Five on Friday: Ex-Arizona assistants to watch this week

Former Arizona offensive coordinator Dino Babers leads his Syracuse Orange against Florida State on Saturday.Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It's upset alert for ex-Cats who are now head coaches

It's a big week for a number of former Arizona Wildcats assistants who are now college head coaches.

(Alas, not for Josh Heupel, whose 18th-ranked UCF team had its game against North Carolina canceled because of Hurricane Florence. Heupel, in case you had forgotten, was the Wildcats' tight end coach in 2005 under Mike Stoops before returning to his alma mater, Oklahoma.)

But for five others ex-Arizona aides, it's mostly upset alert time on Saturday. Let's count them five big games for these former Cats:

5. Frank Scelfo, Southeastern Louisiana

At Arizona: Quarterbacks coach (2010-11)

Scelfo, who worked with Nick Foles and Matt Scott with the Wildcats, is in his first college head coaching job at 59. He's 0-2 at the Football Championship Subdivision school, having played "up" in a narrow 34-31 road loss to Louisiana-Monroe and playing way, way up last week in 31-0 loss at LSU.

Scelfo gets his first home game this week against Central Arkansas, which is the reigning Southland Conference champion. To get the upset, Scelfo will need a big day from quarterback Chason Virgil, a transfer from Fresno State.

4. Bob Davie, New Mexico

At Arizona: Defensive assistant (1978-79)

Davie's team got whacked at Wisconsin last week 45-14 and he's on thin ice after a 30-day suspension early this year amid a misconduct investigation. His Lobos are only a four-point favorite this week for a game at rival New Mexico State, which is 0-3 and is coming off a 60-13 beat-down at Utah State.

3. Sonny Dykes, SMU

At Arizona: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks (2007-09)

Dykes, who entered this season with a 41-45 combined record at Louisiana Tech (three years) and Cal (four years), takes the Mustangs to the Big House this week to play No. 19 Michigan. SMU QB Ben Hicks has thrown for 6,862 yards and 54 touchdowns, and he'll be a decent test for Michigan's safeties down field.

2. Seth Littrell, North Texas

At Arizona: Offensive assistant/coordinator in final season (2009-11)

Littrell is an up-and-comer, taking over a team that went 1-11 in 2015 and leading the Mean Green to the Conference USA championship game last season, finishing with a 9-5 record. UNT, 2-0 this season, including a win over SMU and his former Arizona coaching colleague Sonny Dykes in the opener.

Like Dykes, Littrell is an Air Raid disciple ... and he has one of the most productive quarterbacks in the nation in 5-foot-11 junior Mason Fine as the Mean Green head to SEC country to play Arkansas.

1. Dino Babers, Syracuse head coach

At Arizona: Offensive assistant/coordinator in final three seasons (1995-2000)

Babers went 8-16 in his first two seasons with the Orange, undone in both seasons by injuries to Eric Dungey, who is one of the most underappreciated quarterbacks in the country.

Syracuse is 2-0 this season and looking for more at home against struggling Florida State. Don't doubt Cuse in the dome, where Babers' crew upset No. 17 Virginia Tech in 2016 (417 total yards for Dungey) and No. 2 Clemson last season (339 total yards for Dungey).

The Orange was a 23- and 24-point underdog in those games.

Syracuse is only a three-point dog this week, but with a win over the 'Noles, Syracuse might be ready for that breakthrough (stay healthy, Dungey) and maybe we'll get another goosebumps moment like this from Babers:

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