Last Saturday gave Syracuse football fans a couple things to be excited about. First, the Orange posted a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to upset #17 Virginia Tech in front of a raucous crowd at the Carrier Dome, 31-17.
The dessert that followed that savory meal was the viral video clip of Dino Babers’ postgame speech to the SU team. I would write, “if you haven’t yet seen it” and provide a link to it, but I know better. You’ve seen it.
The clip hit twitter shortly after the game ended and started getting sent around the world via Twitter and Facebook. It got shown on ESPN outlets, was posted to many websites, including some that are not sports-oriented, and an edited version made ABC during halftime of the Ohio State-Wisconsin game. The common response to the video is to express the desire to suit up for Syracuse and come play for Babers (or hire him at your favorite school, for the non-Syracuse fan), if only you can stop watching it.
Frankly, it’s the most talked about video clip of a Syracuse coach since Jim Boeheim decided Cameron Indoor Stadium was too warm near the end of a game a few years ago. It’s also likely the speech with the most buzz around it in Syracuse history, only because social media was not close to what it is now during the “not ten games” era.
Yes, I left an important word out of that brief quote.
In just over two minutes, Babers may have done more for the Syracuse program than he had done in the preceding ten months after getting hired, including claiming the first win over a ranked opponent for SU since they spanked #10 Louisville at the Dome in November 2012, 45-26.
Syracuse became one of the most-talked about things in the college football world, even if only for a day or two. And Babers hit several slogans that could be printed on orange t-shirts.
“We. Are. Together.”
“We play as one, we win as one.”
“They came to whose house?” “OUR HOUSE!” (Later followed by the simple “Whose house?” call out and “OUR HOUSE!” reply.)
“They didn’t know! It’s not their fault!”
The whole scene is wonderful. The team has a huge win under the belts, confidence is soaring for the players, and Babers is a charismatic force of nature.
Of course, the viral manner in which it has spread takes any sense of mystery away from the Orange, calling attention to their victory over Virginia Tech.
Waiting for the Orange on Saturday is a 3-3 Boston College team, a squad that has lost their last 11 ACC games and has not beaten an FBS team since 2014. Steve Addazio, their head coach, is 6-12 in his last two seasons, including that 0-11 conference mark, after getting to bowl games in each of his first two seasons. That backslide may mean Addazio’s job is on the line and Saturday is probably his best chance to avoid a two-year ACC losing streak.
After that rousing upset of a top-20 team, could Syracuse come into the Boston College game a little overconfident? Sure, it’s possible. They’re flying high off the Virginia Tech win, they defeated the Eagles last season, and BC has some gruesome stats in their profile this season (113th in the nation in points scored per game, 114th in passing yards per game, 121st in yards per game, a total of 24 points scored in three ACC games this year).
The Eagles are coming off a bye, so they will be rested. And you know they’ve seen the Babers speech. And you know that speech will only have them more motivated to beat Syracuse.
Early gambling lines have established BC as the favorite at home, favored by as many as six points.
Of course, as Babers also said about Virginia Tech, “Somebody in Vegas told them they were going to win by 20 to 23 points.”
I guess he might be able to tell his team this week about some other people who didn’t know.