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The Gators Back to #1

It's where they started out the season, and it's good to be back.  Following an 84-50 thrashing of South Carolina on Saturday - and a UNC loss to Virginia Tech - the Gators reclaimed the top spot in both the AP and Coaches poll.

Because of the madness that comes along in March, being #1 in the college basketball polls does not have too much of an importance midway through the season.  However, it's a good measuring stick to see where the respect level is and perhaps shows you the state that your program is in. Historically for the Florida basketball program, though, it also puts a huge target on your back that could result in added pressure and terrible losses.

After obtaining the top spot in 2003, the Gators were blown out at in Lexington by the Kentucky Wildcats.  The next time they gained the #1 ranking, they were beat at home by Maryland.  In these instances the Gators were #1 by default, because the teams ahead of them in the polls lost in the previous weeks.

The Gators' #1 ranking has Corey Brewer pumped. (Gatorzone Photo)

In the '06-'07 Gators case, the program is in great shape.  While they earned the #1 ranking because of teams ahead of them losing (UCLA, UNC), you can easily say that this team belongs somewhere near the top, as opposed to those previous Gator teams whose stays at the top were brief to say the least.

In the land of college basketball, especially right now, there are several teams who could have claims to being the best in the country - especially teams like UCLA and UNC who lost tough games on the road to conference opponents.  There's only one #1, though, and as of right now that's the Florida Gators (in football, too). College basketball has a funny way of cycling teams throughout the top-10, so I'd suspect this won't be a season-long thing. That would be a very nice thing, though.