Dino Babers won the hearts and minds of college football fans across the U.S. last weekend (except in Blacksburg) with his impassioned post-game speech following Syracuse’s 31-17 win over Virginia Tech.
Babers has been turning heads with Orange fans all year long, however, with his candid approach to not only the team’s outlooks but also his profession. That comes up again this week as Babers was discussing the fact that Syracuse is Boston College’s Homecoming opponent for this weekend.
"All you have to do is say it's homecoming," Babers cracks to ESPN.com, adding: "I played at a really good high school and we were never anybody's homecoming game. I played at a good college and we really normally weren't anybody's homecoming game. You get into coaching, you learn real quick. I bet you Alabama's never anybody's homecoming game."
It’s true. Syracuse has long been a preferred Homecoming opponent of choice for many an ACC school (and Big East school before that). We’ve come to expect it from the likes of FSU and Clemson. And for a while, we actually got really good at ruining Homecomings.
But Boston College? Oh, that adds a little spice to the frothy soup that is SU-BC.
(Though I suppose I should note that Syracuse was once dumb enough to use FSU as their own Homecoming game. We lost.)
In the meantime, Babers talked to ESPN’s Matt Fortuna about what the VT win means to the program. What’s great about it is that he’s not trying to say the program is magically fixed, but he’s saying that the win is like a bat signal to Orange fans who weren’t quite ready to buy in yet.
"Anytime you take over a new program you're always going to have the people who are with you and the people who are standing behind you," Babers says. "They're right behind you, but they're really not behind you -- they're really waiting to see if you're going to fail or succeed before they decide. We call them the naysayers.
"But what that game does is it clearly defines the line that we're going to be able to accomplish what we set out to accomplish here. So now all the ones that aren't sure, they have to decide whether they want to do it our way or not do it our way, and when I say that, it's not just the team -- it's the community, it's the administration, it's the university, it's the support staff. It's like, look, OK, this is what we can do when we're all on the same page. Do you want to do it with us?"
It’s like “you’re with us or you’re against us” but without the aggression. Like, if you don’t want to get on board, that’s cool, but the train is moving with or without you.
Dino has never wavered in his belief that he’s the right guy for the job and he can get it done. Now, he’s starting to prove it.