Ah, yes, the “Rye Cove Rule”. Rye Cove would win the Cumberland with middling records every year and knock one of the powerful BDD/Hogo teams out of the playoffs who were far superior.
In 2003, Rye Cove won its district with a 5-5 record, and lost every non-district game in the process. Honaker went 9-1, losing its only game 6-0 AT Haysi, and was left out of the postseason because Honaker didn’t win the BDD. Haysi did everything short of decapitating Rye Cove in Round 1 of the playoffs.
In 2004, Rye Cove went 8-2 by feasting on a marshmallow-soft OOC, though they were still blown out at home by Haysi and lost at home to Honaker. George Wythe went 9-1; shut out SEVEN opponents; gave up more than 6 points just twice all season; lost an 8-point game on the road to 9-1 Lebanon, and were left sitting home for the postseason because Lebanon won the Hogo. Eventual state runner-up, Powell Valley, clocked Rye Cove in Round 1 of the playoffs, yet again.
P.S. That Haysi team that blew out Rye Cove in 2004 also missed the playoffs in 2004 with a 9-1 record, because they lost a road game to Honaker, thereby losing the BDD to a Honaker team that couldn’t beat a 6-4 Tazewell team at home.
As much as we complain about the way it is, it beats watching the 2003 Honaker, 2004 George Wythe, and 2004 Haysi teams, all of which could have won a state title, sitting at home with 9-1 records.