Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Why did you say (in the Monday Look Back) that Syracuse is a surprise? I knew the Orange would be good.
But the reality is that the Orange were unranked in the preseason and picked eighth in the Big East. Now, they have wins over two teams that were ranked 19th (Florida) and 24th (Kansas) in the preseason AP poll, which was enough to vault them to 16th in the latest AP poll. In other words, by any definition, Syracuse is a "surprise" to Big East media, Big East coaches, Las Vegas oddsmakers and all the AP voters ... except Kevin McNamara.
Kevin is at the Providence Journal.
He had Syracuse 13th on his preseason ballot, which makes him the only reputable person I know who can honestly say that Syracuse has not surprised him in the least bit. Every other AP voter had Syracuse lower than 16th in the preseason. So just because some Syracuse fan always thought his Orange would start strong doesn't mean the Orange haven't been surprising, because fans always think their team will start strong, finish strong and be better than any reasonable human believes. I mean, I have an entire inbox of emails from Kentucky fans who sent notes in November explaining how their Wildcats would compete with North Carolina for the national title. Then they lost to VMI. But the point is that had UK been great there would've technically been a UK fan who wouldn't have been surprised, but that wouldn't have meant that it wasn't surprising to the general public.
Same goes for Syracuse.
The Orange have won two games as underdogs.
They have gone from unranked to ranked 16th nationally.
Thus, they have been a "surprise" ... which is what I predicted they'd be.