The official reports have surfaced, Bowling Green’s Dino Babers will become the next head coach at Syracuse. This has to be seen as a victory, even if there’s no guarantee it works. Syracuse has been lowered over the past decade to one of the toughest jobs in the Power 5. The last three coaches were all unique in their fit to SU, but none were elite candidates.
Greg Robinson was lucky he had California connections to Doc Gross, and had just been run out of town in Kansas City 18 months earlier. Doug Marrone considered it a personal responsibility to restore some pride to his alma mater (and never had a HC gig). Scott Shafer also was a first time HC, and was promoted from the staff.
This is only the second time since 1981 that a true outsider has been brought in to coach SU, and that’s exciting. Because it means someone detached from SU (and someone with options) felt there was a reason to take the job. Outside thinking can help in situations like these. A new set of eyes may not see some of the glass ceilings that had been built on top of the program.
Now maybe this was simply the best option for Babers. But it seemed as though SU wasn’t left begging for coaching table scraps, instead chose Babers over Chris Ash and others. I also have been adamant about getting someone in with a creative offensive mind and allowing the Dome to be a strength, not a weakness. Feels like people are finally realizing the benefit in this, since I’ve read more this week to that point than in the past 5 years combined.
I’d also rather lose 48-42 than continue to watch old school coaching try to slobberknock teams in 2015. The fact is, you can’t be bigger, stronger, tougher than Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech. They have better recruits. They always will. You can outscheme, use space, and even the playing field with speed and scheme. Texas Tech and Washington State (Mike Leach) realized this decades ago. The Red Raiders weren’t getting bigger, better recruits than Texas or Oklahoma. Same with Wazzu vs. Oregon and USC. But the spread evens the playing field. Every team still has to defend every inch of the field.
I loved what I read from one of the Bowling Green beat reporters in a story done by our own Connor Morrissette. He delivered on his promises at BG. He ran an explosive offense. He beat two Big 10 teams. He nearly beat Justin Fuente’s Memphis team. He’s developed an NFL quarterback (Garoppolo). Players love him.
Recruiting is a question since he hasn’t been at his previous two stops very long. He’s never been a head coach at a Power 5 school. He doesn’t have ties to the Northeast. But think of it like Christmas shopping. Syracuse doesn’t have a deep wallet, or an untapped checking account. It had to shop on a budget and get creative. The Orange found a great deal at a designer outlet store. Yeah, there’s always the chance the cashmere sweater has a red dot. But it’s comfortable and seems to fit great. There’s no guarantee on any of this. But this is the chance Syracuse needed to take. Good job by Mark Coyle.
Posted: Damon Amendolara