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2023 Final Mississippi High School Football Rankings: SBLive Power 10, Class-by-class rankings

Here's a look at the final rankings of the 2023 Mississippi High School Football season

The 2023 Mississippi high school football season is in the books, and its time to identify the final SBLive Power 10 Rankings.

We had so many good teams this year, it's hard to identify the final pecking order at the top. To that end, the criteria we used to make these final rankings reflects how the teams were playing at the end of the season, rather than the complete body of work.

That means the outcome of games played in November and December were weighted higher than games played in September and October. We asked coaches from across the state to weigh in for  tie-breakers, also factoring in strength of schedule down the stretch.

Without further ado, here's a look at the final 2023 SBLive Power 10 Rankings for Mississippi.

2023 SBLive Power 10 Final Rankings

1. Oak Grove Warriors (13-1)

We went back and forth on who should be the number one team in the state after Saturday’s season finale, and the discussion kept coming back to one central question: who would you least like to play with your season on the line? After talking to several coaches around the state, the answer was clear. Not only were the Warriors the most talented team, they also got better as the season progressed. The version of Oak Grove that took the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for the Class 7A Championship was the best product coach Drew Causey and his staff put on the field this year.

2. Louisville Wildcats (15-0)

You could make a strong case for the Wildcats to be the No. 1 team in the state. They finished undefeated and won Class 4A, picking up wins over the Class 3A runner-up, the Class 5A Champion and the Class 7A runner-up along the way. They also featured the state's best defense, despite not having all the stars and college prospects that usually accompanies that designation. What separated Oak Grove and Louisville was the Warriors' prolific offense, which looked unstoppable at the end of the season. Regardless, nobody can take anything away from what the Wildcats accomplished this season.

3. West Jones Mustangs (14-0)

Mississippi football fans were spoiled with a handful of dominant teams in 2023, and the Mustangs certainly fall into that category. West Jones defeated Grenada handily in the Class 6A Championship to wrap an undefeated season with a freshman quarterback. They out-scored their opponents 449-76 and dog-walked defending champion Picayune 42-13 in the state semifinal. It would be hard to understate the job Cory Reynolds did with this team in his first year at the helm of the program.

4. Brandon Bulldogs (10-3)

The first team in our final Top 10 that did not play for a championship in Oxford last weekend took the eventual Class 7A Champs to the wire in the South State semifinal, falling to Oak Grove after a wild 49-45 finish. The Bulldogs were the only team to beat the Warriors this year, and featured a great mix of senior leadership and young talent in 2023. Debates will rage forever over how Brandon would have fared if they had played Starkville for the title, but the complete body of work and eye test lands the Bulldogs at No. 4 in our final rankings.

5. Starkville Yellow Jackets (10-4)

The Jackets finished with four losses, but played undoubtedly one of the toughest schedules in the state. Coach Chris Jones had a roster matched only by a handful of teams in terms of pure athleticism, led by Class 7A Mr. Football-winning quarterback Trey Petty. The Jackets really hit their stride in the playoffs, beating Southaven and Oxford by a combined score of 66-0 in the first two rounds and blowing out Madison Central 35-15 in North State. They nearly erased a 30-12 deficit in the state championship as well, falling just short in their comeback bid against the top-ranked Oak Grove Warriors.

6. West Point Green Wave (10-3)

The Class 5A Champion Green Wave definitely hit their stride at the right time. They avenged their only loss to another 5A team by beating Clarksdale 21-14 in the North State Championship, then romped over South State Champion Laurel 35-7 in Thursday's state title game. Florida commit and 5A Mr. Football Kahnen Daniels gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so, but the Green Wave offensive line played their best in the home stretch, and the defense gave up just five touchdowns in five games since Nov. 1.

7. Tupelo Golden Wave (9-3)

They might have been knocked out in the quarterfinal round, but it's hard to understate how good Tupelo was this year. They lost just two games against Mississippi opponents, falling to West Point 21-20 back in September and dropping a heart-breaker to Madison Central 14-12 two weeks ago. That second loss will always be the one that got away, considering Ty Hardin's bunch beat Starkville 36-6 in the regular season and would have faced them again in the North State Championship. Regardless, the defense was really special and Tupelo definitely belongs on this list.

8. Winona Tigers (15-0)

They may not have some of the high-profile wins some of the other teams on this list have, but undefeated Winona was rock solid in Week 1 when the season started and got better with each and every week. The offense with 3A Mr. Football Chase Richardson at the helm was completely unstoppable in the post-season. They scored 49 points in all three playoff games against North Panola, East Webster and Amanda Elzy, then dropped 34 points in a 34-7 win over Noxubee County in the 3A title game.

9. Ocean Springs Greyhounds (9-2)

The Greyhounds were the surprise team this season. Not only were they the best team in Region 4-7A under first-year head coach Jake Bramlett, they did while replacing 2022 Mr. Football winner Bray Hubbard. The first-round playoff loss to Meridian aside, they had a great resume to be on this list. They were the first Mississippi opponent to beat Picayune when the Maroon Tide really had it rolling and they trounced Gulfport 30-7 in the defacto Region Championship game.

10. Grenada Chargers (11-4)

Grenada would be the first to admit they didn't play up to their own standards in the 6A Championship, but they were definitely one of the best 10 teams in the state over the final month. They beat two teams ranked in the final Power 10 of the regular season — Warren Central and South Panola — in the playoffs, avenging one of their previous three losses with the latter. Earlier in the season, they played Winona close and beat 7A foes Oxford and Clinton.

Class-by-class Rankings

Class 6A

  1. Oak Grove Warriors (13-1)
  2. Brandon Bulldogs (10-3)
  3. Starkville Yellowjackets (10-4)
  4. Tupelo Golden Wave (9-3)
  5. Ocean Springs Greyhounds (9-2)

Class 6A

  1. West Jones Mustangs(14-0)
  2. Grenada Chargers (11-4)
  3. Picayune Maroon Tide (10-3)
  4. South Panola Tigers (11-3)
  5. Warren Central Vikings (9-3)

Class 5A

  1. West Point (10-3)
  2. Holmes County Central (11-1)
  3. Clarksdale Wildcats (9-4)
  4. Laurel Golden Tornadoes (8-6)
  5. Gautier Gators (8-5)

Class 4A

  1. Louisville Wildcats (14-0)
  2. Columbia Tigers (14-1)
  3. Houston Hilltoppers (11-2)
  4. McComb Tigers (11-1)
  5. Poplarville Hornets (10-4)

Class 3A

  1. Winona Tigers (15-0)
  2. Noxubee County Tigers (9-6)
  3. Jefferson Davis County Jaguars (10-3)
  4. Jefferson County Tigers (9-3)
  5. East Webster Wolverines (10-3)

Class 2A

  1. Charleston Tigers (12-2)
  2. Heidelberg Oilers (11-4)
  3. Raleigh Lions (11-3)
  4. Union Yellowjackets (12-2)
  5. Scott Central Rebels (9-4)

Class 1A

  1. Biggersville Lions (12-1)
  2. Velma Jackson Falcons (13-1)
  3. Vardaman Rams (12-1)
  4. Taylorsville Tartars (7-6)
  5. Simmons Blue Devils (11-1)