As the Florida Gators search for their next football coach, SEC Country will take a closer look at the top candidates for the job.
Of the pack of coaching names being swirled around for the Florida job, Syracuse’s Dino Babers has one factor that might supersede the rest of the pack: experience. Babers is in his 32nd year as a college football coach and sixth as a head coach.
That might work to his advantage. According to betonline.ag, Babers has the fifth-best odds to be named the Gators’ next coach.
Here’s what you need to know about Dino Babers:
Dino Babers’ coaching résumé
After spending the first 26 years of his career floating around the country as an assistant coach — including stints at Baylor, UCLA, Texas A&M and Arizona — Babers earned his first job as a head coach in 2012 at Eastern Illinois. In just two seasons, he turned a program that had 2 wins in each of the two seasons before his arrival into a contender in the FCS. Babers went 7-5 in his first season before going 12-2 in 2013 and making it to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.
From there, Babers became the coach at Bowling Green and went 18-9 in two seasons before accepting the job at Syracuse ahead of the 2016 season. He hasn’t had as much success turning around Syracuse yet, as he’s 8-13 midway through his second season with the Orange.
Babers has had a top-50 offense each of the last four seasons, highlighted by crafting the fourth-best offense in the country during the 2015 season at Bowling Green (546.8 yards per game). In 21 games at Syracuse, Babers’ offense has racked up 11 games with at least 450 yards of offense. The Orange is 28th nationally and third in the ACC this season in total offense, averaging 455.9 yards per game.
While Babers is just 2-7 all-time against Top 25 opponents. His biggest win came a little less than a month ago when his Orange defeated the defending national champion Clemson Tigers, 27-24.
Syracuse led for the majority of the game before Clemson’s Travis Etienne tied it midway through the third quarter with a 52-yard touchdown run. Syracuse won the game on a 30-yard field goal from Cole Murphy with 9:41 left to play.
Syracuse racked up 440 yards in the game, with quarterback Eric Dungey throwing for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns.
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