Dino Babers statement today doesn’t seem to change much in Syracuse Football Land, where he’s expected to be named the head coach sometime soon after the MAC title game (tonight). He didn’t deny the connection to the Orange, didn’t deny taking another job following the game, and by all accounts is expected to go somewhere as soon as the MAC season is over.
But while we all assume it’ll be Dino Babers BBQ inside the Dome next year, is he actually just playing a waiting game with other schools?
At Cleveland.com, that wrinkle is thrown into the mix:
“Babers could also be hanging back for a potential opening at Houston, if another hot name, former Ohio State assistant Tom Herman, moves on to a bigger program.
Houston is Babers’ hometown, he has obvious recruiting ties to the city and the state, and the mostly fair weather plays to his offense as well. As one lobby sitter said, ‘he’s going to land somewhere once the dominoes really start falling.'”
The dominoes are what causes houses of coaching cards to fall down. But Herman signed a 5-year extension with Houston today. So that takes the Cougars job out of the equation. Good news for SU and Babers right? Well, kinda.
If Babers’ history in H-Town made the Cougs the only other place he would go, then yeah. Full steam ahead. But since Syracuse is desperate, and there are still some major openings to fill, is it possible we’ll have to wait? Yeah, it’s possible. The South Carolina job is open, so is Virginia and Rutgers. The other jobs are not more enticing than the Orange (North Texas, East Carolina and Tulane). The SEC probably can’t take a chance on Babers (even though the Gamecocks coaching rumors have dug up some uninspired names). But UVA and RU are jobs on par with SU and could one of those schools swoop in and steal Babers? Sure. And even if they didn’t hire him, he could always wait to see who they hired, where otheer vacancies opened up because of those, and then weigh all his options before saying yes to SU. Especially if the SU financial offer isn’t very strong (which some reports have said it is decidely not), he could use the SC, UVA and RU hirings to help is negotiating leverage.
I’d like to think we’re closing in on a deal, and my instincts tell me Babers will be named SU’s head coach on Sunday, with a press conference on Monday. But in Syracuse Football Land, you learn to expect the unexpected.
Posted: Damon Amendolara