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SBLive's updated Mississippi high school football rankings (10/23/2023)

Louisville remains No. 1; undefeated West Jones makes its Power 10 debut

With all nearly all MHSAA teams entering the home stretch of the regular season, the cream is certainly rising to the top. 

The big shake-up in the SBLive Power 10 rankings this week is the inclusion of West Jones, which moved into the rankings at No. 10 after the previously-ranked Pearl Pirates lost at home against No. 2 Brandon.

Without further ado, here's a look at the Mississippi high school football rankings for the week of Monday, Oct. 23.

SBLive Power 10

1. Louisville Wildcats (9-0)

  • Last week: Beat Mendenhall 41-16
  • This week: hosts Greenwood (1-8)

The only hurdle standing between the top-ranked Wildcats and an undefeated regular season is a Greenwood Bulldogs squad that holds just one win this season. The Wildcats have already locked up home-field advantage through North State.

2. Brandon Bulldogs (6-2)

  • Last week: Beat Pearl 42-20
  • This week: hosts Meridian (5-4)

The Bulldogs stayed hot by dominating the second half against their cross-county rivals. The offense truly kicked into gear as quarterback Landon Varnes Jay McQueen connected for five touchdown passes. This week’s game against Meridian and its star tailback Daniel Hill should provide another big test for the Bulldog defense.

3. Oak Grove Warriors (7-1)

  • Last week: Beat Northwest Rankin 45-15
  • This week: hosts Pearl (6-2)

The Warriors responded to their first set-back of the season with an almost angry 45-15 win over Region 3 foe Northwest Rankin. The first quarter drive chart was easy to follow — touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown — and Taji Burkett turned in a career night with three scores. A 9-1 regular-season mark is within reach if the Warriors take care of business against Pearl and Petal the next two weeks.

4. Ocean Springs Greyhounds (7-1)

  • Last week: Beat Biloxi 42-21
  • This week: at Gulfport (5-3)

The Greyhounds romped in the blowout win over Biloxi to set up a massive showdown with Gulfport that will determine the top playoff seed coming out of Region 4-7A. Gulfport has not lost to a team outside the SBLive Power 10 this year, and will come into this weekend riding a three-game winning streak. If the Greyhounds can slow down Nico Williams and that high-powered Admiral offense, it would go a long way to prove Ocean Springs is ready for the 7A Playoffs.

5. Starkville Yellowjackets (6-2)

  • Last week: Off
  • This week: hosts Madison Central (5-3)

The Jackets had Friday night off last week, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Starkville may have the toughest remaining schedule of any team in the state, hosting a red-hot Madison Central team riding a three-game winning streak this week before traveling to Tupelo for the season finale on Nov. 2. Losing either of those games will likely send the Yellowjackets on the road for the first round of the playoffs. Losing both could mean a four-seed for the defending state champs.

6. Tupelo Golden Wave (7-2)

  • Last week: Beat Clinton 42-28
  • This week: Off

Their third-straight win in district games means the Golden Wave are still in the driver’s seat in Region 2-7A, but they have work left to do. Tupelo struggled on the road at Clinton (1-7) Friday night, only putting the game away late after back-to-back fumbles by the Arrows allowed them to pull away. A week off may be just what the doctor ordered ahead of a massive showdown with Starkville on Nov. 2 with big playoff implications.

7. Picayune Maroon Tide (6-2)

  • Last week: Beat Long Beach 42-7
  • This week: at George County (7-2)

The Maroon Tide have dominated all three games since losing to Ocean Springs back on Sept. 22, with Long Beach becoming the latest victim. Their trip to Lucedale this weekend to face a very good George County team is the biggest game of the season. The winner will win Region 4-6A outright and enjoy home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

8. Warren Central Vikings (6-2)

  • Last week: Beat Neshoba Central 27-3
  • This week: at Callaway (4-5)

Warren Central remains the front-runner for the top seed in Class 6A North. Their only losses came against Class 7A foes Pearl and Brandon. If they can win Friday at Callaway, which is not exactly light work, they will have a great shot at finishing 8-2 overall and 5-0 in Region 2.

9. Holmes County Central Jaguars (8-0)

  • Last week: Beat Yazoo City 42-14
  • This week: hosts Cleveland Central (6-3)

Quarterback Garrison Davis and the Jaguars just keep rolling. Yazoo City didn’t present much of a hurdle last week, and this week’s matchup against Cleveland Central has lost some of its luster after the Wolves’ loss to Gentry. As we’ve said in this space before, we’ll find out if the Jags are for real when the playoffs start in a couple of weeks.

10. West Jones Mustangs (8-0)

  • Last week: Beat Forest Hill 42-0
  • This week: hosts Pearl River Central (0-8)

The West Jones Mustangs make their Power 10 debut this week, and some would argue it’s been a long time coming. The Mustangs have dominated every game on their schedule since a 24-16 season opener against Laurel. The only issue is with the Mustangs who they have beaten. Out of West Jones’ seven wins over MHSAA opponents, only two have winning records, and one of those victories was a 2-0 win over a 5-3 Terry Bulldogs team. This week’s matchup against a winless Pearl River Central isn’t going to do anything to derail that narrative, but the Mustangs should get an opportunity to put it to rest in the playoffs.

MHSAA Class-by-Class Rankings

Class 7A

  1. Brandon Bulldogs (6-2) 
  2. Oak Grove Warriors (7-1) 
  3. Ocean Springs Greyhounds (7-1) 
  4. Starkville Yellowjackets (6-2) 
  5. Tupelo Golden Wave (7-2)

Class 6A

  1. Picayune Maroon Tide (6-2) 
  2. West Jones Mustangs (8-0) 
  3. Warren Central Vikings (6-2) 
  4. South Panola Tigers (7-1) 
  5. Grenada Chargers (7-2)

Class 5A

  1. Holmes County Central Jaguars (8-0) 
  2. Clarksdale Wildcats (5-3) 
  3. West Point Green Wave (5-3) 
  4. Florence Eagles (6-3) 
  5. Gautier Gators (5-3)

Class 4A

  1. Louisville Wildcats (9-0) 
  2. Columbia Wildcats (9-0) 
  3. McComb Tigers (9-0) 
  4. Ripley Tigers (9-0) 
  5. Houston Hilltoppers (7-1)

Class 3A

  1. Winona Tigers (9-0) 
  2. Jefferson Davis County (8-1) 
  3. Choctaw County (7-2) 
  4. Kossuth Aggies (8-1) 
  5. St. Stanislaus Rock-a-Chaws (7-1)

Class 2A

  1. Charleston Tigers (7-2) 
  2. Calhoun City Wildcats (7-0) 
  3. Union Yellowjackets (8-1) 
  4. Raleigh Lions (7-2) 
  5. Bay Springs Bulldogs (8-1)

Class 1A

  1. Velma Jackson Falcons (8-0) 
  2. Simmons Blue Devils (8-0) 
  3. Vardaman Rams (8-0) 
  4. Biggersville Lions (7-1) 
  5. Resurrection Catholic Eagles (7-1)