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Has Dino Babers Done Enough To Be Taken Off The Hot Seat?

Photo Courtesy of Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

It seems like a perpetual, never-ending conversation — should Dino Babers remain as the Syracuse Football head coach. Every season people put him on the hot seat, then take him off after a couple impressive games, and then put him back on when he makes mistakes. The rollercoaster debate comes with the job as a Division I head coach, especially in a media-crazy town like Syracuse.

Coming off just a one-win season, people were calling for Babers’ job going into this year, saying that he would need to do quite a lot in order to change their minds. Well, he might have done that. The Orange are currently 5-4, just one win away from going to a bowl game. They are far and away overachieving, since they were projected to only win three games.

So, has Babers done enough to be taken off the hot seat?

Let’s play a little hypothetical and say Syracuse doesn’t win again this season. SU finishes 5-7, one game away from a bowl, and losers of the final three contests. Is that enough to keep Babers? Personally, I say no.

Sure, the win total would be two more than what Vegas was projecting. However, at this point, the Orange need to make it to a bowl game. If they lost their last three and didn’t get to bowl eligibility, I would consider this season a disappointment.

Plus, a lot of the wins this season have been in spite of Babers’ coaching. For example, the end of the first half debacle at Virginia Tech. If that was properly handled, SU probably wouldn’t have needed a walk-off touchdown. 

Syracuse could have also won a couple close battles with cleaner coaching. The example that jumps off the page is Wake Forest. If Babers didn’t accept the penalty at the end of the first half or had the team ready for the two-point conversion at the end of the game, that easily could be a win.

So, although Syracuse is overachieving the preseason projections, Babers needs a bowl berth to be taken off the hot season. If he does make it to postseason play, however, then absolutely turn down those temperatures. If the Orange play an extra game after no one expect anything of them, then no one should question Babers’ job security, whether he was the reason for the wins or not.

Now, of course a lot can change in the final three games, but if it all goes as expected Louisville is the easiest game left on the schedule. So, Babers’ job may be on the line this Saturday against the Cardinals. The temperature of his seat will be changing in a couple days, it just depends if it’ll be hotter or colder.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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