Of course, the eyes of most AAA teams across West Virginia will follow the ongoing legal battle centering around Martinsburg senior quarterback Malique Watkins, who has been declared ineligible by the SSAC but received an injunction to play in Friday's 34-0 win against Washington.
If the SSAC's ruling against Watkins, who ran for 107 yards in Friday's game, is eventually upheld - and the SSAC's track record in such matters is pretty good in recent years - then victories could be erased from Martinsburg (5-1), the three-time defending state champion who was ranked No. 7 last week.
That, of course, would enhance the status of several teams currently listed below the Bulldogs in the ratings.
Another Kanawha Valley team faces a challenge of a different order this week as it tries to maintain its playoff hopes.
South Charleston (4-2), which barely held off Parkersburg 21-19 on Friday, travels to Ripley (1-5) to begin a stretch of three road games over its final four in the regular season. SC was ranked No. 15 last week in Class AAA.
The Vikings knocked off the Black Eagles 7-6 last year, an unexpected result that ultimately cost SC a playoff berth. It finished 6-4 and tied for 17th, one spot out of the final qualifying position. It marked the first time an MSAC team with six wins had missed the AAA playoffs since Nitro in 1999.
"I felt like we were at Ripley tonight,'' SC coach Donnie Mays said following Friday's closer-than-anticipated win against the Big Reds. "You know, I felt like that last year [at Ripley].
"I kept looking up there at the scoreboard and thought, 'My God, does the time not go any faster? I want to get out of here.' And sometimes, you have to do that. Going into next week's game is proof that you can't take a night off any time in the Mountain State Athletic Conference, plain and simple.''
Senior linebacker Jay Richardson, one of SC's ringleaders on defense, knows what will satisfy his team as it gets another shot at Ripley.
"A 'W,' that's it,'' he said. "It's the best we can do. A hard week of practice and that's it. We're going to do the same thing we always do. Hold them to the least amount of yards possible and the fewest points.''
Ripley, which averages 21 points, is led by versatile quarterback Trevor Tucker, who has thrown for 800 yards and 10 TDs and run for 647 yards and five scores.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.