As a caveat I will say that 1) i agree with both of your arguments and 2) that I did not see the Northern Iowa nor the Dayton game so my critique will be more second hand than both of yours.
Yes the Dayton game blew. We lost by double digits to an A-10 team when we were 9 point favorites and our lack of an inside presence was completely exposed by them, BUT it is absolutely no time to even semi-jump ship! Every year good teams get upset in November and December. Hell, Louisville got beat down bad by Western Kentucky the other night and they're #3 in the nation. Sure W.Kentucky had a nice run in last year's tournament and Louisville should not have lost to them, but the season is still very early and teams are still working out the kinks at this point (especially when teams are being guided by what is essentially a rookie head coach....ie. Buzz Williams and Marquette). Also, while it isn't a very good excuse, playing on consecutive nights can sometimes bite teams in the ass (and it sounded like they gave 110% the night before so they may have burned up their fuel the night before). This may be why Jerel and Lazar had such a horrific shooting night......they simply may have not had their legs, and when essentially 2 of your 3 best players have awful shooting nights, your team likely will not perform well as a whole. And let's not forget that Dayton isn't a cupcake as I suspect they will have a very good year by the time March rolls around. So to sum up what I'm trying to say here......It's 1 loss. Sure we were the favorites but nobody here expected this team to go undefeated. After blowing 5 teams out by 20-30 points, I personally think that it was a good kick in the nuts before a difficult month of December. In years past we were hardly taking care of some of these cupcakes in the BC and as Wiemer pointed out lost to teams such as Winthrop and South Dakota St yet we still went on to have nice seasons. We return 4 of 5 starters this year (all of which have improved from last year) and only lost 2 hardly contributing players, so we are essentially the same team as last year with an extra year of experience. That being said, while we are still lacking that inside presence (what else is new?) and the Big East appears to be even deeper than years past, I still am confident that we will finish in the upper 1/3 of the Conference. It is because we lack size down low that we are not the class of the Big East Conference. I feel that we will still be very competitive like years past and likely finish anywhere from 4th to 7th in the Conference and have a 5-8 seed in the tourney again. We are what we are......which isn't a bad thing. Provided that we don't further the injury situation, there is still a lot of room for improvement with the addition of Fulce and O'Tule, and the potential improvement of Burke and Hazel throughout the year. So let's see what happens with our future tests of Wisconsin, Tennessee, and NC State. If we drop all 3, then it might be time to jump ship. If we come back and play well against Central Michigan and put a stomping on Wisconsin, I think that it's safe to say that we will be ok. I'm confident that Buzz and the players are pissed at their performance on Saturday night and will practice and perform well this week looking to take care of business on Saturday. When we beat Bo Ryan's Hoosiers....sorry, Badgers......I'm pretty much going to forget that Dayton game ever happened. I mean it worked in 2003 didn't it?