By Ed Greif
Tonight at Jet Stadium, CCHS and SMHS will be playing for the seventh time in varsity competition and the first as members of District 6AAA.
SMHS has a 4-2 series lead and has outscored CCHS 129-72 in the first six meetings as non-league foes. The Panthers have won the last two games 42-21 (2012) and 38-0 (2011), after the Jets won back-to-back games in 2010 32-27 and 12-9 in 2009. The first two games belong to SMHS — 9-7 in 2008 and 34-0 in 2007.
The two teams played a junior varsity game in 2006, which was a 22-20 decision by the Panthers. That was the first year the SMHS opened.
SMHS takes a 1-1 record into the contest, after losing 21-13 to DeKalb County last week, while the Jets are 0-2 and in the midst of a 19-game losing streak.
Those streaks and good position in the district are on the line. The team which makes the fewest mistakes and plays the hardest will come out on top.
There will be a large crowd, so get there early, and may the best team win.
Going into Thursday's elementary action, only two teams remain unbeaten — Homestead (3-0) and South (3-0) and they play each other next week; however, both teams played 2-1 teams last night — Pleasant Hill and North, respectively.
Both the Hornets and Patriots are much improved over last year.
Martin and Stone are both 1-2, while Crab Orchard and Brown are 0-3.
The top two teams will play for the championship Oct. 1 at SMHS.
Crab Orchard is the defending champion.
It is going to be an interesting SEC race.
Ole Miss spoiled Vanderbilt's SEC opener last week, winning 39-35, to take an early lead in the SEC West. Alabama, LSU, Florida, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Auburn and Missouri all won their non-league openers. Mississippi State and Kentucky lost their season openers.
South Carolina travels to Georgia in an SEC East showdown, while Florida takes on instate rival Miami.
Frank Gale's Tennessee Vols host Western Kentucky Saturday. UT shouldn't take the Hilltoppers likely, as they beat Kentucky 35-26 for the second straight time last week. Austin Peay, which lost to Tennessee 45-0, travels to Jim Butler's Vanderbilt tomorrow.
In fact, Austin Peay will play its third state school — UT-Chattanooga — next week at Findley Stadium. The Mocs play Georgia State tomorrow in the Georgia Dome.
Former Moc quarterback B.J. Coleman was released by the Packers this week. I hope the young man will be picked up by another team, as the regular season begins this week. His dad, Bryon, was an outstanding player for the Mocs and a teammate of Coach Russ Huesman.
Eight FCS teams recorded victories over FBS teams. — Towson State beat UConn 33-18, McNeese State defeated South Florida 53-21, Eastern Washington edged Oregan State 49-46, North Dakota St. nipped Kansas State 24-21, Eastern Illinois whipped San Diego St. 40-19, Northern Iowa outscored Iowa State 28-20, Southern Utah edged South Alabama 22-21 and Samford bested Georgia St. 31-21.
The number of FBS vs. FCS games will slowly decrease, as the FBS moves into its playoff system in 2014. Some conferences are already considering not playing the FCS schools.
Tennessee Tech travels to Wisconsin this weekend, while Tennessee will host South Alabama Sept. 28. South Alabama comes after UT has road trips to Oregon and Florida, and before the Vols play, in order, Georgia, South Carolina, at Alabama, at Missouri, Auburn, Vanderbilt and at Kentucky.
MTSU travels to North Carolina this weekend.
(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically.)