With five games left in the regular season, the Augusta Stallions are where they want to be - on top of the arenafootball2 league.
The Stallions are tied with Albany for the league's best record at 10-1. But if the season ended today, Augusta would hold the tiebreaker - strength of schedule - over the Conquest for home-field advantage through the playoffs. The Stallions' strength of schedule rating (.472) is well above Albany's (.403).
"Now it's even more important that we take it a game at a time and not overlook anybody," said Augusta head coach Mike Hold, whose team travels to Roanoke Saturday. "We just need to play our type of game and play hard."
Augusta and Albany were two of four teams entering last weekend with a 9-1 record. But Tennessee Valley lost to Quad City, 48-38, and Tulsa got blown away by Arkansas, 102-63. Meanwhile, Augusta knocked off Columbus, 67-51, and Albany defeated Rochester, 54-42.
Upcoming for Augusta is five remaining opponents who have a combined 28-28 record. Only Florida (6-5) and Tallahassee (7-4) have winning records among the bunch. But the Stallions play those two teams at home where they are undefeated this season.
Should Augusta retain its No. 1 seed and advance to the championship game, it would play host to the nationally-televised ArenaCup.
However, all it takes is one loss for Augusta to fall from the penthouse to the outhouse. If Macon (10-2) and Augusta end the regular season tied with the same record, the Knights would hold the tiebreaker and play host to the first-round playoff game between the two teams.
"It's a little premature to start thinking about home-field advantage," Hold said. "But that first round is our motivator. That's the thing that keeps us focused. The way Macon is playing right now, they may win out.
"Of anybody we'll play at any point the rest of the season, it'd be big for us to have a home game against Macon."
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.