One obvious factor in assessing a team’s chances in the 2013 high school football season is the quality of the opponents.
Many Timesland teams made big changes to their 2013 schedules from what we saw in 2012.
Redistricting forced several schools to add and drop opponents. In some cases, this caused a ripple effect as teams scrambled to find 10 games.
Other schedules changed simply because two-year agreements ran out and teams opted to look elsewhere, either for competitive reasons or to chase points on the VHSL Rating Scale.
Some odd matchups were produced, including Lord Botetourt vs. Richlands, Craig County vs. Hurley and Fort Chiswell vs. Thomasville (N.C.), a traditionally strong team in the Tar Heel State.
But whose schedules underwent the biggest improvement, and which teams have softer slates in 2013?
The changes to each Timesland team’s schedule are listed below:
My rankings of most improved and most softened are at the end. Notice, I’m ranking only on the changes between 2012 to this year, not rating the overall schedules.
Feel free to disagree.
New opponents — Massaponax, Pulaski County, Brookville.
Dropped off schedule — Woodbridge, William Fleming (twice).
New — Salem, Albemarle, Colonial Forge, Harrisonburg, Christiansburg, Carroll County.
Dropped — Bassett, Blacksburg, Patriot, George Washington, Martinsburg (W.Va.), Halifax County.
New — North Stokes (N.C.), George Washington, Halifax County.
Dropped — Patrick Henry, Jefferson Forest, Carroll County.
New — Floyd County, Blacksburg, Pulaski County, Hidden Valley, Cave Spring, Salem, Patrick Henry.
Dropped — Bassett, Grayson County, Martinsville, Abingdon, Richlands, Tazewell, Marion.
New — Appomattox County.
Dropped — Bassett.
New — Staunton River, Carroll County, Franklin County.
Dropped — Northside, Richlands, Magna Vista.
New — Patrick Henry, Carroll County.
Dropped — Lord Botetourt, William Fleming.
New — Fluvanna County, Martinsville, William Byrd, Northside, Staunton River, Alleghany, Lord Botetourt, Rockbridge County.
Dropped — Franklin County (twice), Amherst County, Magna Vista, E.C. Glass, R.J. Reynolds (N.C.), Salem, George Washington, Halifax County.
New — William Fleming.
Dropped — James River.
New — Carroll County, Radford, Floyd County, Gretna.
Dropped — Liberty, Tazewell, Patrick Henry, Lord Botetourt.
New — Carroll County.
Dropped — Lord Botetourt.
New — Patrick Henry.
Dropped — Floyd County.
New — Carroll County.
Dropped — Lord Botetourt.
New — Rockbridge County, Buckingham County.
Dropped — Martinsville, Blacksburg.
New — Rustburg, Glenvar, Richlands, William Fleming.
Dropped — Salem, Cave Spring, Hidden Valley, Blacksburg.
New — Dan River, William Byrd.
Dropped — Heritage, William Fleming.
New — William Fleming
Dropped — Pulaski County.
New — Heritage, Chatham, George Washington, Halifax County.
Dropped — North Stokes (N.C.), Staunton River, Richlands, Radford.
New — Liberty, Turner Ashby, William Fleming
Dropped — Waynesboro, Fort Defiance, Robert E. Lee
New — William Campbell, Pulaski County, William Fleming.
Dropped — Patrick County, James River, Tunstall.
New — Magna Vista, William Fleming.
Dropped — Brookville, Glenvar.
New — Carroll County, Blacksburg.
Dropped — Christiansburg, Fort Chiswell.
New — Graham, Galax.
Dropped — Covington, Tazewell.
New — Lord Botetourt, Grayson County.
Dropped — James Monroe (W.Va.), William Byrd.
New — Johnson County (Tenn.), Glenvar, Lee.
Dropped — Chilhowie, Clintwood, Carroll County.
New — East Rockingham, Fort Chiswell, Radford, Greenbrier West (W.Va.).
Dropped — Alleghany, Auburn, Altavista, Staunton River.
New — Morehead (N.C.), William Fleming, Dan River, George Washington.
Dropped — Brookville, Liberty, Carroll County, Heritage.
New — Holston, PH-Glade Spring, Union, Virginia High.
Dropped — Fort Chiswell, Graham, Richlands, Carroll County.
New — Narrows, Roanoke Catholic, Montcalm (W.Va.).
Dropped — Covington, East Hardy (W.Va.), James River.
New — Robert E. Lee-Staunton.
Dropped — Riverheads.
New — Craig County.
Dropped — PH-Glade Spring.
New — J.I. Burton, Tazewell.
Dropped — Fort Chiswell, Grayson County.
New — Riverheads, Pendleton County (W.Va.).
Dropped — Auburn, Giles.
New — Bland County, Hurley
Dropped — Narrows, Galax.
New — Radford, James River, Thomasville (N.C.).
Dropped — Marion, Chilhowie, Floyd County.
New — Altavista, Giles.
Dropped — Radford, Craig County.
New — Auburn, Montcalm (W.Va.).
Dropped — James Monroe (W.Va.), Craig County.
New — Page County, Greenbrier East (W.Va.).
Dropped — Montcalm (W.Va.), Riverheads.
New — Blacksburg, James River
Dropped — Galax, Virginia High.
New — none.
Dropped — Charlotte Latin (N.C.).
New — Rappahannock County, Auburn.
Dropped — Fredericksburg Christian.
1. Patrick County — An 0-10 team adding George Washington and Heritage. Wow.
2. Carroll County — No-brainer here. So long to Group 3A and 2A teams like Martinsville, Abingdon, Tazewell, Marion and Grayson County. Welcome Salem, Patrick Henry and Pulaski County.
3. Staunton River — In past years, adding Pulaski County, William Fleming and William Campbell in place of Tunstall, James River and Patrick County might earn a higher ranking. It’s still a big upgrade.
4. Patrick Henry — Even though powers George Washington and Martinsburg are gone, adding Salem, Colonial Forge, Harrisonburg and Christiansburg makes things tougher.
5. Galax — Picking up Giles and Altavista in place of Radford and Craig County earns the No. 5 spot.
1. William Fleming — The evidence is clear. Gone are Salem, George Washington, Amherst County, Magna Vista, and two games with Franklin County. No knock against the Blue Ridge, but the new schedule that also includes Martinsville is a clear No. 1 here.
2. Blacksburg — Patrick Henry, Lord Botetourt and Liberty will be strong teams this year and they’re gone. Carroll County, Radford, Floyd County and Gretna don’t nearly fill that void.
3. Pulaski County — Even though Pulaski has added Group 6A Franklin County, losing Northside, Magna Vista and Richlands isn’t an upgrade. Of course, Pulaski did beat all three of those teams at least once last year.
4. Lord Botetourt — Bye-bye Salem, Blacksburg, Hidden Valley and Cave Spring. Welcome Glenvar, Richlands, William Fleming and Rustburg. Maybe if Salem were still on the schedule, Botetourt wouldn’t have the No. 5 spot here.
5. Marion — Gone are Richlands, Carroll County, Fort Chiswell and Graham. While Union and Virginia High are solid, also ddded were PH-Glade Spring and Holston.