Class 3A blog: As predictions go, not a great week for the bracket

Before we focus on the second round of the Class 3A playoffs, let’s look at how some of my predictions held up during the first round.

Let’s just say it was not my best performance, despite only missing three selections.

First, the good:

I correctly predicted Southeast Bulloch over Long County (42-16), Cedar Grove over White County (79-0), Oconee County over Adairsville (29-22), Crisp County over Harlem (41-0), Appling County over Johnson-Savannah (42-0), Cherokee Bluff over GAC (38-17), Thomson over Jackson, albeit barely (21-20), Burke County over Mary Persons (48-21), Carver-Atlanta over North Hall (56-17), Liberty County over Brantley County (30-28), Peach County over Morgan County (42-3), Monroe Area over North Murray (58-14) and Pierce County over Windsor Forest (42-0).

And now the bad:

There were misses on three first-round matchups.

  • Hart vs. Ringgold was a statistical draw (both teams predicted to score 21 points), according to the Maxwell Projections. I selected Hart County to prevail, but Ringgold won 30-21. At least the computer predicted Hart County’s point total correctly.
  • A more-forgivable miss came from a No. 4 seed, Region 8′s Stephens County, providing a bracket-busting upset of Region 6 No. 1-seed Rockmart (27-13). Stephens County was considered a favorite by the Maxwell Projections, which predicted a 21-14 victory for the Yellow Jackets. Now, Stephens advances to the second round for the first time since 2014.
  • The other miss overlooked a Dawson County program that just wanted a second-round game more than Sandy Creek. Dawson, the No. 2 seed from Region 7, was a 32-17 underdog, according to the Maxwell Projections, but the Tigers overcame – and nearly reversed the odds -- for a 36-17 victory. Dawson County has advanced to the second round in each of the past four seasons, but has not been past the that round since a quarterfinal appearance in 2015, when the Tigers won their first and only region title in program history.

[Coming Thursday: Second-round predictions.]

3A second-round schedule

R3#2 Southeast Bulloch at R5#1 Cedar Grove

R8#2 Oconee County at R2#1 Crisp County

R1#2 Appling County at R7#1 Cherokee Bluff

R6#2 Ringgold at R4#1 Thomson

R8#4 Stephens County at R4#2 Burke County

R5#2 Carver-Atlanta at R3#1 Liberty County

R2#2 Peach County at R8#1 Monroe Area

R7#2 Dawson County at R1#1 Pierce County