With week five of the 2021 football season in the books, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has released RPI rankings for each of the six classes along with individual rankings of players across the state.
In class 4A, the 5-0 Corbin Redhounds are ranked third behind Boyle County and Lexington Catholic.
Before Redhound nation starts handing out pitchforks and torches to march on the KHSAA, there are few things to consider.
Yes, Corbin has stomped each of its opponents by a sizeable margin.
Yes, Corbin gets credit for being the only undefeated team remaining in 4A.
Corbin is hampered by several of the marquee opponents not playing up to expectations.
Franklin County and Pulaski County are each 2-3 on the season hurting their respective RPI’s and, as a result, Corbin’s.
Of the five remaining teams on Corbin’s schedule, only Knox Central and Wayne County have winning records.
The best thing for the Redhounds is to, as the late Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders owner Al Davis was fond of saying, “Just win, baby!”
As the season goes on, the teams on the schedule will improve their records which will improve Corbin’s RPI.
Either Lexington Catholic or Boyle County is going to add a second loss when they play on Oct. 8.
Lexington Catholic’s level of competition drops off significantly outside of that. Boyle County could be going into the playoffs with three losses as it wraps up the season against Frederick Douglas.
Johnson Central is flying under the radar right now. Sitting at 3-2, the Golden Eagles have only faced one team from Kentucky, and 0-5 Henry Clay doesn’t give them any type of RPI bump.
Like Corbin with Christ School, out of state opponents get a .5 for the opponent RPI. Johnson Central has four of those on its schedule.
Johnson Central may be forced to take the long bus trip west this season for a playoff matchup against Corbin at Campbell Field if both teams make it to the sweet 16 or elite eight.
Despite what Corbin Coach Tom Greer said in 2020, making that bus trek either way and then suiting up and playing a win-or-go-home football game is a lot to ask.
But, I think this year’s Redhounds would just shrug about whoever, wherever, whenever they have to play, suit up and go.
Williamsburg could be looking at a similar bus ride this year.
The Yellow Jackets are ranked 16th in class A.
Coach Jerry Herron, Jr. would likely say that it is one of the things his team can’t control.
Right now, he has his Jackets focused on Friday’s game against Somerset.
Williamsburg’s RPI should improve with a win there and another win in two weeks against fourth ranked Sayre.
Some teams that got out of the gate fast are going to run into some stiffer competition, while others pour it on at the end.
Up in class 5A, it remains a big question whether Coach Zeke Eier’s Whitley County Colonels have what it takes to reach the third round when the RPI becomes a factor.
The first two rounds feature matchups of district opponents.
The good news is that the slate is wiped clean at the moment and it is all about what they do beginning Friday night against 14th ranked Pulaski County as the early round seedings are set by district records.
I’d bet that Coach Eier and his players are sick of trying to find moral victories. Getting the district victory Friday night would all but guarantee a playoff spot in the five-team district.
The schedule does not get any easier with Collins, Southwestern, undefeated North Laurel, South Laurel and Danville yet to come.
Whitley County is in the position of having nothing to lose.
While there may be a few diehard Corbin or Williamsburg fans rooting against Whitley County, I’m willing to bet the majority would love to see the Colonels come away Friday night with the victory.