Ulster Council PRO Declan Woods insists Ulster is still the most competitive football championship.
And he expects the northern championship to bounce back strongly after failing to live up to usual standards last year.
"It is the best by a country mile," the Cavan native is quoted in the Belfast Telegraph.
"No matter what way you look at it, there are a considerable number of teams who will be thinking they have a decent chance of winning this year's Ulster championship. I would not like to be telling any of them that they won't because the hop of a ball can often decide championship matches and particularly derby ties.
"I think the pairings will create massive excitement and show the great rivalry that is the hallmark of our championship. The great thing about the Ulster series is that any one of a number of teams could win it. This does not quite apply in the other provinces.
"I think that all Ulster sides are bent on going out to play 70 minutes of impassioned championship football. There will be great fervour and drama and why wouldn't there be when you have Tyrone meeting Derry, Down taking on Armagh and Monaghan meeting Cavan?"