Top-seeded Texas faces tough matchup
Editor's note: In the final matchup of the Great State Debate, No. 1 seed Texas takes on No. 2 seed Florida. Cast your vote for Texas or Florida between noon ET on Monday and noon ET on Wednesday.
Another No. 1 for Texas?
It could be winning the final vote in the Great State Debate and getting their state crowned ESPN RISE's No. 1 high school football state. This is certainly similar to Valdosta, Ga., being named TitleTown USA this past summer.
But it won't be easy for the Lone Star State. In the final, Texas goes up against Florida, a state as talent-laden as any and with voters who came out strongly last week in a surprisingly easy 60 percent to 40 percent victory over California, which benefits from a big population advantage.
Folks backing Florida's claim that it -- and not Texas -- is the nation's No. 1 high school football state also can point to last year's titanic showdown in Dallas between Miami Northwestern, ranked No. 1 in Florida at the time, and Southlake Carroll, ranked No. 1 in Texas at the time. Despite Southlake Carroll's home-state advantage, the team from Florida won 29-21.
To get to this point, Florida won a head-to-head vote against Louisiana as well as California. Texas opened up with an easy win against Virginia and outpolled Pennsylvania in its semifinal.
Voting for this week's Great State Debate final starts now. And don't let your feelings be known just by voting. Post your comments, as well, and maybe you can start a great debate of your own.
What the pros are sayingLomas Brown
Miami native, seven-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion
"All those college and high school rivalries still matter in the NFL, too. It comes up in the locker room all the time. When I played college football at University of Florida, we got into it a lot because most of our players grew up in the state and played either with or against each other in high school."
Norfolk, Mass., native and former NFL quarterback
Akron, Ohio native and University of Missouri football coach
"The majority of our players at the University of Missouri are from Missouri and Texas, and the high school debate in our locker room is a constant battle. And not only between kids from Missouri and Texas, but even among the Missouri guys, who argue about which is better: the East side of the state or West side. Kansas City and St. Louis sit at the extreme ends of the state and those areas generally decide the state championships. The guys have a lot of pride about where they are from and constantly argue which side is the best, but no one ever seems to win the argument.
"Now I grew up in Ohio, and we have the Big 33 game against Pennsylvania every year, so we are obviously big rivals. I grew up 20 minutes from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, and football is king, without a doubt. I think it may have spilled across the border a little bit into Pennsylvania, but I think that Ohio football is exceptional. Historically, I'd have to say Ohio has the edge over Pennsylvania."
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GREAT STATE DEBATE
The Great State Debate posed a simple question: Which state has the best high school football? We narrowed the field to eight. Each week, your votes narrowed the field even further. In the championship matchup against Florida, Texas walked away with the crown. MORE
Features// Football is king in Texas / King's court
// Pro players, coaches weigh in
// Gaddis: Florida football is bigger than the game
// Hayward: Football defines West Texas towns
Video// Highlights: Texas / Florida
// Craig James for Texas
// Lomas Brown for Florida
SportsNation// ESPN RISE's All-Time teams for Texas, Florida
// You vote: Who's the best in Texas and Florida
// Chat wrap: Mark Tennis
// Chat wrap: Plant HS QB Aaron Murray
|Rank||School (City, State)||Rec|
|3||Trinity For Boys|
|See the full football rankings »|