It’s been a fun start to the season for Syracuse. A surprising demolition of Louisville at the Dome, and a (suddenly) predictable blowout of pathetic UConn makes the Orange 2-0. SU will garner even more votes for the Top 25, and will find itself with optimism and some shock around the nation that the program is finally acting like a real football team.
Even if the Cards and Huskies are two of the worst teams in the nation, at least Syracuse has proven it’s a step above that. And that’s something considering the last few seasons have left everyone wondering whether the Orange could ever be more than one of the doormats of the Power 5.
Louisville bounced back with a victory over UCF, suggesting the Cardinals aren’t as awful as Opening Night made it seem. Which suggests that perhaps the Orange are actually good enough to make decent teams look bad. And that is something we haven’t seen since 2018, Dino Babers lone winning season on the Hill.
Ah yes, the Babers question. Is he on the hot seat? Can SU afford to fire him even if the program has bottomed out? And most importantly, what would it take to remove him from the firing line? The first two weeks are a good start.
Undoubtedly, Babers is on the public hot seat. Fans and media want him gone, especially if there’s another depressing season. But the school may not have the $10M to buy him out of his contract, which could be the reason John Wildhack denied Babers being on the hot seat.
There’s still plenty of time for the season to go sideways. Next up is Purdue, which gave Penn State a run to open the season. In October, the Orange will face four straight teams that are ranked right now (NC State, Clemson, Pitt and Notre Dame). The Irish will most likely be unranked though after that loss to Marshall.
So it’s premature to say Babers is off the hot seat. But the offense is clicking, with 79 points scored in the first two games, Garrett Shrader throwing for 230+ yards in each and Sean Tucker going over the century mark both games. If Babers offense can finally shine (by virtue of a new coordinator), it’ll at least portend a fun season. And that’s something few would have predicted this summer.