Saturday, December 10, 2011

Orange Should Move to Number 1

The last time the Orange played a game ranked #1 was March 6th, 2010 against Louisville. They had moved to #1 that season with a victory overVillanova on Saturday February 27th, and the polls on Monday hadthem #1.
A much different path for the Orangemen to reach the top ranking that year. The team started out unranked, and had to go 27-2 with 6 wins against top 10 teams before they got that recognition.  Two years later, the team started the season ranked #5, and are currently 10-0 after beating George Washingon rather easily tonight 85-50.  With #1 Kentucky losing to unranked Indiana, and #2 Ohio State losing to #13 Kansas, the two teams ahead of the Orange stumbled.  Kentucky and Ohio State were already splitting the #1 votes, so neither was a consensus #1. 
I do not think the Orange are the best team in the season, but, the beauty of college basketball is that you get the opportunity to prove it on the court with a post season tournament.  Meanwhile, rankings during the season should be based on how teams have done, not on how good you think they might be, and at this point, the Orange are unbeaten with a top 10 win under their belt, plus the NIT Pre-Season championship.  The Orange schedule after ten games spots wins against the SEC, Pac 10, ACC and Conference USA.
Some will knock the Orange’s early season strength of schedule.  For one thing, the Orange cannot help who they play in the NIT and the teams there were down this year.  They do have a SOS rank of 244 (based on prior to tonight’s game).  But I don’t hear anyone complaining about Kentucky’s SOS being # 170, or Ohio State at 306, Wisconsin at 204, Missouri at 300, Louisville at 236 or Baylor at 339. Michigan State usually has a killer early schedule with Tom Izzo as the head coach; they are ranked #228. 

It’s early in the year, so I do not take much stock in the SOS, nor should anyone else. 
Anyhow, congratulations to the Orange for overcoming some mighty distractions early in this season, and getting some recognition as #1 (I am assuming that this will happen).

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