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 27 – Georgetown Hoyas 23; What 1 Half Of A Basketball Game Can Tell Us

On Friday night, the Florida Gators men’s basketball team played half of a game against the Georgetown Hoyas on an aircraft carrier. The court–temporarily housed on the USS Bataan–became unworthy for use and both teams decided it was in their best interests to call the game at the half. That can happen when you play outside on a court meant to be used inside. You generally don’t find the same sort of condensation problems unless your gym has serious air conditioning issues. In the end, there never was an end and the game was canceled after only 20 minutes of play. The Gators won–if you can call it a win, which you really can’t because it doesn’t count–27-23, so they have that going for them.

Will Yeguete - Florida Gators

We only saw 20 minutes of action, but it was enough to give us a brief glimpse into what the 2012-13 version of the Florida Gators may look like. We didn’t learn a lot–and the entire half could have been an aberration of what the season will really bring–but we were taught a thing or two about what’s ahead.

First of all, this looks to be another team that will live and die by the three-point shot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but keep a lookout for the first time the Gators fall behind by 9-12 points in an important game. How they try to get back into that game will be extremely telling. This team has the talent to win games behind the arc, but also the ability to lose them.

Without a true point guard, the Gators don’t have an assist man. The assists will come, but Florida needs someone to find Kenny Boynton for the open shot. Boynton can’t find himself and works well receiving the ball. He has the ability to play the point guard position, but the Gators would benefit greatly from having a distributor to play alongside him. Braxton Ogbueze will have to grow up quickly.

On that note, so will all of the freshman. It looks like they will be relied upon early and often this season. Billy Donovan likes fresh players on the court and to do so, he’ll have to play the four true freshman. They’ll need to get up to the speed of the college game immediately.

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Florida Gators To Battle Through Tough Out-Of-Conference Schedule During 2012-13 Men’s Basketball Season

The Florida Gators will have their work cut out for them during the 2012-13 basketball season. With the Kentucky Wildcats coming off of a national championship and the rest of the SEC ready to pounce, the Gators will have to fight through what has become one of the tougher conferences in college basketball. But before they get there, Florida will have plenty to get them ready for the rigors of the Southeastern Conference. The Gators announced their 2012-13 out-of-conference schedule earlier this week and it’s a tough one.

11/1 — Nebraska-Kearney (Exhibition)
11/9 — Georgetown (Jacksonville, FL)
11/11 — Alabama State
11/14 — Wisconsin
11/18 — Middle Tennessee State (Tampa, FL – WHO’S COMING WITH ME???)
11/20 — Savannah State
11/23 — UCF
11/29 — Marquette
12/5 — at Florida State
12/15 — at Arizona
12/19 — Southeastern Louisiana
12/22 — Kansas State (Kansas City, MO)
12/29 — Air Force (Sunrise, FL)
1/6 — at Yale

Billy Donovan has put together quite the lineup for his Gators. It will have it’s tough moments, but should only prepare Florida for the SEC and beyond.

We’ve already talked about the aircraft carrier game on November 9. Now we get Wisconsin and Marquette as well as trips to FSU and Arizona. It’s sure to be a fun ride through the out-of-conference schedule.

This particular blogger is happy for the Tampa game against Middle Tennessee State and hopes to get there. It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to see the men’s basketball team in person, but here’s to hoping this is the season I can again.

Florida Gators To Face Georgetown Hoyas On Aircraft Carrier In 2012; Yes, That’s Cool

The Florida Gators basketball team is scheduled to face the Georgetown Hoyas on an aircraft carrier during the upcoming season. The two will play each other on November 9, 2012 off the coast of Jacksonville, FL. It is not yet clear whether they will play on an active or a retired ship.

This isn’t the first time (Michigan State and North Carolina played in the first Carrier Classic last season) and isn’t even unique to one per season anymore (there will be three such games during 2012-13), but that doesn’t mean it’s any less, well, cool.

When first hearing that the Gators will be part of one of these events, that was my first thought: “COOL!” I’m no longer a kid and well past my prime of even being able to think of myself as cool, but this is exactly that. It doesn’t matter if there are three games played on aircraft carriers this season, followed by 10 next season, and 50 the season after that; they will always have that added cool factor.

First of all, it’s a tribute to those that faithfully serve our country. Whether you believe or not in the wars we as a nation wage, most of us agree it takes a special person to volunteer for military service. While playing college basketball on an aircraft carrier isn’t necessarily the tribute they may be looking for, it’s a unique one we can get behind all the same. But without getting too much into a realm we virtually never discuss around here, I’ll go back to my first point: it’s damn cool.

I grew up in (what felt like at the time) the G.I. Joe era in terms of the toy market. The G.I. Joe aisle was twice as long as it is today and dominated shelf space – and my closet. You were cool if you were able to get your hands on a Snake Eyes action figure. You were cooler if you had Storm Shadow. But something topped both of those on the coolness scale (and by now those of you that grew up in the 1980s know where I’m going) and it was this.

That might have been THE toy of the 1980s for boys. Released in 1986, it was what every G.I. Joe-collecting kid wanted. The picture above isn’t an exaggeration – IT WAS SEVEN AND A HALF FEET LONG!!! I don’t know how tall I was in 1986 when I was seven years old, but 26 years later I’m still not 7’6”. The U.S.S. Flagg was cool for many reasons, but the defining one was its size.

I had the Terror Drome – which wasn’t exactly small – but I never had the aircraft carrier. I don’t feel let down by my childhood, but I do remember Scott (the goalie on my soccer team) having one and because of it, Scott was cool. Like coolest kid in the neighborhood cool. I had another friend that had the Defiant, but I don’t even remember his name. What does that tell you regarding which toy was cooler?

I’m now a grown man and toys just aren’t as cool anymore (at least I tell myself that even if I am excited that I’m about to have a son and in a few years can relive my toy-playing days). Toys were replaced by sports as I exited the 1980s and moved into the 1990s. Sports endured through that decade and another one and into today. And they definitely have had their moments of cool. Too many to name or even remember with many more to come.

I’ll watch the Gators play on an aircraft carrier because they’re the Gators (let’s not kid ourselves; I’d watch them play in a deserted parking garage), but I’ll also watch because of the reasons behind these games and, finally, because it’s just so cool.

Minutes Are Limited, But Former Gators Forward Vernon Macklin Stays Focused

Minutes are hard to come by for Detroit Pistons rookie forward Vernon Macklin. In his first season in the NBA, Macklin has appeared in only half (19 of 38) of the Pistons’ games, averaging 4.2 minutes, but that doesn’t stop the former Florida Gators’ forward from staying focused.

Life in the NBA can be very different for a player like Macklin. Not a star in college, but a solid contributor, the 4.2 minutes he averages pales in comparison to the 24+ he averaged over his last two seasons at Florida. Macklin was even getting on the court for 9.8 minutes per game during his freshman season with the Georgetown Hoyas. Things are different at the professional level where he must fight for ever second of court time he sees.

Buried on Detroit’s bench is probably not where Macklin envisioned himself once he made it to the NBA, but it gives him a unique learning perspective. No longer a starter and now low on the depth chart, Macklin is able to watch each game closely and learn from the seasoned veterans on the team.

For now, Macklin will stay focused on his goal of more playing time and work his hardest to earn it. Being active on an NBA roster is the first part. Hard work and never-ending effort is the second.

The Long Snapper (3/9/10)

Starting the week off right with another Marvin Kloss story.  Quick recap for those of you that didn’t read my many mentions of the kid or never cared in the first place.  According to some kicking school you’ve never heard of, Kloss was one of the best kicker prospects in the nation.  According to the big-budget recruiting sites, Kloss didn’t exist.  He was offered a scholarship from USF, but turned it down for a chance to go to Florida.  After realizing there was a good chance he wouldn’t qualify, he decided to return to the green and gold and attempt to walk on.  So why am I mentioning him yet again?  Because Kloss was recently arrested on charges of grand theft.  The story is one of those “good job idiot, way to think about your future” ones we all love so much.  Kloss and a high school teammate are accused of stealing over $8,000 worth of items from a home during a party.  A party thrown by not the owner of the house, but by someone who was watching the house while the owner was out of town.  Think Kloss still has preferred walk on status at USF?  I’m going to go with “probably not.”  Skip Holtz has already shown what he tolerates and doesn’t.  If Kloss ever wears a Bulls’ uniform, I’d be very surprised.  But let’s at least hope he doesn’t something to warrant another Long Snapper inclusion in the near future.
Joel Miller has decided not to go forth with a lawsuit against former USF coach Jim Leavitt.  He said everything you would hope someone would say but never does.  That he doesn’t want to make any money off of the incident despite what people think.  Miller felt he had to tell the truth, but claims he didn’t do so to make money and therefore won’t sue his former head coach.  An honorable move I guess, but I’m more excited about the fact that this is just one more step to us not having to hear anymore about what did or didn’t happen in the locker room that day.  More could happen, but for most USF fans, the door is closed.  Leavitt is gone and isn’t coming back, ever.  Everyone seems to have embraced Holtz and can’t wait for his first game on the sidelines.  Think of this as just another hiccup in the ongoing story of Bulls’ football.  A year or two from now, we’ll barely be talking about it.
Matt Patchan is balls.  Anyone that has a story that starts with “so this is how I got shot” earns mention as being tougher than I am in even my best dreams.  Added to his steel is the versatility that makes Patchan desirable at whatever position he comes back at.  From defensive line as a freshman, to offensive line briefly as a sophomore, to the mention of maybe tight end (I’ll believe it when I see it) in 2010.  Right now, Patchan is doing his best to come back from a nasty ACL that cost him a real chance to earn a starting spot along the offensive line during the 2009 season.  He’ll be extremely limited during spring practices, but watch out for him come fall.  He sweats more talent than you’ll have in a lifetime and will star as whatever position he ends up at.
Joe Paterno now has his own award.  Or to be exact, he has an award named in his honor.  The winningest coach in Division 1-A/FBS history will have his name on an award given out by the Maxwell Club.  The Maxwell Club also gives out the, you guessed it, Maxwell Award.  The award givers haven’t decided exactly what the criteria for the Paterno is just yet, but it’ll be something along the lines of the affect a coach has on his team and community.  Basically exactly what embodies the man himself.  I’m still waiting for the Ron Zook Memorial Trophy, but apparently Zook is still alive and well and actually coaching football.
I’m not sure how I feel about the advancement of 3D over the last year or so when it comes to movies.  Some of the ones I’ve seen have looked great, but I have to be honest, in the end, I just end up with a headache.  Due to that, I’m not as excited about true 3D technology coming to our homes and, more importantly, sports in the not-so-distant future.  I love HD.  Who doesn’t?  I don’t feel the same way about 3D.  I’m probably in the minority with that sentiment, but oh well.  Despite the technology offered, I have to wonder if it will really catch on.  Will people really enjoy it as much as everyone seems to think?  Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.  Regardless, I’m reminded of some of the more recent technological failures.
1. Blu-ray won the war and I’m glad I didn’t end up buying this.
2. Sales, no.  Failure, yes.
3. Sony has a lot of hits.  They also have some misses.
4. I actually really enjoyed my Sega Saturn.
The Sixth Man: NCAA Tournament bid or not, USF just finished what has to be considered a great regular season.  At least by Bulls’ standards.  If you had asked me before the season who would’ve had a higher conference win percentage, the football team or the basketball team, I never in a million years would’ve guessed it the way it ended up.  Now USF heads to the Big East Tournament as the nine-seed.  As the highest seed in the first round, the Bulls will face the conference’s last place team in DePaul.  It’ll be the second time in eight days the two teams have squared off.  USF won the previous matchup 63-59.  Get by DePaul and the Bulls will face another team they beat the last time they faced them in Georgetown.  Look at it that way and it seems like the Big Dance is a real possibility.  USF needs some help, but two wins in the tournament of a conference that has five ranked teams at the moment (two of which the Bulls beat during the regular season) and they could get in.  It’s not out of the question.