BRADENTON --They're No.1.
The Manatee Hurricanes are at the front of another national prep football poll thanks to USA Today, which ranked the Canes No.1 in Tuesday's Super 25.
The Hurricanes were ranked third in USA Today's preseason poll and jumped to No.2 following their Kickoff Classic win over Seminole Osceola.
Last Friday, Grayson (Ga.) defeated top-ranked Miami
Central, 35-3, opening the door for Manatee, which thumped Miramar (41-6) on Sunday in a game broadcast live on ESPN2.
Consequently, Manatee now owns the top spot while Miami Central fell to No. 25. The Rockets, who lost to Seffner Armwood last year in the Class 6A state final, visit the Hurricanes on Sept. 14.
Grayson jumped to No. 3 and is behind No. 2 De La Salle out of Concord, Calif.
Tampa Plant (No. 7) and Miami's Booker T. Washington (No. 8) are the other Florida schools ranked in the top 25.
USA Today isn't the only publication who considers Manatee the nation's best prep football team -- MaxPreps put the Canes atop its Xcellent Top 25 preseason rankings and kept them there in the latest rankings, which were unveiled Sunday.
Thus far, none of the distractions have rankled the Hurricanes, who won the Class 7A state title last year and have not lost a regular-season game to a Florida school since 2009.
"The national implications, it is what is," said quarterback Cord Sandberg. "We hope we can go out and compete and win each week. It would be pretty cool to do the national thing, but when it really comes down to it, I'm worried about district, playoffs and trying to win another state championship."
Manatee is ranked No.1 in the state in Class 7A by The Associated Press. The only local team ranked is Palmetto, which climbed two spots to No. 3 in Class 5A.
Manatee heads to Sarasota on Friday to play Riverview, which has some history in spoiling Manatee's national plans -- the Rams beat the Hurricanes in Week 1 of the 1991 season, the last time USA Today ranked the Canes tops in the country.