Well hey there, everyone! It’s been awhile. Like, almost a month since I last posted any new content. You know how these things go… when you spend your days like me (fighting crime, dabbling in international espionage and global intrigue, moonlighting as the world’s greatest ballroom dancer — standard stuff), sometimes you lose track of the little things… like the Syracuse website you have.
But fear not! I’ve decided that today — Taco Tuesday, no less! — I’m going to jump back into the fray and touch base on a few Syracuse items, both football and basketball related. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Let’s start with football…
So the big question on everyone’s mind, now that the regular season is over and Dino Babers has every bit of leverage he could possibly attain, is just how long he’ll be on the sidelines at Syracuse. Obviously, things can change at the drop of a hat (and what a fine hat I’m sure it is, as well! Probably a really nice bowler…) but, for now at least, I don’t expect him to go anywhere. Sure, some of this is my orange-tinted glasses (they’re quite stylish), but some of it actually is informed by what I’ve heard from a few people.
At this point, there aren’t currently any job openings that concern me. But I think even the folks who are the most nervous about Dino bolting for another gig have picked up on the fact that he’s almost certainly going to be at Syracuse in 2019. Of the jobs that had either opened or seemed to be on the verge of opening, only USC really scared me as a potential destination for Babers, and I’m not sure they’d be ready to jump in on a coach with one good year at the P5 level.
Now, obviously, USC could come open again next year… but the speculation is already that Urban Meyer will be the top choice for that gig now that he’s bailed on Ohio State (and don’t give me any of that “he’s retiring” or “it’s health-reasons” crap… we all know what’s going on here).
I’m not sure when we’ll hear anything — or even if we’ll hear anything — about an extension, but I fully expect Dino and John Wildhack to get something done. Now that the regular season is over, and with the goal of finishing this recruiting class strong (looking at you, Adisa Isaac), it would only help to have it publicly known that Dino isn’t going anywhere just yet. Expect a healthy pay bump for Dino — as well as his assistants.
Moving on to basketball…
Boy, this season hasn’t gone quite like we’d all hoped. Sure, the Orange are 5-2 and will almost certainly be 6-2 after tonight’s game against Northeastern, but it’s been a pretty painful season to watch so far. Obviously, a big part of that is Frank Howard missing so much time, and Tyus Battle being forced into a point guard role he clearly wasn’t comfortable with.
It’s funny, thinking back to his recruitment, when a lot of the speculation was that one of the big reasons we landed Tyus was because we promised to let him have the ball in his hands, and were open to letting him run the show. Having seen him this season in that role, it’s abundantly clear that’s not a position he’s meant to play. And as I’m sure you’ve noticed, he’s been vastly better and more effective with Frank back in the lineup.
So how much do we have to alter our expectations for the season? With the full squad back and healthy, should we get back to thinking this is a top 15-ish team? It certainly hasn’t looked the part, outside of the Ohio State win. The game against Cornell was a struggle, and the team clearly needs more cohesion offensively. Being saddled with a pair of non-conference losses early on isn’t a great look, particularly when you’re talking about building a resume for the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully everything falls into place and we’ll avoid the bubble, but should we find ourselves on the edge we can only hope the committee takes into consideration the fact that we didn’t have our starting, senior point guard for either the UConn or Oregon games.
Alright, that’s about it for me for now. This rap battle against Eminem isn’t going to win itself.