Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers appeared on Mike and Mike Tuesday morning as part of his day participating in the ESPN Car Wash. The show is broadcast both on ESPN Radio and ESPN2. Here is what Babers had to say.
On Dinosaur BBQ
"I'll tell you what, the story of that barbecue place is outstanding. The gentleman that owns that thing, he toured the United States, the Southern states, and was an apprentice at all the top barbecue places. Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, swung, and after he did it, I think it was about three or four years after he was an apprentice down there.
"He came back up to Syracuse, N.Y. and opened up his own place. It's been doing fabulous up there. If you're going to eat barbecue that's the place."
Mike Golic: "So basically he stole all their recipes when he was doing that."
Babers: "Basically, he was a good coach."
On Coaching at a Basketball School
“I worked at UNLV when Tark was there and won a National Championship. I worked at the University of Arizona when Lute Olsen won a National Championship. I was at UCLA for two years when, I want to say, Ben Howland was there and went to the Final Four twice. It wasn't my fault, he should've won it.
“Now, when I first got to Syracuse, coach (Jim Boeheim) was on suspension and I got an opportunity to meet him and I told him that story. I think they were 4-5 at the time and I’m talking about Final Fours and National Championships. And he’s like ‘ah, ah, ah.’ Coach has that demeanor about him.
“When we were making that Final Four run at the end and getting into that thing, I thought it was one of the best coaching jobs I’ve seen. My hats off to him along with Coach Q, our girls coach. Now to answer your question, I absolutely love it. I think that it’s OK that Syracuse is considered a basketball school.
“When you look back into our tradition, and you look at all of the great things and great football players that we had there in the past. Ernie Davis, Jim Brown, are you kidding me? Along with Floyd Little, Don McPherson, Donovan McNabb, (Chandler) Jones, Dwight Freeney. We've had some fantastic football players there.
“What we need to do is bridge that past to the present so we have an opportunity to have an outstanding year.”
On Turning Syracuse Around
“The first thing is I need them to listen to one voice. I talked to a lot of alumni, a lot of alumnists. I said please let me have 365 days with these guys. Everybody wants to help and everybody wants to get in, and I want all of their help.
"But what I need to do is just circle the wagons and really get to know this football team and have the football team really get to know me and my coaches.
“After those 365 days of pulling out all the weeds and fertilizing it and watering it and seeding it, let's see what we can blossom into.”
On His Former Player Josh Gordon
“I think everyone deserves a second chance. I hope that Josh takes advantage of it. Josh Gordon is a fabulous person. I’ve seen him in my home, babysitting my kids. I have no problem leaving Josh Gordon with my family. He’s got an issue and he’s got one issue. He’s one of the smartest football players I’ve been around.
“You should see the guy write, [points at Mike Greenberg] Northwestern graduate. He’s a fantastic writer. Mom was a teacher. Just an outstanding person. I hope this team he gets it right.
"I’ve put over 25 wide receivers in the National Football League and from an athletic standpoint, none of them are like Josh Gordon. Az-Zahir Hakim, Will Blackwell, Dennis Northcutt, unlimited guys.
“But Josh Gordon is the most talented wide receiver I've ever had.”
On His Former Player Jimmy Garoppolo
“I was at Baylor with RG3, and I've been around some outstanding quarterbacks. When I got to Eastern Illinois, which is the home of Tony Romo, the home of Sean Peyton, they had a history of outstanding quarterbacks there.
“Jimmy Garoppolo, I watched him throw the ball five times and everybody’s thought he was bad. I watched him throw the ball five times and I turned to an administrator and I said, ‘I can’t believe this.’ The guy thought Jimmy was bad and said ‘see I told you he was bad.’
“I said, 'he has no business being here.' He said, 'that's exactly what I said.'
I said, ‘A lot of coaches should be fired. There’s no reason why this guy should be at this level.’ You could see that after five passes.
“Jimmy Garoppolo is the William Tell of college football. I’ve never seen a quarterback that could hit exactly what he was throwing at. I’m not talking about putting it on a guy’s body, but put your hands out there and he sticks the ball right in the middle of your palm.
“You take that accuracy and put it with someone who has the second fastest release I’ve ever seen. The only release I’ve ever seen faster is Dan Marino's. He has second fastest release I’ve ever seen. And you’ve got an outstanding quarterback.
“Now don’t get me wrong. Tom Brady is the best of all the best. I’m not saying he’s going to take Tom’s job. I'm just telling you, this young man is exceptional. If Bill Belicheck put a second round draft pick on him, he knows what he's doing.”