The District of Doom 2.0 culminates here.

New-to-Class 3A Kilgore travels to Buckeye Stadium for what may be the de facto District 16-3A championship featuring the Bulldogs’ stingy defense and Gilmer’s always-ready-to-score spread offense.

Or it could be for the final playoff spot in 16-3A.

That’s how good the new version of the District of Doom is. The defending champion, coming off a 13-1 season, and a 4A Division II quarterfinalist from a year ago could be fighting for their playoff lives come the second weekend of November.

Or they could be playing for a gold ball. Who knows?

Nobody. That’s why ETSN.fm has chosen the Kilgore vs. Gilmer game as the No. 1 game of the regular season. The final week of the district slate couldn’t provide more drama in East Texas’ marquee district, as it’s viewed in the rest of the state’s eyes.

Losing Carthage and Pittsburg would seem to make a district much weaker, but most districts don’t add Kilgore, defending 3A Division I champion Chapel Hill, and Bullard -- winner of two 3A Division II Region III playoff games in 2011 -- to compensate for those subtractions. The result should be a wild and wooly district race with as many as six playoff-caliber squads and four teams that are capable of reaching the state semifinals, if not further.

And one of them won’t get to the postseason.

With what’s potentially at stake when these two East Texas powers meet, this game shot up the rankings and ultimately landed here, at No. 1. By that time, Kilgore’s ground game should be rolling, forcing senior linebacker Adam Witcher and the Buckeyes’ defense to keep the Bulldogs from grinding out a road win.

But you never know … maybe by then Gilmer will be feeding opponents a consistent dose of linebacker-turned-running back Josh Walker, the 220-pound sackmaster as a sophomore in 2011. Whatever the case, the regular-season finale in DOD 2.0 should be a great matchup of storied programs with a huge impact on the playoff race of the region’s highest-profile district.

Top 25 Games of the Year

No. 1: Kilgore vs. Gilmer