- Talking Point: “Tom O’Brien and staff have a disciplined team.”
- Reality: It all depends on how you define discipline. If you mean doling out punishment for bad behavior, then yes, TOB does have a disciplined team. But if you define it by lack of penalties and fundamental football, then the discipline is sorely lacking.
Being a Marine and gameday stoic, the TV announcers usually buy the disciplinarian line. And yes, TOB does graduate his players (future talking point) and will suspend or kick players (regardless of ability) off the team for indiscretions. However, when I think of discipline I broaden the definition to include mistake free football – an area that has been in the decline of late. While a holding call here or there is understood, the number of unsportsmanlikes, personal fouls and late hits is maddening. Heading into the Tire Bowl, BC is the 32nd most penalized team in DIA. Last season they were the 16th in most penalized team in DIA. If you look at the other teams near the top you’ll see there is no direct correlation between penalties and wins and losses. However, I think BC could have beaten Pitt and Wake with fewer mistakes. And if you include poor tackling and dropped passes as lack of discipline, then the Syracuse game was Exhibit 1 in the problem. (Readers can tell I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the Orange debacle.)
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Talking points part 3
Another talking point. The third in the series. Listen for it on Dec. 30 on ESPN 2.