Monday, December 06, 2010

Edsall, UConn and what could have been

After the smoke cleared from the bowl scheduling I saw a few tweets and message board posts regarding Randy Edsall and UConn. There is a small contingent of media and opposing fans that like to remind BC that if we had stayed in the Big East we would have played in a BCS game by now. They also like to hint that we should have hired Randy Edsall. As a blogger and a critic I love to use and abuse hindsight, but in this case it doesn't matter. We've made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I have absolutely zero regrets about Edsall or the Big East.

Edsall the Bridesmaid

Randy Edsall was almost the BC head coach four different times. There are varied urban legends surrounding the BC-Edsall courtship. He was deemed to green to take over for Coughlin in 1994. The only admitted time he was offered the job was in 1996-97. Small problem though. Chet Gladchuk was a powerless lame duck so other people were offering the job to Kevin Gilbride and Tom O'Brien. Edsall was left with an empty promise yet no long-term bitterness towards BC. In fact he kept hoping for another chance at the Heights. Like a lot of people who have come through BC, Edsall appreciated what BC offered and saw what Coughlin did firsthand. Later, he was given a cursory look when TOB left. His folks had a more serious discussion when Jags was fired, but still Edsall was left hanging. Those failed flirtations were probably more about what Gene was looking for and less about what Randy brought to the table. Personally I think Edsall would have been fine at BC, but I've never seen anything that made me long for his leadership. I think his team's are decent, but boring. I don't particularly care for his sideline antics at times. It always looks like he is doing a bad Coughlin impression. Yet he lacks Coughlin's smarts and charm and the success that allows TC to get away with some of his ranting and raving. If Edsall had ever coached at BC I am sure he would have been fine, but I don't know if he ever would have helped us break our current ceiling.

The Big East's backdoor to the BCS

The irony of the current BCS format is that it is easier to get in from the Big East or a non-automatic qualifier school than it is to get in from the other power conferences. Add in the extra game that an SEC, Big XII or ACC team must win, and you are left with a real test, not some mini-hurdle like the Big East. But we didn't join the ACC to just to get into the BCS. The move was about money, stability, a future, partnering with like-minded schools and prestige. Staying in what became the Big East would have been a marketing, recruiting and ticket selling disaster. I still don't think the current configuration of the Big East will last. I know any current BCS team -- including UConn -- would glady trade their one trip to the BCS in exchange for a spot in the ACC. Besides, we had our chance at the Big East's joke bid and blew it.

I don't know when we will finally get into the BCS, but when we do, it won't be with an asterisk or by default. We will have earned it and the program will be better for it.


mod34b said...

"Yet he lacks Coughlin's smarts and charm"

charm? Coughlin???? Now that's a good one!

Patrick said...

The fact that Randy Edsall has turned formerly D 1-AA UConn into a consistent top-40 Division 1 program, and has done so while playing in a dump of an off-campus stadium in the middle of an abandoned airport is damn near a miracle. And he is a much, much, much better coach than our current head coach, and Tom O'Brien.

Gene could have made fewer stops on the "former assistant at BC" coaching carousel that we're on right now had he hired Edsall when O'Brien left the first time. He may not be a flashy coach, but UConn's not a flashy program --- and if he can win there, he can win a lot here.

We'll see how he does at Michigan or some such place next year. My bet is quite well.

Erik said...

In this AP article we're Golden Eagles. I think the Golden Eagles are all 72+ years old.

Bravesbill said...

If only TCU had not moved to the Big East. The MWC would have claimed its automatic bid in a few years and the Big East would have been SOL. What a joke of a conference. If only we had gotten Jim Harbaugh when we had the chance. Now it looks like Michigan will nab him.

bceagle93 said...

McDaniels for OC.

jacquebquique said...

BC ws the ninth pick for bowl games out of nine. This would have happened even if they were in the championship game. In fact, this did happen when they lost in the championship. They do not draw because ACC teams are below the Mason-Dixon line. This is unacceptable and some "soul searching" must ensue by Father Leahy and "Clean Gene". Semper Fi

BCDoubleEagle said...

It doesn't matter where the other ACC schools are located. Our bowl prospects were no better in the Big East (remember the Motor City Bowl?). The problem is that we are a small school with a small fanbase that doesn't travel.

Jim Foley said...

jacquebquique -

Bowl selection is about popularity, not record or conference affiliation.

Fr. Leahy and Gene can't change the way that bowls select teams.

They also can't make BC more popular to fans of pro football or fans of other colleges.

Not sure what "soul searching" would accomplish.

mod34b said...


Do u know the "bc" rule. ACC team #1 can not be bypassed by a bowl in favor ACC team # 2 if team #1 has 2 or more conference wins than team. #2

Eg, 4-4 Clemson team can't bypass a 6-2 BC team, but a 5-3 UNC team could

So if we were ACC runner up. It would not be possible to fall to ACC #7 , 8, or 9 spot

BCDoubleEagle said...

Women's hoops is ranked for the first time in several years:

downtown_resident said...

In addition to the "BC" rule, the ACC's bowl affiliations state that the conference championship loser can't fall below a certain bowl. In 2007 that bowl was the Champs.

So jac's post, in addition to being kind of odd, has some factual challenges.

Big Jack Krack said...

I'm actually happy with the SF Bowl, because unless we get the BCS/Orange Bowl; Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl (not likely) or the Champs Sports Bowl - the remaining cities of the ACC slate of bowls are not attractive.

As I have stated all along - our bowl to shoot for every year is the ACCCG - now in Charlotte. We have to earn our way to Miami.

Nashville, Washington DC, Charlotte, Shreveport or El Paso are not very attractive unless the opponent was a top draw with some kind of past relationship to BC - even if small (i.e. Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Texas A&M, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, ND [when not on the schedule that year] Stanford, USC, WVU, etc.

Sr.Atlanta said...

Bill, Do you have to keep reminding me of our 2005 Fiesta Bowl miss?!?! 47-17 loss to a lowly Syracuse team! Still hurts to this day! We had that no-name QB starting too! ;-)

Big Jack Krack said...

Let's look a little closer:

BTW - I think Maryland got jobbed out of the Champs Sports Bowl.

The ACC has nine teams playing in bowl games this year:

Georgia Tech plays Air Force in the Independence Bowl. With all due respect to Air Force, that would be a tough sell at that location, although we have history with that team.

NC State plays West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl. That would be a draw for all of us who hate WVU - plus it's a good thing if you beat them at a good location.

Maryland plays East Carolina in the Military Bowl. Lose/lose proposition, with due respect to ECU. BC might draw well there, though - just need the right opponent.

North Carolina plays Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. Attractive for BC this year because of the opponent.

Clemson plays South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Lose/lose proposition.

Miami plays Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl. Too bad about the PAC-10.

Florida State plays South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Attractive game for BC fans, I would think.

Virginia Tech plays Stanford in the Orange Bowl. Will we ever get there?

Boston College plays Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Our best match-up this year by far