Sunday, November 23, 2014

Babers: "Hell, I might sign it"

So this one is sure to get tongues wagging...there have been some rumors out there of potential bigger jobs for Dino Babers after just 1 season at the Doyt.  Illinois is one place mentioned...but he does get mentioned elsewhere.

Which is kind of ironic, because there is a decent-sized population of Falcon fans who don't think Dino Babers has done a good job at BG this year at all.  I guess is just depends on your perspective.

The WKU game hit everyone hard.  I think everyone got off on the wrong foot and I think it has been hard to bring it around.  I'm not sure the Babers style has been a good fit and I think the off-season Falcon Fast hype was probably ill-advised.  Then, there was all the bandwagon stuff after the Indiana game to be followed by a history-making failure at get the idea.

The first narrative was that Babers didn't care about defense (ignoring the injuries and the record at EIU) and then as the defense improved it has been to focus on the lack of offense, which flies in the face of all the FalconFast rhetoric we heard.

For the record, I think Babers has done a good job.  I wouldn't put it down as an overwhelming success, but he has done a good job.  He kept the team afloat with serious injury issues.  The defense has established itself and is probably as good as we might have expected after the injuries healed.  The offense lost its starting QB and the Indiana game probably gave people an inflated idea of what to expect from our offense week in and week out.

The biggest issue I would have is that BG made its season beating the other weak teams in our weak division.  BG has not beaten a team with a winning record and has lost both games to the top teams in the MAC West, and, you know, last year we won the conference.  To sum it up, I think Babers has done a good job of keeping the team from completely sinking but in-conference has won the games you'd expect the team to win and no others.  And he didn't beat Toledo.  And WKU was a complete disaster that should not have happened.

But, it will come down to 1 game.  Win on 12/5 and the season is a success by anyone's standards.

USA Today lays out the case for Babers...which is the Briles pedigree combined with enough success as a head coach to convince people that he can make the adjustment.

The article also talks about the fact that Babers had such a long apprenticeship before getting his shot at being a head coach.  (Babers is 53).  Babers makes the claim that he appreciates where he is in life, that he probably only has one more job ahead of him, and that it isn't about getting a job for big money and "getting fired in five years."

Here he says what should get the attention of the Falcon Nation.

"If someone threw me a contract with about 15 years on it right now, at (Bowling Green)? Hell, I might sign it," he said. "Not that I'm not ambitious. But I'm really happy with what I'm doing. It's not about going somewhere to make $2 million more and getting fired after five years. I haven't waited around that long just to make money. It's got to be more than that.

"That financial gain really has no interest to me. I really only get to do it once, and if I do it right I'm going to get the opportunity one more time. What I'm interested in is having an opportunity to win."


OK.  First, coaches sign contracts all the time and then leave (Babers had one at EIU, Clawson had one at BG, etc) so signing a 15-year deal is far from a commitment to staying here for 15 years.  Nor, in fact, would it indicate BG's intent to keep him for 15 years...Coaches are let go with time on their contracts, as BG did with Gregg Brandon.

Having said that, I don't think Babers is a BS artist.  I think when he describes his mindset, I think he is being honest.  Maybe not...maybe a really big offer from Illinois would be more attractive in reality than he imagines it would be.  And, he did leave EIU after two years.

The point is that a lot of the fans I hear from would be almost relieved to see him leave after a year and here is a national paper talking about him being attractive...more attractive than he is among the fan base here.

He said all along the you'd see the biggest improvement in the 2nd year.  I'm not 100% thrilled that we didn't get a coach who was committed to winning in year one and I'm not 100% convinced Babers will succeed at BG, but I am more convinced than unconvinced.  We haven't see how he recruits--anywhere--so that is an open question that no one has an answer to.

The best case would be to win on December 5 but whoever wins the West will be heavily favored.  If that doesn't happen and Babers returns, he will face an off-season with a lot of doubt, which comes with the territory.  As a Coach, you should expect to have to convince people.

1 comment :

Ryan said...

The fact that he's even musing openly about his contract status with national media-types is troubling. He hasn't even been at BG for a full year and this season (as you pointed out) has been tumultuous to say the least. Toledo wasn't defeated and a championship wasn't won. Let's focus on getting those things done first.