How hard did Syracuse fall, and how well has it climbed back up?
The contrast between that one “Hollywoodesque” run and the seasons that followed it was appallingly stark, as the Orange went from snagging 10 wins in 2018 alone to settling for 11 in the next three years combined. The lowest point was in the aforementioned 2020, a year that saw Syracuse finish with an ungodly 1-10 record.
It was clear that things were going to have to change as soon as possible, and that meant seeing a vast improvement in 2022. Luckily for Syracuse fans (and Babers), that is exactly what we had started to see.
Halfway through their 2022 slate, the Orange were one of the top teams in the ACC, proudly holding an unbeaten record. So, even with half of their schedule still untouched, Babers had already bought himself some time, it was only a question of how much he would have once the season was over. By the time Syracuse’s year ended the way it did, though, it didn’t look like he had bought a lot.
Despite their remarkable start, the Orange had completely collapsed by the time the postseason came along. A hopeful team that was once 6-0 had finished its regular season 7-5. The year was still good enough to land them a spot in the Pinstripe Bowl against 8-4 Minnesota, but that being their final stage understandably left a lot to be desired. And, to make matters even worse, Minnesota won.
In short, Syracuse looked like one of the most promising underdogs halfway through the season, all just to end its run on one of the sorriest notes possible. To me, all that should have bought Babers was an extra season—maybe two—to turn things back around; him even having that much would likely fall on 2022 nonetheless being the Orange’s best year since 2018.