With the way Syracuse played (and I really thought they played very well - particularly at the offensive end of the floor), you wouldn't have thought much could have spoiled my mood last night.
But there he was, just moments after the Orange defeated Florida in the CBE Semifinal, that Orange-Hater that he is, Doug Gottleib pointing out that this was the Orange's first non-conference win against a ranked team away from home since 04-05. A period of better than 3 years. Now, I mean how could you argue. Even the SU grad Ryan Burr right there in the studio couldn't say too much. The facts were what they were, and I'm sure Gottleib had his facts right.
But when you narrow the criteria as Gottleib did, it makes it so much easier to to make a statement that sounds extremely negative. What Gottleib failed to mention was that during that 05-06 season, when Syracuse failed to win a game against a ranked team away from home, it played the toughest schedule in total per the NCAA standards. So how in the world can that schedule be knocked? Yet there was Dougie Boy, and somebody from SU must have really done something horrible to him one day, pointing out that Syracuse doesn't go away from home.
The other thing I decided to do, was take a look at how the other two main combatants in this CBE thing, Kansas and Florida had fared using the same criteria that Gottleib had set forth. Well, low and behold, the numbers that I found made Gottleib's argument seem even more shallow.
What I found was the only definite win away from home against a ranked team by either Kansas or Florida in the last three years, was Kansas's win over Florida in Las Vegas in December of '06.
So what's the big deal.
Now it should be pointed out that the Jayhawks also own a win at USC early last season, but with the way the Trojans started last year, I couldn't imagine them being ranked.
Florida did have two wins back in Madison Square Garden at the start of the 05-06 season over teams that may have been rankend, Wake Forest and Syracuse. But it is my recollection that neither team was. And even if Florida had one or two wins in that three year time period over ranked teams away from home, it doesn't change my point. And that is that Syracuse shouldn't be singled out for this. Because here are the two teams that won the national championships during those three years and they don't have any major area of superiority in this stat over the Orange.
Furthermore, it isn't as if Syracuse has played a bad schedule in that time frame, because the Orange's schedule was ranked as the toughest in the country by the NCAA entering the 2006 postseason.
So Burr, let Gottleib know all of this tonight.