These are the Class AAAAAA preseason predictions of the Maxwell Ratings, a computer-based ranking system created by Loren Maxwell. The projections are based on historical scores, with 2015 results being most significant.
Here are five observations on the new Class AAAAAA:
*Valdosta is out of the highest classification for the first time since the 1950s. It is one of 18 schools in AAAAAA that played in the highest classification in 2015. Of those, Valdosta (Region 1), Tucker (4), Alpharetta (7) and Dacula (8) are projected to win region titles.
*Region 1 has five of Maxwell's top 10 teams in the class. One will not make the playoffs. Coffee and Houston County won region titles in 2015, Northside in 2014, Lee County in 2013 and Valdosta in 2011.
*The only other region with two top-10 teams is Region 6, which has No. 4 Tucker and No. 9 Stephenson (not to mention No. 12 Lovejoy). Tucker and Stephenson, DeKalb County's most successful programs of late, have rarely been in the same region. The rivalry will be spiced by the fact that two major prospects, DB Eugene Brown and OL/DL Dennis Wonnum, transferred to Tucker from Stephenson in the offseason.
*In Region 3, none of the six teams had a winning record last season. Heritage, the most recent of the six to win a region championship (2011), was 1-9 in 2015 but is projected to make the playoffs. The top three are from Columbia County - Lakeside, Evans and Grovetown.
*In Region 5, seven teams are among the best 32, according to the Maxwell Ratings. But only four can make the playoffs. Mays and Creekside are the historical favorites.