Adelson: Bowl game is ‘imperative’ for Babers and Syracuse football in 2021

Dino Babers
Dino Babers speaks during a press conference. Mandatory Photo Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

The college football landscape was rocked in July, with Oklahoma and Texas announcing their departure from the Big 12 to join the SEC. And with Syracuse football’s summer camp starting this weekend, we chatted with ESPN’s Andrea Adelson on The Juice on the Cuse Podcast presented by

The defections of the two premier programs in the Big 12 has left the conference vulnerable, and the conference may not even be around in a few years.

“I do think eventually there will be some consolidation of the conferences so we’re left with four 16-teams super-conferences,” Adelson says. “Or some sort of league that is a mini-NFL that breaks off from the NCAA.”

How will this affect the ACC and Syracuse? Likely not much—for now. Despite some speculation about FSU and Clemson inquiring about availability in the SEC, the ACC has a grant of rights where the conference holds all school’s television rights through 2036.

A team seeking to exit would likely face legal and financial challenges in exiting the ACC, which is what has bought it some time while it continues to monitor possible ways to strengthen the conference.

“It’s going to cost upwards of $100s of million dollars to get out of the conference,” Adelson says. “That’s the one thing that’s holding everyone together in the ACC. It’s too large a sum of money even if the Big 10 or SEC come calling. It’s just not worth it to take that financial risk to leave at this point.”

As for the college football season, Adelson breaks down whether anyone can challenge Clemson for the ACC crown. She also had a long conversation with Syracuse head coach Dino Babers that she discusses with me in depth.

» Related: Syracuse great Brendan Carney expects ‘6 or 7 wins’ and bowl game

“(Babers) feels very confident that this is going to be a completely different year,” Adelson says. “I expect Syracuse to be better. I know they were picked to finish last. I know the schedule is difficult. I’m still on the fence whether they make a bowl.”

If they don’t make a bowl, then Babers will be squarely on the hot seat.

“(Babers) feels they can make progress this year, that gets them to a point in 2022 where they will be in a great spot in the Atlantic,” Adelson says. “But people don’t have patience for that, and he’s not if the administration will have the patience for that. I do think a bowl is imperative.”

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]