As the AP Polls came out on Monday, something very ominous was missing: South Pittsburg’s Top Three Ranking.
Maybe they didn’t deserve the No. 1 spot, but a No. 3 ranking would not have been out of the question as the Pirates have done something not many teams have done.
In previous weeks, they’ve went up against two AP ranked opponents that now both sit at the No. 3 spot in the Class 2A and 3A polls, play close with Sequatchie County and taking down Marion County at home. Many teams sitting above the Pirates haven’t even played a team ranked at all.
Take No. 1 Dresden.
Only one opponent on the schedule is currently ranked in the AP poll: Union City at No. 2. They haven’t played each other yet, but the schedule for Dresden consists of a large region slate and two non-conference games, including a winless Westview in 3A and a team from Kentucky that serves as no real gauge to TSSAA football standards.
Maybe the region is a bit more stacked for Dresden–and the eye test can’t be done from the confines of my office–but playing close with ranked teams from higher classifications certainly merits a higher ranking.
Or am I wrong to think that the quality of team is to be judged by the quality of their opponents and how they perform against them? Am I wrong to use the one facet of team-grading that everybody has access to in order to rank teams across the entirety of the state?
Or do newspapers and media outlets show some bias towards their coverage area? And thank the good Lord above that these polls and rankings don’t directly play into who gets in the playoffs and who doesn’t. If they did, the bias from bigger outlets could potentially crown a State Champion.
Maybe there are teams in the poll to be considered above South Pittsburg at the moment, but there are also some that should be lower on the list. Alas, the Polls are but a snapshot of the week in football, and, therefore, should be treated–as we do with so much in our society–with aggressive thoughts and instant gratification in mind.
Isn’t the poll designed for our society? Isn’t it just in existence so that we can see who the greatest team is in a moment that will long be forgotten two years from now? And if our society has used it as a basemark to their sporting lives, let’s treat it with some similar characteristics while boosting and hurting some egos in the meantime.
And if I did have a vote in the AP Poll, the Pirates would be higher up because of it. So long Dresden, say hello to the beastly cannon that fires after every touchdown and decently great event that happens in Beene Stadium.