Mark it down. Hilliard Davidson, New Albany, Pickerington Central and West Jefferson are all going to take care of business on Friday.

Mark it down. Hilliard Davidson, New Albany, Pickerington Central and West Jefferson are all going to take care of business on Friday.

Those four teams enter the final week of the regular season undefeated and there is a world of difference between going into the playoffs perfect or with one loss, especially if that loss comes in the regular-season finale.

Even though all four of those teams have a playoff berth wrapped up, don't expect any of them to rest their starters. In the grand scheme of winning a state title, the final game of the regular season is meaningless. Each team already has clinched at least a share of its league title, and each is likely to play host to a first-round playoff game.

So why not keep players off the field to ensure they are healthy for the playoffs?

It's about bragging rights. Winning a league title is good. More important, is going unbeaten. It's like carrying around a royal flush, ready to trump any argument about which team is best.

Davidson won the state championship last year and I'm not going to argue they weren't the best team. But Dublin Coffman fans could say, "Yeah, but we beat them. We went 1-1 against them last year."

What if Davidson loses to Hilliard Darby on Friday but goes on to win the state title again this year? Sure, the Wildcats would take it, but the folks in Hilliard that root for Darby surely would be quick to debate whether Davidson is the best team in Hilliard.

When Big Walnut won the Division III state championship in 2007, New Albany took a measure of pride in being the only team to knock off the Golden Eagles that year. Was Big Walnut thinking about that loss after the season? Probably not, but they weren't undefeated.

Being undefeated is special. In the last 10 years, only five of the Division I state champions can say that they finished undefeated. Two of those teams hail from central Ohio in Davidson (2006) and Upper Arlington (2000). Both finished 15-0.

The starters for Davidson, New Albany, Central and West Jefferson are going to play on Friday. Rest isn't a big a deal in high school. Good teams have several games a year where they can "get healthy," which is coach speak for dominating so thoroughly that j.v. players get significant playing time.

So when Mount Vernon plays New Albany, the Eagles will be giving the Yellow Jackets their best shot. Reynoldsburg will get Pickerington Central's best. West Jefferson quarterback D.J. Gray won't be sitting out against Liberty Union.

And, of course, Darby will get Davidson's best.