I think a lot of folks will be shocked at how the 1a playoffs end up shaking out. I've read many, many topics concerning 1a football this year and have seen a lot of peoples selections for Bowling Green. The common consensus is that Paintsville will battle Beechwood in the title game the 1st weekend of December. I can certainly understand why as these 2 teams have been the most consistent all year long. In saying that, I do have some concerns about both teams.

Let's start with Beechwood. Typically, the NCC game at the end of the regular season will give you a pretty good indication of how each team will do in the playoffs. However, imo, this is really an off year for the Breds and they're as down as they've been in the last 10 years. I don't think that game shows us what we need to know about the Tigers. The last game they've played a team that could challenge them was the Cov Cath game and they were dominated in the trenches by them in a year most would consider one of the weakest in recent CC history.. That and the fact they would have to travel west in the semi's doesn't bode well for the Beechies, imo.

In regard to Paintsville. While the Tigers have been impressive throughout the year, this is not a team accustomed to play 14 or 15 games in a season and the lack of depth will show as they get deeper into the playoffs. They won an overtime game early in the year vs Pikeville, a team that led most of the game. I always favor the loser of the 1st game in a rematch game of fairly equal talented teams. Plus, they have one of the toughest roads to travel in the earlier playoff rounds.

Now that I've given you my reasons why neither of these teams make the title game, let me tell who I think will. From the east, I really like Pikeville to win a rematch vs Paintsville. I'm not completely counting Hazard out of the picture either. I think they could upset Pikeville in the Region title game and if they do, I think they would also knock off Paintsville..

From the west, I like Russellville. While their schedule has been questionable, I really don't see any team in Region 1 that can play with them, giving them a clear path to the semi's. Once their, they'll be at home with Beechwood having to make that 4 plus hour drive. I really like the way Russellville plays at home and Coach Myers is great at preparing his teams for one big game and that's what he'll do. Prior to that, the Panthers should cruise and be able to keep everyone healthy.

In the finals, I think Pikeville's offense will be a little too potent for Russellville.. While Rsv will clearly have the home field advantage, I think the Pikeville D is strong enough to get a few more stops than Russellville does.. Pikeville 34 Russellville 21