Hey all, given the stress I'm noticing around the boards lately regarding some losses Florida and Cal have taken, I decided to run through the performance of SU's 12 opponents so far. It's unscientific, but I think there's a convincing case here that we should stop worrying and enjoy the upcoming Big East schedule, if you're into that sort of thing. I personally am all about being a nervous beer-guzzling wreck, but we can save that for another post...
Albany - W 75-43... Albany is 4-9, but SU held them to their lowest point total. Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
RMU - W 100-60... RMU is 4-7, but Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
Cal - W 95-73... Cal is 6-4, with other losses to New Mexico, OSU, and #1 Kansas. They beat Iowa St. (!) but no one else notable. Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
UNC - W 87-71... UNC is 9-3, with other losses by 2 to #3 Kentucky, and by 13 to #2 Texas. Victories over OSU, Michigan St., and Nevada. Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
Cornell - W 88-73. Cornell is 9-2, with the other loss to Seton Hall. Key wins over 'Bama, St. Joes, Davidson & St. Johns. Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
Columbia - W 85-60. Columbia is 5-4, with all other losses in single digits, thus Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
Colgate - W 92-58. Colgate is 1-9, coming off a HUGE victory over... Dartmouth. Lost by 9 to Rutgers, 14 to UConn... which is the largest margin of defeat, aside from SU. Syracuse holds the largest (by far) margin of victory.
Maine - W 101-55. Maine is 5-5 (surprising). The only other notable game is a 27 point loss to UConn, which is by far their largest margin of defeat, except for SU, who beat them by 46. Yet again, Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
Florida - W 85-73. UF is 8-3. They started 8-0, with notable wins over Michigan State and Rutgers (is that even notable?). However, the Syracuse loss started a 3 game skid, including losses to Richmond by 3 and Southern Alabama by 1. I guess you can expect lows from such a young team. Syracuse holds the largest margin of victory.
St. Francis (NY) - W 75-51. SF is 3-7. In SU's 2nd worst performance this year, they beat a team by 24, but (shockingly) Syracuse DOES NOT hold the largest margin of victory... BC does, with a 28 point victory. SU is next in line. But at that point, aren't we nitpicking?
St. Bonaventure - W 85-72. Bonnies are 6-5. This is by far SU's #1 worst performance this year, but they scraped their way to a 13 point victory. Bonnies beat Cleveland St. by 10, so that exonerates SU! That's about all you can say about them. Other losses are by 1 to St. John's, 3 @ Illinois St., and 4 @ Niagara... but let's not even mention the 52 point shellacking at 10-2 Mississippi St. I would argue that no Northerner is comfortable playing at Mississippi State, except for 'Cuse. Syracuse most definitely does not hold the largest margin of victory, but they are second in line.
Oakland - W 92-60. Oakland is 6-7. Losses by 31 @ Michigan State, 40 @ #1 Kansas are in the same ballpark as Syracuse's 32 point victory. Although it doesn't matter, Syracuse holds the second largest margin of victory, with their big Center on the bench.
So, I'm noting a couple trends:
1) Syracuse is right up there with the top teams in the nation in terms of who they're beating and how. I'm not about to panic as some talented, young teams SU has beaten take some other bad losses. The numbers show SU is arguably playing as strongly as Kansas, and quite frankly better than the remainder. I'd love to see more data to correlate Kentucky and Texas in this mix.
2) Whereas Florida is on a three game losing skid, SU is on a three game slump of its own: they hold the largest margin of victory over their first nine opponents, yet only the second largest margin of victory over their last three. I'd argue two of those margins are well past the inflection point of a game being fully decided; therefore it really doesn't matter. The exception is in the case of the Bonnies, which is SU's worst performance this season both on the scoreboard and compared to other correlated results.
3) SU is the top Big East team according to the highly unscientific correlated results data used in this analysis. SU holds a much more impressive Win-Loss record and margin of victory over shared opponents of Seton Hall, UConn, St. John's, and Rutgers. I would love to see Pitt, Notre Dame, and VIllanova get in this mix. The good news is that we don't have to wait long to see how it plays out!
Have a great holiday and safe travels, everyone!