Simple answer, yes, I believe they are.
In fact, the only thing this season working against the Cougars is the rivalries’ recent history.
Dickson County has only defeated Creek Wood once since 2015, and that was still four years ago in 2018.
That being said, much like that college team in Knoxville and their streak with the Gators, that is where the advantages end for the team on the streak.
The Cougars now sit in a very advantageous stop, to start their season off right.
We have already discussed many of the reasons why in previous articles.
For starters, the game is at Dickson County. Then you consider that even though Jeff Tomlinson is a first-year head coach there, it is neither his first time as a head coach nor his first time encountering Creek Wood.
He, as we have laid out, not only spent time as the Offensive Coordinator for the Red Hawks, he then coached against them for a decade at Montgomery Central. Also, a rivalry game, to be fair.
Next, we unpack the talent disparity that for once, favors the Cougars.
A senior D1 QB Commit in Colbey Lamberth. A versatile athlete in Cade Pilkington who can get involved in the game through multiple avenues as a runner, pass catcher, or even on a trick play as a passer considering his baseball prowess.
Wyatt Gramling, is a player not too many are familiar with, yet. Why? Because he suffered an injury in last year’s opener, that forced him to be very limited. Gramling has the ability to play on both sides of the ball, and affect the game.
Not to mention, Coach Tomlinson has proved time and time again at previous stops, at least one or two guys will take to the system like fish to water and come out of nowhere.
Now, I want to be fair. Creek Wood has talent, and Head Coach Houston Thiel is no stranger to development.
Jamison Ford is a special weapon on the perimeter. Ethan Donaldson is capable of living up to his last name with his legs, and maybe this year his arm. Alex Bradshaw showed real flashes of brilliance last year.
Head Coach Houston Thiel will, I am certain, also have one or two guys who flourish that we have yet to become familiar with.
Dickson County, as you can tell, is most definitely not an overwhelming favorite. They are however slight favorites.
More than likely better QB play, in a home game, with a Head Coach who has a winning record against the opposition, advantage Cougars.
Expect both teams and their coaching staffs to have a few tricks up their sleeve. This will not be an easy game for either side.
Who wins? I will not predict that, not yet anyway. Ask me the week of, for now, advantage Cougars, but watch out for those Red Hawk talons.