Dino Babers

Dino Babers, head coach for the University of Syracuse, is garnering a lot of victories but not many job offers.

Lance Leipold took over the KU football program after spring football in 2021. The Jayhawks won two games during the 2021 season, including a shocking road win over Texas.

The over/under on KU football wins was 2.5 in 2022, yet Leipold’s team won its first five games. Leipold was instantly being rumored to be headed to Nebraska or Wisconsin or Arizona State or Colorado.

Yes, he swiftly turned around the fortunes of a moribund football program at KU after doing the same at Buffalo. However, after two losses, he is now 7-12 with the Jayhawks and still needs another win this year to qualify for a bowl.

Meanwhile, coach Dino Babers has led Syracuse to a 6-0 record and is 3-0 in the ACC. The Orangemen, ranked 14th the nation, travel to Clemson on Saturday to face the Tigers (7-0, 5-0) in a battle of unbeatens. The winner will be favored to win the ACC.

Where are the rumored job offers to Babers? He has accomplished more than Leipold. Like KU, Syracuse is better known for its basketball program than football. Babers has not just put his school on the football map in 2022, he guided the team to a 10-3 record in 2018. But he won just one game to years later, and failed to reach a bowl game in 2021. He was closer to getting fired than he was to success in many fans’ eyes.

Babers’ team was predicted to finish last in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. After clobbering North Carolina State 24-9 at home in a Top 25 matchup last week, the Orange reached 6-0 for the first time since 1987 and just the third time since 1935.

In case you didn’t know, Babers is Black and Leipold is white. Black football players seem to be welcome at any school in any region of the country. The same is not true of Black football coaches.

Every major conference has at least one Black coach, but when jobs come open in them, the first rumored candidates usually skew to white coaches. It is not racism, but it certainly involves race.

As for Babers, he’s happy for his team’s success and not looking to move on.

“It is extremely special to be 6-0,” Babers said as fans stormed the field after the N.C. State win.

“It means so much to the community, so much to the student body. 

“The emotion is going through me. Look at this. Look at this. I’m happy for the players.

"They haven't played perfect football, but the record is still perfect and now they get an opportunity to do some exciting stuff. It doesn't mean that we will, but it does mean we have a chance."

The big test is Saturday at Clemson. Can Baber’s team win? He is confident it can, remembering the not-so-good previous seasons.

“Every year is different, every team is different, and I just feel like they feel like they can. Now, we’ve got to continue to see. The proof is in the pudding, but so far, so good,” he said.

Had Babers struggled again this season, he might have joined Nebraska’s Scott Frost as a coach that got fired and got paid an insane buyout. Frost walked away with $14 million, and Babers would have been due $10 million.

Babers is safe – for now. And it seems that Syracuse does not have to worry about losing him after the season like KU does with Leipold. That just seems a bit odd.

The Reid Roundup

Deion Sanders lamented the athletic facilities at Jackson State University when he arrived and said he would consider taking a Power 5 head coaching position if offered during a 60 Minutes interview that aired last Sunday. “Why does a Texas high school team have better facilities than [Jackson State.]” He also said “I’d have to be crazy” to not consider moving on to a larger school…It is ironic that Indianapolis Colts owner Robert Irsay, who has had sobriety issues, was made the NFL owners’ front man on discussion of Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. Following an owners’ meeting, Irsay told reporters on Tuesday “there is merit” to stripping Snyder of his franchise because of investigations and allegations of fiscal impropriety…I wrote a column in July 2021 saying St. Louis would be a great host for a Black College Football weekend. The failed attempt to bring Alabama A&M and the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff to St. Louis for a game was doomed from the start. It seems the promoter is to blame for the epic, embarrassing failure. 

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