Before you see the new rankings tomorrow, I wanted to make a few bold predictions for you, including:
- Syracuse will be the new AP and Coaches No. 1, but not by as much as you expected them to be.
- You will read the phrase, "I have Syracuse No. 1, but I still think Kansas has a better resume" at least fourteen times.
- You will read articles by learned people rationalizing why Kansas being undefeated at home is better than Syracuse being undefeated on the road. (Which of those two things is more important once the tournament starts, by the way?)
- You will NOT hear any of the people who vote for Kansas No. 1 over Syracuse mention that the Big East is twice as tough of a conference than the Big 12. Which it is.
Undeniably(Admittedly, I was a little overzealous on that one. Rescinded).
- You will still read about Syracuse and their lack of "true road games." In March. Seriously. I know, I know...
Before tonight, if you had asked me "Which two voters are most likely to not put Syracuse atop their Top 25 this week despite everything that's happened?" Jeff Goodman would have been a no-brainer. He hasn't liked SU all season. Not in a mean way. He just doesn't respect them. Perhaps its even a subconscious thing but he's always had them lower than most. As for the 2nd one, I think Gary Parrish might have been my next choice. I always feel like Gary and his Fauxhawk are picking against SU in every game preview they do, so I think he/they would have made a good pick.
I personally enjoy both rationales. They both decided BEFORE SYRACUSE EVEN PLAYED that Kansas would retain their No. 1 ranking. Regardless of the fact that Syracuse demolished a team that has spend most of the season in the top five the same weekend Kansas lost to an unranked team, the No. 4 Orange had no chance of consideration. Syracuse could have won by fifty and eaten Villanova's starting five with knives and forks and they still would have been so unimpressive as to not garner No. 1 status. That seems...fair?
So, go back and read those predictions and don't say you weren't warned when you see the rankings. Syracuse will be the new No. 1 but you're not going to feel good about it. You're going to feel bitter over all of the folks who STILL don't deem the Orange worthy.
(To be fair, I get that Kansas has indeed put together a very impressive body of work. But...they lost. And we won. This is how weekly polls work. I didn't create the system, you people did. So at least do it the way you've been doing it for years.)
Honestly, it's for the best. The longer this team keeps a chip on their shoulder, the better. They're going to need all the motivation they can get heading into the BET and NCAA Tournament when everyone is really gunning for them. And not just the voters...
Update: Goodman did a webcast with Wes Johnson tonight (from a house of mirrors). He tells Wes that he's voting Kansas No. 1 and Wes can't help but laugh. Perfect.