Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Syracuse Should Be Ranked #1

The AP and coaches’ polls in college sports don’t mean anything. Yes, this is true. But the only people who point this out are fans whose teams are not rated very highly in those polls. With Kentucky’s loss, there are no more unbeaten teams meaning Syracuse should be #1 as the king of the 1-time losers, and here’s why:

1) Syracuse leads every RPI and computer ranking – even before Kentucky’s loss. This is why I wince when people complain that college football is decided by computers. Better than being decided by voters. Yes the computers don’t watch the games – but neither do the voters. The computer rankings are the fairest way to evaluate teams when schedules are so drastically different.

2) Syracuse is #6 in strength of schedule, Kansas is 13, Villanova 48, Kentucky 84.

3) Syracuse has three wins against Top 25 RPI teams (California, Georgetown and West Virginia). Kansas has 2, Villanova and Kentucky each have 1.

4) When you take that out to the top 100 Syracuse has 12, Kansas 8, Villanova 8 and Kentucky 5.

Scoop and Rick Jackson stepping up this season making SU the best team in the country

By every measure Syracuse is better than all three of these teams. For ease, I’m going to eliminate Kentucky from the discussion because they won’t stay number one after the loss and they’re clearly inferior to Syracuse, Kansas and Villanova.

Here are the common opponents of Kansas and Syracuse:

Kansas beat Memphis by 2, Syracuse beat Memphis by 17

Oakland: Kansas by 30, Syracuse by 32

California: Kansas by 15, Syracuse by 18

Cornell: Kanass by 5, Syracuse by 12

About the only thing Kansas has over Syracuse is losing to a slightly better team, and doing so on the road instead of at home.

Similar results but not as striking for Villanova.

Basically no one can make any reasonable argument that Syracuse doesn’t deserve to be the number 1 team in the country except for the dumbass voters who vote based on what they thought 3 months ago.

But I repeat this does not matter. It only matters what you do in March. But it’s still fun to be number 1 in January.


Damino said...

One of the problems is that the rankings are based in large part on prestige and previous performance, which have nothing to do with how good a particular team is.

Kansas, Kentucky, UNC and other "traditional" powerhouses often receive inflated rankings based on past success. Carolina was arguably the best team of the past decade, but their 2010 team is nothing special. Yet it takes loss after loss after loss for their ranking to come back to earth.

Same with Duke - other than maybe 2006, they simply haven't been that good in a long time, yet based on reputation, they always get high rankings and 1 seeds in the tournament. Then it's a major "upset" when they lose in the 2nd round or Sweet 16, but really it's not, it's just that they were overrated to begin with.

But as you said, January rankings mean almost nothing, and I'd rather have my team fly a little under the radar than be everyone's overdog.

RZR said...

Syracuse should definitely NOT be ranked #1. I feel very strongly about this for many different reasons which I won't go into.

Leo said...

Family Forever.