Orange Fizz


When Will Dino Babers Stop Getting the Benefit of the Doubt?

After Syracuse’s fourth straight loss last Thursday at the hands of Virginia Tech, 38-10, the calls for Dino Babers’ job and the program he has going in Central New York right now are getting louder. Over the past four weeks, the Orange have lost by 17 to a Clemson team with an identical 4-4 record to SU, 33 to a UNC team that has lost two straight conference games, 38 to No. 4 Florida State (understandable), and then 28 to another 4-4 team in the Hokies.

As we outlined here at The Fizz, even former players are calling out Babers and his players, with former SU QB Eric Dungey alluding to the notion that he thought Syracuse quit against Virginia Tech. Babers responded to that in his weekly Monday press conference.

“This is what I would say: Bring him in the room,” Babers said via “Eric can come to any practice. He’s an alumnus. All alums can come to practice. Come in, watch our practice, get around our captains and he can make his own decision and go out and tell you guys.”

The thing is, no matter what Dungey sees in practice, that doesn’t matter for anything until anyone sees it in a real game. Babers has preached for weeks that the Orange have practiced well and things just aren’t translating or the execution isn’t there. That is only believable for so long. How can you be successful in practice but as soon as you’re lining up from someone in a different jersey nothing is the same?

Someone who has struggled mightily over this four-game stretch is Garrett Shrader, Syracuse’s starting quarterback who took a huge hit at the beginning of the Clemson game, leading some to believe he’s still feeling the ramifications of that blindside blow. Here’s what Babers had to say about his signal caller.

“He can put some things on him, but there’s some things on some other people, too,” Babers said via “Garrett Shrader’s a tough guy, and he’ll stand and take a lot of punishment. … But some stuff is just not fair. We’ve all — when I say all: coaches, O-line, receivers — we all need to work together to make his job easier, not harder.”

All of this is fine and dandy Babers coach-speak, but at some point, results are going to be needed. Whose fault is it that the coaching, offensive line, and receivers haven’t helped him out? That’s on the head coach for either not recruiting well enough or developing players to an ACC-caliber level. Everything eventually trickles back up to the head coach, and no Babers cannot play for his players, but it’s his responsibility to have coordinators and position coaches getting these guys better as the season progresses, not worse as SU has done each of the last 3 years.

In 2021 it was a three-game losing streak where Syracuse lost by an average of 26.3 points per game. Then, it was a five-game losing streak in 2022 after a 6-0 start to take all of the air out of the momentum of the program. Now, it’s a four-game losing streak to teams that are evidently not as good as the Orange made them look (besides FSU), to bring even more questions about Babers’ job status into play. A loss against Boston College at home Friday night could be the last straw for the 8th-year head man, as he’s lost the benefit of the doubt with definitely many fans and even former players.

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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