Florida is dominating the SEC even more than Kentucky did last season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Notes Written While Searching For Number One:
Indiana figures to jump back into the top spot in the college basketball rankings Monday. Mark it down as the fourth consecutive week that Number One will change in the Associated Press poll.
Don't be surprised if the revolving door turns again next week with Indiana playing at Illinois (Thursday) and at Ohio State (Sunday). The Hoosiers have not won at either venue since 2008.
This will be the seventh week atop the poll for Tom Crean's team. Duke has been Number One five weeks, Louisville one and Michigan one.
But here are some numbers that make me wonder if Florida (18-2, 8-0 in the Southeastern Conference) is dissed by voters because the entire 14-team SEC has two victories against Top 25 RPI teams outside the league. (That would be Florida over Marquette and Arkansas over Oklahoma.)
The Gators have an average victory margin of nearly 26.5 points over eight SEC games. They've won all eight by at least 14 points and five by 21 or more. Yes, the SEC is down, but it's silly to overlook those numbers. Remember, this is not the first impressive basketball this group of players have given Billy Donovan. The Gators have been to back-to-back Elite Eights.
A year ago, when Kentucky rolled through the SEC regular season unbeaten before the Wildcats won the NCAA Tournament, their average victory margin in league games was 16.4 points. Two of their first eight SEC wins were by three (Tennessee) and six (Alabama).
*Florida and Indiana have played two common opponents – Wisconsin and Georgia. The Gators beat the Badgers by 18 while IU lost to Wisconsin by five. Florida drilled Georgia twice, by 33 and 17. Indiana handled the Bulldogs by 13.
Florida's only embarrassing moment is a six-point loss to Kansas State, which really isn't that embarrassing. The Gators are good, and chances are they'll get their chance at Number One this season.
*Another nudge to take a serious look at Billy Donovan's veteran team: Basketball analyst Ken Pomeroy ranks not one, not two, but three Florida players in the top seven in the national player of the year race – center Patric Young is second (behind Trey Burke of Michigan); guard Kenny Boynton is sixth and forward Erik Murphy seventh.
That's high praise for Young, who did not make the dozen players listed on the watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, which is presented to the player of the year by the US Basketball Writers Association.
No Florida player made the list. No SEC player made the list.
Young is Florida's fourth leading scorer at 11.1 points per game and averages 6.8 rebounds. I don't believe anybody has won the player of the year with those numbers.
No surprise that Pomeroy ranks Florida Number One – and puts the Gators' win probability at 90 percent or higher for all but one of their 10 remaining SEC games.
Florida's season-ending trip to Rupp Arena to play Kentucky March 9.
*This is the kind of farewell season that founding father Dave Gavitt would have loved for Big East basketball: Nine of the 15 teams are stacked within one game of first place. The Big East and Pac-12 are the only two BCS leagues where every team has at least two conference losses.
Louisville, Syracuse and Notre Dame were supposed to be in the debate – and they are. St. John's (10th in the coaches' pre-season poll) and UConn (ninth) were not. But they are.
Who does the schedule favor?
Probably Syracuse. The Orange play six of their final 10 at home, starting Monday night against Notre Dame. But Jim Boeheim's team plays its final two road games at Marquette and Georgetown.
Don't discount Pittsburgh. The Panthers are finished with Syracuse and Louisville and play their final three games against South Florida, Villanova and DePaul.
*My annual college football National Signing Day public service announcement, begins with the rankings by Rivals.com of the two Super Bowl quarterbacks:
Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers had one FBS offer – Nevada. According to Rivals, Oregon State, Stanford, Arizona State and UCLA all looked at him but failed to offer, even though Kaepernick scored a 1,650 on his SAT. He was a three-star recruit, ranked the 34th best quarterback prospect in the country in 2006.
Then there is Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco of the Ravens, another three-star guy back in 2003. Although he finished his career at Delaware, Flacco signed with Pittsburgh. He did have other offers – from Akron, Rutgers, Temple, UCF and Virginia Tech.