As you noticed yesterday, Syracuse Orange football coach Dino Babers came out guns blazing on the No Huddle Tour yesterday. What with the 44 talk, and urination-based threats, it was great to see Coach come alive at fan/alumni events in Rochester and Buffalo.
Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey (and Matthew Fairburn) captured a lot of what Babers spoke about via Twitter yesterday. Below we grab the important stuff out, and add commentary where warranted.
Dino Babers says the Carrier Dome is Syracuse's biggest recruiting asset. Calls it the biggest home field advantage in college sports.— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) May 17, 2016
Dino Babers calls the Carrier Dome renovation plan "outstanding." Has always spoken of using home-field advantage to its fullest.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
Babers has actually been pretty complimentary of Syracuse's home field since day one, which means he "get it." No, it's not the prettiest place. But when full, there's few stadiums that can match its noise level or create a more intimidating situation for opponents. The key, of course, is WHEN FULL.
Dino Babers touched on his Brooklyn satellite camp. Said he's still assessing NY's 2017 class. Called 2016 "picked over" on Signing Day.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
Can't blame him here. Doubt Babers has really had to check out New York recruiting much at any of his previous stops.
Dino Babers recalls watching Floyd Little play with the Broncos. "As exciting he was as a HOFer in college and pros, he's a better person."— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
Dino Babers: "The thing that I need most from all of you is your support, and I need you to have faith." Calls for fans to come and watch.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
Here's something that Babers has inherently understood from day one -- a pretty neat thing, even if it was discussed before he was hired. Doug Marrone understood it, but he's an alum. Scott Shafer got it too, but he came in under Marrone. Babers is always personally asking you to come watch the team play. He's making it tough for you to say no. He's asking for faith, asking for time and also making some bold claims in the process. How can you not enjoy it?
Floyd Little was impressed with the speed of SU football this spring. Babers told him, like media, that they're only at half speed.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
Floyd Little on Babers: "He's old school. He's a man of his word. When he tells you he's going to do something, you can take it 2 the bank."— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
Floyd Little says Dino Babers was offered more money by another school before taking the head coaching job at Syracuse.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
(/screeching to a halt)
First off, probably not something Floyd should be sharing here, and I'm sure Dino feels similarly. But while we're here, who might this mystery school be? I took a crack at it yesterday on Twitter, and a day later, I'd walk it back to just the top two, Missouri and Illinois. At the latter school, they ended up making a late move to fire the recently extended Bill Cubit in favor of former Chicago Bears (and others) coach Lovie Smith. Babers has experience in Illinois (had the head gig at Eastern Illinois from 2012-2013), and it seems unlikely Cubit was REALLY the school's first/top option.
As far as Missouri goes, I wouldn't doubt it if the racial tensions and ongoing issues over in Columbia, Mo. were enough to sway Babers away. That job's gotten easier from a talent perspective of late, but the racial issues -- especially for an African-American coach -- are tough to ignore. No insider info here. Just a hunch is all.
Dino Babers moved up his training schedule this spring after seeing a player doing a Shafer-era workout. Had to break habits fast.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 17, 2016
Former Syracuse WR Andre Fontenette asks Dino Babers about recruiting NY, specifically Rochester. Babers points to SU camps on June 18-19.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 18, 2016
Dino Babers said star rankings mean nothing in his evaluations. Added he's taken four players with no stars over the last four years.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 18, 2016
I appreciate that viewpoint, but Coach, people are going to lose their goddamn minds on the internet if we're rolling with too many "zero-star" kids...
Along with the above, Babers also managed to share a little bit of news -- or at least, speculation about news. Chauncey Scissum and Corey Winfield, victims of the stabbing assault by former teammate Naesean Howard, will be ready to go for camp. That sort of assumes a lot, but is also encouraging regarding their conditions that Babers is willing to be pretty public about those projections.
In the rocking the boat department (not a bad thing), feel free to toss Floyd's comments on the mystery "other school" around, while coming to your own conclusions about the Shafer regime's workouts and its (no really, totally separate) tendency for injuries on the roster.
Anything else? Go for it in the comments.