You all remember the coaching search last year after Scott Shafer was fired, right? The Syracuse Orange were looking at a few names, and (once Scott Frost went to UCF) the ones that kept popping up were Dino Babers and Chris Ash.
Ash then the Ohio State defensive coordinator, seemed to be a bit out of nowhere. At the time, his name wasn't on any other school's list, though we did see a bit of a link (via Drake lineage) between him and former athletic director Mark Coyle.
As a group, we were a little worried.
Ultimately, it ended up being for naught. Ash would pull out of the running for Syracuse and become the frontrunner at Rutgers, where he'd ultimately get the job. Babers, as you know, is now in charge at SU.
While we thought Ash dropping out was more a case of Coyle doing a solid for his fellow Drake alum, it might've actually been the doing of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
Today, NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy dove into Ash's decision-making process, and found out that recruiting -- as emphasized by Meyer -- was the biggest draw. Apparently, when Ash was faced with his two choices, Syracuse and SUNJ, Meyer told him that New Jersey's stronger recruiting pipeline would help him be more successful. Never mind the fact that New York state is right next to New Jersey, but yeah, I can see how Meyer might have that opinion.
A quick look at New Jersey recruiting rankings does show that the Scarlet Knights are off to a hot start in-state, despite Syracuse having a commitment from one of NJ's top three quarterbacks, Tommy DeVito. That said, the Orange's overall recruiting success for 2017 has been getting some national attention over the last month too.
So what does this all mean? Not a whole lot. Ash had people (and one person, in particular) in his ear just like Dino Babers did. While Ash listened to those folks, Babers ignored most of his counsel and listened to one person (Art Briles), who told him to head to Syracuse.
Is either choice right or wrong? It's tough to write the final book just yet. But at the moment, it seems like both programs are perfectly content with the coaches they ended up with.