Guess The Ranking: After A 1-1 Week, Where Will The Florida Gators End Up In The Polls?

With Saturday’s 64-52 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Florida Gators finished their second consecutive 1-1 week. The Gators entered the previous 1-1 week at No. 5 in the AP Poll and No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. One win and one loss later and Florida fell to No. 8 and No. 6. This week was similar–unranked loss, followed by an unranked win. Will the Gators suffer the same fate and drop further in the polls? It’s not always that simple as there are other factors and those factors are the teams ranked around them.

Billy Donovan - Florida Gators

How the top 10 fared:

    • No. 1 Indiana – 1-1 – Unranked Loss, Unranked Win
    • No. 2 Gonzaga – 2-0 – Unranked Win, Unranked Win
    • No. 3 Duke – 1-1 – Unranked Loss, No. 5/7 Win
    • No. 4 Michigan – 1-0 – Unranked Win*
    • No. 5/7 Miami – 1-1 – Unranked Win, No. 3 Loss
    • No. 6/5 Kansas – 2-0 – Unranked Win, Unranked Win
    • No. 7/8 Georgetown – 2-0 – Unranked Win, Unranked Win
    • No. 8/6 Florida – 1-1 – Unranked Loss, Unranked Win
    • No. 9/10 Michigan State – 0-1 – No. 16/15 Loss*
    • No. 10/9 Louisville – 2-0 – Unranked Win, No. 12 Win

* No. 4 Michigan hosts No. 9/10 Michigan State on Sunday, March 3.

To the rundown:

    • Despite Indiana’s loss to an unranked opponent–Minnesota–Florida has a similar loss, so the Gators will not pass the Hoosiers.
    • With a perfect week and the least amount of losses on the season–two–among the top-10 teams, Gonzaga made a strong case that it should be the nation’s No. 1 team.
    • Duke’s loss to Virginia hurt, but the entire country watched the Blue Devils win a great one over the Hurricanes. After the Duke win, there’s no chance Florida passes or even catches them in the polls.
    • If Michigan beats Michigan State, the Wolverines stay in the top four and possibly move into the top three. Even if they lose to the No. 9/10 Spartans, the Wolverines still stay ahead of the Gators due to Florida’s loss to Tennessee.
    • Miami’s 1-1 record over the week is better than Florida’s. The loss to the Blue Devils doesn’t hurt the Canes at all, especially when you consider the big win Miami had over Duke earlier in the season. The Canes stay higher in the AP Poll, as they are now, and possibly jump the Gators in the Coaches Poll.
    • Kansas was ranked higher than Florida in both polls and thanks to a 2-0 week stays that way.
    • Georgetown will stay ahead of Florida in the AP Poll and probably jump the Gators in the Coaches Poll thanks to a 2-0 week.
    • Michigan State’s loss isn’t an awful one, but they could be 0-2 on the week after Sunday’s game against Michigan. Those would be two quality losses, but losses all the same. However, if the Spartans upset the Wolverines, there’s a chance they jump the Gators.
    • Louisville’s 2-0 week with an impressive win over Syracuse gives the Cardinals the ammo to jump the Gators in the AP Poll. They have a higher climb in the Coaches Poll, but it’s not out of the question.
    • There’s no real danger of the Gators falling behind a team outside of the top 10. Both No. 11 Arizona and No. 12 Syracuse went 0-2 this week and No. 13 Kansas State has too far to climb.

Looking at all of that, there’s a real chance that Florida could find itself at No. 10 in both polls if Michigan State can defeat Michigan. That’s tough to stomach, but there were five teams ranked higher than the Gators in both polls–Indiana, Gonzaga, Duke, Michigan and Kansas. None of those five will fall below Florida even if Michigan loses to Michigan State. Miami and Georgetown were ahead of Florida in one poll and behind the Gators in another. Both had good enough weeks to claim they should be higher than Florida in both polls. It’s hard to argue with that. Even Louisville has a chance to jump Florida thanks to their 2-0 week. And finally, there’s Michigan State–the wild card if you will. If they lose on Sunday, the Gators are safely in the top nine (and possibly higher) of both polls. If they win, well, see the first sentence of this paragraph.

I, like all of you, was excited by Saturday’s impressive comeback and double-digit win over Alabama. But looking at the polls realistically, it’s hard to imagine Florida moving up in either. Of course, polls mean little in college basketball and this really is just an exercise in guessing and pride (I suppose). It all comes down to NCAA Tournament seedings, but we can have fun in the meantime. So in that spirit, what do you think?

Where do you rank the Florida Gators?

    No. 9 (40%, 4 Votes)

    No. 8 (20%, 2 Votes)

    No. 10 (20%, 2 Votes)

    Top 5 (10%, 1 Votes)

    No. 6 (10%, 1 Votes)

    No. 7 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Florida Gators Add Damontre Harris; Billy Donovan Snags South Carolina Transfer

Former South Carolina forward Damontre Harris has made his decision and it’s a good one for the Florida Gators. The 6’9″ SEC All-Defensive Team forward will transfer to play for head coach Billy Donovan and the Gators. Harris chose Florida over Kansas. He will watch the 2012-13 season from the bench and then have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

In desperate need of big man help wherever they can get it, Harris is a get of the biggest kind for Donovan and Florida. Despite a track record of bringing in great big men over his time in Gainesville and then leading a number of them to the NBA, Donovan has had trouble convincing taller players to play for the Gators in recent years. Not including the 6’9″ Walter Pitchford (who has since transferred), Florida hasn’t added anyone over 6’6″ since the 2010 recruiting class. To say Harris made a decision important not only for him, but for the Gators would be an understatement.

Although we won’t see Harris in action until the 2013-14 season, we know what he can do and that he can play at the college level. He’s a proven commodity that will come at the perfect time when big men will be in need in Gainesville.

South Carolina’s Damontre Harris Trims Possible Transfer List To Florida And Kansas

Sophomore forward Damontre Harris has made it clear he will leave the South Carolina Gamecocks and continue his college basketball career elsewhere. On Tuesday, Harris narrowed his list of potential transfer candidates down to two – the Florida Gators and the Kansas Jayhawks.

The 6’9″, 214-pound Harris was a member of the SEC All-Defensive Team this past season and will bring experience at the forward position to whichever program he ends up choosing. The Gators have to like their chances given a number of factors, including familiarity with SEC play and Florida’s need for a big man in the 2013-14 season when Harris will be eligible.

Of course, Kansas can’t exactly be written off as a destination for Harris. Bill Self leads one of the nation’s best programs and is coming off of a national championship game appearance. Either program would be a good fit for Harris and it will surely be a tough decision for him to make.

Norm Roberts Leaves Florida; Gators Assistant Accepts Position With Kansas Jayhawks

After only one season with the Florida Gators men’s basketball team, assistant coach Norm Roberts has left to rejoin his old boss – Bill Self – with the Kansas Jayhawks. Roberts had previously worked under Self at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas. He will replace former Jayhawks’ star player and assistant coach Danny Manning on Self’s staff. Along with the added bonus of working for Self again, Roberts will get to coach his son at Kansas. Niko Roberts will be a junior walk-on in the fall.

Billy Donovan will now begin his search to replace Roberts. The Gators’ head coach has developed a reputation for hiring high-potential assistants that go on to head coaching positions themselves. Due to that, it won’t be hard for Donovan to find someone to fill Roberts’ role. There’s also the added bonus of being part of a staff on a team that has reached the Elite Eight in consecutive years and – despite losing Erving Walker and possibly Bradley Beal – has a good nucleus coming back for the 2012-13 season.

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Charlie Weis To Kansas: Gators’ Offensive Coordinator Becomes Jayhawks’ Head Coach

Florida Gators’ offense coordinator Charlie Weis will be officially announced as the new Kansas Jayhawks’ head coach on Friday. Throughout the day Thursday, rumors of Weis leaving Gainesville for Lawrence intensified. Hard to believe at first, the rumors turned out to be the truth. Weis leaves Florida one season after joining head coach Will Muschamp’s staff.

The impact is difficult to predict immediately. Weis had one season with the Gators. It was a season with an incomplete roster and injury problems throughout. With more time to install his offense and bring in players to fit, we may have seen fireworks. In 2010, we experienced too many duds. For the immediate time being, the impact is on recruiting. Weis had relationships with recruits that he probably won’t carry with him to Kansas, but those athletes will now think about their feelings toward Florida.

As with any departure, there will be those in favor and those opposed. As is par for the course lately with Florida fans, there will also be those screaming at Weis on his way out. Muschamp moves on whether he wanted to or not and the search for someone to run the offense begins now.

More on Weis’s departure to come, but at the moment we all have to wonder what direction the Gators’ football program is headed.

Florida Adds Dillon Graham; Orlando Guard Commits To Gators

Yes, yes. It’s football week and there are football posts coming; trust us. But for now, a basketball commit should be on your radar somewhere.
On Tuesday, Florida received a commitment from First Academy (Orlando, FL) guard Dillon Graham. Graham is a 6’4″ shooting guard that has skyrocketed up the lists of many over the summer and become a sought-after recruit. He is rated a three-star prospect by most recruiting services, but his offer list may show his true talent. Before choosing the Gators, Graham had offers from a number of schools including Kansas, Louisville and Maryland.

The Sixth Man (6/17/10)

College basketball brought to you by the first man off the bench.
Florida’s top signee goes by the name of Patric Young.  If you don’t know much about Young, read up.  He could be the one expect to make the biggest impact as a freshman during the 2010-2011 season.  The high school All-American just added another accolade to his impressive resume.  Young was one of 12 selected to be a member of the Team USA under-18 basketball team which will play in the FIBA Americas near the end of the month.  It’s a pretty big honor considering the small number that make the final roster and should give Young a good workout while getting ready to join the Gators in the fall.
With the NBA draft fast approaching, it looks more and more like former USF star Dominique Jones will be selected in the first round.  Mock drafts have Jones going anywhere from the high-teens to the twenties.  The appeal is obviously Jones’ scoring talents, but several teams are also interested in his ability to play either guard spot.  They believe they may be getting someone who can provide instant offense, but also play the point when needed.  At this point, it’s hard to imagine Jones falling out of the first round.
Village Inn wants the charges dropped against USF players Mike Burwell and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick who walked out on their bill at the restaurant in May.  The two have been charged with obtaining food with intent to fraud (apparently the official name of a dine-and-dash).  The next day, Burwell and Fitzpatrick returned to the restaurant, apologized for what they had done, and paid the bill in full.  Because they returned to apologize, Village Inn wants the charges to be dismissed.  They have not been yet, but the issue will be presented at next week’s arraignment.
Not everyone was worried about what would happen to Kansas if the Big 12 had broken up.  Jabari Brown – one of the Jayhawks’ top signees – said it never mattered to him what conference Kansas was in.  Being from Oakland, CA, Brown would have welcomed a move to the Pac-10, but in the end, it was the prestige of the Jayhawks that brought him in.  As he says, it doesn’t matter where Kansas is, they’ll always still be Kansas.

The Sixth Man (6/15/10)

College basketball brought to you by the first man off the bench.
Florida returns five starters from a team that took a definite step forward last season.  With the starting lineup intact and a number of freshmen at all positions coming in, the Gators could make a further run in the tournament.  The key is sophomore guard Kenny Boynton who at times looks like a legitimate star, but needs to up his shooting percentage.  When Boynton’s hot, so are the Gators.  As he grows, Florida will improve.  Although many fans are jaded when it comes to the Gator basketball team (expectations have been high ever since Florida won back-to-back championships), Billy Donovan has them back in a position to compete again.  With important parts actually returning (Alex Tyus nearly left two years in a row, but is back for his senior season), don’t be surprised if the Gators make some noise.
Someone who won’t be part of the Gators’ potential resurgence is former Florida guard Ray Shipman.  Shipman decided to transfer in order to get an opportunity for more playing time and a bigger role in a team’s offense.  We don’t know yet whether he’ll get his first wish, but he definitely won’t get his second.  Shipman has transferred to UCF to play defense and only defense.  Why you ask?  He’s going to be a safety on the Golden Knights’ football team.  So maybe playing time and his offensive role weren’t really the issues considering Shipman isn’t even sticking with the sport.
Tom Izzo sure is taking his time to decide whether he wants to stay with Michigan State or move on to the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  There can only be one reason.  LeBron James.  Unfortunately for Izzo, he’ll have to make his decision long before James has to make his.  The decision is much easier than he thinks.  Stay with the Spartans.  There.  Done.  Izzo will obviously make more in the NBA and if (gigantic, huge if) James does remain with the Cavs, good for him.  But what are the odds of that happening?  Some say pretty good, but it’s a chance.  A big one.  One that if it doesn’t happen, Izzo will be stuck with a team that isn’t even playoff worthy.  At Michigan State, he’s the head of one of the nation’s most successful program.  Izzo is Michigan State.  LeBron, the Cavs, and more money.  All great things.  If all three come together.  They may not.
Could Kansas be happier with how the expansion wars ended?  The Big 12 is still intact and its proverbial powers in terms of basketball remain in the conference.  The Jayhawks remain at the top of the Big 12 basketball world and don’t have to worry about what comes next.  No independence.  No new, lesser conference.  The Kansas and the Big 12 move on together.

Morning Reading: Expansion Not as Big as Once Thought

It’s all over.  The dust has settled.  There may still be a ripple or two in the water, but the big name is staying where it is.  Texas will remain in the Big 12.  The program that everyone believed would make the biggest impact when deciding on its new home, didn’t end up leaving.  Not to the Big Ten.  Not to the Pac-10.  Not even to the SEC.  The Longhorns didn’t budge.
Despite losing Colorado and Nebraska, the Big 12 remained strong by keeping the Longhorns, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M (despite flirtations with the SEC).  What’s of interest now is if the conference sticks with 10 teams or decides to get its way back to 12.
The Big 12 South remains one of the stronger divisions in college football.  The Big 12 North?  Let’s stay polite and just go with “not so much.”  Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and Missouri.  That’s it for now.  So what does the Big 12 do?  Go after other teams or ditch the division format?  10 or 12 teams, something has to change.
The Big 12 doesn’t want to drop a championship game so getting back to 12 teams is certainly something to consider.  TCUBYUUtah.  Possibly even Boise State (Mountain West or not).  There are plenty of possibilities that might not make the loss of the Buffaloes and Cornhuskers all that bad.
Then there’s the thought of moving forward with just 10 teams, which the Big 12 seems like it might be okay with.  Less teams – the ones that wanted to stick around – means not as many to split the revenues among.  Due to unequal revenue sharing, the big dogs take home the lion’s share and they may not want to give any up.  While the Big Ten may have just become the Big 12, the Big 12 may have in turn become the Big Ten.
Through all of this the conference did lose two programs.  The 10 that remain keep the Big 12 among the nation’s elite, but the new number isn’t enough.  The Big 12 needs to become the Big 12 again.

The Long Snapper (6/14/10)

College football.  Quick and to the point.
The next time I receive a text message from a friend that says “check out the mug shots on Gainesville.com I’m ignoring it.  In fact, I’m deleting it and pretending I never saw it.  Yesterday morning I followed through with the request and to my surprise found Frankie Hammond.  The Florida wide receiver was arrested on Sunday morning on charges of DUI and liquor possession.  Hammond was pulled over after driving recklessly.  In his car, police found two open bottles of Crown Royal (keep it classy Frankie).  Hammond’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.  This is a solid four out of five on the UGH! meter.
Switching to the positive side of the Gator wide receivers coin, Florida added another member to their 2011 recruiting class in the form of Lakeland (Lakeland, FL) wide receiver Javares McRoy.  McRoy was originally committed to Texas Tech – where he had hoped to play with his brother – but pulled the trigger on a switch to the Gators citing a desire to stay close to home.  McRoy is a legitimate star and is rated at the 148th-best prospect in the nation according to Rivals.com.  Although getting the opportunity to carry the ball a great deal in Lakeland’s offense, McRoy will use his speed at receiver at Florida.
With USC in a heap of trouble (Lane Kiffin…hehe), speculation will continue to build over where some of their better players may end up.  While upperclassmen can be contacted by other schools, underclassman cannot.  They are free to transfer if they wish, but would have to sit out a year before being eligible to play.  One of the bigger names in USC’s 2010 signing class is claiming he has been contacted by five schools all attempting to recruit him.  Dillon Baxter – who the Gators did indeed recruit previously – is claiming Florida is one of the schools after him again.  Baxter informed the Trojan’s director of compliance that he had received phone calls from the schools which of course would be against the rules (something USC might know a little something about).  Florida denies they made any such contact.
If the Big 12 does crumble (which after today’s rumors might not be as sure of a happening as it was late last week), where do the remaining teams go?  One thought is the Big East.  Depending on where all of this ends, Kansas and Missouri may be looking for new homes.  The Big East may be able to provide them a pretty good one.  The conference really has no idea what it is doing at this exact moment and may have to wait until the dust settles to finally make a move.  Making a play for the Jayhawks and Tigers might not be a bad idea.  Both add to the Big East’s television reach and both provide solid programs that should fit in fairly well.  And USF would get to consistently play the team it has one of its program’s defining wins over.