Through five weeks, 14 area teams are sporting either 4-0 or 5-0 records. But how long will they stay unbeaten, and who might have the best chance to knock them off?
Eleven of the 14 teams play another currently unbeaten team in the coming weeks, which means this list will shrink substantially before the end of the regular season.
We’ll rate each team from 0 to 10 based on how much of a surprise they are to be unbeaten at this point.
CPA: The Lions haven’t been the flashiest team, but they’ve certainly been stingy the past three weeks, allowing 12.8 points per game this season. Navigating the first half of the schedule without a blemish is a major feather in CPA’s cap, as two major showdowns lurk in the second half of the season. Surprise level: 3, since BA and MBA presented good early-season challenges. Biggest challenges remaining: at Oakland (Oct. 7), at Lipscomb Academy (Oct. 22).
DCA: Averaging 47 points per game, the Wildcats have started fast in 2021. Combined with their defense, allowing 12 points per contest, there’s no secret that DCA is a front-runner in Division II-Class A. The Wildcats have a reasonably good chance to run the table. Surprise level: 0. Biggest challenges remaining: vs. Nashville Christian (Oct. 29).
Gordonsville: The Tigers might be a mild surprise as an unbeaten, considering the last time they started 5-0 came back in 1986. But the Tigers’ defense has been the biggest reason why they’re 5-0, allowing just 30 points in four games on the field. Some tests are coming for the Tigers, starting this week with a trip to Coalfield. Long way to go, but if they do run the table, they will have earned it, as their toughest remaining games are on the road. Surprise level: 3. Biggest challenges remaining: at Coalfield (Sept. 24), at Trousdale County (Oct. 8).
Montgomery Central: Another surprise unbeaten, the Indians have done it with their defense as well, allowing just 12 points in four games on the field, with only Lawrence County scoring against them. However, the competition level hasn’t been what they’ll see in the second half, especially given that their final three games come against Tullahoma, Marshall County and Pearl-Cohn. Surprise level: 8. Biggest challenges remaining: at Tullahoma (Oct. 8), vs. Marshall County (Oct. 22), at Pearl-Cohn (Oct. 29).
Mt. Juliet: The Golden Bears’ 5-0 start isn’t a shock. They haven’t been particularly tested, either, until White County did so last week. There are a couple of potential challengers for what should be their region title run, but running the table is on the table. Surprise level: 0. Biggest challenges remaining: at Station Camp (Sept. 30), vs. Green Hill (Oct. 29).
Page: The Patriots are somewhat of a surprise unbeaten given that Fairview and Franklin were expected to challenge them early on. They’ve navigated those challenges and are in a position to be 7-0 when Nolensville comes calling in October. They do not have a game for this week just yet after Giles County had to cancel due to COVID-19 concerns, so this may change if they find a new opponent. Surprise level: 4. Biggest challenges remaining: vs. Nolensville (Oct. 8), at Independence (Oct. 22).
Pearl-Cohn: The only reason the Firebirds are a surprise unbeaten is their win at MBA in Week 2. They’re the favorite to win Region 5-4A and could run the table while doing so, but both would require wins at Tullahoma and Marshall County. Surprise level: 3. Biggest challenges remaining: at Tullahoma (Sept. 24), at Marshall County (Oct. 8).
Riverdale: Allowing less than five points a game will get you to 5-0 rather handily. Shelbyville did challenge them a bit two weeks ago, but the Warriors should be 7-0 when they meet up at Oakland. Surprise level: 0. Biggest challenges remaining: at Oakland (Oct. 15).
Summit: The Spartans’ 5-0 start is only surprising because of the competition they’ve managed it against – and how impressive they’ve been in those wins. Getting Beech, Ravenwood and Independence at home in consecutive weeks is a tough stretch, but one they’re capable of navigating. Surprise level: 2. Biggest challenges remaining: vs. Beech (Sept. 24), vs. Ravenwood (Oct. 1), vs. Independence (Oct. 8).
Lipscomb Academy: The only surprise surrounding the Mustangs’ four on-field wins has been the margin of victory in each. They’re beating teams by an average of 49.5 points per game on the field. A newly added opponent, however, presents their most dangerous threat to going unbeaten, as they’ll travel to Oakland this week. Surprise level: 0. Biggest challenges remaining: at Oakland (Sept. 23), vs. CPA (Oct. 22).
Oakland: This was expected. The Patriots will get tests in games at home from Lipscomb Academy, CPA and Riverdale in the next four weeks, but they’ll be favored in all three. Surprise level: 0. Biggest challenges remaining: vs. Lipscomb Academy (Sept. 23), vs. CPA (Oct. 7), vs. Riverdale (Oct. 15).
Smyrna: The Bulldogs are an ejection from Stewarts Creek’s kicker away from not being on this list, as their Week 1 win over the Red Hawks was decided by missed kicks. Other than that, they’ve handled business so far. The run likely comes to an end this week, however, as Riverdale comes calling. Surprise level: 3. Biggest challenges remaining: vs. Riverdale (Sept. 24), at Cane Ridge (Oct. 1).
Station Camp: Perhaps no team is more surprising on this list than the Bison, who are already playing with house money after winning their first four games for the first time since 2007. They’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations except possibly their own. There’s a good chance their Sept. 30 game against Mt. Juliet is a battle of unbeaten teams. Surprise level: 10. Biggest challenges remaining: vs. Mt. Juliet (Sept. 30), at Green Hill (Oct. 22).
Trousdale County: Not a huge surprise to see the Yellow Jackets here, either. The defense has played well, allowing six points per game in four games this season. A date with Gordonsville on Oct. 8 looms as the Tigers played them tough last season and are another good defensive unit. Surprise level: 1. Biggest challenges remaining: vs. Gordonsville (Oct. 8), vs. Watertown (Oct. 29).