Dino Babers has a multitude of talents. He‚Äôs one of the best offensive minds in college football, and has parlayed that knowledge into an outstanding start as head coach of Syracuse. He‚Äôs given life to a starved fan base. He‚Äôs a walking quote machine. And apparently, he can see the future.
The day Babers was announced as head coach of the Orange, he told the world of what he had seen.
“Visualize this,” Babers said. “You’re in the Carrier Dome. The house is filled. The feeling is electric. The noise is deafening. You have a defense that’s relentless. You have a special teams that has been well-coached. You have an offense that will not huddle. And you have a game that’s faster than you’ve ever seen on turf. Open your eyes. That’s going to be a reality. That’s going to be Syracuse football.”
And of course, he was right. I mean even if he couldn‚Äôt see the future (a preposterous idea, of course Dino can) who wouldn‚Äôt want to play for Babers. His personality is infectious. His offense dynamic. And now his defense is playing with the same attacking style his offense always has.
He did it all at a program that had been smited by the cruel ineptitude of Scott Schafer. Maybe it wasn‚Äôt Babers that changed the program. Maybe he used his abilities, and realized that this program would become a force very soon, and he might as well hitch a ride.
Or maybe his other talents came into play. At the beginning, Babers saw the talent in Eric Dungey, a guy who was already on the roster. Then he used that fun-loving personality that has infected the Orange fan base to pry Tommy DeVito out of New Jersey. On top of that, he took lowly recruited receivers and turned them into stars.
But then he did the unexpected. Everyone knew this guy from Bowling Green could coach offense. I mean, that‚Äôs what he was hired to do. But the defense would likely suffer year-to-year. Kind of like the inverse to SU basketball, to balance out the two sports. But last season, two missiles from the edge emerged for the Orange. Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson combined for 20 sacks.
And the secondary, which was considered one of the weakest links heading into the season, became a huge strength. That tends to happen when you have a freshman All-American like Andre Cisco leading the way. Maybe Cisco has his own superpower, like super-sonic hearing, and could hear the offense‚Äôs play-calls, which would‚Äôve helped him grab seven interceptions. But he quickly became a ball-hawking star in SU‚Äôs defense.
So maybe Dino Babers is just a really good coach, who identifies diamonds in the rough like Cisco when he sees it. Or maybe he has other gifts, that could even be other-worldly.