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March Madness … for high school football? What a 68-team Florida bracket would look like

SportsMarch Madness ... for high school football? What a 68-team Florida bracket would look like

Tis the season for brackets and the endless questions of what would happen if two competitors (in pretty much whatever concept you prefer) went head-to-head.

The NCAA Tournaments combined with the possibility of the FHSAA adding an Open Division in the future got us thinking about what a 68-team high school football bracket would look like.

For the sake of this exercise, we used the 2022 season (it’s too difficult to project what this fall’s rosters will look like in mid-March) and included teams that competed for state championships (sorry IMG and Clearwater Academy International). We also did our best to prevent rivalries or traditional matchups.

It shouldn’t come as a major surprise that the four No. 1 seeds were the four Metro state champions — Miami Central, Chaminade-Madonna, St. Thomas Aquinas and Columbus.

The first four teams out were Bishop Verot, East Lake, South Sumter and Northview.

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Ok, without any further ado, let the fun (and complaints) begin.

South Region

Miami Central coach Jube Joseph lifts the Class 2M state championship after the Rockets 38-31 win against American Heritage on Friday at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

1. Miami Central (14-0)Class 2M state champion No. 1 final USA Today Florida Network poll 16. Pensacola Catholic (10-2, Class 1S regional finalistvs. Atlantic (Delray Beach) (8-4, Class 3M regional semifinalist)
8. Jesuit (9-5)Class 3S state semifinalist 9. Palm Beach Central (12-2)Class 4M state semifinalist
5. Bartram Trail (12-1)Class 4S regional finalist 12. West Orange (7-5)Class 4M regional semifinalist
4. Cardinal Gibbons (11-2)Class 2M regional finalist 13. Columbia (9-4)Class 3S state semifinalist
3. Apopka (11-4)Class 4M state runner-up 14. Lake Minneola (10-2)Class 4S regional finalist
6. Florida High (14-1)Class 2S state runner-up 11. Dunbar (9-2)Class 3S state semifinalist
7. Cardinal Newman (11-1)Class 1M regional finalist 10. Lakewood (9-5)Class 2M state semifinalist
2. Jones (11-3)Class 3M state semifinalist 15. Doral Academy (8-5)Class 4M regional finalist
First Round Matchups

West Region

Columbus players celebrate after the winning the Class 4M state championship, 16-13 in overtime against Apopka, on Saturday at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

1. Columbus (14-1)Class 4M state champion No. 4 final USA Today Florida Network poll 16. West Florida (8-3, Class 2S regional finalist)vs.Calvary Christian (Clearwater) (10-3, Class 2M regional finalist)
8. Clearwater Central Catholic (12-2)Class 1M state runner-up 9. Winter Park (10-2) Class 4M regional semifinalist
5. Pine Forest (10-1)Class 3S regional semifinalist 12. Oviedo (10-2)Class 3M regional semifinalist
4. Cocoa (11-3) Class 2S state champion 13. Miramar (10-2)Class 3M regional finalist
3. Miami Northwestern (6-5)Class 2M regional semifinalist 14. Wekiva (5-6)Class 3M regional quarterfinalist
6. Ocoee (9-5)Class 4M state semifinalist 11. University Christian (11-2)Class 1M state semifinalist
7. Blanche Ely (11-1)Class 3M regional finalist 10. Tampa Catholic (9-2)Class 2M regional semifinalist
2. Lakeland (14-0)Class 4S state champion 15. Trinity Catholic (9-3)Class 1S state runner-up
First Round Matchups

North Region

Fort Myers hosts St. Thomas Aquinas in high school football on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Fort Myers.

1. St. Thomas Aquinas (14-0)Class 3M state champion No. 3 final USA Today Florida Network poll 16. John Carroll Catholic (10-2, Class 1S state semifinalist) vs.Choctawhatchee (7-6, Class 3S regional finalist)
8. Booker T. Washington (Miami) (9-3)Class 3M regional semifinalist 9. Trinity Christian (11-1)Class 1M regional finalist
5. Buchholz (10-3)Class 4S state semifinalist 12. Pahokee (9-3)Class 1R regional finalist
4. Lake Wales (15-0)Class 3S state champion 13. Wharton (8-3)Class 3S regional quarterfinalist
3. Edgewater (12-1)Class 3M regional finalist 14. Bradford (11-2)Class 2S state semifinalist
6. Mainland (11-4)Class 3S state runner-up 11. Vero Beach (11-2)Class 4S regional finalist
7. Seminole (9-3)Class 4S regional semifinalist 10. Rockledge (9-3)Class 3S regional semifinalist
2. American Heritage (Plantation) (13-2)Class 2M state runner-up 15. Creekside (9-3)Class 4S regional semifinalist
First Round Matchups

East Region

Chaminade-Madonna coach Dameon Jones lifts the Class 1M state championship trophy on Thursday at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee. Chaminade beat Clearwater Central Catholic 48-14.

1. Chaminade-Madonna (12-1)Class 1M state champion No. 2 final USA Today Florida Network poll 16. Miami Palmetto (6-6, Class 4M regional semifinalist) vs. Suwannee (10-3, Class 2S regional finalist)
8. Lake Mary (8-4)Class 4M regional finalist 9. Bolles (9-5)Class 2M state semifinalist
5. Miami Norland (9-3)Class 2S regional finalist 12. Treasure Coast (4-7)Class 4S regional semifinalist
4. Osceola (10-4)Class 4S state semifinalist 13. First Baptist Academy (10-2)Class 1S state champion
3. Venice (9-4)Class 4S state runner-up 14. Raines (9-3)Class 2M regional finalist
6. Tampa Bay Tech 9-3Class 3M regional semifinalist 11. Hawthorne (12-0)Class 1R state champion
7. Dillard (6-5)Class 3M regional semifinalist 10. Naples (9-3)Class 3S regional finalist
2. Homestead (11-3)Class 3M state runner-up 15. Niceville (9-2)Class 4S regional quarterfinalist)
First Round Matchups

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