Warriors in Class 3A. Typical TSSAA.
All of the schools with multipliers should only have two options: Class 6A or Division II.
One possible compromise is this: If a private school wins a state title in football, it must move up a level in the playoffs for the next two years. If it doesn't win in either of those seasons, it could return to its previous level.
It's about a level playing field for football, something Northeast Tennessee hasn't had in a long time.
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Football stats: Christian Academy of Knoxville's season total of 685 points was the seventh-best all-time, pushing Greeneville (677 points in 2011) into the No. 8 spot.
Knox Fulton's total of 648 moved the Falcons into the No. 11 spot on the all-time list. Hendersonville Beech took the No. 12 spot with a total of 635.
Dobyns-Bennett, defeated in the Class 6A state quarterfinals, had to settle for a tie for the 13th spot with Alcoa (2007). The Indians totaled 630 points.
Here's the final list for this year's season point totals:
Team Class Pts
1. CAK 3A 685
2. Knoxville Fulton 4A 648
3. Hendersonville Beech 5A 635
4. Dobyns-Bennett 6A 630
5. Maryville 6A 626
6. Mem. Whitehaven 6A 608
7. Friendship Christian 2A 599
8. Murf. Siegel 6A 590
9. Giles County 4A 584
10. Cheatham County 3A 579
11. Covington 4A 578
12. Huntingdon 1A 559
13. Lexington 4A 543
14. Mt. Juliet 6A 528
15. Gordonsville 1A 529
16. Science Hill 6A 508
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Boys basketball games of the week — (Today) Tennessee High at Science Hill, Sullivan North at Sullivan East; (Friday) Dobyns-Bennett at Daniel Boone, Johnson County at Elizabethton, Sullivan East at Unicoi County, Hampton at University High; (Saturday) Knox Webb at Science Hill.
It's a loaded week of games, especially with some key conference matchups. In the Big Eight, the Vikings and Hilltoppers will shed some light on things as will the Indians and Trailblazers.
In the Three Rivers, Sullivan East will find out more about its main challengers as it takes on two of them.
And in the Watauga Valley, Hampton and UH get their first opportunity to see which team will be the biggest threat to Cloudland.
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Boys pick of the week — Dobyns-Bennett 65, Daniel Boone 58.
The Indians have the ability to force turnovers and tempo, and that could be the deciding factor in this contest.
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Dobyns-Bennett moves up a spot to No. 3 in this week's Prep Top 10:
Team W-L Prv
1. Science Hill 10-1 1
2. Greeneville 6-1 2
3. Dobyns-Bennett 2-0 4
4. Sullivan East 7-2 3
5. Daniel Boone 5-3 6
6. Tennessee High 4-2 5
7. Cloudland 5-1 7
8. University High 4-2 8
9. Elizabethton 2-2 9
10. Hampton 6-2 10
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Prep signings: Unicoi County girls basketball standout Emily Edwards made her college choice official last week. The senior point guard signed to play at King College.
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Girls basketball games of the week — (Today) Tennessee High at Science Hill, Sullivan South at Daniel Boone, Happy Valley at Johnson County, (Friday) Christian Academy of Knoxville at Science Hill, Dobyns-Bennett at Daniel Boone, Johnson County at Elizabethton, Sullivan East at Unicoi County.
If Science Hill is going to have any challenges in the Big Eight, it's likely to come from the Lady Vikings.
Later in the week, the Lady Hilltoppers will see how they stack up against one of the best Class AA teams in the state. …
Daniel Boone has a pair of very tough conference tests this week. …
Sullivan East has played a mild schedule to this point, but a road victory in Erwin would go a long way toward establishing the Lady Patriots near the top of the Three Rivers Conference.
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Girls pick of the week — Science Hill 70, Tennessee High 55.
The Lady Hilltoppers should hit high gear toward the middle of this game and run away from the Vikings.
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Elizabethton and Tennessee High edge up a spot in this week's girls rankings:
Team W-L Prv
1. Science Hill 5-0 1
2. Elizabethton 5-1 3
3. Tennessee High 2-1 4
4. Sullivan South 5-1 2
5. Dobyns-Bennett 3-1 5
6. Daniel Boone 3-2 6
7. Sullivan East 7-1 7
8. North Greene 7-1 8
9. Hampton 4-2 9
10. South Greene 5-3 10
(tie) Volunteer 4-4 nr