2. BOOKER T. (1-0)
VS. 1. CENTRAL (1-0)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Traz.
Is this the national championship game?
Some believe its too early for all of that.
How can I say that when its only week 2?
How can I say that when Booker T. Washington still has to play in Las Vegas and possibly University School in the playoffs?
How can I say that when Central still has to play Don Bosco Prep on the road two weeks after this game, and its district opponents, and University School?
I saw how complete Booker T. Washington looked against Norcross (Ga.).
And I saw last week that Dalvin Cook and Joseph Yearby still look like two of the best game-changers Miami-Dade County has ever had, and that theyre surrounded by one of the strongest teams Central has ever had.
So yes, Ill jump the gun a little and say the winner of this has the inside track on winning the national championship.
The national pollsters agree so far.
MaxPreps, Rivals and PrepNation all have these two ranked No. 1 and 2 with USA Today ranking Booker T. No. 1 and Central No. 5.
MaxPreps also has Booker T. Washington No. 1, but Rivals and PrepNation think Central is better right now.
Im not surprised the four are split. Ive been torn for weeks on who to pick in this game. These are two of the best teams in Dade history.
Defenses are about as equally tough. Offenses are both explosive. Lines are both huge.
Booker T.s Treon Harris was already a great athlete, but has earned deserved respect for his quarterback skills.
But when it comes down to it, what keeps ringing in my head and in my memory is how much Cook and Yearby can make the difference in a game and what they did last season in this matchup.
So Im going to give a very, very small, almost microscopic edge to Central because those guys are among the most special Ive ever seen play in this area code and will be wearing green uniforms Friday night. But I wouldnt be surprised if Treon and the Tornadoes find a way.
Prediction: Central 45, Booker T. 44.
15. COLUMBUS (1-0)
VS. BELEN (0-1)
6:30 p.m., Saturday, FIU.
Im glad this one is on Saturday night with the Central-Booker T. game being played Friday night.
That will help this game continue to be one of the most well-attended statewide as the longtime rivals meet again.
Belen, helped by its move to Class 8A, should be a playoff team again this year.
But Columbus proved last week even in defeat that it is still one of the strongest teams down here in that classification. The Explorers tend to endure and take control of this game in the second half annually.
This should be no different.
Look for Columbus to get in the win column and start building some momentum.
Prediction: Columbus 24, Belen 10.
8. CAROL CITY (1-0)
VS. 10. SOUTH DADE (1-0)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Harris.
Carol City is much better as the Chiefs have shown the past two weeks. I think well find out how much better after this game against a South Dade squad that beat Columbus last week and has designs on making it to Orlando in Class 8A.
The Chiefs defense will be challenged by the Bucs talented offense, but should make a few key plays to pull off the victory.
Carol Citys Trayone Gray should follow up his big game against Killian and give the Chiefs enough offense to remain unbeaten.
Prediction: Carol City 21, South Dade 14.