I don’t need to rehash what has happened to our football program since the eve of the ACC Championship Game. Now I sense the fans have split into two groups. One that thinks we are headed into a long dark period that will have us longing for the bowl streak days. The other thinks we will struggle in the near term yet bounce back quickly. The opinion everyone seems to share is that this season is a lost cause. I have to disagree. Despite all the things we’ve been through, I still have hope for this year.
I was excited to see that our new coach is an optimist too. Let me state right now, there is no reason to write off this season. Even without Herzy and McLaughlin, the defense should be good. Look at Spaz’s record of consistency with much lessor talent. This defensive unit is not as talented as last year's, but it is much better than some of the Ds from earlier in the decade. We have more speed and big play ability in the defensive backfield than we’ve ever had. The Defensive Line will miss Raji and Brace but should see an upgrade from the Ends with the return of Albright and the maturity of some of the younger players. Now Spaz as Head Coach and McGovern as DC is not a tested combo. But neither has given us any inclination that there will be wholesales changes in style, scheme or play calling.
Offense is more unknown. But I will say again, losing Davis is not a major loss. He had his moments, but nothing to give you any more confidence than you should have now in Boek or Tuggle. QB is important. Very important. But not everything. BC was still a .500 program with the maddening play of Quinton Porter. Our QB with the best winning percentage in the program history was a 5’10 JUCO transfer. For all his moxie and smarts, Matt Hasselbeck had a losing record while at BC. Football is the ultimate team sport and you can work with and around a limited QB. Two guys who were well aware of our QB situation (Bicknell Jr. and Logan) wanted this job. If they had confidence they could win, why are we giving Spaz an excuse? There is plenty of talent in the backfield, the offensive line and among the WRs. Give us a true game manager and we can be competitive.
We have yet to play a down and people are already assigning blame to TOB and Jags. That’s wrong and sounds like ND fans blaming Willingham for Weis’ struggles or TOB blaming the gambling scandal five seasons later. Spaz doesn’t need our pity. He needs our belief and support and to be held to a high standard. I am glad he views this as an opportunity. It fits well with the “Ever to Excel.”
Artwork courtesy of BCMike