People keep asking what I think. And I have an opinion. But late Tuesday night, while watching Duke start to look scary good in an easy win over Florida, I decided to ask Scott Drew what he thinks.
So I asked Scott Drew what he thinks.
I asked if he thinks his Baylor Bears should be ranked No. 1. And this is how he answered that question: "I definitely could see someone voting us No. 1 based on our No. 1 RPI -- and on who we have beaten thus far. But, at the same time, I know arguments can be made for other schools as well."
That is the safest and most diplomatic answer Drew could've provided. I applaud him. But it's also basically right, which is worth noting in advance of Baylor's Wednesday night game with Southern. Barring a result that's statistically improbable, the Bears will improve to 9-0 with five top-45 KenPom wins -- including victories over the schools currently ranked 11th (Louisville), 13th (Xavier) and 24th (Oregon) in the Associated Press poll.
Baylor's resume, at this moment, is college basketball's best resume. But that doesn't necessarily mean Baylor is college basketball's best team or should be college basketball's top-ranked team. Like Drew said, there's a sensible argument to be made for the Bears. But it's just as sensible, and I'd actually argue more sensible, to go with Villanova or UCLA, and the reason is because the nation's best resume in early December rarely belongs to the nation's best team.
To be clear, we'll get there.
Absolutely, there will come a point, as the calendar turns, when the team with the best resume will also be ranked No. 1, and basically everybody with a brain will see it that way. But that point is usually closer to early February than early December because, in early December, some teams that project as elite still haven't had many opportunities to record signature wins, and ranking schools with better resumes above them strictly because of that will eventually have you looking stupid.
Bottom line, here's my opinion (previously stated over the weekend): I do think Baylor has the nation's best resume and can reasonably be ranked No. 1. But I don't think Baylor actually is the nation's best team. And, it's worth noting, the Bears today would still likely be underdogs to around 10 schools on a neutral court.
But to argue about this is to totally miss the point.
Because the point should be this: How amazing is Baylor's story?!
It really might be my favorite story in all of college basketball because it's a story about a coach who was once unfairly labeled by dummies just stacking quality win after quality win despite having zero top-50 prospects on his roster. As I pointed out two Saturdays ago, Drew has little more than an OK roster based on where his players were ranked coming out of high school, and yet he already, this season, owns wins over Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo and Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino.
Such an awesome deal.
Where it goes from here, I can't say for sure because this is college basketball and little is guaranteed. But could Baylor record a top-two finish in the Big 12 and perhaps even challenge Kansas for the league title? Sure, that's possible. And could the Bears make the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year and maybe bounce into the Final Four for the first time since 1950? Yeah, I guess I could see that, too.
Simply put, no dream is too big.
Baylor is off to an incredible start that's exceeded all expectations. So whether the Bears are ranked first or fifth or anywhere in between, the important thing for their fans is to enjoy it. Because basically everybody has Baylor ranked first or fifth or somewhere in between, and that's not anything anybody saw coming.