No. 1 vs. No. 2

The best of the best will be wearing pink on Friday. In rankings released today, Alabama Gymnastics, on the strength of a 196.150 against Penn State and Arizona this weekend in State College, Pennsylvania, is number one in the nation, while this Friday's opponent, the Florida Gators, stand at number two.

Both Alabama and Florida are putting aside their traditional colors to wear pink leotards to help support the night's "Drive 4 the Cure" theme. In addition to pitting the nation's top two teams against one another, is dedicated to raising awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

It will be the Crimson Tide's home opener after spending the first two weeks of the season on the road. Alabama is 7-0 on the strength of winning the Super 6 Challenge to open the season and beating Penn State and Arizona Saturday.

This will be the first time that Alabama and Florida have met as one vs. two, though the two super powers did finish the 1998 season with Florida at No. 2 and Alabama at No. 3. Florida was No. 1 last week while Alabama was fifth.

Georgia is currently third, followed by Michigan and Nebraska, which are tied at No. 4. Utah checks in at No. 6, followed by Alabama's Jan. 27 opponent, Auburn. Missouri, Stanford and Penn State round out the top 10.

The Tide is second on the vault while Florida is tied for fourth. Alabama is tied for second on the floor exercise with Florida coming in at No. 5. Florida is sixth on the balance beam while the Tide is eighth. On the uneven bars, Alabama is fourth and Florida is eighth.

Freshman Cassie Martin, who won the balance beam at Penn State, is tied for third on that event while classmate Brittany Magee, who won the floor exercise at Penn State, is tied for fifth on that event. Senior Ashley Miles is still No. 1 on the vault while she is 17th on the floor exercise. Sophomore Terin Humphrey is tied for fifth on the uneven bars while freshman Melanie Banville and sophomore Kaitlin White is tied 20th on the same event. Magee and freshman Ashley O'Neal are tied for 19th on the vault.

For more on the Tide's "Power of Pink" initiative and Friday's meet, go to www.rolltide.com/pink/ on the web. Fans in the Tuscaloosa area can get their "Drive 4 the Cure" t-shirts and breast cancer awareness bracelets right now at the Tuscaloosa Toyota dealership making it easier than ever to "Think Pink, Wear Pink" in preparation for Jan. 20.

Tickets are available at the Alabama Ticket Office located in Coleman Coliseum (205.348.2262) and online at www.rolltide.com .


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