Why Florida is the real No. 1
The Gators' strong start, Jim Boeheim's new formula for success and more
Florida has opened SEC play with wins over Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M and Missouri. You might be thinking those four teams don't exactly represent the top competition of Division I, and you'd be right. But for better or worse, they do sum statistically to a pretty fair representation of the league's 13 non-UF programs.
And why, exactly, am I so interested in the relative strength of Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M and Missouri? Because what the Gators did to those teams is simply remarkable. Billy Donovan's team is currently outscoring its conference opponents by an unheard-of 0.42 points per possession. Quick comparison: Kentucky, on its way to a national title, outscored the SEC by 0.26 points per trip in 2011-12.
Now the disclaimers. Yes, it's early. Yes, the Tigers faced Florida without Laurence Bowers (and I'm on the record as saying that's a big hit to Frank Haith's team). Yes, the ability to beat Georgia to a pulp on your home floor will doubtless prove to be of minimal utility when the NCAA tournament rolls around. All of that is understood.
But that doesn't mean the Gators don't deserve to be in the discussion as the top team in the nation right now.
To read why Florida is the No. 1 team in the nation, plus other takeaways from Saturday's games, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Kiffin to remain Bama OC, won't jump to NFL
- Ohio St. celebrates title in front of 45K fans
- Abdullah leads North by South in Senior Bowl
- Irish's Hardy to transfer after academic inquiry
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game