Well, compared to last season they did. Last year the highest ranked team that Syracuse faced in its non-conference schedule was San Diego State, who was ranked No. 20 at the time.
This year the Orange will take on Indiana, Villanova and St. John’s. All three of those teams are good enough to be ranked, but they are not getting as much buzz as teams like Kansas, Michigan State or Florida. Beating Indiana, St. John’s and Villanova would look great on the resume, but they are not the best victories in the world on paper.
That is no disrespect to any of those teams, though. Both Villanova and St. John’s will be good enough to win the Big East and Indiana could be a surprise team with all of the new talent coming in–clearly losing a lot as well.
Still, it would have been nice if Syracuse would have played a team like Michigan in its non-conference schedule. With that in mind, the Orange will play in the ACC this year, which will provide plenty of opportunities to get big wins.
If anything this out-of-conference schedule could be an upgrade from last season’s non-conference schedule, so at least there is that. No matter how you look at it, Syracuse is coming off of a Final Four appearance and it will be talented enough to go that far again this season.