*Brookwood, which finished 5-6 last season, is 5-0 for the first time since 2005 and ranked as high as No. 4 in the rankings for the first time since 2011. Quarterback Dylan Lonergan and wide receivers Samuel Mbake and Denylon Morrissette have emerged as stars, and they are underclassmen,
*Norcross is 5-0 for the first time since 2016 and are favored to win its region, which would be the first since 2016, also the last time Norcross was ranked as high as its current No. 5.
*Marietta and Harrison, state champions from 2019, have struggled. Marietta is 1-4, Harrison 0-3. Both suffered major graduation losses, and Harrison has had the added stress of COVID-19 interruptions.
*North Gwinnett and Parkview, both ranked in the top five in preseason, are down, but not out. Parkview lost to North 21-0, and that loss became more concerning with North lost back-to-back games against Lovejoy and Archer. But North bounced back with a 16-0 victory over No. 6 North Cobb last week. Both teams are talented and are expected to be major factors in the playoffs. Jordan Hancock, the Ohio State-committed cornerback who opted out of his senior season, just rejoined his North Gwinnett teammates.
*Collins Hill has been up and down but always fun. The Eagles were impressive against Carrollton and Rome, played Grayson tough and lost in overtime to East Coweta. Sam Horn has thrown for 1,380 yards, and Travis Hunter has 680 yards receiving, both near the top of state yardage leaderboard.
*Cherokee us 5-0 for the first time since 2007, with victories over Rome and Cartersville, the latter ending the state’s longest regular-season winning streak. Cherokee is ranked for the first time since 2004. The No. 6 ranking is the program’s highest in school history.
*Newnan and East Coweta, county rivals that haven’t won region titles in over 10 years, are the teams to beat in Region 2. Newnan is 5-0, and East Coweta is 5-1, losing only to fifth-ranked Norcross.