When our Syracuse Orange lost to the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday, SU fell to just 10-7 on the season. For a group that had gotten very used to blowing through early schedules with no more than a couple losses, this has become a bit of a nightmare.
But truly how much of an anomaly is this rough, 10-7 start? Extremely.
Looking back at the immaculate archives of Orange Hoops, you have to go to 1996-97 to find a something exactly like this. That Orange squad also started 10-7, with blowout losses to Kentucky, West Virginia and Notre Dame, plus a bunch of closer defeats as well. They would lose pretty badly to Florida State in the NIT that spring.
Before that... you're headed all the way to the 1969-70 team (!!!) for a 10-7 start. And one that would end in a 12-12 season and absolutely zero postseason. Roy Danforth's group was regularly blown out in the early going, and the trend continued throughout the campaign. Before that season, 10-7 and worse starts were much more common.
Sooooo, Syracuse has a lot to keep in mind outside of the obvious, difficult job of saving the current season. Just one Jim Boeheim team has started 10-7, and none have been 10-8. A loss against Boston College -- yes even this year -- though, would set the Orange on a pretty perilous road toward one of the program's worst starts in over 40 years. Let's hope they can avoid that.