Football: What would the FHSAA brackets look like if the playoffs started today?

Jon Santucci
Palm Beach Post

The Florida High School Athletic Association released its latest power rankings on Wednesday afternoon.

With just one more week remaining in the regular season, the playoff picture is getting clear.

Based on the latest rankings, here's a look at what the playoff brackets would look like if the postseason started today as well as the teams that currently are on the outside looking in. 

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Note: The FHSAA changed the playoff format this year. District champions are guaranteed a playoff spot but seeding 1-8 is determined by the FHSAA power rankings. 

Class 4M

Palm Beach Central quarterback Ahmad Haston throws the ball during game against Wellington on October 28, 2022.

Region 1

(1) Seminole vs. (8) Mandarin

(4) Lake Mary vs. (5) Hagerty

(3) Winter Park vs. (6) Lake Brantley 

(2) Apopka vs. (7) Boone

Outside looking in: Cypress Creek, Timber Creek

Quick analysis: Apopka, which beat Seminole for the District 2 championship on Tuesday, trails by 0.479 points for the No. 1 seed. ... Lake Mary and Hagerty are separated by less than half a point for the No. 4 seed and home field advantage in the first round. 

Region 2

(1) West Orange vs. (8) Olympia 

(4) Plant vs. (5) Sumner

(3) Ocoee vs. (6) Durant 

(2) East Lake vs. (7) Dr. Phillips

Outside looking in: Steinbrenner

Quick analysis: West Orange jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 and holds a 0.587 edge over East Lake for the top seed. ... Dr. Phillips, Olympia and Steinbrenner are separated by just less than half a point for the final three spots. 

Region 3

(1) Palm Beach Central vs. (8) Forest Hill 

(4) Santaluces vs. (5) Stoneman Douglas

(3) Palm Beach Gardens vs. (6) Wellington

(2) Monarch vs. (7) Boca Raton

Outside looking in: Jupiter

Quick analysis: Wellington leads Boca Raton by only 0.247 points for the No. 6 seed. ... Jupiter trails Forest Hill by 1.12 points for the final spot.

Region 4

(1) Columbus vs. (8) Cypress Bay

(4) Miami Palmetto vs. (5) West Broward 

(3) Western vs. (6) Somerset Academy (Pembroke Pines)

(2) Doral Academy vs. (7) Miami 

Outside looking in: Goleman, Coral Gables

Quick analysis: The position battles start at No. 6, where Somerset Academy holds a lead of less than a point. ... Cypress Bay leads Goleman by 0.606 points. 

Class 3M

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

Region 1

(1) Edgewater vs. (8) Horizon

(4) Fletcher vs. (5) Tampa Bay Tech 

(3) Oviedo vs. (6) Wharton

(2) Jones vs. (7) Wekiva  

Outside looking in: First Coast, Armwood, Lyman 

Quick analysis: Fletcher, Tampa Bay Tech and Wharton are separated by only 0.989 points for the No. 4 seed. 

Region 2

(1) Jesuit vs. (8) Osceola (Seminole) 

(4) Largo vs. (5) St. Petersburg

(3) East Bay vs. (6) Northeast 

(2) Gaither vs. (7) Pinellas Park

Quick analysis: East Bay leads Largo by 0.764 points for the No. 3 seed. ... Northeast, Pinellas Park and Osceola are separated by 0.437 points. 

Region 3

(1) St. Thomas Aquinas vs. (8) Fort Lauderdale 

(4) Plantation vs. (5) Atlantic

(3) Blanche Ely vs. (6) Dwyer 

(2) Dillard vs. (7) Coconut Creek 

Outside looking in: Piper, Seminole Ridge, South Plantation

Quick analysis: Undefeated Ely trails Dillard by 1.154 points for the No. 2 seed. ... Plantation and Atlantic are separated by 0.606 points for the No. 4 seed and home-field advantage in the first round.

Region 4

(1) Homestead vs. (8) North Miami 

(4) South Broward vs. (5) Dr. Krop 

(3) Southridge vs. (6) Belen Jesuit 

(2) Miramar vs. (7) Pembroke Pines Charter

Outside looking in: McArthur

Quick analysis: Homestead has a 1.204 lead over Miramar for the No. 1 seed. ... Pembroke Pines Charter has a 0.124-point edge for the No. 7 seed. 

Class 2M

Andrew Jackson's King Johnson (17) looks to pass during the fourth quarter of a regular season football game Friday, Sept. 18, 2022 at Andrew Jackson High School football stadium in Jacksonville. The Andrew Jackson Tigers defeated the Spruce Creek Hawks 35-6.

Region 1

(1) Andrew Jackson vs. (8) Riverside 

(4) Bolles vs. (5) Ed White

(3) Raines vs. (6) Episcopal School of Jacksonville

(2) Bishop Kenny vs. (7) Bishop Moore

Outside looking in: Wolfson

Quick analysis: The race for the No. 4 seed is tight. Bolles, Ed White and Episcopal are separated by only 0.397 points. Bolles' strength of schedule is the 8.22 — more than three times that of Ed White or Episcopal. 

Region 2

(1) Tampa Catholic vs. (8) King 

(4) Lakewood vs. (5) Robinson

(3) Berkeley Prep vs. (6) Blake

(2) Calvary Christian (Clearwater) vs. (7) Clearwater

Outside looking in: Middleton 

Quick analysis: Berkeley Prep and Lakewood flipped spots in the latest power rankings. Berkeley Prep has a 0.066 edge for the No. 3 seed. ... Robinson and Blake are separated by 0.597 points for the No. 5 seed. 

Region 3

(1) American Heritage (Plantation) vs. (8) Inlet Grove 

(4) King’s Academy vs. (5) Boynton Beach

(3) Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) vs. (6) Pine Crest

(2) Cardinal Gibbons vs. (7) St. Andrew's 

Outside looking in: Stranahan 

Quick analysis: King's Academy, Boynton Beach and Pine Crest are separated by only 0.810 points for the No. 4 seed. If Pine Crest gets the No. 4 seed, it would travel to either King's Academy or Boynton Beach since both of them are district champions and Pine Crest is an at-large team.

Region 4

(1) Miami Central vs. (8) St. Brendan

(4) Miami Northwestern vs. (5) Gulliver Prep

(3) Miami Norland vs. (6) Carol City

(2) Booker T. Washington (Miami) vs. (7) Miami Jackson

Outside looking in: North Miami Beach, Monsignor Pace

Quick analysis: Norland leads Northwestern by 0.513 points for the No. 3 seed. ... St. Brendan is guaranteed a playoff spot as the District 15 champion, so North Miami Beach (5.277) or Monsignor Pace (4.905) needs to jump Jackson (6.814) for the final at-large spot. 

Class 1M

University Christian's Orel Gray #4 slips past Union County's Antrell Ross #1 en route to a touchdown score during the second quarter of a regular season high school football game Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 at University Christian School in Jacksonville. The University Christian Fightin' Christians defeated Union County Fightin' Tigers 33-14 after a 30 minute lightning delay at the end of the third quarter.

Region 1

(1) Trinity Christian vs. (4) Orlando Christian

(2) University Christian vs. (3) First Academy

Outside looking in: Providence School

Quick analysis: The only seed still to be determined is No. 4. Orlando Christian holds a 1.049 edge over Providence for the final spot. 

Region 2

(1) Clearwater Central Catholic vs. (4) Indian Rocks Christian

(2) Northside Christian vs. (3) Carrollwood Day

Outside looking in: Cambridge Christian, Seffner Christian

Quick analysis: Indian Rocks holds a narrow lead for the final playoff spot in the region. Indian Rocks, Cambridge and Seffner are separated by only 0.969 points for the No. 4 seed.

Region 3

(1) Chaminade-Madonna vs. (4) Avant Garde       

(2) Cardinal Newman vs. (3) Benjamin     

Quick analysis: These teams can start scouting their postseason opponents now because these seeds aren't changing between now and Sunday, when the official brackets are released.

Region 4

(1) Archbishop Carroll vs. (4) Palmer Trinity

(2) Westminster Christian vs. (3) True North Classical Academy

Quick analysis: True North moved up a spot this week. Palmer Trinity trails True North by 1.207 points for the No. 3 seed. 

Class 4S

Venice quarterback Brooks Bentley (9) throws downfield against the defense of IMG Academy during the teamsÕ  Friday night matchup in Venice.  MATT HOUSTON/HERALD-TRIBUNE

Region 1

(1) Bartram Trail vs. (8) Flagler Palm Coast 

(4) Navarre vs. (5) Creekside

(3) Niceville vs. (6) Pace

(2) Buchholz vs. (7) Mosley

Outside looking in: Crestview, Gulf Breeze, Ponte Vedra

Quick analysis: Niceville has narrowed the race for the No. 2 seed and trails Buchholz by 0.835 points. ... Mosley, Crestview, Gulf Breeze and Ponte Vedra are separated by just 0.774 points for the No. 7 seed. ... Flager Palm Coast, the District 4 champion, is locked into the No. 8 seed. 

Region 2

(1) Lakeland vs. (8) Lake Gibson 

(4) Springstead vs. (5) Mitchell

(3) Land O’ Lakes vs. (6) Winter Haven

(2) Lake Minneola vs. (7) Bartow

Outside looking in: Ridge Community, Forest 

Quick analysis: This bracket could see significant changes over the next few days. Springstead, Mitchell, Winter Haven and Bartow are separated by just 1.219 points. Springstead's lead over Mitchell is a razor-thin 0.040 points. 

Region 3

(1) Vero Beach vs. (8) Spruce Creek 

(4) Melbourne vs. (5) DeLand

(3) Martin County vs. (6) Treasure Coast 

(2) Osceola vs. (7) Centennial 

Outside looking in: Harmony 

Quick analysis: Martin County is narrowing the gap on Osceola, trailing by less than a point for the No. 2 seed. Melbourne trails Martin County by less than a point for the No. 3 seed. ... Centenial and Spruce Creek are separated by 0.385 points.  

Region 4

(1) Venice vs. (8) Sarasota 

(4) Palmetto vs. (5) Riverdale 

(3) Manatee vs. (6) Lehigh 

(2) Gulf Coast vs. (7) Lakewood Ranch 

Outside looking in: Sarasota Riverview

Quick analysis: Manatee and Palmetto are separated by just 0.281 points for the No. 3 seed. The race for No. 7 couldn't be much closer: Lakewood Ranch leads by 0.010 points. 

Class 3S

Columbia's Tray Tolliver (6) reacts to an overthrown pass during the fourth quarter of a regular season football game Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. Trinity Christian Academy defeated the Columbia Tigers 43-30.

Region 1

(1) Pine Forest vs. (8) Rickards

(4) St. Augustine vs. (5) Lincoln

(3) Columbia vs. (6) Choctawhatchee

(2) Escambia vs. (7) Middleburg

Outside looking in: Booker T. Washington (Pensacola)

Quick analysis: Escambia moves up to the No. 2 seed this week, holding a 0.380 edge over Columbia. St. Augustine, Lincoln and Choctawhatchee are separated by just 0.575 points. ... Rickards trails Middleburg by 0.182 points for the No. 7 seed. 

Region 2

(1) Lake Wales vs. (8) Gulf

(4) Vanguard vs. (5) Cypress Creek

(3) Zephyrhills vs. (6) Lecanto

(2) Pasco vs. (7) Auburndale

Outside looking in: River Ridge, Belleview

Quick analysis: Things get very interesting in this region starting with the No. 5 seed. Cypress Creek, Lecanto, Auburndale, Gulf and River Ridge are separated by only 1.30 points. 

Region 3

(1) Rockledge vs. (8) Bayside 

(4) Sebring vs. (5) Eau Gallie

(3) Mainland vs. (6) Port St. Lucie 

(2) Jensen Beach vs. (7) Merritt Island

Outside looking in: Satellite, Deltona, Seabreeze, Fort Pierce Westwood

Quick analysis: Port St. Lucie holds a 0.277 lead over Merritt Island for the No. 6 seed. ... Bayside's  edge over Satellite and Deltona is less than a point. 

Region 4

(1) Naples vs. (8) Lely

(4) Fort Myers vs. (5) Port Charlotte

(3) North Fort Myers vs. (6) Barron Collier

(2) Dunbar vs. (7) Braden River

Quick analysis: For the third consecutive week, Dunbar and North Fort Myers flip spots. Dunbar's lead is just 0.254. Fort Myers' edge over Port Charlotte for the No. 4 seed is 0.011 points. 

Class 2S

The Bishop Verot Vikings visited the Estero High School Wildcats Friday, October 28, 2022 in a week 10 rivalry matchup.

Region 1

(1) Florida High vs. (8) Taylor County

(4) Suwanee vs. (5) Wakulla 

(3) West Florida vs. (6) Bay

(2) Pensacola Catholic vs. (7) Walton

Outside looking in: South Walton

Quick analysis: The No. 2-5 seeds are anything but settled. Pensacola Catholic, West Florida, Suwanee and Wakulla are separated by 1.019 points.  

Region 2

(1) Bradford vs. (8) Crescent City

(4) North Marion vs. (5) Eastside

(3) Baker County vs. (6) Tocoi Creek

(2) Baldwin vs. (7) Palatka

Outside looking in: Yulee 

Quick analysis: North Marion's lead over Eastside for the No. 4 seed is less than a point. If the two meet in the first round, Eastside will host regardless of seed because it is the District 7 champion. 

Region 3

(1) South Sumter vs. (8) Eustis 

(4) Hudson vs. (5) Dunnellon 

(3) Palm Bay vs. (6) Nature Coast

(2) Cocoa vs. (7) Titusville 

Outside looking in: Mount Dora

Quick analysis: Palm Bay's lead over Hudson for the No. 3 seed is just 0.378 points. 

Region 4

(1) Bishop Verot vs. (8) Booker (Sarasota)

(4) Fort Meade vs. (5) Clewiston

(3) Estero vs. (6) Key West 

(2) Frostproof vs. (7) DeSoto County 

Outside looking in: Mulberry

Quick analysis: Frostproof and Estero are separated by just 0.528 points for the No. 2 seed. ... Fort Meade's edge over Clewiston is a mere 0.186 points for the No. 4 seed. 

Class 1S

Trinity Catholic Jamarkus Starkes (7) storms the field as Raines travels to Trinity Catholic Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Ocala, [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Gainesville Sun]

Region 1

(1) North Florida Christian vs. (4) Maclay

(2) St. John Paul II (Tallahassee) vs. (3) Munroe

Quick analysis: It would be stunning to see this picture change at all before the brackets are announced Sunday. 

Region 2

(1) Trinity Catholic vs. (4) Father Lopez

(2) Holy Trinity Episcopal vs. (3) P.K. Yonge

Quick analysis: Father Lopez trails P.K. Yonge by less than a point for the No. 3 seed. 

Region 3

(1) John Carroll Catholic vs. (4) Cardinal Mooney 

(2) Lakeland Christian vs. (3) Victory Christian

Outside looking in: Zephyrhills Christian

Quick analysis: Cardinal Mooney jumps up to the No. 4 seed this week. Zephyrhills trails Cardinal Mooney by 1.949 points for the No. 4 seed. 

Region 4

(1) First Baptist Academy (Naples) vs. (4) Community School of Naples

(2) Evangelical Christian vs. (3) Moore Haven

Quick analysis: First Baptist Academy, which has been among the top teams in the USA Today Florida Network pail all season, moves up to the No. 1 seed. FBA leads Evangelical by just 0.222 points. 

Class 1R

Hawthornes Terrell James runs the ball downfield during the first quarter against Union County at Union County High School in Lake Butler, FL on Friday, October 14, 2022. [Jesse Gann/Gainesville Sun]

Region 1

(1) Chipley

(4) Freeport vs. (5) Holmes County

(3) Baker vs. (6) Bozeman 

(2) Northview

Outside looking in: Jay 

Quick analysis: Chipley jumps over Northview for the No. 1 seed. The teams are separated by just 0.125 points. 

Region 2

(1) Sneads

(4) Aucilla Christian vs. (5) Cottondale

(3) Blountstown vs. (6) Liberty County

(2) Port St. Joe

Outside looking in: Wewahitchka 

Quick analysis: Port St. Joe's lead over Blountstown for the No. 2 seed is 0.317 points. ... Wewahitchka trails Liberty County by a mere 0.149 points. 

Region 3

(1) Union County

(4) Fort White vs. (5) Madison County

(3) Lafayette vs. (6) Branford

(2) Hilliard

Quick analysis: Fort White's lead over Madison County for the No. 4 seed — and home-field advantage in the first round — is 0.552 points. 

Region 4

(1) Hawthorne 

(4) Williston vs. (5) Wildwood

(3) Chiefland vs. (6) Newberry

(2) Pahokee

Quick analysis: Pahokee trails Hawthorne by 0.780 points for the No. 1 seed.