Syracuse’s Dino Babers already has a signature win in Year 1. The Orange head coach said the celebration afterward is what sets college football apart from the pro ranks.
By now, most every college football fan has seen video of the powerful postgame speech that Syracuse head coach Dino Babers gave his team after the Orange stunned Virginia Tech at the Carrier Dome last Saturday.
The 31-17 victory over the No. 17 Hokies was the first signature win of the Babers era, which led to the former Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green head coach getting emotional in the locker room, a moment that was captured by cameras.
During the scene, Babers reminded his team about being tabbed as double-digit underdogs by the bookmakers in Las Vegas, and he praised the players for protecting their home: the Carrier Dome.
During Wednesday’s weekly ACC coaches teleconference, Babers was asked about the video and the amount of feedback he has received since it went viral.
“The one thing I want to say is that this stuff happens a lot, and I’m sure I’m not the only coach that does it,” Babers admitted. “But it happens a lot. It’s something that we do when we win a football game. We don’t do it when we lose a football game.
“But the main thing I don’t want to lose is that it was a hard-fought battle between two really good football teams. One football team that had the pleasure of being ranked, and that game meant a lot to those kids. And I think that’s what the feedback and the energy from that tape is—that everybody gets that good feeling when they watch it—the clear and pure energy that those kids had after that game, because they are all committed.
“They totally bought in, and that pureness is what’s keeping that video going and that clip going. And that’s exciting. That’s college football. That’s the difference between college football and pro football, is that [the players] are invested and yet they don’t have a lot of investments to be invested with it.”
While NFL football is certainly an integral part to the Sunday Fundays of millions of Americans, Babers just reiterated what many football fans hold true as gospel: a big appeal of the college game is the unbridled passion that is generated on a victorious Saturday.
So what does the rest of 2016 hold for Babers and Co.?
Somewhat surprisingly, the Orange are five-point underdogs at Boston College this week despite the Eagles entering with an 11-game ACC losing streak. Although, ‘Cuse was BC’s last ACC victim, albeit way back in 2014.
We know about BC’s stingy defense, but Syracuse managed to beat Bud Foster’s unit last week. Playing the role of devils’ advocate, perhaps the ‘Cuse will be dealing with fatigue from their epic locker room celebration. More likely, however, is that quarterback Eric Dungey again shows that he is getting comfortable in this offense, and a defense that played well last week will have less of a hard time against a BC offense that leaves a lot to be desired.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Syracuse picked up a few casual college football fans after last week’s celebration, because we don’t often get to see such unbridled emotion.
Especially once the calendar flips to Sunday.