With the Florida Gators parting ways with Jim McElwain, it’s obviously big news to see one of college football’s biggest jobs open. That should concern us at least a little bit, since Syracuse Orange coach Dino Babers is becoming one of the hottest names in the sport.
We were willing to look past that early on, but it seems offshore betting odds have accelerated things and we can’t ignore them anymore.
Odds on the next Florida coach, courtesy of BetOnline.ag pic.twitter.com/TZ6r0NB73l— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) October 31, 2017
Looking above, Babers receives 8-to-1 odds, which is tied for the fourth-highest of anyone on the list. There are a significant number of names at the same tier, however, including Bob Stoops, Jeff Brohm, Matt Campbell and Chad Morris. Stoops is the biggest name there by a mile, and the one that’s most freely available (zero buyout since he’s unemployed). The former Oklahoma coach also has history with the Gators. He was the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Florida for three seasons before taking over the Sooners’ program.
Elsewhere, this list is fine, but also reads ridiculous here and there. Urban Meyer’s not coming back, and Tim Tebow won’t be the head coach. Lane Kiffin and Steve Spurrier also aren’t happening.
Also, Les Miles isn’t on this list at all.
This isn’t to create a panic around here, but we’re being realistic. Babers doesn’t have Florida ties and won’t be hiring a ton of big-name assistants, which makes him an unlikely addition. He also doesn’t have the pedigree that Florida’s probably looking for, which is where Stoops fits better — and same goes for bigger favorites like Dan Mullen.
But while Syracuse hasn’t ever lost a coach to another power conference program, we also can’t just assume the environment always stays the same. Of our recent coaches, two have left for the NFL and two have been fired. That line pre-MacPherson probably takes us to the start of the current era of money involvement, and that’s a better reference point.
One could assume that Babers is on the list (Alligator Army thinks so), but so are countless coaches. At the same time, he’s 56. And Babers still just 8-12 as Syracuse’s head coach and the Orange still lost to Middle Tennessee earlier this year. If SU runs the table to 8-4, sure, maybe there’s a big chance for him to get the call. But right now, the offense hasn’t clicked enough and the results aren’t BIG enough to sell Florida’s boosters on this concept.
That’s not cue for us to suddenly hope Dino does poorly either, though. His success is our success right now. And if he eventually does head elsewhere, we’re better off for it. Just the same, it would be great to back up the truck now to prevent that from happening, if his buyout isn’t already enough to prevent a move this year.