Monday, December 20, 2010

Don't read too much into the Spaz extension

The big news of the day is that BC extended Spaz's contract until 2015. Of course everyone overreacted along the usual party lines. Either this was the greatest thing ever or the worst. The reality is that it was a meaningless public relations move. Sure it makes firing Spaz a little more expensive, but this won't be an obstacle to anything. All is does is placate recruits. If you think it means anything beyond the publicity, take a look at two recent examples.


December 4, 2007: Clemson signs Tommy Bowden to a contract extension.

October 13, 2008: Tommy Bowden forced to resign.


May 12, 2010: Miami signs Randy Shannon to a new, four-year contract.

November 27, 2010: Miami dismisses Randy Shannon.

The Future

I don't think Spaz will be fired within the next year like Bowden or Shannon. But I am 100% certain he will not be coaching BC in 2015 (the final year of this extension).

There are a couple of things you must remember in all of this.
1. We have a very competitive and often meddling Athletic Director. If you were unhappy with the losing streak, imagine how Gene felt. He will be loyal publicly and will temper expectations publicly, but that doesn't mean that he found this season's low acceptable.
2. Any buyout or payment to Spaz built into this contract would never keep BC from doing something. In fact, you could rationalize any buyout with an uptick in ticket sales. Just do some back of the envelope math. Let's say we struggle with attendance again and on the season fall short of a sellout by 5,000 tickets sold each week. Go conservative and factor in just a six game schedule. Then go conservative again and factor in a $20 in revenue per ticket unsold. Now using just those potential lost crowds and rounded numbers have unexciting, mediocre football costing BC $600,000+ in revenue per year.

As I said on twitter, I took this announcement as being a sign that Gene and Spaz are probably on the same page for now. I expect a staff small staff tweak this offseason.

Ultimately I think Spaz's future -- regardless of his contract -- will remain year to year. With his age and his boss you can't expect anything else


Ryan said...

So when you say "small staff tweak", I assume you're not referring to a dignified retirement by Nyquill?

Eagle in Brighton said...

Good stuff ATL.

Dan said...

We are currently finishing off a recruiting class that looks as good if not better than this year's freshman class (which I think we can all agree turned out pretty well). So to me, this move was to promote the stabililty of our team to the handful of 4 stars we are trying to pry loose from teams that have just lost their coaches (Louis-Jean, Chestnut, Thurman, etc...).

Spaz runs this program with integrity and knows how to recruit "BC guys". He may not be screaming and pulling his hair out on the sideline, but who really cares? With the amount of young talent we have coming back on both sides of the ball, I truly believe that with some offensive coaching tweaks people will be singing a much different tune about Spaz down the road.

Wesski said...

Dear Gene,

All I want for Christmas is a new OC.


-Mike W., '96 (12 year season ticket holder)

PS - FANTASTIC job on the Donahue hire. Go Eagles!


Impressive night by BJ Raji last night against the Patriots! I have not had the opportunity to see many of his pro games...he's an absolute beast up the middle.

EagleManhattan said...
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EagleManhattan said...

Dan, I think you're being way too optimistic here. We have a huge talent depth problem in the secondary (notice Ryan Lindsey?), and we have filled it by throwing flyers at more un-recruited unknown talent in this class than we have in the past decade. LB and DE have been spectacular, OL has been acceptable as its easier to turn those project guys into great players but athlete recruiting (when this year was pretty our last chance to get a normal progression going in the secondary) has been an embarrassment. Not to mention, we should have picked up a good WR, and didn't get any. Spaz and company whiffed on every single A-list ATH we've been after so far.

Dan said...

Yes I am being optimisitic.

Here's why:

If Momah gets another year, we will be returning 95% of our receiving yards next year for Rettig to throw to. And that's before taking into account Larmond coming back or Philips being healthy!

At running back we will have two beasts in Montel and Andre. Add to that Deuce coming back and Kimble coming off redshirt and we may actually have some real depth there for the first time in a while.

Our defense is a well oiled machine and we are reloading our LBs and have some nice looking D-lineman coming in.

Your DB point is well taken and I wish we had a nabbed some "better" ones (although we're still closing on a few) but ultimately your point is moot. Even without the athletes so many people wish we had we are still tied for 5th in the country in interceptions and 19th in points allowed sooo I think we're doing fine.

Are you feeling my optimism yet?

EagleManhattan said...

I'm certainly optimistic for next year. It's the recruiting class I have a problem with. Those future problems in the secondary after next year should have been remedied in this recruiting class, but they weren't. We lose Fletcher next year, and Noel and Okoroha after that. We already had to play Lindsey at CB this year, and we have nobody of equal talent coming out of high school to take their places. After 2012, we will essentially have one player in our secondary that was actually recruited by another BCS school (barring starting true freshman). On top of that, we burned all of our talented WR red shirts this year, meaning we essentially recruited NO WRs last year. We needed at least one to slot in as a JR starter, but they couldn't get any. Its significant screw up.

EagleManhattan said...

"Even without the athletes so many people wish we had we are still tied for 5th in the country in interceptions and 19th in points allowed sooo I think we're doing fine."

This is wrong, we DO have the athletes we wish we had in the secondary. Fletcher, Noel, LeGrande, Gause, Okoroha we're all BCS recruited and/or 3*+ rated recruits. There was a significant drop off in this recruiting class vs what we see on the field now.

Benjamin said...

We also have a solid pass at receiver for the next three years.

EagleManhattan said...

Ben, how do we have a solid pass at receiver for 3 years? You realize that having a starting depth chart made up of true freshman 4 years from now is NOT an example of good recruiting, right? We needed 1-2 WRs this year, at least one A-list one, to RS and get experience behind these guys and be the junior leader for 2 years once they leave. We didn't get ANY. Its bad depth chart management to miss on a WR this year.

Benjamin said...

I'm not saying that on the recruiting front we're stable when it comes to WR. But we have talent in place at WR right now. I'm more concerned with our depth at OL more than anything else.

Dan said...

Gause and LeGrande were actually 2 stars being recruited by UConn.

As you said Okoroha, Fletcher and Noel are all athletes and will be back next year. That's a good thing right?

By the time all is said and done, we will have a minimum of 3 DBs in this class and more likely 4 or 5. If our biggest concern depth wise next year is which of them will be ready the year after next, I'll take it.

EagleManhattan said...
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EagleManhattan said...

Gause was also recruited by Minnesota. LeGrande also had Cuse. Believe me you're not telling me anything I didn't know. Having multiple BCS offers, despite what the evaluating agency says, is still far better than having a bunch of bodies that nobody else was going to offer. At skill positions, quality>quantity. Otherwise, you end up with guys like Shinskie, Marscovetra, Flutie, etc. who, if all goes as planned, spend most of their careers off the field. Look at it this way, we chose to start a WR over D. Williams (with his RS already burned) when we had the chance. That doesn't bode well. Frankly, I'm not buying the quantity over quality argument when it comes to athlete positions.

mod34b said...

Anybody know what Spaz's new salary is? what his old one was.

I was surprised to see Freidgen was pulling down $2,000,000 per year

Mike said...

Since we are a private school BC is not obligated to release the salaries of its coaches.

Big Jack Krack said...

I am less optimistic now that Coach Nyquil will be gone after our bowl game. On the other hand, Spaz now has the go ahead to do what's necessary - if he wants to.

I might have the OC wrong, but it has been awfully tough to watch this team for 2 years. Give it the old college try, man.

Granted, Coach Spaz maybe didn't have much time to find a great OC after he was named HC, but he went with the loyalty/connection thing and grabbed a guy out of his 2nd or 3rd retirement - a guy who had been inactive for a couple of years.

I'm sure Coach Tranquill is a good guy - just wish he wasn't here.

Shut me up in SF, Gary - shut me up. I double dare you.

Benjamin said...

I actually couldn't complain about Tranquil's playcalling the last three games. We left some points on the field, but it wasn't because of playcalling. See Harris' fumbles during Duke, Swiggert's roll out pass dropped by Pantale during Syracuse.
Now, I'm not saying Tranq suddenly became my favorite OC. I would much prefer to have a younger coach in the position, but I can't fault Tranq toward's the end of the season. If our offense comes out rolling in SF, I might be placated.
That said, I cannot wait for the bowl game. Has anyone that's bought tickets received info about the tailgating prior to the game?

blist said...

I can see how maybe Shinskie not progressing the way they intended may have stifled playcalling this year - and how much of this year's record was just bad breaks - Shinskie not making the end zone at the end of the first half against VaTech, Harris getting caught twice before the end zone against Fla St, bad spots against Md etc. - but when do bad breaks become just poor offensive coaching? To borrow a line from Parcells, does the record say who you are? A missed TD here, an inch short there is one thing - consistently fallign short says we need a new OC.

mod34b said...

I did find some published salary info. Not surprisingly, we have the lowest paid coach, and the second oldest (Beamer is 64, Spaz is 63). GDF -- loosen the wallet for an new OC!!!

1 Paul Johnson Georgia Tech $2,500,000
2 Jim Grobe Wake Forest $2,250,000
3 Frank Beamer Virginia Tech $2,200,000
4 Ralph Friedgen Maryland $2,050,000
4a Al Golden, Miami, up to $2,000,000
5 Butch Davis North Carolina $2,000,000
6 Jimbo Fisher Florida State $1,800,000
7 Mike London Virginia $1,800,000
8 Dabo Swinney Clemson $1,750,000
9 David Cutcliffe Duke $1,650,000
10 Randy Shannon Miami $1,350,000
11 Tom O'Brien NC State $1,300,000
12 Frank Spaziani Boston College $1,100,000

James said...

If on the first play from scrimmage Tranquil calls anything other than a draw to Montel I will eat my hat.

To make matters worse, I fully expect the OC to call this game like all of the others this season as opposed to some farewell fireworks display. Run Run pass. Run Run pass. Protect a 4 point lead for the entire second half. Sweat the ending facing the Nevada pistol offense moving the ball at will in their last possession.

On the bright side, with the time difference, GT will probably be asleep by the 4th Q. So, maybe he is a real gunslinger in his dreams and lets Rettig air it out.

mod34b said...

Tranquill retiring?

did i miss that? any sources on that, or is it BJK wishing, frankly, for the best?

Big Jack Krack said...

Mod - just wishing. I haven't seen even a hint about it. Benjamin points out some truths, but one or two timely and imaginative plays here or there at the end of the season could be improved upon for sure - and BC deserves better. Tranquill can do better or get out of the way and let the QB call his own plays. Couldn't be any worse.

Here's a question (after a little background). I or my family has held at least 2 season tickets for 35 years. I have purchased tickets to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in SF. I can aford to go, and can make the time - I could even make it a semi business trip, etc. Airline Tix are quite reasonable and so are the hotel rates that I have seen - all within my budget, etc.

Question - with this anemic, "every fan in the stands knows what play is coming next" BC offensive scheme - why should I go?

mod34b said...

Go Big Jack, Go.

For one, go to watch our defense stun the Wolfpack into looking like Deer in a headlight.

For two, I have a feeling Chase and the kids are going to go airborne quite a bit!

For three, a visit to SF is always worth it (now if you were talking Shreveport, then I would understand)

For four, because you can.

mod34b said...

Actually found a DB on salaries. Current too.


Can you believe that Rutger's coach, Greg Shiano, get $2 million. TOB is up to $1.5 million. BC is practically in the stone ages (or the MAC leagues) pay-wise

blist said...

So mod, are you saying Spaz deserves a raise?

mod34b said...

No, Spaz's successor needs a raise.

mmason said...

Once more into the breach...If Spaz wins the SF Bowl/Hunger Kraft Cheez-Whiz game vs. Nevada, a team that is legitimately ranked what? 13? 15? on a day when every other bowl but the Nat.'ship is done and the audience is huge, then his BC career will be reborn (yeah, I said that before) and this will be a great finale.

Tranq can then exit with love abounding, Gene will exude happy Eagle feathers of pride'n joy and a new era will begin.

On the Blues side: If BC loses and is trounced publicly, the guys calling the game on TV will happily trash BC as "ever still" weakass pretenders, it will hurt BC cred and all of us alums, and be a huge blow to Spaz'entire world. Gene will freak-out. It will be ugly.

It's a Big Moment that we BC Eagle fans must accept as more than just another bowl game. Tranquilopicus Rex has to put big points up and call plays like a friggen' carnivore on this one. I'm gonna pray that Tranq channels Clint Eastwood on this one, old school or young, and blows Nevada away and walks cool and bad into the San Francisco night like Dirty Harry.

Go Eagles! Let's win one for Herzy and Montel and that Eagle up on the pedestal, and Big Jack, and me, too. It's time.

eagle1331 said...

I actually believe that Spaz's contact has a lot of performance bonuses and stuff that isn't covered in the $1.1MM. I think I read it in an article written when he was first hired..but can't find it anywhere, so disregard this..

Benjamin said...

MMason... the visual of Tranq's fading glory a la Dirty Harry... priceless.

Eagle77 said...

So in my opinion I don't think Tranq has been calling the last 2 or 3 games. there has been too much success and "risk" taken with the ball in my opinion. As far as the experience and depth goes (eaglemanhattan) you need to remember who the coach and recruiter was for the experience you are looking for you are trying to hold Spaz accountable for Jags screw ups