But after crushing Cal (then ranked 13th) and North Carolina (No. 6) last week, Syracuse vaulted to No. 10 in the AP poll, one of the biggest jumps in the poll's history. Only two teams went from unranked to higher – and both 'em logged more impressive wins, hard as that is to believe.
The most impressive move from unranked to ranked was Kansas' jump in to No. 4 in 1989 after beating No. 2 LSU, No. 1 UNLV and No. 25 St. John's in the Preseason NIT.
Second on the list was Arizona coming in at No. 8 in 2001 following wins over No. 2 Maryland and No. 7 Florida in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and a victory over No. 23 Texas.
Still, give the Orange their props. No team's had a better start thus far. (No other team's played two Top 15 teams either, but hey, just sayin'.)
Should they be higher, lower? Does it matter? Now they'll do the slow burn to Big East conference play, with only a Dec. 10 showdown against Florida looming as a possible stumbling point. 'Cuse is going to be a Big East title contender, though BP's John Gasaway says there one important thing to note about the start: The offense probably can't play any better.
Me, paraphrasing: 'Cuse is making 63 percent of its twos (only Georgetown's made more than 57.7 percent of their twos in conference play in the last seven years), scored 1.16 PPP vs. Cal and UNC (insanely good) and Wesley Johnson, as good as he is, probably won't continue to make 47 percent of his 3s and 62 percent of his 2s. If he does, he should go No. 1 in the draft.
So Syracuse is playing really, really good right now. Don't expect it to get better … but that wouldn't be possible, right?