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Updated Mississippi High School Football Rankings (10/16/2023)

The Magnolia State has a new No. 1 team, Warren Central is back in the mix, Holmes County Central makes its Power 10 debut

Brandon's big win over Oak Grove and West Point's surprising loss at Clarksdale has upended the Power 10, opening the door for previously unranked Warren Central and Holmes County Central.

Here's a look at the updated SBLive Power 10 and class-by-class rankings for the week of Monday, Oct. 16:

SBLive Power 10 Rankings

1. Louisville Wildcats (8-0)

  • Last week: Beat Caledonia 55-7
  • This week: Hosts Mendenhall (5-3)

It took eight weeks, but the Wildcats have ascended to the highest spot in the SBLive Mississippi Power 10, largely by being the last unbeaten team among the state’s heavyweight programs. Last Friday’s dismantling of Caledonia certainly didn’t do anything to dissuade us from elevating the defending state champs from the No. 2 spot after the previous top-ranked team, Oak Grove, lost its first game.

2. Brandon Bulldogs (5-2)

  • Last week: Beat Oak Grove 38-21
  • This week: at Pearl (6-1)

Elevating Brandon from No. 8 to No. 2 based on the results from one week might seem like a stretch, but anyone who saw the Bulldogs’ dominant road win over Oak Grove would come to the same conclusion — this Brandon team has found its footing after an 0-2 start, and grown into one of, if not the most complete team in the South. They are dangerous in all three phases, much improved on defense and have the weapons on offense to run with anyone.

3. Oak Grove Warriors (6-1)

  • Last week: Lost to Brandon 38-21
  • This week: at Northwest Rankin (5-2)

Everyone can stop with the speculation — the Warriors are going to be just fine, despite their key region loss to Brandon. Oak Grove responded after falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter, but what the Warriors really needed was a clean slate. If they can win out, they’ll probably get that opportunity in the playoffs, but their next shot at the Bulldogs will likely come at Brandon in the Class 7A South State Championship. There’s a lot of football to be played between now and then, but the Warriors should be favored to win all three of its remaining regular season games.

4. Ocean Springs Greyhounds (6-1)

  • Last week: Beat Harrison Central 49-13
  • This week: hosts Biloxi (4-4)

The slight slip from No. 3 to No. 4 has more to do with big moves elsewhere than it does with Ocean Springs, which remains the team to beat in Region 4-7A. The Greyhounds easily handled Harrison Central last week, and need to avoid a let-down this week against Biloxi to set up a huge region game against Gulfport (4-3) on Oct. 27. No matter what happens from this point on, it’s clear that the program is in good hands with first-year coach Jake Bramlett.

5. Starkville Yellowjackets (6-2)

  • Last week: Beat Clinton 60-21
  • This week: Hosts Madison Central (4-3)

The Jackets bounced back from a disappointing loss to Germantown with an offensive explosion from the offense in a big win over Clinton. It might just be the confidence boost Chris Jones’ squad needed headed into a crucial two-week stretch that features this week’s senior-night game against a dangerous Madison Central team and a make-or-break road trip to Tupelo on Nov. 2.

6. Tupelo Golden Wave (6-2)

  • Last week: Beat Germantown 42-3
  • This week: at Clinton (1-6)

Tupelo certainly didn’t take Germantown’s surprising upset win over Starkville with a grain of salt. The Golden Wave emptied all their barrels in a dominant win over the Mavericks and proved, once again, that they have one of the very best defenses in the state. If Tupelo can take care of business against the struggling Arrows this weekend, it’ll likely set up a winner-take-all game against No. 5 Starkville for the Region 2-7A title on Nov. 2 in Tupelo.

7. Picayune Maroon Tide (5-2)

  • Last week: Beat West Harrison 35-7
  • This week: at Long Beach (2-6)

It would be nearly impossible to replace the production the Picayune was getting from all-everything tailback Chris Davis, but Cody Stogner’s bunch is piecing it together and improving with each and every week. The next three weeks mark a critical stretch, with the Oct. 27 game at George County looming as the biggest remaining test for the Maroon Tide. They are still the favorites to win 6A, but it’s not the foregone conclusion it seemed after the Week 1 win over No. 2 Brandon.

8. Pearl Pirates (6-1)

  • Last week: Beat Petal 40-21
  • This week: hosts No. 2 Brandon (5-2)

The Pirate defense got off to a slow start against Petal last week, but shut the Panthers out in the second half to help Pearl avoid a monumental let-down and keep its Region 3-7A title hopes alive. Due to their Oct. 5 loss to Northwest Rankin — and barring any unforeseen help from its region foes — the Pirates will need to beat No. 2 Brandon this week in the annual “Eat Dirt” rivalry to earn a much-coveted top-two finish in the region. That seems like a tall task at the moment, but that’s why we play the games.

9. Warren Central Vikings (5-2)

  • Last week: Beat Vicksburg 19-18
  • This week: at Neshoba Central (3-4)

A third-straight win has vaulted the Vikings back into the Power 10. After surviving a scare in their annual cross-town rivalry game against Vicksburg, the Vikings are the odds-on favorite to secure the top seed in Region 2-6A. Barring a slip-up against any of their three remaining opponents (none of which currently have a winning record), the 11 brothers have a clear path to finish 8-2 and secure home-field advantage in at least the first two rounds of the Class 6A Playoffs.

10. Holmes County Central Jaguars (7-0)

  • Last week: Beat Gentry 19-8
  • This week: hosts Yazoo City (0-7)

It seems counter-intuitive for Holmes County to make its SBLive Power 10 debut this week after a ho-hum 19-8 win over a .500 Gentry Rams team, but here we are. The Jaguars have passed every test the season has thrown at them, and feature an explosive offense that has scored five or more touchdowns in five of their eight outings. The only factor limiting their rise in these rankings is the lack of a signature win, which — looking at the rest of the schedule — likely won’t come until the second or third round of the playoffs.

Class-by-class rankings

MHSAA Class 7A

  1. Brandon Bulldogs (5-2)
  2. Oak Grove Warriors (6-1)
  3. Ocean Springs Greyhounds (6-1)
  4. Starkville Yellowjackets (6-2)
  5. Tupelo Golden Wave (6-2)

MHSAA Class 6A

  1. Picayune Maron Tide (5-2)
  2. West Jones Mustangs (7-0)
  3. Warren Central Vikings (5-2)
  4. South Panola Tigers (6-1)
  5. Grenada Chargers (6-2)

MHSAA Class 5A

  1. Holmes County Central Jaguars (7-0)
  2. Clarksdale Wildcats (4-3)
  3. West Point Green Wave (4-3)
  4. Florence Eagles (5-3)
  5. Lafayette Commodores (4-3)

MHSAA Class 4A

  1. Louisville Wildcats (8-0)
  2. Columbia Wildcats (8-0)
  3. McComb Tigers (8-0)
  4. Ripley Tigers (8-0)
  5. Houston Hilltoppers (6-1)

MHSAA Class 3A

  1. Winona Tigers (8-0)
  2. Jeff Davis County Jaguars (7-1)
  3. Choctaw County Chargers (6-2)
  4. Kossuth Aggies (7-1)
  5. St. Stanislaus Rock-a-Chaws (6-1)

MHSAA Class 2A

  1. Charleston Tigers (6-2)
  2. Calhoun City Wildcats (7-0)
  3. Union Yellowjackets (7-1)
  4. Raleigh Lions (6-2)
  5. Bay Springs Bulldogs (7-1)

MHSAA Class 1A

  1. Velma Jackson Falcons (7-0)
  2. Simmons Blue Devils (7-0)
  3. Biggersville Lions (6-1)
  4. Vardaman Rams (7-0)
  5. Sacred Heart Crusaders (8-0)