Babers, Syracuse face stark reality / David Hale (ESPN) | Page 3 | Syracusefan.com

Babers, Syracuse face stark reality / David Hale (ESPN)

This whole notion of we were stuck with a TE playing QB just ignores that the backup QB couldn't hit water from a boat in the BC game. In the friendly confines of the Dome against a mediocre (at best) team.

Just one week later, the QB who transferred to the west coast because he wanted to be the starter went 4-16 with an INT.

It was also the 3rd straight year that we had no backup option when Shrader, a QB who was asked to do everything, went down with an injury.

But woe is Dino.

Actually the second TE to do so as Culpepper was the first.
 
A huge stretch of the truth here by Hale. Must have been close to Dino because it makes very little sense what he wrote.

Teams with fewer P5 conference Ws than Dino the last 3 years:

Northwestern 6 (fired HC non FB)
Rutgers 6
Colorado 5 (fired HC)
Stanford 5 (fired HC)
Indiana 3 (HC hotseat)
Vandy 2 (HC hotseat)


That is right, no ACC team has fewer conference Ws than Dino. So does Hale think we should have extended Dino with 1 year left on his contract? And this is ignoring 2019 and 2020.
I don't think Hale was making the case he should have stayed on or extended? Just that it's not an easy call.
 
I mean, he's not wrong. My only issue with the argument Hale (and many others) have made is that the majority of uphill battles Babers faced yearly were of his own making and were entirely preventable.
Again, hes a great guy, a great leader of young men but unfortunately not a great football coach. Thankfully he can still use the first two attributes to continue to make a positive difference.
He’s not wrong per se, but the biggest issue with the team was lack of quality depth at QB, WR, and OL, and that had little to do with the portal and was an issue with the team each of the last 4 years. The portal didn’t even exist post 2018 so who’s to blame for that?

I find it ironic and disingenuous quite frankly that the chronic offensive depth woes are completely ignored by him.
 
I think it asks the orange fan to look in the mirror, which I like. Are we, Syracuse fans evaluating the job properly or are we waxing nostalgic about coach Mac and O days? Are we accounting for reality?

I think, my take away after years of supporting Dougie, SS, and Dino here on the message board is that the ground shifting beneath the program is very difficult terrain to win on consistently. We need a *good* HC to do that. And that someone needs to be a rock star at winning support and building belief so that NIL is easier. Winning happens when the situation is evaluated properly and the admin/coaching/players/fans/boosters are all in alignment.

What is the definition of winning consistently? If it is 8-5, then yes I agree we need a good HC. But if it is 6-6, then no. Just look at BC this year. I don't think Hafley is a good HC and they are currently the worst Sagarin rated ACC team. Yet, he has 6 Ws. It is really hard to not get to 6-6. I think any decent HC will be over .500 here.
 
I like Hale, but obviously there are ton of holes in what he wrote.

However, he nailed our circumstances with this one sentence: "There's simply no room for error when the margins are so thin."

Bingo and amen.

The last five years of the Babers era were marked by a never-ending array of self-inflicted wounds. You simply can't have the amount of botched player personnel moves, organizational approaches, coaching hires and in-game decisions that occured and also see consistent success.

We're a small market team. We have to minimize those errors. Dino did the opposite.
I think this is a pretty accurate assessment - when you manage a program with no margin for error and little contingency, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
 
What is the definition of winning consistently? If it is 8-5, then yes I agree we need a good HC. But if it is 6-6, then no. Just look at BC this year. I don't think Hafley is a good HC and they are currently the worst Sagarin rated ACC team. Yet, he has 6 Ws. It is really hard to not get to 6-6. I think any decent HC will be over .500 here.
Yeah, I think to really meet "Syracuse in the 80s and 90s" standard that most of us have in our heads 6-6 is the floor and 8-9 wins is a good year. Slipping below 6 wins too often is not great.
 
Hale makes many good points here.

On the plus side for Dino:
Dino is a fantastic person and personality, and a good representative of the program. He could attract some quality coaches. Dino was able to bring in talent on the defensive side of the ball. Dino also was beginning to make it work on the offensive side of the ball WITHOUT utilizing a QB that can throw. This is insane when you think about it. Maybe Cuse should just do away with the QB position altogether (I kid, but only partly...)

The negative:
Dino's feel for the game left something to be desired (when to call timeouts, when to go for it on 4th, unnecessary onside kicks). His teams committed way too many procedure penalties. He never seemed to see the game well from the sideline (was asking refs who committed penalties and what they did, his recount of events in post-game pressers made you scratch your head). His stubbornness to throw the deep ball just out of bounds along the sideline was frustrating

That 25-30 yard pass along the right sideline - that hasn't been working for years, including when the NY Giants QB1 was here. I guess it worked ok when the WR was strong enough to not get pushed around but it has been a pitiful pass for years. And during the tenure of multiple OCs, which makes me wonder how much play calling was Dino doing?
 
I think it asks the orange fan to look in the mirror, which I like. Are we, Syracuse fans evaluating the job properly or are we waxing nostalgic about coach Mac and O days? Are we accounting for reality?

I think, my take away after years of supporting Dougie, SS, and Dino here on the message board is that the ground shifting beneath the program is very difficult terrain to win on consistently. We need a *good* HC to do that. And that someone needs to be a rock star at winning support and building belief so that NIL is easier. Winning happens when the situation is evaluated properly and the admin/coaching/players/fans/boosters are all in alignment.
We have stunk the past 2-6 years. Read the posts above about least number of p5 wins. If we are ok with that, then sure, extend dino. If we arent and want to get better, we need to spend more. If the answer to both of those is no...then perhaps we throw in the towel on FBS football and drop down. And I am being serious.
 
Babers, Syracuse face stark reality

Syracuse parted ways with coach Dino Babers on Sunday after the Orange fell to Georgia Tech 31-22. Babers ends his eight-year tenure with the Orange with an ACC record of 20-45 (41-55 overall) and just two bowl bids. Given those numbers, the decision is hardly a surprise.

But dig a little deeper into the situation at Syracuse, and Babers' dismissal signals a larger set of problems -- problems that echo the uphill battle so many low-end Power 5 teams will face moving forward in the new era of college football.

Babers was 12-12 in the past two seasons, which is actually better than Miami's Mario Cristobal or Iowa State's Matt Campbell, and the same as Houston's Dana Holgorsen and Pitt's Pat Narduzzi since the start of 2022.

But the fan base had soured on Babers after Syracuse wasted back-to-back strong starts -- 6-0 in 2022, 4-0 this year -- and athletic director John Wildhack opted for a change.

But look at the cards Babers was dealt: The loss to Georgia Tech came with a converted tight end playing quarterback for the second straight week. It came in a season in which Babers replaced both coordinators after the incumbents left in lateral moves. Babers recruited well enough to have two players from last year's team drafted and another make an NFL roster. Indeed, four others left for different Power 5 programs -- the portal offering access to better NIL opportunities at bigger schools.
Six weeks ago, Babers was asked about Syracuse's depth amid rising injury attrition, and he offered a blunt answer.

"It's the same old thing: Depth is gone," Babers said. "Our depth is in the transfer portal. You know how many guys we lost. You know what schools they play at. Schools like us, we're not going to have a lot of depth because it gets bought away." More than a few Syracuse fans and critics suggested this was an easy excuse for another downward spiral, but Babers wasn't wrong. This is life on the fringes of big-time college football today. Winning at a place like Syracuse has been hard for a long time, but Babers proved in 2018 that, with the right QB and a handful of diamonds in the rough, it was possible. He led Syracuse to a 10-win season and a No. 15 ranking in the final AP poll -- two things that hadn't happened in Central New York in 17 years.

But then COVID hit (and hit Syracuse harder than almost any team in the country), the portal opened, NIL became the law of the land and, yes, a hefty fraction of Babers' best talent walked out the door.

That's not to say Babers didn't make mistakes. Witness Syracuse's second-half collapse against Clemson last year or the woeful performance against Virginia Tech last month coming off an open date. There's simply no room for error when the margins are so thin.

Perhaps the next coach will win more than 12 games in two years. It's certainly possible. But the problems at Syracuse run deep, and some of them simply can't be addressed by hiring a new coach or funneling more money into the football program. -- David M. Hale

One of the lamest parts of Hale’s essay: “But look at the cards Babers was dealt: The loss to Georgia Tech came with a converted tight end playing quarterback for the second straight week…”

This is not a card “Babers was dealt.” He has full responsibility for the level and depth of talent in the QB room. This is somewhat like the JB defenders toward the end complaining “what can he do, look at the disparity in athletic talent.”

If only JB knew the player personnel director. And if only Dino knew the guy responsible for recruiting and retaining quarterbacks. You don’t get to make that excuse when you’re CEO of the operation.
 
Those #narratives ain't gonna write themselves!! :rolleyes:

We lost a handful of guys on D to the portal.
Our D was NOT the problem this year.

When you have a supposedly O guru HC, and a QB whisperer OC, you really should be able to field a backup QB who can throw a forward pass semi-reliably.
MANY other peer programs have managed to do so.

The lack of talented backups is directly on the HC, and OC.
They're recruiting "their guys", and coaching them up. Or not.

We're putting $ into the program via facilities, Dome upgrades, higher/competitive salaries for coaches, and a good-enough NIL program.

Syracuse is not Little Sisters of the Poor.
We can't support our program like Clemson & FSU, but we should at least be able to match peers like Wake, BC, Pitt, etc.
See Va Tech and NC.
 
One thing about losing depth to the portal -

It wasn’t defensive depth that hurt us this year. It was depth on offense.

We lost Carter, Duce, Steve and JT.

We didn’t lose anyone of note, aside I guess Lamson, on O.

I don’t give Babers an inch for that excuse.
We lost Jordan a few years ago and Luke Benson was on the field for Virginia Tech. We've lost more on defense, but we've lost some on offense too. Injuries have hurt the offensive side more than the portal.
 
We lost Jordan a few years ago and Luke Benson was on the field for Virginia Tech. We've lost more on defense, but we've lost some on offense too. Injuries have hurt the offensive side more than the portal.
Luke Benson’s another classic board legend. I honestly forgot he existed until Saturday
 
Luke Benson’s another classic board legend. I honestly forgot he existed until Saturday
That doesn't matter, he was a contributor. When you're talking about depth, anyone you lose that you didn't have "the talk" with hurts. This idea that a number of people have had that we can just plug in new bodies when we lose someone is false. If the same trend continues under the next guy, we'll be having all the same gripes about him.
 
I think Hale really downplayed Dino’s crappy record, especially vs other ACC foes. He also didn’t provide real perspective on the “TE playing QB” thing, as has been pointed out by other posters in this thread. The staff either misjudged the QB talent of or failed to improve the other QB’s who weren’t even considered good enough to replace Allen behind center in situations that screamed “pass”.

But its more than that. We all know that we face challenges as a program. You know it, I know it, and Dino knew BEFORE he negotiated his extension. He could have leveraged the 10 win season into another job. Instead, he renegotiated his contract, all the while knowing the challenges. When it didn’t work out, it is disingenuous to cry about how hard it is. Especially some of the the challenges created by the guy on the sideline.

It is never easy to lose a job. But make no mistake; this isn’t an unwed mother getting fired by Ebenezer Scrooge from her minimum wage job. This is a guy who made over $20 million at SU, a good chunk coming after he renegotiated his contract.

We face a ton of challenges. Was Dino the cause of most of them? No, but after 8 years he wasn’t the solution to any of them either.
 
That doesn't matter, he was a contributor. When you're talking about depth, anyone you lose that you didn't have "the talk" with hurts. This idea that a number of people have had that we can just plug in new bodies when we lose someone is false. If the same trend continues under the next guy, we'll be having all the same gripes about him.
He didn’t block and we dont have a QB who can throw over 10 yards.

Babers excuses dont add up. 8 years and an expanded recruiting budget. Lets just lay this to rest.
 
He didn’t block and we dont have a QB who can throw over 10 yards.

Babers excuses dont add up. 8 years and an expanded recruiting budget. Lets just lay this to rest.
I hope we can. If the next guy doesn't have depth issues, we can lay it to rest. If he does, we'll be having these same conversations in a few years.
 
I think Hale really downplayed Dino’s crappy record, especially vs other ACC foes. He also didn’t provide real perspective on the “TE playing QB” thing, as has been pointed out by other posters in this thread. The staff either misjudged the QB talent of or failed to improve the other QB’s who weren’t even considered good enough to replace Allen behind center in situations that screamed “pass”.

But its more than that. We all know that we face challenges as a program. You know it, I know it, and Dino knew BEFORE he negotiated his extension. He could have leveraged the 10 win season into another job. Instead, he renegotiated his contract, all the while knowing the challenges. When it didn’t work out, it is disingenuous to cry about how hard it is. Especially some of the the challenges created by the guy on the sideline.

It is never easy to lose a job. But make no mistake; this isn’t an unwed mother getting fired by Ebenezer Scrooge from her minimum wage job. This is a guy who made over $20 million at SU, a good chunk coming after he renegotiated his contract.

We face a ton of challenges. Was Dino the cause of most of them? No, but after 8 years he wasn’t the solution to any of them either.
To be completely fair. Some of the challenges didn't exist in 2018. NIL didn't exist and the 1 year sit out for transfers was still in place. It was time for Dino to go, but some of what he complained about is real, and the next coach will be dealing with it. Hopefully he is better prepared for it.
 
Hale’s take sucks, he talks about the hand Dino was dealt with personnel. Is this the NFL where Dino has a GM bringing players in? Please. The portal took away on D, not offense, and the issues we are having now are the same ones we have had since Dino got here, which was 5 years before NIL
 
To be completely fair. Some of the challenges didn't exist in 2018. NIL didn't exist and the 1 year sit out for transfers was still in place. It was time for Dino to go, but some of what he complained about is real, and the next coach will be dealing with it. Hopefully he is better prepared for it.
I acknowledged that the challenges were real. That said, that isn’t the whole explanation for Dino’s tenure
 
According to U.S.N&W.R., Clemson has an undergraduate enrollment of 22,566 and Syracuse has an undergraduate enrollment of 15,421. It is not like Clemson has four times the student population like a B1G state school might have. Other than the administration and alumni having different priorities, there is no reason why we can not support the program similar to Clemson.
Actually, there's a BIG difference. Syracuse is a private non-profit university. Clemson is a publicly funded land grant university with financial support coming from the state of South Carolina, which probably covers most of their budget. Syracuse doesn't have that luxury. Syracuse generates less than half the football revenue of Clemson or Florida State. It's not priorities as much as it is revenue. Keeping up with our peers is going to be increasingly difficult.
 
I acknowledged that the challenges were real. That said, that isn’t the whole explanation for Dino’s tenure
You did, but you also said he knew what he was getting in to when he signed the extension. That's not accurate. The challenges changed after 2018. Timing matters.
 
Hale is so wrong on almost everything he wrote. Go back 8 years and tell me that the head coach hasn't been a failure in all aspects of coaching with a huge exception and that is being a good leader of young men. Not a good football coach of young men.
 
I think it’s safe to say that SU will find itself in this same situation in about six years. Donovan McNabb and Dwight Freeney aren’t walking through that door again.

Tommy Devito walked through that door - and Dino and his staff couldn’t find a way to make that work.

We need a guy who can get talent in the door and then utilize it. Dino was able to get talent in the door early, but couldn’t utilize it. That maybe ultimately led to him not getting the caliber of talent in the door he needed, either - but inability to coach the guys we had is what doomed Dino.
 

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