Another week brings another quintet of No. 1-ranked Florida Gators teams.
Florida's men's basketball team retained its No. 1 spot in both national polls after finishing an unprecedented unbeaten SEC schedule, and was voted No. 1 in the final AP Poll of a regular season for the first time in school history. Florida's softball team stayed No. 1 in the USA TODAY coaches poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll despite suffering its first loss of 2014. Florida's men's and women's track teams kept their No. 1 rankings heading into the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships, with the men actually adding to theirs substantially. And Florida's men's swimming and diving team remained No. 1 in their rankings.
Oh, and Florida's gymnastics team recorded the best score in the nation this season — the third time this year that Florida's put up the nation's best score — and improved its nation-leading average score while mostly resting Bridget Sloan ... and fell to third in the most recent gymnastics rankings. (Gymnastics rankings are very dumb.)
And Florida's gymnastics team isn't the only one waiting in the wings to possibly claim No. 1. Florida's women's tennis team is No. 2 in the ITA rankings, while Florida's lacrosse team has moved up to No. 4, and has won all but one of its matches since a season-opening loss to No. 1 North Carolina by double digits.
Those programs are joined by Florida's men's and women's golf teams, women's swimming and diving team, and men's tennis team in national rankings. Only Florida's baseball and women's basketball teams are currently unranked, giving Florida 10 ranked teams of 12 currently competing for the second consecutive week.
Florida is likely to top out at five No. 1 teams, as six would take a ton of winning this weekend to accomplish: Gymnastics should post the strong road score it needs to take No. 1, but Florida's basketball team won't hold No. 1 in the USA TODAY poll — the one that remains current entering the NCAA Tournament — without winning the SEC Tournament, not with unbeaten Wichita State lurking, and Florida's men's and women's track teams will be competing for national titles this weekend at the NCAA Indoors. And Florida's softball team will take its No. 1 ranking on the road as it heads to LSU for its first road series of the year; though LSU is only a fringe top-25 team, the road can be unkind in every sport.
And though Florida has three prospective No. 1 teams in gymnastics, women's tennis, and lacrosse, the tumblers' path to No. 1 is much simpler than the ones before women's tennis, which must out-point Duke, and lacrosse, which is still stuck behind those Tar Heels, Maryland, and Syracuse.
All three of those teams are clearly national championship contenders, however, meaning that Florida has five No. 1 teams and three other national title contenders in season. And with the men's and women's outdoor track season yet to start, Florida's got two more title contenders — and, possibly, favorites — in the blocks.
Florida could be in the mix for as many as 10 national championships in just the back half of the 2013-14 academic year. 2014 may really be the Year of the Gator.