Coke or Pepsi?
Apple or Android?
In ‘n Out or Five Guys?
Democrat or Republican?
It seems as though everything must have a label and everybody must fall under one category. This theory extends to the world of college sports as well.
Pay the players or not?
Playoff supporter or opponent?
Football school or basketball school?
The Florida Gators are heading to the Final Four later this week, having won the regional championship in their tournament bracket after losing at that stage each of the last three seasons. Florida head coach Billy Donovan has done a remarkable job with the Gators men’s basketball program, having won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007 and could be on the verge of a third national title this coming weekend. If the Gators manage to cut down the nets once again when all is said and done, it would certainly not be a feat to take lightly. Florida could potentially become the first school to win three men’s basketball championships since the turn of the century. Florida, Duke, UConn and North Carolina all have two titles since 2001.
Given the way last fall went for Florida on the football field, perhaps the question is fair to ask: Is Florida now a basketball school?
Billy Donovan has done the impossible: he’s turned Florida into a basketball school.
— Jim Rome (@jimrome)
Not so fast. Let’s not get too carried away just yet.
How soon we forget Florida has just as many BCS titles (two) as the men’s basketball program has national titles. Heck, the Gators were 11-2 and ranked as high as third in the AP poll as recently as 2012. But last season was one of the worst seasons in some time in Gainesville when it came to football. The Gators missed out on the postseason for the first time since 1990, and that was only because the Gators were serving a postseason ban. Going from a dismal football season to a national championship-caliber basketball season makes it easy to make these statements though, and it is ridiculous.
It’s easy to poke a stick at a school that went 4-8 and lost to an FCS program on home soil when the basketball team is on the cusp of a national title, but then again many tend to have short memories when it comes to serving up hot sports takes on the griddle. Maybe Florida is not solely a football or a basketball school. Instead, perhaps Florida is a multi-sport school.
Sometimes you can have it both ways.