Reluctantly, Everyone Likes Syracuse

In both the SBNation and ESPN Big East Power Polls, Syracuse is ranked No. 2 overall. And yet in both, it seems like everyone is falling over themselves to make sure you understand that they don't honestly believe SU is the 2nd-best team in the conference. Um...thanks?

Brian Bennett on his No. 2 ranking.

Yes, Syracuse. I don't really believe the Orange are the second-best team in the league. At least I don't think I believe that. But they've already got a road victory in league play and deserve a chance to prove they belong here.

Andrew at The UConn Blog on SU's aggregate No. 2 spot.

Syracuse is sitting pretty in second place and based on their resume, they certainly deserve to be there. However, I doubt anyone actually believes they are the second best team in the conference. As Meacham pointed out to me, beating USF may have raised up the Orange, but losing to Syracuse meant the Bulls got a one-way ticket to last place.

Six of the SBN voters, including myself, put the Orange in second place.

I guess I'm confused. If you don't think Syracuse deserves to be No. 2, don't vote us No. 2. We don't want your sympathy votes or moral victories. We've had plenty of those for the last five years. If our wins aren't good enough for you, that's fine. Put us back in the middle of the pack. Let us continue to earn your respect by beating your crappy team that can't live up to its own expectations.

I begrudgingly admire On The Banks for ranking us seventh. Behind Louisville. I mean, at least he honestly believes we're not good and ranks us accordingly. And I'd rather spend the rest of the season proving him wrong than getting courtesy votes.

Unfortunately, here's how it's going to go for the Orange this year. Every time we win, people will just find an excuse...our opponent isn't that good, it was in the Dome, etc. And every time we lose, that will be proof positive that we're not "there" yet.  Look, I don't think Orange fans are under any kind of delusion about the bulk of our wins this season. And I think we understand that this is probably one of the weakest USF teams in years. But that doesn't mean we're not a good football team. Maybe not 8-9 wins good, but good enough to beat every single team in this conference. And believe me, after the past five years, we're dying to do it.

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