Tuesday, April 03, 2007

National Champions (Again)

I'm starting to feel rather spoiled and a little guilty. The Gators won another national championship. Now we have back-to-back basketball championships and a football championship. That's just ridiculous. If we don't another championship of any sort for a long time, we can't complain.

This championship is by far the least surprising. We won it last year, and everyone came back with only one intention: repeating as champions. I've been a little overwhelmed to see so many sports writers naming the Gators as one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time. I think I'm just feeling a little too appreciative of what's happened to go that far, but it's really true. At the very least the Gator front-line has to go down as the most dominating in a long, lone time. It's amazing in an era where guards generally rule the game, the Gators rule the college game by going big.

Of course big is fine, but its the talent level that matters. Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Corey Brewer are all future NBA players. Noah and Horford could both play PF and maybe C, and Brewer is a prototypical SF. It's not unreasonable to imagine them as a front-line in the NBA, and that's the biggest reason why Florida has been so unstoppable. Chemistry, unselfishness, etc. are all well and good, but Florida had overwhelming talent.

If you look at in perspective, they haven't really been challenged in the NCAA tournament over the last two years. There's a lot of comparisons being made between Florida and the 91-93 Duke team that had been the last team to repeat. That team played some very close games, including the infamous overtime victory over Kentucky. Florida didn't have any close games. This year's Final Four victories came over two teams that spent a huge amount of time at the top of the rankings all year long: UCLA and Ohio State. Neither team was even close to being good enough to beat Florida.

So yeah, as the cheer goes "Ain't it great to be a Florida Gator!" Of course for next year, Taurean Green is probably the only guy who will be around. The football team has to replace its entire defense. So I expect the reign of glory to come to an end. It doesn't matter though. The beginning of 2007 is something every Gator fan will always remember.

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