The last time a South Florida sports team won a championship was 2013 when the Miami Heat took home their 3rd championship in franchise history. Since then, it has been a dry time for Miami sports as the Heat’s appearance in the 2014 Finals was the last time a Miami team came close to a championship. Fast forward a few years and there’s little optimism surrounding South Florida sports. Which Miami team will be the next to win a championship? Let’s take a look.

Florida Panthers

The oft-forgotten Cats look like the best team in South Florida, as they are fresh off a 96-point season, which had them one point shy of a postseason appearance. With an enticing young core of Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Aaron Ekblad, and Jonathan Huberdeau, all ready to take the next step. This team is on the rise! Under second-year coach Bob Boughner, the Cats were the second-best team in the NHL after the All-Star break last year. The Panthers have stiff competition in their division, but they should make the playoffs, and take the next step towards a championship.

Miami Hurricanes Football

While Sunday’s blowout loss to LSU was a reality check for Canes fans, it doesn’t erase the amount of talent on the roster. While the quarterback position is a major concern, this team is still coming off a 10-win season in which they won their division and played in the Orange Bowl. Miami has also been pulling in top recruiting classes to close the gap left by Al Golden. While the LSU loss was a gut punch, Miami can still return to the ACC Championship, and hopefully continue to improve and close the large gap between them and Clemson.

 

Miami Hurricanes leave out the “D” in Dallas

 

Miami Dolphins

While the Dolphins are 3rd on this list, they are still far away from truly contending for a Super Bowl. Miami is only a year removed from a playoff appearance in 2016, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill is finally healthy. The Dolphins won’t realistically contend for the division title as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belicheck still exist. Miami has some intriguing young talent like running back Kenyan Drake and corner Minkah Fitzpatrick, but they don’t have the firepower to be among the AFC elite. They might challenge for a playoff spot, but a Super Bowl seems a long way away right now.

Miami Heat

I know this sounds like a joke, but I honestly considered putting the rebuilding Miami Marlins in this spot. However, based on a lack of major league talent, I gave the Heat a slight edge over the Marlins. However, the Heat are very far away from championship contention. The Miami Heat have multiple mediocre players tied up to multi-year contracts. While they have a solid young core, they don’t have any game-changers at the moment. Teams in the NBA can change in an instant, but the Heat right now aren’t up to par with the top teams in the East.

Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins are in a clear rebuild mode as they currently have less than 60 wins in September. However, for the first time in forever, Miami has direction under new owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. Their farm system has improved its depth significantly and they’ll have premium picks in next years draft. Of course, the Marlins have to hit on those picks, but the blueprint is in place. It’ll be three or four years before the Marlins are truly competing for the playoffs, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

For more great South Florida coverage make sure to follow @DJGoldman35, @ATBiggers, @MiamiSportDave, and @MiamiSportsWave.

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