I am not particularly an Atobe-fan. I wouldn't have minded him going bald, thinking it kind of an interesting twist. It is the way in which it happened that bothered me. It is like those who think they might have a shot at beating Ryoma should be punished severely for even trying. Since Atobe was always the show off, shaving his head is a far bigger deal than for someone like most other characters in the series. I know Atobe is one of the most populair characters in the series and it somewhat seemed to me like he was beaten down for it to prove the worth of the main character. That most of Seigaku was smiling at that moment weirded me out a bit as well. I am holding out for Echizen only having shaved off his bangs or something like that. This is such a big contrast to the Tezuka vs Atobe match, where it was clear that both players respected each other a lot.
Ever since Ryoma beat Sanada I haven't really felt excited over the serie anymore. Sure, the hero always wins and all, but the competition was set up in a way that Seigaku could have lost and still continued in the race for the championship. That the strongest school was already beaten, made me not caring too much anymore. Of course Seigaku is going to win the nationals, but it would have been nice if it felt like they still don't seem to take this for granted themselves.