So, lots has been made of Pitt's basketball schedule so far, right? Truth be told, while the Panthers have played some competitive teams such as Stanford, Penn State, and Texas Tech, Pitt's current Strength of Schedule isn't all that good.
Heading into Friday's game, the team's SOS was a very pedestrian No.161 out of 349 teams. Could be worse, but could be better, too. This is partially the reason many folks think Pitt isn't getting their just due in the college basketball rankings, despite being undefeated. That may or may not be true, but Pitt is hardly the lone offender here when it comes to SOS.
Michigan, a team currently ranked despite a mediocre 5-3 record and no strong wins to their name owns a Strength of Schedule of 221 - far below Pitt's. UCLA, an undefeated team ranked in the top 20, has an SOS of 213 - again far below Pitt. And look at No. 3/4 Kentucky - they sit a single spot ahead of Pitt with an SOS of 160.
Simply put, it's not really SOS that's keeping Pitt down, it's perception. The team lost Steven Adams, Tray Woodall, Dante Taylor, Trey Zeigler, and J.J. Moore. Voters tend to look at that stuff and if there are a lot of question marks left behind (a la Pitt), they simply aren't going to get a lot of credit unless we're talking about a Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, etc.
Not voting Pitt to start the season in the Top 25 was reasonable. However, now that they're starting to show more than several of the teams in front of them, it's time the Panthers start getting some credit.