My Take | Page 3 | Syracusefan.com

My Take

My point. We went from an attendance average of 46-47K in the late 90s to 41-42K when P was let go. And the competition for peoples time and money is even more voracious now.

And that was with one lean year, 2002.
Wonder what year tv blackouts in the local area were changed?
 
Agree with this. SU has made unprecedented commitments to football in the last decade. They added the IPF (without checking, I think it just makes that timeline), the dome renovations, which continue and the football operations center. That has to be over $300 million. I would consider that a major commitment.

I believe we are finally paying a competitive salary to the football HC and I believe the budget for assistants has been greatly expanded. There is more money for recruiting and private jets are available to the staff. The support staff for football (for recruiting, nutrition, mental health, etc.) has been greatly expanded as well. All this has changed in the last couple of years.

Even without the football operation center, we are a lot more competitive with our peers than we were a decade ago.

I think we have increased our budget more than any other school in the conference, at least by percentage of where it was.

The biggest problem is that we have been directing all this money towards staff and infrastructure. The rest of the football world has changed and is funneling almost all funds raised towards NIL. When the football operations center and the dome renovation is done, we will have a relatively level playoff field (somewhere near the middle of the ACC).

Then we can focus on catching up with NIL.
Great post Tom. The focus has been to at least approach the ACC median with respect to facilities, salaries, and support staff. This is where resources are directed. Anyone who has seen what every other school in the conference has in this regard knows that we were at the bottom. As you said, the commitment here has been "major" and necessary to long term survival in the face of conference realignment.

Maybe a more subtle factor behind where we find ourselves currently is the timing of Covid and the implementation of NIL. The Lally Complex and support staff additions were delayed by at least 2 years. NIL came on board in 2021. A "perfect" storm that only compounded the impact of SU's late to the party decision making. People like to distill this down to SU is too cheap, only interested in cashing checks, and whatever else gets tossed around. We are in catch up mode in so many areas...
 
Yep, I literally had a dream I won the lottery and at the press conference I said that “this was a very good day for the syracuse football program”.

This whole discussion makes me mad all over again at the Weitsman situation throwing a billionaire to the curb.
Don't want to get off topic, but I have heard that Mr. W has moved his support to SUNY Binghamton.
 
CODDAMIT SCOOCH DON'T YOU DARE TRY AND TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME
Eh. There isn’t a program out there that plays “exciting” football for years at a time, always only wins 6-7 games, and has a rabid, engaged fan base. Believe what you want but it’s kinda nonsense. Sorry.
 
Eh. There isn’t a program out there that plays “exciting” football for years at a time, always only wins 6-7 games, and has a rabid, engaged fan base. Believe what you want but it’s kinda nonsense. Sorry.

I would say Purdue, Washington State, Kentucky, Miss State recently, and most of the B12 all fit that.
 
CODDAMIT SCOOCH DON'T YOU DARE TRY AND TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME
I mean this sincerely when I say I respect and admire your commitment to the cause of an air raid offense in the dome. And I understand the reasons why. I think 20-25 years ago, it would have worked, but I don't think it will now.

Turn on almost any game right now, and both teams are running 4- and 5-WR sets on most downs. The spread RPO passing offense has taken over college football. I'm not sure there's enough WR talent out there that we could land above average classes. The dome isn't enough of a differentiator to get FL or TX kids to come here vs. even mid-tier southern schools. I think this is part of the reason why our WR groups have been bottom tier ACC as it is. There just aren't enough good WR out there to fill all the roster slots that everyone has available. Back when everyone else was still using a FB was the time to do it.
 
I should start this post by admitting this: I only watched the first half of the game. It was a long tough day at work. I was already tired and having to watch us play like that, with no sign anything was going to improve, was brutal. Especially after having to watch the same horrific car crash type stuff the last 3 games.

I had never turned off a Syracuse game until the GRob era. I know I did a halftime turn off for at least one road game back then. Don’t remember who the opponent was. Thankfully that awful memory has disappeared in the mists of time. Also left a home game at halftime during the GRob era. Again, I don’t remember the details (and please don’t try and figure out what game it was, I think we have all had enough discussion of Syracuse getting destroyed on the football field for now).

Props to Virginia Tech. Pry said he wanted them to get off to a fast start and that is expertly what they did. They played like winning this game was a life or death situation. They wanted it more than we did. They played hard and smart. I don’t think they have great talent but they have some good athletes and they executed really well and had great game plans on offense and defense. Great job by their players and coaches.

We looked flat and frankly, not ready to play. I don’t understand it but this has been a hallmark of Dino’s teams in big games throughout his tenure here.

I saw no changes made on offense to address the horrific failures of that unit the last month or so. The play calling was the same stuff we have been trying to run (and failing) all season long. Didn’t see any new plays. No new personnel.

VT does not have a good DL but they man handled the SU OL all game long. Our tackles struggled to touch their DEs coming around the edge. The interior line wasn’t much better. I think they pass blocked a bit better but their run blocking was really ineffective. Many times we left VT DL alone, didn’t even try to block them and all they had to do was cross the line of scrimmage and hit the guy with the ball. I know VT does some stunting and maybe they put some nice stuff in but at this point in the season, we should be capable of engaging DL for at least a couple of seconds.

GS again was not a factor running the ball.. VT collapsed the pocket and kept contain time after time. When we were able to get a completion, after always VT knew what was coming and immediately leveled our receiver. Almost nothing was tried to counter the hard pursuing VT defense. You gotta throw some screens, some reverses, some passes to WRs where they throw it. Some counter runs. Plays where the defense gets penalized for being too aggressive. VT ran all that stuff all the time against us, with great success. We didn’t even try these plays. It makes you wonder about basic coaching concepts and whether our staff understands them.

When Dino was interviewed on the field (I think it was as the half ended), he said they had to get better running the ball. That was his analysis. I was thinking Dino knew this was a big game and decided he was going to really get involved in the game plans on offense and the awful approach was probably on him. After hearing him, I wasa convinced his meddling was/is the root cause for our offensive collapse.

Already mentioned I thought our defense played hard and at times well but VT knew we were going to be aggressive and they used all the plays you want to use to beat down an overly aggressive defense. We over pursued like crazy. Johnson has been burned on fly routes the last few games. He isn’t fast enough to play CB at this level and that is on film and people are going to try and take advantage the rest of the season. Drones is not an accurate passer and he missed a bunch of fly routes early but even someone like him is going to connect sometimes when his WR is wide open alone down field with no one within 5 yards of him.

Bellamy got burned again for a TD early. Talented kid who has been abused badly this year. I hope he learns from it and is better next year. Looks like he is a really good athlete. Glad to hear he is not seriously injured. Delaine came in to replace him and I thought he was very impressive. Tough kid with some speed and moxie. I hope he starts the rest of the season at the other CB spot. Peterson got abused late in the half as well. Believe he came in for Johnson at the other CB spot. Ouch.

Barron got hurt in the first half and did not return. Props to him for playing hurt. He is limited playing with one arm but he plays hard. Thought Farmer looked very good replacing him and I hope we continue to play him and give Justin some time off to get his body right.

The loss of Stonehouse is another kick to the groin. Seems like we keep losing the players we can least afford to lose. He hit a bomb of a punt on that play and the coverage was late getting there, lost lane assignments and screwed things up big time. Punt return coverage has not been good this year. Coach Licky needs to do better here. Stonehouse has had to try and make a TD saving tackle a couple of times now. Props to him for trying to make a big play. And he did save a TD blowing out his knee….

We spyed on Drones with Wax and it worked pretty well. He was not a factor running the ball. Really disappointed with our DEs, who get no pressure on Drones all game long. He had a ton of time on all the long throws that they made. Unacceptable.

Thought we did a terrible job holding the corner when VT ran wide. Our CB was never in position to turn the play inside (miss Garrett so much). Our DEs got absorbed by the VT OTs over and over and over and over and we never were able to make any adjustments. Our OLBs also were never able to bear their blocks and make plays. VT RBs ran 5 yards past the LOS repeatedly before they even saw a SU defender. This has not been a problem for years and VT is not a good running team. Very very disappointing. Especially the lack of adjustments.

This was a big game for Dino Babers and this team. I said that before the game and I still think it. I think it set the tone for the rest of the year and it is going to be really hard to change the momentum and get this team turned around now.

What would I do if I was the AD? Well first of all, I am thankful I am not the AD. It has to be ugly opening JW’’s Inbox right now.

I know a lot of people want Dino fired yesterday. I get it. I was thinking the same things Thursday night. But I don’t think that is the right thing to do. However unlikely it is, I think you have to let the season play out and see if the team can turn things around. Changing coaches is a big deal. It will cost SU somewhere around $5 million to buy Dino out. It will affect our recruiting class. But if we can’t get to 7-5, yes, it has to be done.

I am not advocating a wait and see approach. I want (and expect) JW to be burning up the phone lines, touching base with the coaches he has identified as our best replacements and gauging interest. If they have requirements besides salary (and the good ones will), he needs to be lining up commitments from university and donor sources to get those things in place. Identify the coach that is the best fit and get the deal lined up and ready to go, contingent on SU losing that 6th game this year. Hell, if JW loves a coach and Dino loses a 5th game, do it then.

The first step is getting the money to buy Dino out. People will say the university get it, just get it from them. Well, that isn’t the way things work in the real world. The fact is that the university gave the football program tens of millions in subsidies so it could survive during the COVID period, when revenues went in the toilet. I suspect the powers that be in the university still think the football program owes them for that, and for okaying all the money for the dome renovation, and the IPL and the football operations center, and the additional money for more support staff, and the additional money for a better coaching staff, etc. SU had ponied up some of this money and donors have ponied up the rest. Asking for more money now is tough, and if we want to get a good coach who has a chance to turn the program around, he is going to want assurances that the money for a top notch staff, top notch support staff, top notch facilities and (most importantly) top notch NIL money) will be part of his package.

People don’t want to hear it but Dino has been working with the deck stacked against him. Our facilities are the worst in the conference. They are getting better but they are the worst. Our support staff size and money is near the bottom of the conference. And NIL money is also near the bottom of the conference.

We can’t win without investing more in the program. Not only do we need to buy out Dino but we need to continue to pour more money into the program to have a chance to be consistently competitive in league play. JW has to find a way to raise a ton of money in a short period of time to make all this happen. The timing is bad. A lot has been asked and a lot has been provided but a lot more is still needed.

I hope many of you that are campaigning for Dino to get fired are willing to put your wallet where your mouth is and back a decision to change coaches with a donation to make a transition in coaches successful. Give what you can if you care. This might be our last chance to turn the program around and stay relevant in big time college football.

It is put up or shut up time. I intend to help. Hope others will help as well.
Actual balanced and well thought out post, instead of the “mob with pitchforks” mentality , well done, total agreement here .
 
I would say Purdue, Washington State, Kentucky, Miss State recently, and most of the B12 all fit that.
Define “exciting” football then? Many of them have not been 7 win teams for years and years either. And most are doing nothing more than just playing football. Certainly nothing unique.

I think you guys are lost in the sauce.
 
I mean, guys, Dino did exactly what you’re suggesting his first couple years here. We lost a lot and people were just as apathetic as they were under Shafer.
 
Remember those Daddy Warbucks types I mentioned a couple hours ago. Almost none of them act like Weitsman. That’s why he became personna non grata. The guy was a walking (or more precisely, flying) violation waiting to happen.

We need someone like that who isn’t an Instagram attention whore.
Yes but if and until that happens (not happening), his $ would’ve been helpful to and in this new world of “college” sports.
Until then put up with his schtick and maybe try and/or figure a way to meet the needs of both sides instead of now begging us minor leaguers for more nil $

But Whatever water under the bridge…
 
I mean this sincerely when I say I respect and admire your commitment to the cause of an air raid offense in the dome. And I understand the reasons why. I think 20-25 years ago, it would have worked, but I don't think it will now.

Turn on almost any game right now, and both teams are running 4- and 5-WR sets on most downs. The spread RPO passing offense has taken over college football. I'm not sure there's enough WR talent out there that we could land above average classes. The dome isn't enough of a differentiator to get FL or TX kids to come here vs. even mid-tier southern schools. I think this is part of the reason why our WR groups have been bottom tier ACC as it is. There just aren't enough good WR out there to fill all the roster slots that everyone has available. Back when everyone else was still using a FB was the time to do it.

I don't think there is a differentiator to get kids here. I will agree with that part. But a large issue is Dino's recruiting. It was only 5 years ago that we had the pieces to run it. That year we had 4 WRs with 40+ catches. Heck even 2019 we had 3 WRs with over 35 catches. It has been all downhill since because of recruiting.
 
Love the assessment of specific position players, sounds like it will be tough to find two more wins this year. How did this same team manage to win at Purdue?

I think Colorado’s announcement of Coach Prime sets the standard for the sort of approach we need for immediate change - roll the dice on a new coach, acknowledging we will do better on the revenue side of things with a better, more exciting product on the field.

The problem for me, as a potential donor, is that I don’t trust the athletic department to take us to the next level. Revenue-minded organizations are marketing all the time, building the brand. If I wasn’t an alum and on this forum I wouldn’t know Syracuse sports existed. As a recent example - I don’t know why I didn’t get anything promoting the opening event for our mens basketball team. It’s a new era, some of the biggest news for our men’s team in years, and just … nothing. Add to this the complaints about SU fan experience - having just seen a VA Tech game in person I am confident that a great fan experience locks in commitment of existing fans and draws new ones. What can we do to make this happen?

In general this year I’m bothered by the pace of change in the college football landscape has been so rapid that if this pace continues (and why wouldn’t it?) I fear we will be forever behind the times and chasing after trends that are no longer relevant. There is so much money needed to be truly great at this sport - I’m just not sure it’s worth the investment if we are just chasing after passing fads/trends/rules.

There is clearly some organizational vision needed here from the university and athletic department. Maybe some visioning as well because of the pace of change. If that sort of effort was shared with fans I might be more encouraged just by knowing the effort was being made.

One last thought on the plus side … we are far from alone in this. There are dozens of D1 schools out there who must be looking at their football programs as a millstone and speculating about its value proposition. To my mind that means there is opportunity for broader, more systemic, change in the college football landscape. Maybe a post-realignment world. kudos to anyone who read all this.
 
I don't think record is the problem as much as the product that we are watching. You can go 7-5 every year with an entertaining product and people will come. I don't think the Ls are pushing people away as much as the continual laying of eggs, along with totally inept Os.

In over 1/3 of his Ls Dino falls behind by 17 or more points in the 1st Half! That isn't watchable. He hasn't had a functional O in the last FIVE years. That isn't watchable. Every time people start to get excited about the team, we are let down. That makes people think same old SU, I won't buy in the next time.

Our problem right now isn't the state of the program. It isn't the current CFB environment. It is Dino. The team cannot be fixed and the fans cannot be expected to buy in until he is gone.
Absolutely right! Take 2021 for example. We were 5-7, but 3 of the losses were consecutive 3 point losses to Clemson, FSU, and a ranked WF. In all 3 Dino had a crucial game mgt mistake that contributed to each loss, but still we were competitive.

Same with the first 7 games last year. For the season we were competitive in 10 of our 13 games.

But now the landscape has changed even more with the new NIL portal and that certainly doesn’t favor us. I may sounds like a broken record but you can’t lose 2 all-acc defenders and another starting DE but expect there isn’t going to be a drop off. The other thing is even if OG and Wohlabaugh were playing our record would still be the exact same so you can’t put the losses on them.

I do like the Cuse United NIL initiative started in mid-september with the goal of raising $500k by Dec.11 that will be matched by a group of generous donors anywhere from $25-$250k. They have a long-term goal of raising $6-9 MILLION in NIL money to fund all SU athletes. This initiative needs to be pushed to the moon. It’s a simple way to get every fan involved even if it’s just $25. This is exactly what we need and can show the next possible HC we are serious about competing in the NIL world.
 
I mean, guys, Dino did exactly what you’re suggesting his first couple years here. We lost a lot and people were just as apathetic as they were under Shafer.
But at least there was hope. I admit i wanted Babers as my #1 choice because i liked the offense he ran at BG. The first 3 years gave us hope. The upset at home vs VT in year 1, the upset of Clemson in year 2, and then the magically run in 2018 where we were 2 plays from being 11-1. Then we lost Sean Lewis and the hurry up offense was something everybody was doing. Once the key players from 2018 left, as well as Sean Lewis, we hit a wall. Devito was supposed to be the savior, but even if he could max out his potential the horrible OL gave him a case of shell shock and Dino wasn’t able to recruit any playmakers on the offensive side until Sean Tucker. You have to think Sean Lewis was largely responsible for our success. Dungey will never be known for having the best arm but he had some very good receivers to throw to in AET, Ish, and Custis.
 
For all the griping about being behind and fighting an uphill battle, yadda yadda yadda

There has been talent and there has been opportunities that DINO directly blew

HIS poor decision making and incompetence cost the team a bowl in 2019 and 2021

And whatever is going on behind the scenes this year, is going to crater a 4-0 start to miss a bowl this year.

This year is screaming 5-7 with loss seven coming last week of season.

Unacceptable

Other programs in our situation or worse off have found ways to win more consistently and do better with less resources than we have
 
But at least there was hope. I admit i wanted Babers as my #1 choice because i liked the offense he ran at BG. The first 3 years gave us hope. The upset at home vs VT in year 1, the upset of Clemson in year 2, and then the magically run in 2018 where we were 2 plays from being 11-1. Then we lost Sean Lewis and the hurry up offense was something everybody was doing. Once the key players from 2018 left, as well as Sean Lewis, we hit a wall. Devito was supposed to be the savior, but even if he could max out his potential the horrible OL gave him a case of shell shock and Dino wasn’t able to recruit any playmakers on the offensive side until Sean Tucker. You have to think Sean Lewis was largely responsible for our success. Dungey will never be known for having the best arm but he had some very good receivers to throw to in AET, Ish, and Custis.
And for the record just to be clear Lewis left at end of 2017 not 18. I do agree Lewis is a good coach and his system seems very effective but again he wasn’t coaching the 2018 team here. Lewis done a nice job at Colorado getting that things humming, he has good skill guys but weak o line
 
SU is putting a quarter of a billion dollars plus into long term facilities.

The football coach lost whatever pitches he was able to throw. That happens and move on.
$250M? I thought it was 150.
 
And for the record just to be clear Lewis left at end of 2017 not 18. I do agree Lewis is a good coach and his system seems very effective but again he wasn’t coaching the 2018 team here. Lewis done a nice job at Colorado getting that things humming, he has good skill guys but weak o line
I’m drawing blank who was OC in 2018? Lynch?
 
But at least there was hope. I admit i wanted Babers as my #1 choice because i liked the offense he ran at BG. The first 3 years gave us hope. The upset at home vs VT in year 1, the upset of Clemson in year 2, and then the magically run in 2018 where we were 2 plays from being 11-1. Then we lost Sean Lewis and the hurry up offense was something everybody was doing. Once the key players from 2018 left, as well as Sean Lewis, we hit a wall. Devito was supposed to be the savior, but even if he could max out his potential the horrible OL gave him a case of shell shock and Dino wasn’t able to recruit any playmakers on the offensive side until Sean Tucker. You have to think Sean Lewis was largely responsible for our success. Dungey will never be known for having the best arm but he had some very good receivers to throw to in AET, Ish, and Custis.
Right. We had hope because the offense was novel and Dino was in his honeymoon period.

My point in this discussion is that endless years of 7-5 aren’t going to generate some kind of rabid fan base, no matter what the offense is.

If #OITNF was still our O, and we had been averaging 6-7 wins a season since 2018, I am very confident that the Dome would still have a lot of empty seats, and a lot of people here would be calling for Dino’s head.
 
I mean this sincerely when I say I respect and admire your commitment to the cause of an air raid offense in the dome. And I understand the reasons why. I think 20-25 years ago, it would have worked, but I don't think it will now.

Turn on almost any game right now, and both teams are running 4- and 5-WR sets on most downs. The spread RPO passing offense has taken over college football. I'm not sure there's enough WR talent out there that we could land above average classes. The dome isn't enough of a differentiator to get FL or TX kids to come here vs. even mid-tier southern schools. I think this is part of the reason why our WR groups have been bottom tier ACC as it is. There just aren't enough good WR out there to fill all the roster slots that everyone has available. Back when everyone else was still using a FB was the time to do it.
You could be right but why not, given the Dome, at least make an extended commitment to try?

What else are we going to do?

Run northeast meathead and let the Big 10 schools that play that way snag all the best recruits for that kind of system?
 
Coach P went 39-33 in the six years after McNabb, with 3 bowl games (and 2 wins).

Since then we've had:
10-37
25-25
14-23
40-53?

Can we go back?

And that was with Perry Patterson, Troy Nunes and RJ Anderson.
 
Yes but if and until that happens (not happening), his $ would’ve been helpful to and in this new world of “college” sports.
Until then put up with his schtick and maybe try and/or figure a way to meet the needs of both sides instead of now begging us minor leaguers for more nil $

But Whatever water under the bridge…

You think all those new fancy basketball players showed up because of the wings at Varsity?
 
I should start this post by admitting this: I only watched the first half of the game. It was a long tough day at work. I was already tired and having to watch us play like that, with no sign anything was going to improve, was brutal. Especially after having to watch the same horrific car crash type stuff the last 3 games.

I had never turned off a Syracuse game until the GRob era. I know I did a halftime turn off for at least one road game back then. Don’t remember who the opponent was. Thankfully that awful memory has disappeared in the mists of time. Also left a home game at halftime during the GRob era. Again, I don’t remember the details (and please don’t try and figure out what game it was, I think we have all had enough discussion of Syracuse getting destroyed on the football field for now).

Props to Virginia Tech. Pry said he wanted them to get off to a fast start and that is expertly what they did. They played like winning this game was a life or death situation. They wanted it more than we did. They played hard and smart. I don’t think they have great talent but they have some good athletes and they executed really well and had great game plans on offense and defense. Great job by their players and coaches.

We looked flat and frankly, not ready to play. I don’t understand it but this has been a hallmark of Dino’s teams in big games throughout his tenure here.

I saw no changes made on offense to address the horrific failures of that unit the last month or so. The play calling was the same stuff we have been trying to run (and failing) all season long. Didn’t see any new plays. No new personnel.

VT does not have a good DL but they man handled the SU OL all game long. Our tackles struggled to touch their DEs coming around the edge. The interior line wasn’t much better. I think they pass blocked a bit better but their run blocking was really ineffective. Many times we left VT DL alone, didn’t even try to block them and all they had to do was cross the line of scrimmage and hit the guy with the ball. I know VT does some stunting and maybe they put some nice stuff in but at this point in the season, we should be capable of engaging DL for at least a couple of seconds.

GS again was not a factor running the ball.. VT collapsed the pocket and kept contain time after time. When we were able to get a completion, after always VT knew what was coming and immediately leveled our receiver. Almost nothing was tried to counter the hard pursuing VT defense. You gotta throw some screens, some reverses, some passes to WRs where they throw it. Some counter runs. Plays where the defense gets penalized for being too aggressive. VT ran all that stuff all the time against us, with great success. We didn’t even try these plays. It makes you wonder about basic coaching concepts and whether our staff understands them.

When Dino was interviewed on the field (I think it was as the half ended), he said they had to get better running the ball. That was his analysis. I was thinking Dino knew this was a big game and decided he was going to really get involved in the game plans on offense and the awful approach was probably on him. After hearing him, I wasa convinced his meddling was/is the root cause for our offensive collapse.

Already mentioned I thought our defense played hard and at times well but VT knew we were going to be aggressive and they used all the plays you want to use to beat down an overly aggressive defense. We over pursued like crazy. Johnson has been burned on fly routes the last few games. He isn’t fast enough to play CB at this level and that is on film and people are going to try and take advantage the rest of the season. Drones is not an accurate passer and he missed a bunch of fly routes early but even someone like him is going to connect sometimes when his WR is wide open alone down field with no one within 5 yards of him.

Bellamy got burned again for a TD early. Talented kid who has been abused badly this year. I hope he learns from it and is better next year. Looks like he is a really good athlete. Glad to hear he is not seriously injured. Delaine came in to replace him and I thought he was very impressive. Tough kid with some speed and moxie. I hope he starts the rest of the season at the other CB spot. Peterson got abused late in the half as well. Believe he came in for Johnson at the other CB spot. Ouch.

Barron got hurt in the first half and did not return. Props to him for playing hurt. He is limited playing with one arm but he plays hard. Thought Farmer looked very good replacing him and I hope we continue to play him and give Justin some time off to get his body right.

The loss of Stonehouse is another kick to the groin. Seems like we keep losing the players we can least afford to lose. He hit a bomb of a punt on that play and the coverage was late getting there, lost lane assignments and screwed things up big time. Punt return coverage has not been good this year. Coach Licky needs to do better here. Stonehouse has had to try and make a TD saving tackle a couple of times now. Props to him for trying to make a big play. And he did save a TD blowing out his knee….

We spyed on Drones with Wax and it worked pretty well. He was not a factor running the ball. Really disappointed with our DEs, who get no pressure on Drones all game long. He had a ton of time on all the long throws that they made. Unacceptable.

Thought we did a terrible job holding the corner when VT ran wide. Our CB was never in position to turn the play inside (miss Garrett so much). Our DEs got absorbed by the VT OTs over and over and over and over and we never were able to make any adjustments. Our OLBs also were never able to bear their blocks and make plays. VT RBs ran 5 yards past the LOS repeatedly before they even saw a SU defender. This has not been a problem for years and VT is not a good running team. Very very disappointing. Especially the lack of adjustments.

This was a big game for Dino Babers and this team. I said that before the game and I still think it. I think it set the tone for the rest of the year and it is going to be really hard to change the momentum and get this team turned around now.

What would I do if I was the AD? Well first of all, I am thankful I am not the AD. It has to be ugly opening JW’’s Inbox right now.

I know a lot of people want Dino fired yesterday. I get it. I was thinking the same things Thursday night. But I don’t think that is the right thing to do. However unlikely it is, I think you have to let the season play out and see if the team can turn things around. Changing coaches is a big deal. It will cost SU somewhere around $5 million to buy Dino out. It will affect our recruiting class. But if we can’t get to 7-5, yes, it has to be done.

I am not advocating a wait and see approach. I want (and expect) JW to be burning up the phone lines, touching base with the coaches he has identified as our best replacements and gauging interest. If they have requirements besides salary (and the good ones will), he needs to be lining up commitments from university and donor sources to get those things in place. Identify the coach that is the best fit and get the deal lined up and ready to go, contingent on SU losing that 6th game this year. Hell, if JW loves a coach and Dino loses a 5th game, do it then.

The first step is getting the money to buy Dino out. People will say the university get it, just get it from them. Well, that isn’t the way things work in the real world. The fact is that the university gave the football program tens of millions in subsidies so it could survive during the COVID period, when revenues went in the toilet. I suspect the powers that be in the university still think the football program owes them for that, and for okaying all the money for the dome renovation, and the IPL and the football operations center, and the additional money for more support staff, and the additional money for a better coaching staff, etc. SU had ponied up some of this money and donors have ponied up the rest. Asking for more money now is tough, and if we want to get a good coach who has a chance to turn the program around, he is going to want assurances that the money for a top notch staff, top notch support staff, top notch facilities and (most importantly) top notch NIL money) will be part of his package.

People don’t want to hear it but Dino has been working with the deck stacked against him. Our facilities are the worst in the conference. They are getting better but they are the worst. Our support staff size and money is near the bottom of the conference. And NIL money is also near the bottom of the conference.

We can’t win without investing more in the program. Not only do we need to buy out Dino but we need to continue to pour more money into the program to have a chance to be consistently competitive in league play. JW has to find a way to raise a ton of money in a short period of time to make all this happen. The timing is bad. A lot has been asked and a lot has been provided but a lot more is still needed.

I hope many of you that are campaigning for Dino to get fired are willing to put your wallet where your mouth is and back a decision to change coaches with a donation to make a transition in coaches successful. Give what you can if you care. This might be our last chance to turn the program around and stay relevant in big time college football.

It is put up or shut up time. I intend to help. Hope others will help as well.
Me also.
 

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