Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Then and now

Posted by Tim on March 12, 2007

If you haven’t already seen the very smart analysis going on at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and Sports Night With Howie Mansfield, I highly recommend you take a look. And don’t forget to check out our take on SU’s relegation to the Not Invited Tournament.

Let me add to this conversation a talking point for everyone who is already sick of hearing about the weakness of SU’s nonconference schedule this year. Sure, it wasn’t pretty. But who’s fault is that, anyway?

From a post I wrote late last year, here are the final 2005-06 RPIs of our pre-Big East opponents this year. Now check out this chart that compares them to the RPI calculations over at ESPN.com (Insider subscription required):

Team 2005-06 RPI 2006-07 RPI Change
Wichita St.
19
99
-80
Hofstra
30
73
-43
UTEP
76
210
-134
Northeastern
88
184
-96
Penn
94
88
+6
Oklahoma St.
95
49
+46
Charlotte
99
146
-47
Holy Cross
110
60
+50
Drexel
125
39
-86
Baylor
174
139
+35
Canisius
252
247
+5
St. Francis
270
282
-12
Colgate
286
261
+25
St. Bonaventure
290
278
+12

Here’s the key thing to remember. Jim Boeheim and Daryl Gross didn’t know what these teams were going to do this year when they scheduled them. So you can only really judge them based on what they did in the past. Sure, some of these games were on the schedule even before the 2005-06 season started, but looking at last year’s numbers, you’d have to say that this was not your supposedly typical Jimmy B. early season cakewalk.

Bottom line: Seven of our 14 nonconference opponents this year finished the 2005-06 season with RPIs above 100. Those teams an average drop in RPI of about 50 this year. Forseeable last year? Maybe. This year’s team’s fault? Not a chance.

But, on the other hand, all we had to do was win. With Oklahoma State resurgent and Drexel surprisingly strong, we would have really done ourselves a favor if we could have picked up two victories there. Also, not losing to what turned out to be a mediocre Wichita State team would’ve really helped. Just try to forget that everyone was rushing at the time to point out that the Shockers’ victory was allegedly not an upset.

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4 Responses to “Then and now”

  1. bobbyk said

    Sure, some of these games were on the schedule even before the 2005-06 season started, but looking at last year’s numbers, you’d have to say that this was not your supposedly typical Jimmy B. early season cakewalk.

    Come on, Krzezeaski(or whatever) at Duke regularly schedules teams like Coach Boeheim, Dukie V has helped perpetrate this idea that ‘Cuses schedule is uncommonly easy, take a look at Duke’s schedule, Dukie V manages to ignore this every year. EVERY big time school schedules like this.

  2. Tim said

    I think you’re missing my point. I’m saying that before the season actually started this looked like a pretty strong nonconference schedule, especially given Boeheim’s reputation.

  3. Tom said

    This whole debate is over if Gross just schedules us a home and away with another top 25 marquee school. We always used to have these with someone – Georgia Tech, UCLA, Arizona are ones that come to mind in recent memory. I know it’s gotten harder to schedule these because of the expanded conference schedule, etc, but if we get that one game against a name program in the preseason, even if we lose, it’ll end this annoying generalization. I think I’ve heard we have this with USC in the future, thank God.

  4. […] I tell you, WE WERE ROBBED! OK, maybe we gave some of it […]

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