Since it’s peak offseason, there are a whole bunch of rankings being tossed around — most of which don’t really matter at all.
One of the most recent lists: CBS Sports’ annual Power Five head coach rankings, where the Syracuse Orange’s Dino Babers comes in at No. 48. Last year, they had him three spots down, in 51st. their short commentary:
“After two 4-8 seasons, you have to think the 2018 season will be a make-or-break season for Babers with the Orange.”
That doesn’t necessarily align with a coach well clear of the bottom of this list, and may also be false (though the ranking’s pretty accurate). While two consecutive 4-8 seasons for Babers certainly don’t sound great, there are caveats around injuries there -- especially for Eric Dungey, the “straw that stirs the drink” for SU, per Babers himself.
Believe me, I’m not defending the lack of wins or the offense that can hit a few speed bumps at times. Just pointing out that “make-or-break” is a stretch. Whether Dungey’s healthy or not, it’s going to be tough for the 2018 Orange team to win more than six games in the regular season. He’d probably have to go 3-9 or 2-10 for John Wildhack to even consider losing faith.
But as for the rest of the rankings, Syracuse does face some higher-ranked adversaries this fall. That full list — whle you also chuckle to yourself that people basically believe in Steve Addazio just as much as Babers, despite the chief “Dude” himself seemingly hitting his stride of late with more bowl trips.
3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
27. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
29. Bobby Petrino, Louisville
34. Willie Taggart, Florida State
38. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest
39. Dave Doeren, NC State
43. Larry Fedora, North Carolina
47. Steve Addazio, Boston College
51. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh
For as much as there are highly-ranked coaches here, all but one are outside the top 25, and most are clustered near us. In some ways, that actually goes to show that Babers is being given quite a bit of credit for what’s already done with Syracuse (two upsets over Clemson and Virginia Tech, most obviously). The fact that more “successful” coaches in the league are pretty close by shows that under Babers, the Orange are somewhat catching up to the rest of the ACC’s talent (or at least their head coaching acumen).