There are now two voters in the Associated Press basketball poll putting Syracuse at the top of their list.
Along with Dick Weiss (pictured) of the New York Daily News, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News becomes the second to so boldly have Syracuse jump to the top of their polls.
On his blog Wilner writes, “As with my football rankings, the emphasis is on strength of schedule and quality wins/losses.”
And in a nutshell that explains how Syracuse got to #1 with wins on the road over Cal, North Carolina and Florida.
However Wilner draws special attention because of a mistake he made last year in sending a ballot with a typo. The poll he sent to the AP after Syracuse beat Memphis did not have the Orange on it, when he meant to list them at #17.
Fear not ‘Cuse fans, this is not Wilner’s version of a Dick Bavetta make up call:
“No, no I’ve probably forgotten about what happened since last year. I’ve done a lot of polls since then – I’ve done half a season’s worth of basketball polls, an entire season worth of football. I can’t possibly remember one week to the next.”
Back then, Wilner says he had Syracuse ranked the week before and after, so it was just an error of omission.
As for whether or not recruits can be swayed by rankings:
“I can’t believe that would be the case. I would hope the players would take a lot more into account than where one team is ranked one week compared to another team. In an ideal world the rankings wouldn’t play any role in where high school players go. They would pick their school based on the location, the relationship with the coach, the academic offerings.”
But he did add that if certain schools stay in the top of the rankings consistently, it can be used as a tool to help sway players. The more a team gets ranked high in the polls, the more they’ll be on television.
The Fizz does give Wilner big time props for having seen the Gait brothers play in person too. Although he won’t be back to buy anyone ribs at Dinosaur anytime soon, he did know his Syracuse history.
Maybe he’s onto something with this #1 ranking.