These are the Top 25 teams in Mississippi that we ran in this year’s Mississippi Gridiron magazine. I debated updating this list heading into the season considering this ranking is almost a month old from when we turned it in for publishing, but to avoid any confusion we will stay with this as our preseason poll.
This might be a bit different but I want to mention a couple teams I believe we ranked too low, based off information we’ve gathered in the last month. I think Oxford has a chance to be much better than our #25 ranking. Head coach Johnny Hill returns another solid team and sophomore quarterback Jack Abraham could be as talented as any signal-caller Oxford has recently produced. That’s saying a lot considering the talent the Chargers have had under center.
Pearl River Central is another team I believe we ranked too low at #19. Head coach Eric Collins returns maybe the best offensive line in 5A this year. The early schedule is tough though with games against Gulfport, Oak Grove and Picayune all in the first four weeks.
At the top of our ranking I believe Brandon, South Panola and Olive Branch are a notch above everyone else and any of the three could have filled that top spot. Brandon was our choice for #1 based on 13 returning starters, maybe the best returning defensive line in the state, and junior quarterback Gardner Minshew.
The region best represented is 6A-Region 3, which fills four of our top nine slots. Even though we have Brandon at the top, there is not much difference in the Bulldogs, Oak Grove, Meridian and Petal. The coaches voted Oak Grove in a tie for the top spot in the region with Brandon, which says a lot about how difficult this region should be.
Lower in the Top 25 we have Bassfield at #22. Last year’s team could have been the best 2A squad this state has ever seen, but they are lower in our ranking due to losses up front on both sides of the ball. Still, the Yellow Jackets return as much skill talent as any team in Mississippi with four players having earned scholarship offers from BCS schools.
MISSISSIPPI GRIDIRON PRESEASON TOP 25
2 South Panola
3 Olive Branch
4 Madison Central
5 Oak Grove
6 Wayne County
7 West Point
15 Noxubee County
19 Pearl River Central