Favorite: Jenks. It's been so effortless for the Trojans this year. Plus, they only lost to Bixby 23-15. We all have seen Bixby blow out everyone.
Player to Watch: Freshman RB Demarius Robinson, Edmond Santa Fe
Robinson could be the key to the entire playoffs. He may only be a freshman, but he's the fifth leading rusher in the state with 1,482 rushing yards for the season.
Sleeper pick: Owasso. Both of the Rams losses were by one possession. This squad could be due for some key clutch wins to make it to the state championship. They do have two key wins this year against Edmond Santa Fe (45-22) and Broken Arrow (42-3), who the Rams play this week.
Best first round matchup: Owasso @ Broken Arrow. A great rematch. I think Owasso will win but it will be closer this time.
Best potential matchup: Union vs Jenks, Finals. The old rivalry could be the state championship game. The state championship has come down to these two squads several times.
Upset alert: Mustang over Edmond Santa Fe. Mustang stole a victory at Owasso earlier this year. The Broncos could be the upset special for all of 6A.
State champion: Jenks
6A-2 Playoff Preview
- Whitt Carter
Favorite: Bixby. The Spartans have dominated all year long, beating top teams like Choctaw, Stillwater, Sand Springs and Booker T by an average of 46 points. They haven't played a close game yet and not a lot of people expect that to change.
Player to Watch: Brennan Presley. Hard to say that arguably the best player in the state isn't the player to watch. He is electric and must-see every time he steps on the field. Presley has 76 carries for 755 yards, 47 catches for 604 yards and 18 TDs overall in 2021 and will likely put up some more eye-popping performances in the next month.
Sleeper Pick: Del City. If they can get past a pesky Sand Springs bunch in the first round, they would likely clash with Choctaw in the semis. The Eagles have the talent to beat Choctaw and advance to the title game.
Best first round matchup: Booker T. Washington @ Stillwater. Two teams with a lot of talent will clash in the quarterfinals. In a game with two outstanding quarterbacks, Gage Gundy and Lathan Boone, it may come down to which one can make the final play.
Upset alert: Deer Creek over Choctaw. The Antlers have had quite the season, losing only twice in overtime to Stillwater and Del City. They could give Choctaw all they want on Friday.
Best potential matchup: Del City vs. Choctaw - Semifinals. Two teams from the east side of the metro with athletes everywhere could meet up in the semifinals with a shot at the title game on the line.
State champion pick: Bixby. The Spartans have won 46 games in a row and could set the all-time record with a win in the championship game, which would be their 4th title in a row. They have won six titles in the last seven years. We are witnessing a true dynasty.
5A Playoff Preview
- Jayce Osmus
Favorite: McAlester Buffaloes. Dominant throughout the regular season, their closest game of the season so far was a 19-0 victory over Bishop Kelley. The Buffaloes start with Sapulpa, and could face either Guthrie or Noble in the second round.
Player to Watch: Kentrell “Buddy” Bizzell, Carl Albert. Bizzell carries the load offensively in the running game for the Titans. His ability to make plays could be the difference in these close playoff games.
Sleeper Pick: Coweta Tigers. The Tigers enter the postseason with a 9-1 record. Their only loss comes against their district 5A-3 champion, McAlester by a score of 33-2. If they can get past Tahlequah in the first round, a heavyweight battle against Carl Albert presumably awaits.
Best First Round Matchup: Noble @ Guthrie. The Noble Longhorns are 8-2 on the year but placed third in their district after being in the three-way tie. They travel to Guthrie to face the one-loss Bluejays. Both teams had capabilities to win their own districts, but both came up short, setting up this highly anticipated game against the two teams.
Best Potential Matchup: Collinsville vs. Carl Albert, Semifinals. The undefeated Collinsville Cardinals could push their way to the semifinals, where they could face the reigning five-time defending state champions.
Upset Alert: Bishop McGuinness @ Ardmore. The Fighting Irish have played close games against top teams in the state. They went to overtime against the two teams above them in their district, Guthrie and Carl Albert. Ardmore is coming off a great win against Lawton MacArthur, but could be surprised on Friday night by the Fighting Irish.
State Champion Pick: McAlester Buffaloes. The top team in class 5A should continue to win and hoist the gold ball at the end of the postseason. A possible schedule could include facing Lawton MacArthur and undefeated Collinsville on their way to a state championship.
4A Playoff Preview
- Steven Reese
Favorite: Tuttle. The Tigers have been No. 1 in 4A pretty much the entire year. They have the best defense by far in 4A, only allowing 6.6 points a game.
Player to watch: Junior QB Blake Berlowitz, Cushing. This kid has been everywhere. He's the 2nd leading passer in the state with 2,847 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, and 5 rushing touchdowns.
Sleeper pick: Blanchard. This team is sneaky. The Lions almost pulled off the biggest upset in 4A last week at Tuttle, falling just short 14-13
Best first round matchup: Blanchard@ Bethany
Best potential matchup: Cushing vs Tuttle, Finals. Possibly the two best teams from 4A from the same district could play each other for the state championship. It could once again be the best 4A defense (Tuttle) against the best 4A offense (Cushing). Tuttle won at Cushing earlier this year 22-7.
Upset alert: Hilldale over Wagoner. It's a long shot, but the defending state champion Wagoner Bulldogs haven't exactly had the same season they had last year. The offense has struggled some this year. This could be a close one.
State champion pick: Tuttle. It's as simple as it gets. Defense wins championships.
3A Playoff Preview
- Whitt Carter
Favorite: Lincoln Christian. You could say any of Lincoln, Holland Hall or Heritage Hall are the favorites and no one would argue. We'll say Lincoln is the favorite because they have looked the most impressive in 2021 and are ranked No. 1, but it would be very surprising if one of these three teams didn't take home the gold ball.
Player to Watch: Max Brown, QB, Lincoln Christian. The Central Michigan commit has been arguably the best quarterback in the state this season. He has completed 73% of passes while throwing for 2,061 yards and 31 TDs. He's also rushed for 1,024 yards and 15 TDs. Can anyone stop him?
Sleeper Pick: Verdigris. The Cardinals pulled off a huge upset over Holland Hall in district play. If they can get past Seminole, they will have another tough but winnable game against Plainview in the quarterfinals. The path would likely go through Holland Hall again in the semifinals.
Best first round matchup: Verdigris @ Seminole. Two very good teams sit at 9-1 but due to a three-way tie atop 3A-4, Verdigris finishes 3rd and heads on the road. One will go home after just one round in what should be one of the best matchups in the state on Friday.
Upset alert: Stigler. The Panthers finished 3rd in the loaded 3A-3 and have the same record as Berryhill, but the tradition of the Chiefs probably makes them the pick for most. However, the Panthers won't be intimidated on the road and have the moxy to go on the road and win.
Best potential matchup: Heritage Hall vs. Lincoln Christian. Two of the three best teams in the class could meet in the semifinals and what a game that would be. Lincoln won by a touchdown in the semifinals last year and I'd be shocked if it wasn't another classic on Thanksgiving weekend.
State champion pick: Lincoln Christian. After seeing Holland Hall win it all in 2020 and the recent dominant run by Heritage Hall, Lincoln feels like the least talked about No. 1 team in recent memory. I think the Bulldogs get past Heritage Hall in the semis and take down Holland Hall in the finals behind Max Brown and the potent Lincoln offense.
2A Playoff Preview
- Jayce Osmus
Favorite: Marlow comes into the playoffs with a perfect record through 10 games. They come into the playoffs averaging 45 points a game, while only giving up an average of 9 on the defensive side.
Player to Watch: CJ Brown, Beggs. Brown has the ball in his hands on most plays for the Demons. He has the explosiveness to push Beggs deep into the 2A playoffs.
Sleeper Pick: Jones Longhorns. The Longhorns come into the playoffs at 7-3. Their only loss to a 2A opponent was District 2A-2 champion Crossings Christian. Will have to overcome being on the road for the duration of their playoff run, but could face undefeated Washington in the second round.
Best First Round Matchup: Metro Christian @ Sperry. Sperry placed second in District 2A-8, but are meeting the two-time defending state champions in the first round. Metro Christian had a little bit of a down year, but can still make an impact in this year’s playoffs.
Best Potential Matchup: Washington vs. Rejoice Christian - Quarterfinals. Washington is undefeated this year and looking to complete the perfect season with a state championship. Rejoice Christian could possibly meet them in the quarterfinals, coming into the playoffs 9-1 after an early season loss to Beggs.
Upset Alert: Community Christian welcomes the visiting Davis Wolves, who I believe will win this game. Davis is 7-3 on the year, but after placing third in district play, they have to travel to 8-2 Community Christian.
State Champion Pick: Marlow. The best team in the class continues their dominance during the postseason. The Outlaws might have to beat the other two undefeated teams, Oklahoma Christian School and Washington, on their way to a state title. This could be their first state championship since 1964.
A Playoff Preview
- Steven Reese
Favorite: Ringling. Five of the Blue Devil wins were shutouts. And they could be due since they were extremely close to winning it all last year. They lost to Thomas-Fay-Custer in the semis last year 28-27.
Player to watch: The entire Ringling rushing attack. This could be the best rushing team in the state. Eight Blue Devils have a total of at least 100 rushing yards or more. As a team, they have 2,594 rushing yards and 44 rushing touchdowns.
Sleeper pick: Cashion. The Wildcats have a winning streak of their own. Since dropping their first game, they have won nine straight.
Best first round matchup: OCA @ Elmore City. This is also my upset alert. OCA has had one of the biggest turnaround seasons for any team this year. The Eagles went 1-10 last season and now they find themselves in the playoffs.
Best potential matchup: Ringling vs Cashion, Finals. This would be a very intense game. The favorite (Ringling) against the defending champs (Cashion).
Upset alert: OCA over Elmore City.
State champion pick: Ringling.
B Playoff Preview
- Jayce Osmus
Favorite: Laverne Tigers. The Tigers played in arguably the toughest district in the class, with Balko-Forgan and Shattuck both poised to make an impact in the playoffs as well. Laverne came in undefeated and looking to complete a perfect season with a gold ball for the first time since 2016.
Player to Watch: Jaden Hall, Balko-Forgan. Hall leads the Balko-Forgan in passing and rushing entering the postseason. A player like him could lead this team throughout the playoffs.
Sleeper Pick: Garber Wolverines. The Wolverines come into the playoffs with a 9-1 record. Their only loss was to district B-7 champion Pioneer 44-36. There is a possibility to face undefeated Dewar in the second round.
Best First Round Matchup: Arkoma @ Wetumka. Arkoma enters the postseason with an 8-2 record, but finished third in their district. They travel to Wetumka, who is 6-3 on the year. Two evenly matched teams could prove an exciting game throughout in Wetumka.
Best Potential Matchup: Balko-Forgan vs. Davenport - Quarterfinals. Undefeated Davenport Bulldogs can surge into the quarterfinals, where they could face highly ranked Balko-Forgan. Balko-Forgan has lost one game to top ranked Laverne, 36-28. These two teams both have potential to hoist the gold ball at the end of the postseason.
Upset Alert: Ringwood Red Devils. District B-2 champions face a Seiling Wildcats team in the first round. Seiling went 7-3 on the year, with their only losses coming from top 10 teams in the class. Ringwood comes in after dominating their district, but I believe could be upset in the first round of the playoffs.
State Champion Pick: Laverne Tigers. The Tigers come in as the favorite, and will be the team to lift the gold ball at the end of the season. The Tigers could face Regent Prep, Velma-Alma, and Dewar on their way to a state championship. There is a possibility to have four teams all 13-0 entering the semi-finals, making it an exciting bracket as those teams push forward in the playoffs.
C Playoff Preview
- Whitt Carter
Favorite: Mt. View-Gotebo. They have been the favorite since the beginning of the year and showed why throughout the regular season.
Player to Watch: Ryan Belcher, Mt. View-Gotebo. The do-it-all quarterback and linebacker is a classic 8-man football superstar. He is on a mission after getting hurt in the playoffs last year and has been on a tear in 2021.
Sleeper Pick: Tyrone. The defending state champ has flown under the radar behind Mt. View-Gotebo and Timberlake, but the Bobcats are primed to make another deep run, possibly to the title game, once again.
Best first round matchup: Bluejacket @ Midway. Two really good teams ranked in the top 10 face off in the first round. It's a true toss up and the winner will have another great game on tap the following week against Tyrone.
Upset alert: Wesleyan Christian. A tough matchup awaits in round one in the Sasakwa Vikings, who also had seven regular season wins. Sasakwa is coming off a big loss to Midway last week, which could make it a motivated squad on the road.
Best potential matchup: Timberlake vs. Mt. View-Gotebo, Finals. This is the matchup everyone wants to see. The two undefeated teams on opposite sides of the bracket. While there is work to be done to get there, it would be a treat to see them face off in early December with both teams 13-0.
State champion pick: Timberlake. They fell to Tyrone last year in the finals and have watched Mt. View-Gotebo hold the top spot in most people's eyes all year. They've shut out teams in half of their games this season and allowed less than a touchdown per game defensively. The Tigers find a way to get it done in 2021.