Vanderbilt the nation's real No. 1

Star third baseman Jason Esposito is a big reason the Commodores are the nation's top team. AP Photo/Ed Reinke

The first pitch of 2011 college baseball season won't be thrown until Friday, but rankings season is well under way.

In the past month, we've seen a variety of schools anointed the nation's best. The USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll named the UCLA Bruins No. 1, while Baseball America and Perfect Game USA picked the Florida Gators. Both Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA awarded the top spot to the TCU Horned Frogs.

In all these rankings, the Vanderbilt Commodores are close to the top. The consensus seems to be that Vandy is a top-five squad, but not at the same level as the Bruins, Gators and Horned Frogs.

A deeper look at the numbers, however, shows that the consensus is wrong. The Commodores are the best team in the nation.