Rumors had been going strong, and now ESPN's Joe Schad says it could happen as early as today. Bowling Green Falcons head coach Dino Babers will be the new head coach of the Syracuse Orange football team.
Before Schad's note, we all sort of suspected this. But it's always good to get a more concrete report.
Babers just coached the Falcons to a 34-14 victory over Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game on Friday night. In two years with the Falcons, Bowling Green was 18-9, with two MAC East titles and this year's MAC title. This year's Bowling Green squad was among the best offenses in college football. During the regular season, BGSU was the fourth-best scoring team in the nation (44.2 points per game), and third-best total offense at 566 yards per game.
Babers has been a head coach for the past four seasons now, with two at Eastern Illinois before arriving at Bowling Green in 2014. As we've discussed before, he's previously held Power Five staff jobs with Baylor (2008-2011), UCLA (2004-2007), Pittsburgh (2003), Texas A&M (2001-2002), Arizona (1995-2000) and Purdue (1991-1993), entirely on the offensive side of the ball. He also played football himself, as a running back and defensive back for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors from 1979-1983.
According to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans, the school and Babers are finalizing a six-year deal.
Babers will be the 29th different coach of the Syracuse Orange football program (Frank O'Neill led the team three separate times), and the first African-American coach to guide the team in its more than125-year history. Like Sean said, we don't care whether a coach is white, black, green or mauve as long as he wins games. But that's still a notable piece of information -- especially for a program that's produced names such as Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, Jim Brown and Ernie Davis (you know, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy).
So congrats and welcome to new-Orange coach Babers! And congrats to Syracuse, Athletic Director Mark Coyle and Chancellor Kent Syverud on finding the right man for the job. We look forward to the copious amounts of offense to come, along with the Dino-saur Babers-que jokes too.