The Fall semester is coming to a close and soon students are going to watching intently as grades begin to roll in, and while Syracuse Orange AD Mark Coyle might not be refreshing MySlice every hour, his hiring of Dino Babers is being evaluated by the media. As Chris Carlson pointed out the other day, Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports and ESPN's Travis Haney both lauded the Babers hire as one of the best in the country. They weren't alone in support of the decision, but other writers have handed out their grades, so let's take a look and see what kind of GPA Coyle might earn in his 1st semester on the Hill:
"How do you get folks in Central New York re-energized about a sport in which the Orange have struggled for a decade-plus? Hire an Art Briles protege who's successfully imported the Baylor offense both to FCS (Eastern Illinois) and the MAC (BG averaged 43.4 points per game). Syracuse may not win the ACC with that formula, but it will score a lot of points and sell tickets." Grade: A
"This may just be my favorite hire so far and frankly, I was thinking that Babers would have held out for a better job but Syracuse was able to pull off a real coup here. Babers is a little older than some of the other hot coaching candidates at 54 and he has coached at a lot of places over the last three decades but whether it was at Eastern Illinois or at Bowling Green, all he has done is won. His offenses have been tremendously successful and his very fast-paced scheme should be able to put up plenty of points indoors at the Carrier Dome." Grade: A
"Out: Scott Shafer In: Dino Babers Search Grade: A
The skinny: Shafer was respected by a lot of coaches and may have kept his job had it not been for a rash of key injuries. Still, it’s hard not to argue that the school didn’t get a big upgrade with the exciting Baylor-lite brand of offense that Babers will bring with him to the Carrier Dome."
"For someone who talked such a big game about his defensive philosophies, Shafer’s Orange sure gave up a lot of points. Maybe schemes actually are important, huh, Scotty? I like that Syracuse opted for an offensive minded coach after deciding to move on from Shafer. Dino Babers’ teams throw the ball all over the yard and they put up points. Will the transition be smooth? Probably not. Will he actually turn the Orange into a serious contender, down the road? Unlikely. Will they be fun? Absolutely. Babers, as an Art Briles disciple, knows how to move the football, usually regardless of talent. Whether or not he can turn Syracuse into a national power of some sort is irrelevant. He will make Syracuse football fun, aesthetically pleasing, and at least a team not to be taken lightly. Grade: B-"
So right now that leaves us with 3 A's and a B- (Note:I don't think Jim Johnson's getting a good review on RateMyProfessors). This leaves Coyle with a 3.667 GPA and a spot solidly on the Dean's List for the Fall Semester. So don't mind if Mark Coyle helps himself to a bigger slice of pie at the holiday party this weekend.....it looks like he's earned it.
Let's hear what grade you give in the comments.