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Dino Babers clapping
AP Photo/Nick Lisi

Dino Babers, Syracuse

No one will ever be able to take away the 2018 season at Syracuse from Dino Babers. That was a special year: the Orange won 10 games for the first time since 2001. Two of Syracuse’s three loses that season came vs. Top 3 teams: Clemson (a near-win for Syracuse in Death Valley) and Notre Dame.

Following a win over No. 15 West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl, the program’s first postseason victory since 2013, Syracuse finished the year ranked No. 15 in the AP Poll, the program’s best finish since, once again, 2001.

All of this resulted in Babers signing a rather large extension with Syracuse in Dec. 2018, which brought his base salary to $3.5 million for 2019.

Since then, however, it’s been tough sledding for Babers and the Orange. Syracuse went 5-7 in 2019, which was followed by a 1-10 campaign in the 2020 season, although it’s tough to pin too much of that on Babers. His program was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Led by star running back Sean Tucker, the ACC’s leading rusher, Syracuse bounced back with a 5-7 record in 2021.

Panning out, though, Syracuse has only one winning season and one postseason appearance under Babers, back in 2018. Due to the 2018 extension, which was sizable, Babers survived the 2021 season. Now, however, with a more palatable buyout figure, Babers will need to stack wins and return to a bowl game.

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