This particular Week 3 is an odd one — at least, from my perspective.
Perhaps not as odd as the obsession with pumpkin spice, but odd nonetheless.
For the first time in I can't remember when, almost every local team in action will be on the road this Friday night.
Addison, Cullman, Fairview, Good Hope, Holly Pond, Vinemont and West Point will each ride the bus, while only Hanceville will play inside its home stadium.
No matter the venue, those teams in The Times' coverage area will attempt to improve on last week's 3-6 record.
To quote former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, "there's no doubt" I think they can accomplish just that.
Let's get to the breakdowns, shall we?
Before we get started, though, remember to cast your vote in "The People's Pick," a series of Twitter polls posted on my timeline (@winfreyjake) each and every Monday afternoon.
Class 2A, Region 5
% Addison (3-0, 1-0) at Midfield (2-1, 1-0): The Bulldogs are off to their first 3-0 start since the 2017 campaign.
They'll try to make it 4-0 when they take on the Patriots — who beat Lamar County 28-24 last week — on Friday.
Addison won last year's inaugural matchup between the schools (33-8), and I think it's more than likely it'll notch another victory this time around.
It might not be a four-score — $1 to Abraham Lincoln — triumph, but it'll be a triumph for the Bulldogs.
% My Pick: Addison
% People's Pick: Addison (84 percent — 87 votes)
Class 3A, Region 6
% Holly Pond (2-1, 0-1) at J.B. Pennington (2-0, 1-0): The Broncos have no time to lament last week's loss.
Holly Pond heads to Blount County to face off against the Tigers, who defeated one Cullman County program (Vinemont) last week and is looking to make it two in a row on Friday night.
J.B. Pennington leads the series 29-14 and has won seven straight against the Broncos.
This is a tough matchup for the road team, though not impossible.
% My Pick: J.B. Pennington
% People's Pick: J.B. Pennington (84 percent — 82 votes)
% Vinemont (0-3, 0-1) at Carbon Hill (1-2, 0-1): The Eagles enter this contest still in search of their first victory.
Vinemont lost to J.B. Pennington last week, while the Bulldogs fell to Susan Moore — meaning both teams would love nothing more than to get back on track this Friday night.
Historically, the Eagles have dominated this series — holding an 8-1 advantage.
Vinemont also won last year's matchup 36-0, so I'm going to lean Red and White.
% My Pick: Vinemont
% People's Pick: Carbon Hill (70 percent — 104 votes)
Class 4A, Region 6
% Dora (1-1, 0-0) at Hanceville (1-1, 0-1): It's a #BattleoftheBulldogs on Friday night.
Hanceville is looking to get back in the win column following a road loss to Fultondale, while Dora is coming off a bye week.
Dora has won all three matchups between the schools in the 21st century by an average of 32.7 points per outing.
What does that mean for this week? Absolutely nothing, of course.
Zach Campbell has been really good so far this season, and I think he'll keep the home Bulldogs in this one.
Will it be enough? Time will tell.
% My Pick: Dora
% People's Pick: Dora (56 percent — 87 votes)
Class 5A, Region 7
% Fairview (2-1, 0-1) at Douglas (3-0, 1-0): The Aggies have a big opportunity in front of them on Friday night.
They'll head to Arthur Jarvis Stadium to face the unbeaten Eagles, and a victory will be crucial should the Purple and Gold want to — potentially — host a playoff game later this season.
If you've followed this column over the years, you know that I graduated from Douglas in 2007 — I'm very old ... old enough to remember when long-distance phone calls were expensive.
And the Eagles are 3-0 for a second straight campaign, having allowed just 22 points defensively.
They are making tangible progress under coach Brandon Lyles.
But Fairview, quite frankly, is better.
The Aggies have also won nine of their past 10 against Douglas, including a 48-12 triumph in 2020.
Road team takes this one.
% My Pick: Fairview
% People's Pick: Fairview (56 percent — 85 votes)
% West Point (2-0, 0-0) at Boaz (2-1, 1-0): The Warriors will head to Jacksonville State to take on the Pirates.
Boaz clipped West Point 28-25 in 2020, and there's potential here for yet another close contest on Friday night.
Coach Don Farley's squad put together a superb defensive effort in last week's 14-7 win over Lawrence County, and the Maroon and White will need a repeat performance against the Pirates — who are averaging 36.3 points per game so far in 2021.
This is a difficult one to call.
Boaz, though, leads the series 3-0, and I'll side with history — but won't be surprised at all if the Warriors prevail.
% My Pick: Boaz
% People's Pick: West Point (57 percent — 86 votes)
Class 6A, Region 8
% Cullman (1-2, 0-1) at Buckhorn (3-0, 1-0): The Bearcats will attempt to avoid an 0-2 region start on Friday.
To do so, they'll have to take down the unbeaten Bucks — victors over Madison County, Bob Jones and Hazel Green so far by a combined 19 points — at Tommy R. Ledbetter Stadium.
Cullman, meanwhile, has dropped a couple of tough ones to rivals Jasper and Hartselle the past two weeks.
The Black and Gold, however, moved the ball in each matchup — rushing for 265 and 310 yards, respectively.
If the Bearcats — looking to avoid their first 1-3 start since 2016 — can avoid mistakes, I think they'll win here.
% My Pick: Cullman
% People's Pick: Buckhorn (69 percent — 102 votes)
% Good Hope (1-2) at Haleyville (1-2): The Raiders will dip out of region play this week to take on the Lions.
Good Hope is fresh off a 40-7 win over Ashville, while Haleyville enters the clash having lost to Northside 32-7.
The Raiders have won the past three in this series, including close triumphs in 2019 (17-11) and 2020 (27-24).
I'll predict that trend to continue on Friday night.
% My Pick: Good Hope
% People's Pick: Good Hope (67 percent — 82 votes)
My Record: 15-5
People's Record: 15-5