Throughout the course of the year, our very own Joe Pinkos has proven once again that when it comes to picking games and rating teams, nobody comes close. With a better than 80 percent record, here are his state finals picks.....

Six of our seven pre-playoff selections for 2004 state titlists --- Killian (6A), Lakeland (5A), Armwood (4A), Bolles (3A), Pahokee (2B) and Fort Meade (1A) --- will indeed enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field as favorites. Immokalee, based largely on the strength of a dominant playoff showing (outscoring opponents 112-0), is a slight favorite in Class 2A.

Congratulations and good luck to all fourteen Gainesville-bound teams. Enjoy the experience!

Each state championship game forecast below shows favored team, favorite's power rating in parentheses, underdog, power rating of underdog in parentheses, and forecasted margin of victory.

Joe Pinkos' Power Ratings are computed by a formula based on strength of opposition and margin of victory. To determine the forecasted margin of victory between any two teams, simply figure the difference in the respective power ratings.

CLASS 1A (1 pm Thursday, December 9)
Fort Meade (76.3) over Blountstown (75.8) by 1

CLASS 4A (7 pm Thursday, December 9)
Armwood (101.9) over Lake Gibson (88.4) by 14

CLASS 2A (1 pm Friday, December 10)
Immokalee (86.3) over Madison County (85.7) by 1

CLASS 5A (7 pm Friday, December 10)
Lakeland (101.0) over St. Thomas Aquinas (89.6) by 11

CLASS 2B (10 am Saturday, December 11)
Pahokee (83.4) over Pensacola Catholic (62.8) by 21

CLASS 3A (3 pm Saturday, December 11)
Bolles (98.4) over Jefferson (87.4) by 11

CLASS 6A (8 pm Saturday, December 11)
Killian (98.3) over Edgewater (90.9) by 7

Playoff Forecast Record: 143-34, 80.8%

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