May 29, 2024

What can Dino Babers do for an encore?

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers watches during an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Howard Simmons)

In his third season with Syracuse he led the program to its’ first 10-win season since 2001, first bowl win since 2013 and the Orange finished 2018 ranked in the AP Top-15 for the first time in 17 years.

Syracuse was the only team that came oh so close to upsetting Clemson, which went on to win the National Championship. The 57-year old Babers didn’t receive ACC Coach of The Year, but he was well deserving of the honor.

Now he’s entering his fourth year with the Orange and they won’t be sneaking up on anybody this time around. The ACC Atlantic has become one of the most competitive divisions in the Power Five and it’s full of parity. Quarterback Eric Dungey has left the building, but sophomore signal-caller Danny Devito has enough experience to keep the Orange humming on offense.

Besides Clemson Syracuse was the only other ACC team that averaged over 40 points per game last season. There’s also plenty of production returning at the skill positions. The potential is there for the Orange to accomplish that feat again this fall.

Not to mention Babers has two studs at defensive end in Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman. The two seniors combined for 20 sacks, 29 tackles for loss and both will be demons for opposing offenses off of the edge. With a favorable schedule this season it won’t be a surprise if Syracuse strolls into November with only one loss.

Syracuse is currently riding a six-game home winning streak and get Clemson inside the Carrier Dome, which was where the Tigers suffered their last regular season defeat. No doubt Babers have raised expectations for the program and the fan base continues to show their support. Its’s all on display during home games where they’re 50,000 strong.

Which makes the 2019 season the most anticipated year for the program in quite some time. Another double-digit win campaign from Babers this fall and it’ll be tough for Syracuse to keep other big name schools from trying to lure him away.

As for now the Orange are riding their wave of momentum through summer workouts all the way up to fall camp. Babers has changed the culture of Syracuse, implemented his brand of influence on the players and continues to rebuild the once proud program back to being competitive and respected.