With the regional tournaments kicking off tomorrow night, we thought we'd give ourselves the chance to look incredibly smart — or incredibly dumb — with some championship predictions. Feel free to praise or mock our picks in the comments below. Once it's all over, we'll be sure to remind you of who we picked — that is, if we're right.
8A: Plant over Miramar
While Miramar likely has the superior team, it's hard to bet against the Panthers, who have advanced to four title games since 2006, winning three of them. Miramar did take home a title in 2009, however, and has been unstoppable this year, so it would surprise no one if the Patriots emerged as champs.
7A: Manatee over Lincoln
Class 7A is particularly loaded this year, with recent state champs St. Thomas Aquinas, Dwyer, Lakeland and Lincoln all in the mix. Among these titans, we think the battle-tested Hurricanes have the best chance to be the last team standing.
6A: Armwood over Miami Central
Since winning back-to-back state titles in 2003 and 2004, Armwood hasn't quite been able to get over the hump, notching two runner-up finishes (last year and in 2005) and a pair of trips to the semifinals. But Bill Callahan's squad is playing so well this year — the Hawks are currently ranked the nation's No. 2 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 — it's impossible to go with anyone but Armwood.
5A: Miami Norland over Godby
Glades Central and Miami Norland look to be on a crash course to meet in the regional finals, and whoever wins that (theoretical) matchup will be the favorite to go all the way.
4A: Booker T. over Bolles
The possibility of of Yulee-Bolles and Cocoa-Booker T. in the semifinals is intriguing, though Bolles would have to get past Raines — the only team that's beaten the Bulldogs this season — and Yulee's fate would rest largely in the hands of junior running back Derrick Henry. Cocoa has won three consecutive state titles, but the Tigers haven't beaten an elite opponent all season.
3A: University School over Trinity Catholic
We predict Trinity Catholic will meet Madison County in one semifinal and University School will face Berkeley Prep in the other. Then, in a rematch of the 2010 Class 2B state championship, University will avenge last year's triple-overtime loss.
2A: Glades Day over North Florida Christian
This probably isn't the best Glades Day team of the last few years, but the Gators still have the state's all-time leading rusher in Kelvin Taylor. That might be enough for a third consecutive state title.
1A: Union County over Holmes County
The Tigers complete their perfect season.