Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Expansion news (where I actually defend Gene) and other links

Former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese and his hand-picked successor John Marinatto have been ranting about the latest round of conference expansion to anyone who will listen. As always they're overly reactionary, emotionally, and parochial in their perspective on basketball. For most BC fans this drudged up a lot of memories about our old conference and our unpleasant departure. I think the Big East was important in the landscape of college sports and important for BC. But it was never as important as anyone from the Big East thinks it was. And the fact that it still draws its leadership from Providence College basketball cronies shows how limited their perspective is...on everything. The reality of alliance was that it could never be sustained on basketball alone. That is why they added Miami first. That first expansion should have been the writing on the wall of the basketball schools. If they wanted to have a future, they should have started major football then. UConn did. Others did not an have been paying the price every since. They can take all the pot shots they want at Gene, but he did the right and smart things by moving us to the ACC. And I hope tons of BC fans show up at the first ACC Tourney game at MSG!

This article takes down Tranghese's nonsensical rant on WFAN.

The Big East is saying the will keep Syracuse and Pitt for 27 more months. I doubt it comes to that. The Big East will have to find a solution for their other schools soon and therefore won't need or want to hold onto the defectors.

In recruiting news, BC lost out on Canaan Severin. He's headed to UVA to play for Mike London. I don't get too caught up in recruiting rankings but it is disheartening to see how many local prospects we missed out on this year.


dixieagle said...

Clearly Severin wasn't impressed by his BC visit, and I can't say I blame him. It's beyond disappointing to lose a possible recruit - whose mother is a BC alum, yet - to Virginia.

AlbanyEagle said...



But who can blame the kid? If that was my visit to Chestnut Hill on Saturday I would have run screaming from the place.

JBQ said...

Obviously, BC has a lot of work to do. How many more recruits will be run off? Virginia really has a nice campus. Unless BC gets its problems solved, it will be all downhill from the "Heights".

Knucklehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Knucklehead said...

Virginia is an impressive place. He would probably get to play early there and it is easier to graduate from a state school than from BC. Despite the US News rankings.

What would preclude the ACC from grabbing Georgetown and Villanova and having a 14 team f.ball league and 16 team b.ball league?

Another option, take UCONN and Villanova under the assumption Villanove converts to D-1.

Not a big Rutgers fan. Don't think they fit on any level.

Texas and ND or Texas and anyone(TCU?) would be unbelievable for BC's home crowd situation. Imagine Syracuse, Pitt, UCONN, Texas, ND, FSU, Clemson etc. at BC. No wonder Gene hasn't been overly concerned with the crowd, schedule, and coaches. Once the ACC is "finalized" he will have the cash to pay for a legitimate head coach.

chicagofire1871 said...

I don't think BC not having the cash for a big time head coach is the reason we don't have a big time head coach.

It's that Fr. Leahy and by extention, GDF are afraid to push the envelope and win. They are petrified of risking their position at the table for a repeat of the gambling scandal, and would rather be a middling program that cashes in than a superior football program that lives in the gray.

Patrick said...

I understand the widespread expansion across the country are for football TV contracts, but are these contracts inclusive of bball and other sports as well, with football just being the largest portion of the contract?

Are there separate contracts for ACC bball? With a 14 member football conference driving up the revenue of the current TV contract as it is, would it be advantageous for the ACC to keep 14 members in football, but increase the bball membership to 16 with non-football schools?

Quick List of Advantages
1. Maintaining flexibility in football scheduling. A 9 game scheduling format in ACC football tremendously limits opportunities to play cross-division opponents AND limits the opportunity to play ND while maintaining existing contracts with schools like USC and create new recruiting pipelines.
2. Possibility of inviting Villanova, St. John's, Georgetown, Marquette (in BC's interest - all Catholic schools) to renew more rivalries. Each can contribute the academic profile the ACC is looking for, some more than others obviously, but hey it beats UCONN and WVU.
2.A. Increases ACC Ball strength and really pushes ACC tourney to highest level with more reason to just take over MSG (sorry carried away by excitement)
3. Prevents UCONN from joining.
4. Keeps open the opportunity for football-only option for ND program in future - although I'm sure they'd want all sports if they finally align with conference.
5. Did I mention this would prevent UCONN?

Patrick said...

Sorry knucklehead, just read your post. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!

Ryan said...

Patrick, the scenario you described is EXACTLY why the Big East is being demolished before our eyes.

hsk said...

cfn.scout has us ranked at 104 out of 120, and we are surprised about recruiting ???? Please, someone right this ship before the ACC pays us to leave.

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

Ryan, are you saying the breakdown is because the BE has more BBall teams than football? I guess I see a difference between Pitt and Cuse jumping from 9-league team to 14-league team. I think the +5 team increase in TV money for the new ACC is significantly and proportionately greater than the -2 difference in having 16 football teams to 14.

Frankly, the move of Pitt and Cuse was due to money, or to gain more money in future. I guess my concept in theory is to maximize TV contracts, and largely only TV contracts. So in hindsight, my idea (and by that I mean myself, Knucklehead, and anyone else) could still be applied if the ACC doesn’t want more than 14 teams. If they want to go to 16, then hey the plans out the window. If they take Rutgers and UConn over just adding 2 BBall teams, I'm sure their logic is because they feel they can make more money doing so.

Is the football product better? Ehh, not really. Better BBall including RU and UConn? Yes, but upgrade only due to UConn.

But in terms of dollars? That's the question. St. Johns is the NYC market- not Rutgers. Is the UConn market worth more than NYC and St. Johns and/or say Nova/Philly or Georgetown/DC? If you could increase BBall money and maintain a strong 14 member product, without RU and UConn, I'd say its worth it. I dont know the numbers, but I'd think so.

Basically, If the ACC wants to keeps 14 teams in football, then I think an increase in BBall would help revenue. The 2 extra BBall members would get more money so there is an incentive to go along for the ride.

If the ACC wants 16 teams, then everyone wins and has lots of money to spend on travel to the same schools each year.

I dont know. I don't think the difference in sport members is going to threaten ACC longevity.

But hey, this convo is fun and doesn’t include Spaz

chicagofire1871 said...


To you point, the ACC media rights contract is for both football and basketball. They are not separate, negotiable entities.

Even if they were, the scenario you describe is basically what the Big East used to be. Having that disparity between football schools and non-football schools drives a wedge into any conference wide decision. Look around the country at successful conferences and they are ones that have equal revenue sharing agreements and are all sports. The Big 12 was not equal revenue sharing and the Big East was non all sports.

Big Jack Krack said...

hsk - at the end of the 2008 season and all the bowl games we were ranked 28th in the nation. I believe we were much higher during that season as well, but we sputtered at the end for various reasons.

3 years - 28th to 104th.

But going back a little further is even more revealing - we were 23rd in the final rankings 2007; 25th in the 2006 final standings; 12th in the 2005 final standings.

As pipsqueek DeFilippo stated - Frank Spaziani is doing a terrific job!

What are the fans missing here?

Big Jack Krack said...

I think I'll knickname Coach Spaziani - Coach Boo Hoo, because he's always making excuses and blaming the players - and publicly stating that he's at a disadvantage because his cupboard is bare.

Who's fault is that?

We all know that we should beat UMASS by at least 4 touchdowns on Saturday. If Boo Hoo let's them hang around by coaching not to lose - prevent defense and prevent offense - he's in big trouble.

If Boo Hoo snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, Gene needs to make the announcement that he's gone - even if he finishes out the year.

Gene could not have mismanaged this any worse if he tried to do so.

Big Jack Krack said...

Let's put this in perspective and I'll shut up and let others weigh in.

Sagaring Final Rankings - Boston College

2001 - 25th

2002 – 26th

2003 – 37th

2004 – 26th

2005 – 12th

2006 – 25th

2007 – 23rd

2008 - 28th

2009 - 44th

2010 – 49th

And now this year!!!!!!!!!

John said...

Here's another good one.

Way to go AD and HC. We are proud to be BC.


Current ACC Power Poll

1. Florida State
2. Virginia Tech
3. Miami
4. Clemson
5. Maryland
6. North Carolina
7. Georgia Tech
8. Wake Forest
9. N.C. State
10. Virginia
11. Duke
12. Boston College

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex L. said...

I just want to point out that BC's crappy Sagarin rankings coincide with the Obama administration.

Big Jack Krack said...

Hello Mod - my frustration is showing - sorry.

However, I think something other than "Coach Spaziani is doing a terrific job" is what is called for - otherwise Gene makes himself look stupid.

He can stroke Boo Hoo while still maintaining some semblance of honesty. Never mind the actual (in game) coaching - we have serious problems with recruiting and retention. The attrition factor is becoming a problem, and Boo Hoo recruited some of these guys.

We have already fallen to a point where it will take several years to get back. Will GDF continue to bank his own future on Boo Hoo's performance?

Just for the record, I would back Coach Spaz if I thought he had a good recruiting team in place and we were getting the talent. I am not confident at all that we can relate to recruits the way we need to relate to them. Secondly, I would back him if I thought the assistant coaches were performing up to speed. Sometimes the HC has to clean house and surround himself with coaches much better than himself. Be the CEO, but bring in the right coaching staff, coordinators and recruiters.

Otherwise the whole team is infected by the "Lack, Loss, Limitation" or boo hoo attitude and BC Football is sunk for many years - ask Syracuse how long it takes.

I hope I'm wrong but we are for sure on the wrong road right now. Just like to get back on the main highway soon.

mod34b said...

Agreed Jack. BC football is on the wrong road for sure and has been for 3 years. Agreed too that GDF's words should have been chosen more carefully than just the outright bullshit he uttered that all have made fun of.

The demise is just so clear, and it also so clear that Spaz is the main reason for the decline, that we have to believe GDF is aware of this MAJOR ISSUE and planning action.

GDF seems to have made a very good hire in Men's hoops and also in Women's hoops. Jags -- the hiring part -- was pretty exciting and seemed to be a good choice too. GDF was quite proactice with the changes in Men's and Women's hoops. So I think GDF is capable of making a very good hire for football this year. (like it or not, GDF will be calling the shots for the forseeable future)

As an aside, I am still puzzled by Roger's departure and surprised no new info tidbits have emerged. Must be Spaz related too.

Could you imagine being an NFL level coach and you find yourself sitting in a meeting and it suddenly dawns on you that SPAZ IS YOUR BOSS and you whisper to yourself "SPAZ IS MY BOSS" OMG x 100!!

Knucklehead said...

This is not personal Mod just a philosophical disagreement.

How can anyone say that the TOB firing was a good thing looking back? The school won alot of games, had NFL level talent, and was highly respected on the field and in the classroom. The football team cannot beat an egg now.

The Jags hiring was terrible. He tried to sell out on us for the Jets. He was nothing without Logan, see Tampa Bay.

Hiring Spaz was obviously a bad decision.

The point is that we only know if someone is a good hire after looking back on the work they have done for a few years. It has nothing to do with what the consensus or hype was when the hire was made.

I look back on all those decisions and say that they were either a)terrible judgmts in character or b)absolutely necessary on account of previous lapses in judgmnt.

He can turn this around by hiring T. Murphy from Harvard. I think we could draw a big name if the ACC expands with Texas or ND. If the league gets one of those two then we could entice someone like Steve Mariucci.

mod34b said...

Knuckle Thanks for the comment

TOB was stale and unmotivated. It was time to move on by both sides. So it was a decent GDF decision to move forward.

Now with Jags you are looking at how he screwed up - why he was fired. But that is not the right perspective. U need to look at the options available when he is hired. Was it a good hire at the time?

By looking at how he did after being hired, you are getting the benefit of hindsight, which, of course, is information that was not available to the decision maker (GDF) when Jags was hired.

As they say, hindsight is 20/20

So I think you really need to ask: did GDF go through the right process and pick what was - then - the best (or among the better) available options for BC.

As for Jags, the answer is YES. It was a good hire. And Jags did in fact do an excellent job for 2 years. Yes, He had great TOB talent, but he also coached that talent right. Look at what Spaz is doing, in contrast

But then with Jags, he got weird. Still is was surprising and disappointing he had to go - but his public behavior left no doubt about it

As for the Spaz hire, it was a bad decision at the time. Spaz was not a real leader. He was a 62 year old career assistant who showed no aptitude to be a HC. No one is surprised at what has now happened in 3 short years.

Bottom line: people can certainly disagree and do so with good reason, but i think GDF stays, fires Spaz and his entire staff in December and goes on to make a decent HC hire - and possibly an exciting HC hire

And the Eagle starts to soar once again! Ever to excel

eagleboston said...

T. Murphy? Harvard to BC is a very, very big jump. Not sure if this would resonate with recruits. Steve Mariucci......now that is an interesting idea. I like it!

Big Jack Krack said...

Let's not forget to add

#5 Giving Spaziani a contract extension last December for two years (through the 2015 season) - when it was not needed.

Spaziani had three years remaining on his original contract.

“Frank Spaziani has done a terrific job in his first two seasons as our head football coach,” athletic director Gene DeFilippo said in a prepared statement. “There is no doubt in my mind that he has our program headed in the right direction. He is a man of uncompromised integrity and principle, and he has provided great stability to our program. He has overcome some obstacles along the way and is building the foundation for great things to come. This contract extension is an indication of the university’s confidence in him.”

Maybe Gene is getting some vigorish on the buyout - a kickback. Otherwise the move didn't make any sense.

EL MIZ said...

BJK - its tough to knock the extension when it may have some sort of BC opt out written into it. who knows? hopefully gene covered his ass on that one, because if money owed to spaz impacts BC's ability to find a new coach, gene should go too for a truly moronic move.

i agree with Mod -- at the time it seemed like TOB wanted out, the relationship was stale with TOB content winning 8 games every year. i, for one, was sick of dana bible (oh how i long for such consistency now).

i also agree with mod on the Jags hire -- the guy went to 2 ACC championship games, infused a TON of energy and passion into the program, and had great success for the 2 years he was with BC. obviously Gene didn't know going into it that Jags would basically quit on the recruiting side of it a year in and angle towards an NFL job. given that jags did that, i'm happy Gene had the stones to just fire him and move on.

i also think we are engaging in a bit of revisionist history with the great Spaz -- i, for one, hope with all my BC fandom soul that he is gone in 3 months. that being said, Spaz did a pretty good job coaching this team his first year. he inherited a team with no QB and whose best player was diagnosed with ewing sarcoma and somehow we were a winning team and bowl-bound his first year. that was a pretty damn good coaching job.

last year i thought was a disaster and the fact that we rattled off 5 wins at the end basically pushed the current disaster into 2012. (i thought we were going to go 2-10 last year after 7 games). the general approach to the games lacks any sort of imagination, passion, or desire to win. it is almost as if Spaz wants BC to lose and then turn around and say "i told you so." who knows, but in a sport where the strategy is constantly evolving, BC is stuck in the 1990s. that would be OK if we still had our dominant lines, but we don't, and the result is ugly.

last year we were an embarrassing 2-5 and spaz somehow managed to win enough (thanks in part to a weak finish to the schedule and things going our way) to finish at 7-6. this year i don't see us being so lucky. i just don't see this team winning more than 3 games. umass is 1, and maybe we could get another 2 somewhere. i don't see win 4 coming. and if we finish 3-9, spaz should be (and i think, will be) fired.

why? its self preservation -- if Gene sticks with spaz and we lay another egg in 2012, both are getting canned. in december gene will have one chance to make it right -- either by sticking with a mustached curmudgeon who coaches to not lose and doesn't seem to prioritize winning or by cleaning house (everybody must go) and bringing in new blood, new ideas, and a new passion for the program.

the excuses for spaz (jags left the cupboard dry! tranquill is falling asleep during games!) have run out. this is his team, with his players. that spaz forgot to recruit any defensive lineman is his fault. that spaz's o-line coach and OCs have failed to instill any sort of scheme is his fault. running to the left when you are on the left hash mark is spaz's fault. the losses are spaz's fault -- gene must rectify or they'll both be packing.

EL MIZ said...

this is a good article on how amherst and merchant marine have used the option to great success:


can you imagine spaz or anyone on this staff going to another program and going "I see what you guys are doing -- how do you do it?" no way! this team has no identity -- we aren't defined by the big uglies anymore, we are no longer O-Line U. and even though we have 2 first round pick super bowl champs who played D-Line at BC (raji and kiwi) we haven't been able to recruit that either. we need a coach with a system, not a coach with a mustache and nothing else.