There's still two weeks left in the regular season, but for most teams in Northeast Georgia, this Friday marks the end of the subregion schedule.
For those teams, or at least for the ones in their division's top three, the playoffs start next week.
In the meantime, there's still plenty left to be decided. Lumpkin County, North Hall, Johnson, Banks County, East Hall, Dawson County, Union County and Commerce still have a shot at the playoffs, and this week's games are big for each of those teams.
But for the area's best (Flowery Branch, Buford, Gainesville and White County) this week is practically meaningless.
Flowery Branch has already clinched one of the top two spots in 8-AAAA, and regardless of what happens Friday, the region title will be decided when the Falcons play host to co-leader Clarke Central on Nov. 5.
Gainesville and White County each wrapped up their subregion last week and will meet in the 8-AAA championship game Nov. 5 in Cleveland.
Buford is off this week and has already earned its spot in the 6-AA title game against the winner of Lovett/Westminster.
So since the immediate future holds so little of consequence for the area's state-ranked teams, let's take a look back to the not-so-distant past.
This week's AP poll is here. Below is my ballot for this week.
In the NOTES section is a comparison to the first ballot of the preseason.
Rank, team, last week
1. Camden County (1)
2. North Gwinnett (2)
3. Stephenson (3)
4. McEachern (4)
5. Lowndes (5)
6. Valdosta (7)
7. Etowah (9)
8. Brookwood (-)
9. Norcross (-)
10. South Gwinnett (-)
NOTES: Only Camden County and Stephenson hold the same spots they occupied at the beginning of the season, and the bottom four has been completely turned over.
Biggest gainers: McEachern and Valdosta have both moved up four spots.
Falling hard: Colquitt County began the season at No. 4, but lost its first three games. Don't overlook the Packers, though. They're still a possibility for a No. 3 seed from Region 1-AAAAA.
1. Northside-Warner Robins (1)
2. Tucker (2)
3. Clarke Central (3)
4. Kell (4)
5. Flowery Branch (6)
6. Griffin (5)
7. Starr's Mill (7)
8. Chattahoochee (8)
9. Lovejoy (9)
10. Thomas County Central (10)
NOTES: Again, No. 1 and No. 3 hold the same spots and four teams (Flowery Branch, Starr's Mill, Chattahoochee and Lovejoy) began the season unranked.
Biggest gainer: Flowery Branch, which began the season unranked. Voters took a wait-and-see approach to the Falcons, who were moving up from Class AAA. Needless to say, the 8-0 start has sufficiently impressed.
Falling hard: Rockdale County. In retrospect, the No. 5 ranking was purely a product of last season's run to the state semifinals. The Bulldogs are 4-4 this year and probably won't make the playoffs.
1. Sandy Creek (1)
2. Peach County (2)
3. Cairo (3)
4. Baldwin (4)
5. Carrollton (5)
6. Gainesville (7)
7. Grady (10)
8. St. Pius X (6)
9. White County (9)
10. Burke County (-)
NOTES: Sandy Creek, Peach County and Gainesville are right where they started; White County and Burke County are the only newcomers.
Biggest gainer: Carrollton, which began the season ranked No. 10. The Trojans, who are 9-0 and have won their last three by a combined score of 154-0, are looking like a legitimate state championship contender.
Falling hard: Westside-Macon, which opened at No. 4. Another top-five team that's fallen short of expectations. In the Seminoles' defense, their two losses this year came against Peach County and Baldwin. On the other hand, both games were blowouts.
1. Carver-Columbus (1)
2. Buford (2)
3. Calhoun (3)
4. Cook (4)
5. Swainsboro (5)
6. Jefferson County (6)
7. Dublin (7)
8. North Oconee (8)
9. Elbert County (9)
10. Westminster (-)
NOTES: Carver and Buford have been at 1 and 2 all season. Don't be surprised if it stays that way through the state championship.
Biggest gainer: Both Cook and Swainsboro began the season unranked and now look like possible semifinalists. Cook got the state's attention quickly with a 15-9 win in the season opener over Class AAAAA Colquitt County.
Falling hard: Fitzgerald, No. 3 in the preseason, is 7-2 and lurking just outside the top 10.
1. Wesleyan (1)
2. Clinch County (2)
3. Wilcox County (4)
4. Johnson County (5)
5. Charlton County (6)
6. Lincoln County (7)
7. Eagle's Landing Christian (8)
8. Marion County (9)
9. Darlington (10)
10. Emmanuel County Institute (-)
NOTES: Wilcox County is the only preseason No. 1 in the state to fall from the top; only Lincoln County occupies the same spot it occupied in mid-August.
Biggest gainer: Johnson County. Since opening at No. 8, the Trojans have inched upward with eight straight wins, including one in double overtime over No. 10 ECI.
Falling hard: Savannah Christian. Until this week, the Raiders had held the No. 3 spot all season. That was before a 6-0 loss to Cavalry Day on Friday sent them tumbling out of the top 10.