Class AAA blog: Early speculation on possible blockbuster playoff matchups

Let's do a little premature bracket talk:

Barring a state-shaking upset in Region 4’s final two weeks of the regular season -- or another upset in the first two rounds of the playoffs -- a rematch of the 2018 state championship game between Peach County and Cedar Grove could take place Nov. 30 in the quarterfinals of the top left side of the AAA bracket.

To make things more interesting, Calhoun likely will be joining the two in the top-left quadrant as the No. 2 seed from Region 6. If the dice fall as they may and Calhoun and Peach both win in the first round – all while Cedar Grove advances – and Peach County would experience back-to-back weeks of rematches of the past two state championship games in the order they happened.

That's unusual.

Top-ranked Peach, the likely No. 1 seed from Region 4 and No. 2 Cedar Grove, which captured the No. 1 seed from Region 5 last week, have been lauded all season as the best two AAA teams in the state. That sets up the most anticipated game of the season.

But first, some history.

Cedar Grove has two state championships since 2016. It won the 2016 title against Greater Atlanta Christian, and in you may remember Jadon Haselwood’s last-second game-winning touchdown reception in last season's title game that lifted the Saints over Peach County.

Peach County, which has been to the championship game three times in the past decade, has three state championships. But since it won the 2009 AAA state title, Chad Campbell’s first championship in Fort Valley, Peach has had misfortune in the title games.

The program has fallen in memorable fashion in the past two years. You can recall Calhoun's 10-6 victory in 2017, when the Trojans entered the championship game with one of the highest-scoring offenses in the state. Then, last season, Peach failed to cover Haselwood, the nation's No. 1 receiver, on inside route and on the last play of the game.

So while that side of the bracket will garner most of the attention, it certainly opens possibilities for a number of teams:

Bottom-left: The No. 1 seeds from Region 2 and Region 7 (Greater Atlanta Christian) will compete here. From Region 2, either Pierce County or Appling County will take the No. 1 seed. GAC is the favorite but a meeting between the Spartans and Pierce/Appling will be a solid test before a semifinal meeting between either Peach or Cedar Grove.

Top-right: Region 8 and Region 1 will place their No. 1 seeds in this quadrant. Jefferson captured the No. 1 seed from Region 8 after beating Monroe Area 26-7 last week. The Region 1 No. 1 seed will be decided this week, and sixth-ranked Crisp County is a heavy favorite. The likely quarterfinal matchup between Jefferson and Crisp will be a test for both programs.

Bottom-right: The No. 1 seeds from Region 3 and Region 6 will begin the tournament here. From Region 3, there's a current GHSA investigation into Jenkins, the region-leader, and its unclear how that will impact the region standings. Currently, Jenkins is 7-0 and leading Benedictine 6-0 in 3-AAA. If Jenkins forfeits games, Benedictine is the No. 1 seed. North Murray is one victory away from capturing the Region 6 title.