- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

A hectic week of coaching hires in college football was capped by a flurry of activity on championship Saturday away from the field.

Syracuse, Rutgers and North Texas have their new coaches, joining Miami, Maryland and Virginia - among others.

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SYRACUSE

The Orange lured Dino Babers away from Bowling Green, the day after he led the Falcons to a victory in the Mid-American Conference championship game. Babers won two division titles in two seasons with Bowling Green and reached the FCS playoffs twice as coach at Eastern Illinois.

He brings an up-tempo, Baylor-style offense to the Carrier Dome. Syracuse has won just seven games in the last two seasons and is looking for a way to compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the likes of Florida State and Clemson. Or at the least with North Carolina State and Louisville.

The Orange went 4-8 this season under Scott Shafer.

RUTGERS

The Scarlet Knights are the second Big Ten East team to steal a defensive coordinator away from a division rival, coming to an agreement with Ohio State assistant Chris Ash.

A person who has been briefed on the decision told The Associated Press on Saturday that Ash’s deal was pending approval by the university’s board of governors.

Maryland made a similar move earlier this week, hiring Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as head coach.

The 41-year-old Ash helped the Buckeyes win the national title last season and his defense was even better this season. Ohio State is tied for fourth in the nation in yards per play at 4.39. The Iowa native has also been defensive coordinator at Wisconsin and Arkansas.

The Scarlet Knights finished 4-8 in a tumultuous final season under Kyle Flood, who was suspended in September for impermissible contact with the professor.

NORTH TEXAS

The Mean Green wanted to bring a dynamic offense to Denton, Texas, and landed on Seth Littrell, the offensive coordinator at North Carolina.

North Texas announced the hiring during halftime of the Tar Heels’ Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Clemson on Saturday night.

Littrell, 37, is an Oklahoma native and former Sooners running back. He has been offensive coordinator at North Carolina the past two seasons after serving two-year stints in the same position at Indiana and Arizona. With several major college coaching jobs still open, Littrell becomes the fifth youngest coach in FBS.

The Mean Green went 1-11 this season and fired Dan McCarney after an 0-5 start.

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AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org

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