Preseason ’17 Top 5

THE SEASON IS COMING

Image result for chappelle addict gifWith the highly anticipated release of the 2017 Jamboree and Regular Season Schedule, MFFCC fans are starting to get the football itch.  This itch, you can’t get rid of it by making a run to your local Walgreens pharmacy.

Fans are jonesing asking a ton of questions trying to guage the road to Lakeland in ’17.

Who loaded up during the offseason? Who’s ready to make the jump from good to elite? Who’s under the radar, and ready to pop?

Many more questions like this will be asked over the next coming weeks.

So to hold the masses, one of our own will offer his insight into Top 5 teams heading into 2017.

BOLD PREDICTIONS

Most days, anyone with a computer or mobile device and internet connection feels like they can be an expert and make predictions.  Many times these predictions are based on how the person feels or in some cases how the wind blows.

Greenwood Panther Seniors coach, James Miller steps in as a well-respected coach and can speak life into things relating to MFFCC football.  Miller is well thought of for this football insight and being plugged into the pulse of the league.  While he doesn’t reveal much about his sources to where he gets his info, Miller usually hits on some of his various lists and predictions he produces throughout the season.

 

 

JAMES MILLER'S PRESEASON TOP 5 TEAMS

MFFCC Pre-Season Top 5 Flag

1. Lakeland Storm
2. Tampa Hurricanes
3. NorthEast Rattlers
4. Dundee Ducks
5. Z-Pal Bulldawgs

HONORABLE MENTION
Fair Oaks Rattlers

The Breakdown

The #1 Lakeland Storm grinded their way to the title in ’16, and in ’17 the stakes are higher as repeat champions on this level is a rarity.  For them, to pull off a repeat they will have their hands full with challenges along the way.

Making things more difficult for the Storm is that the number 2 and 3 teams on this list both have staffs who have pushed teams to a title game in recent memory.

#2 Hurricanes are led by an experienced roster, which should help them this season.  Former ’16 champion #3 NorthEast Rattlers look to regain the top after making a third round exit in last year’s playoffs.

MFFCC Pre-Season Top 5 Mighty Might

1. Tampa Hurricanes
2. Lake Alfred Raiders
3. NorthEast Rattlers
4. Fair Oaks Rattlers
5. Manatee Bulls

HONORABLE MENTION
Greenwood Panthers

The Breakdown

The top spot belongs to the #1 Tampa Hurricanes. Winning is hard as a singular, but the Hurricanes have made winning look rather easy in the last two seasons.  Can they keep it up and achieve the rare 3peat that was done a number of seasons ago?  Has winning made the Hurricanes complacent in their approach to this season?

#2 Lake Alfred Raiders have been runners up to the aforementioned Hurricanes for the past 2 seasons.  One has to wonder if the Raiders can reload for another run to Lakeland

A program to look out for is the #5 Manatee Bulls.  The Bulls as of late have made some push in getting teams to the later rounds of the playoffs.  So them coming in at #5 may not be a bad spot for them.

MFFCC Pre-Season Top 5 Pee Wee

1. Fair Oaks Rattlers
2. Tampa Hurricanes
3. Lake Alfred Raiders
4. NorthEast Rattlers
5. Sebring Blue Streaks

Honorable Mention
Greenwood Panthers

The Breakdown

All good things come to end right?  That is the old saying and it very well may come true for the #1 Fair Oaks Rattlers.  Football is a cyclical sport and the time is ripe for the Rattlers to have a “down year”.  By stringing together four 10+ win seasons in the past four years, a down year for them would be an excellent year for most.

One team that should be fully loaded and geared up to make a run at the top spot is #2 Tampa Hurricanes.  The Hurricanes have been blessed by inheriting a number of highly talented pieces that should be plug and play ready players.  Tasked with putting the influx of talent and getting them to perform is going to be key to the Hurricanes.

#5 Sebring Blue Streaks broke through the East last year and made a Super Bowl appearance.  One of the main questions surrounding this group is do they have enough fire power and toughness to compete against a team that brings the high level of physicalness to the field.

MFFCC PRE-SEASON TOP 5 JUNIOR LEVEL

1. Fair Oaks Rattlers
2. Greenwood Panthers
3. Z-Pal Bulldawgs
4. Tampa Hurricanes
5. Polk County Titans

HONORABLE MENTION
Dundee Ducks

The Breakdown

The #1 Fair Oaks Rattlers Juniors are a very good Regular Season team.  Some programs would love to have that label attached to their team.  For the Rattlers, it is a label that they will try and shed this season.  Counted among the best in the league in terms of man for man talent, the Rattlers have yet to advance past the Division Round of the Playoffs.  For the Rattlers this year, in order for them to become an Elite Team, their season needs to end in Lakeland on a late November Saturday.

#2 Greenwood Panthers earned their respect last year by gelling as a unit after some early season stumbles.  They put together an impressive run that carried them to Lakeland in the Super Bowl.  Traditionally the Panthers have been very strong on the Junior level and they will look to flex their muscle this coming season.

Here are three words to remember.  Week Six Clearwater.

#3 ZPal Bulldawgs are kind of in uncharted waters being up this high on the Junior level.  Don’t let that statement lull you into thinking they are not worthy.  ZPal each year will roll out teams that are well coached and full of fight.  Expect the same with this experienced group as they have a load of experience and chemistry.

Honorable Mention, Dundee Ducks had a successful season in winning their district in ’16.  In ’17 they should be able to build upon that success in their first MFFCC season.

MFFCC PRE-SEASON TOP 5 SENIOR LEVEL

1. Tampa Hurricanes
2. Greenwood Panthers
3. Orange County Outlaws
4. Lake Alfred Raiders
5. Lakeland Lumberjacks

HONORABLE MENTION
South Shore Sharks

The Breakdown

In the Western Conference, the Senior Level has become a two team race.  As of late, this conference has come down to either the #1 Tampa Hurricanes or #2 Greenwood Panthers. If you look at things a little closer, it may even be a one team race.  The Tampa Hurricanes have sat atop the throne for the Senior level for the past two seasons.  The expectation is for them to continue their success into the ’17 season.

Never one to be counted out, the Greenwood Panthers Seniors would love to be the ones to push the Hurricanes from off their spot.  These two teams will square off in Week 8.  Chances are that these two will likely meet on another date as well.

In the East, things are not as cut and dry.  Recent memory shows that Eastern Senior Level is fluid.  Rarely does a team repeat in the East in getting to the Super Bowl.

Coming in as an honorable mention candidate are the South Shore Sharks.   The Sharks entering their third year in Mid Florida has established themselves as a program on the rise.  Will this program rise translate into a deep run in the playoffs this November?  Time will only tell.

#WorkUntil