Before you read any further or click on that first slide, remember one thing.
We do our rankings differently.
When C.J. Moore, Kerry Miller and I sit down to vote each week, we look less at overall resumes and instead consider how well a team is playing at the moment. If we were allowed to draft teams for some sort of fantasy contest, which would be the most desirable?
Arizona may have a gaudier record than Duke, for instance. But right now I’d take the Blue Devils based on how each team has performed the past few weeks. I realize San Diego State beat Kansas in early January, but that doesn’t mean the Aztecs are the better team now.
See what I mean?
I bring this up (again) because I’m sure some of you will take issue with our selection of Florida as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team—especially considering No. 2 Syracuse is undefeated. But look at what the Orange have done the past two games.
Jim Boeheim’s squad needed a 40-foot buzzer-beater to defeat a Pittsburgh squad that doesn’t boast a single win over an NCAA tournament-caliber team. Four days later they needed a late steal to escape with a one-point home victory against unranked North Carolina State.
Thousands of miles away, Florida was busy spanking Kentucky at Rupp Arena for its 17th straight win.
The Gators are simply playing better right now—and if you really want to look at resumes, Florida is superior in that category, too, with nonconference wins against Kansas, Memphis and Florida State, and narrow losses to Wisconsin and Connecticut when the Gators weren’t at full strength.
Again, we’re not saying Florida will be the best team at the end of the season. But they’re the best team at the moment.