Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Article excerpt

Byline: Compiled by JASON SCHNEIDER

2 CENTS

It's official. The U.S. sports nation is nuts.

Sports Illustrated, the most recognizable name in sports journalism, devoted 12 pages to high school football.

Just what a bunch of pimply-faced, egomaniacal, know-it-all teenagers need. National coverage.

If their teachers and parents thought they were hard to deal with now, just wait. We've got a nation of petulant teenage pseudo-superstars just waiting for their Jennifer Capriati moment. The crown jewel of this idiocy is a national top-20 poll.

(Sound of a soap box being set up).

National high school and even state high school polls are just about the dumbest thing in this crazy business. I don't doubt that the people who made the poll did as much research as they could, but it's impossible to have even a remotely accurate poll such as this one. It's hard enough to get an accurate college Top 25 poll with so many games on television, so tell me how this poll can be accurate when it's impossible to see all of one state's top teams, let alone the nation's?

Is top-ranked Hoover (Ala.) really better than No. 2 Lakeland? No idea. And we're not going to know because the two teams will never play each other. It's an impossible situation for the players and coaches -- one that sets the bar so high that it can never be reached.

MAGAZINE PREDICTIONS

Because SportsExtra knows you are wondering how Florida is represented in Sports Illustrated's high school football poll, we'll go ahead and feed the monster.

Ranking***Team******What SI says (excerpts from team capsules)

2******Lakeland******"The two-time defending state Class 5A champion Dreadnaughts are

loaded again: They have nine Division I recruits, including six that have

orally committed to Florida."

16******St. Augustine***"One of the state's top running backs, [Rai-shawn] Wilson (above,

with ball) takes over the starring role after rushing for 879 yards and 12

touchdowns in '05, and he has senior Kevis Streeter to share the load. …

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