This has already been the most successful season in Syracuse football in years. Add to it yet another win, arguably the biggest since the glory years of the ’90s. Dino Babers has signed an extension to remain the head coach. Terms and years were not disclosed by the university.
The worry constantly throughout the season was with every on field victory and top 25 vote, the liklihood of Babers getting snatched by a larger program also grew. So with the coaching carousel season still in its early stages, getting this announcement is enormous for the Orange. Obviously, there are no guarantees in a situation like this. But it’s hard to envision Babers taking another job within weeks of signing a new deal at SU.
“It was a true honor to have accepted the head coach position then and I consider it a privilege today to be able to extend my time coaching at Syracuse University,” said Babers in a statement. “I am excited about what the future holds for Syracuse Football and look forward to our continued improvement and growth.”
So is the rest of Orange Nation. Perhaps this is pure loyalty. One could only hope that Babers is appreciative Syracuse gave him his Power 5 shot, and wants to repay it. Hopefully he’s extremely happy on the Hill and wants to coach the new quality of recruits that seem to improve every day. Maybe he realizes the ACC is wide open these days aside from Clemson. Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami are vulnerable, so being near the top of a power conference is far more difficult in the SEC or Big Ten.
But keeping his options open for a few more weeks would’ve seemed like the logical thing to do. Perhaps Dino and his agent surveyed the landscape and realized there wasn’t a huge advancement in the offering this winter. The best thing that happened for SU was a lack of movement at the elite programs around the nation. USC kept Clay Helton, FSU is sticking with Willie Taggart, and Ohio State promoted Ryan Day. Gus Malzahn is staying at Auburn, and at the moment Jim Harbaugh is doing the same at Michigan. While Babers may not have been the hire at those places, he would probably have been in the discussions for at least one of them. He’s made national news with his post-game speeches, led one of the great turnarounds in college football, and delivers high-octane points and offense.
All of this is extremely marketable for a power program. So keeping his options open would’ve been prudent. However those openings were filled, the next set of dominos would’ve most certainly included discussions about Babers. But this may not be a very tumultuous offseason for coaches at the elite programs, and that certainly helps Babers reasoning to sign an extension. Even before the Camping World Bowl, Syracuse has its biggest win of the offseason.