You get the big stadiums, the passionate fans, the year-round interest in football and lots of local, state and national notoriety.
But here's what you don't get: A lot of easy games.
Austin (Texas) Lake Travis, No. 54 in the RivalsHigh Top 100, found that out the hard way Thursday night went it faced unranked - but undefeated Cedar Park (Texas) High (No. 4 in Class 4A and No. 16 overall in the state of Texas).
Cedar Park raced out to a 28-0 lead. Then, when Lake Travis pulled to 28-21 and seemingly driving for a tying score, Cedar Park showed its talent.
First, Ryan Roberts picked off a pass in the end zone with five seconds remaining in the third quarter. Then, Cedar Park went on an 11-play drive that culminated in a 3-yard TD run by Zac Horne to put the game away.
Lake Travis quarterback Michael Brewer threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns but couldn't overcome a slow start and two interceptions as his team fell to 8-2 heading into the playoffs.
Cedar Park improves to 10-0 and takes the district title with the victory. It also improves its case for a national ranking.
Brian Hogan was the stat star for Cedar Park, rushing for 159 yards and two TDs and throwing for 86 yards and two more.
But it was Roberts' pick that turned the game.
"That momentum, that's a big deal in this game," Roberts told the Austin American-Statesman.
No, that's Texas football.
RivalsHigh take: This was a classic example of Texas football. Two very good teams going at it for four quarters, with momentum swings, big plays and the better team on the night winning the game. These two are likely to see one another in the third round of the playoffs if the seeding goes as projected. That will be another great game.
For complete coverage, check out this game story in the Austin American-Statesman.
Here's a look at some other games involving Top 100 teams Thursday night.
No. 1 South Panola 50, DeSoto Central 7
No. 60 Meridan 42, Terry 7
Mississippi powers Battesville (Miss.) South Panola and Meridan (Miss.) High showed why they are seemingly headed to a 6A showdown.
They also showed why they are class programs.
Both schools let up against schools that are still attempting to develop their teams.
Kendrick Martin scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one on a fumble return to help 11-0 South Panola top an 0-11 DeSoto Central team for its 23rd consecutive victory.
Meridan (also 11-0) raced out to an early 21-0 lead behind quarterback Antionne Adkins (two TD passes, one run), then went to its second string QB. It went into an offensive shell after going up 35-0 at halftime against a 4-7 Terry team.
RivalsHigh take: On a national scale these are two meaningless wins. Both South Panola and Meridian were expected to roll and both did.
For complete coverage, check out this game story in the Clarion Ledger.
No. 3 Trinity 48, MacArthur 15
Euless (Texas) Trinity can seemingly turn it on when it needs to.
Trinity had just a 20-9 halftime lead before exploding for four second-half scores to roll to its 10th straight victory.
The game plan seemingly is the same each game, too.
Trinity started its second-half surge with a 39-yard scoring strike from Brandon Carter to Enrique Oquendo.
RivalsHigh take: Another game that does not register on the national scale nor does it add a quality win for Trinity. The Trojans real season begins when the playoff brackets are announced this weekend.
Hamilton finished the regular-season undefeated. But that's kind of expected when you have an overall streak of 36 consecutive victories.
Of course, the only one Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton wants is a third straight state title.
The team appears to be ready for that run after this rout behind quarterback Kyren Poe, who was 6-for-7 for 174 yards and two TDs.
Efficient play was the rule of the day. Running back Jai Johnson had just eight carries but made them good for 114 yards and three TDs.
"That's what you want as a coaching staff, for your kids to get better as the season goes on, and we're doing that," head coach Steve Belles told the Arizona Republic. "It couldn't happen at a better time."
RivalsHigh take: After a few weeks of rumors about Hamilton not being the best in the state the Huskies have been aided by some other teams falling and a couple of big wins. Playoffs again will be the decider on the value.
Columbus (Ga.) Carver closed out a perfect regular season by clearing out the bench.
With star running back Isaiah Crowell out for the third straight game, Carver used 12 different ball carriers on the way to 274 rushing yards. Cequanti Ford had a team-high 57 yards.
Carver raced out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back. Quarterback Kris Carson ran for two scores and threw for another.
"Now the fun begins," Carver head coach Dell McGee told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
RivalsHigh take: Georgia has a rough road to run this playoff season. Its best teams in each class appear to be head and shoulders above the rest of the class. It is too bad that there isn't much depth behind those squads. Carver should roll through AA relatively untested.