The 2012 high school football season begins Thursday and Friday. The first three weeks of the season offer the deepest slates of great games of the regular season. There are plenty of quality games outside of the top 10, but here are the best of the best for the first week of the season.
1. Class 6A No. 1 Tulsa Union vs. No. 3 Jenks, Chapman Stadium
It's hard not to just pencil in this game every year as the top game of the season.
It gets old repeating it, but these teams have combined to win every Class 6A championship since 1996.
The series has turned in many classic games, and this year has the potential for the same.
This is the first year that the game has been played to start the season.
2. Class 4A No. 3 Douglass at Class 6A No. 13 Tulsa Washington
This one's about tradition more than anything else.
Trojans-Hornets used to be one of the premier rivalries in the state.
The series resumes after being dormant since 2000 after Douglass coach Willis Alexander and then-Tulsa Washington coach Darrell Hall decided to revive the series when the new district alignments were released.
The teams met in the 2002 playoffs.
It's not just about tradition, though, as both teams feature some of the state's top players, like Douglass' D.J. Ward and Washington's Dominique Alexander.
3. Class 6A No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe at No. 6 Midwest City, Thursday
These were the top 6A teams in the city area a year ago, and there's a good chance they will be again this year.
This time, it's Santa Fe with the star power, including QB Justice Hansen and DB Khari Harding. Midwest City is breaking in a new quarterback and a new coach as Hall returns to the city area to lead the Bombers.
4. Class 5A No. 2 Lawton MacArthur at Class 4A No. 2 Clinton
Both teams have significant questions but high expectations.
One of the first steps toward answering them comes Friday at the Tornado Bowl, one of the best venues in the state.