Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Addazio should name a starting QB this week

It is almost time. This is the last week of summer camp. Next week is game week. Now is the time to pick a QB. Yet Addazio seems in no hurry. 

Wade still remains the favorite for the job. The fact that he hasn't made the competition a slam dunk case is really a half-full/half-empty proposition. It is great that Brown has shown enough promise to make it a tough decision. it is disconcerting that Wade isn't a clear cut choice.

Addazio will decide soon, so you might ask: "what's the rush?" I think this is Addazio's chance to get the team ready and behind one guy. A few extra days will change the mentality around the team. 

Plus, there is very little downside to naming a guy now. Whoever gets the No. 2 slot will need to understand that he is only one snap away. The backup needs to buy in. If anything, waiting might just anger the No. 2. 

Whoever wins is going to be on a short leash. Addazio needs to win and can't let one guy fall apart when a similar option is on the bench. This season could be a bumpy ride. Let's start to get through those bumps now when there is still time to fix things. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Walk-on soccer player to handle kickoffs

One thing that has been brewing this summer is the success of former BC soccer player Max Schulze-Geisthovel. The German has finished his collegiate soccer career and decided to try football. And at this point, it looks like he's been so good that he will handle kickoffs.

Schulze-Geisthovel is not accurate enough to handle field goals, but Addazio won't rule it out. Addazio claims the kid has the biggest leg of any kicker since Addazio has been at BC.

I don't really care who kicks. I just want success. Addazio has struggled finding someone he can trust and considering how few points we score, every attempt counts. Field position counts too, so that is where Schulze-Geisthovel can make an immediate impact.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What to expect out of the OLine

The Herald's article on Chris Lindstrom got me thinking about the Offensive Line.  Even with all the talent upgrade and the new tempo offense, ultimately the success of this team is very dependent on the offensive line. It needs to be better than last year and needs to be elite if BC is going to be anything more than a seven win team.

As the Herald reported, Lindstrom has moved and is penciled in at RT. We know Baker is still at Center. Transfer Marcell Lazard, played Tackle at West Virginia, but is seems with Lindstrom at RT and presumably Montiero at LT, he would be inside. The other guard might be Schmall. On paper, that is a lot of questions marks. There is also plenty of talent and potential. That is where coaching comes into play.

One of the reasons we had great success at OLine, is we had great OL coaches. They knew what they wanted and could mold players accordingly. Things started to fall apart under Spaz when he had poor OLine coaches. Based on his first two years, I thought Addazio and his OL coach Justin Frye were perfect. They had the guys ready. Then it all fell apart. Last year was a little better, but still not elite. Now with more depth and experience on the line, this should be a great season. The coaches and the players should be on the same page.

A great OL can hide a lot of mistakes. BC needs a great OL to be great. My expectations are improvement. I will hope that they make a big lead and become the ACC's best again. That is when you will know BC has turned the corner.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bahamas basketball trip starts off well

Every few years, NCAA basketball programs are allowed to take a summer trip. This year, Christian took the guys to the Bahamas. The caliber of basketball might not be as high as some of the European or Asian trips, BC and other schools have taken, but it is probably less expensive. A cheap confidence boost is just what this team needs.

On Saturday, they won their first game in the Bahamas. It was against the CTG Knights (whom I had never heard of prior to this game). The Knights made it interesting mid-way through the second half, but BC pulled away. The scoring went as expected with Robinson, Bowman, and Chapman leading the way. Newbie Stefon Mitchell chipped in too.

BC plays their next game Monday night. I hope they keep it rolling.

Friday, August 18, 2017

BC makes Alumni beer/wine sales official

The rumors are true. BC announced Friday that they will expand beer and wine sales at Alunmi Stadium on game days. The alcohol will be available at select concession stands around the stadium. 

Jarmond was quick to thank the City of Boston. That's a smart move. Keep the regulators happy. The press release also noted that a third of colleges are now selling beer and wine at their stadiums.

As I said when the news started leaking out, this is a good move for BC. It should bring in a few extra bucks and get a few more people to their seat. But this is not a cure all. Let's hope there are more positive moves made in the near future. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

BC needs to get in front of the Yawkey controversy

The Red Sox are requesting the city of Boston change the street outside Fenway from "Yawkey Way" due to the owner's racist past. I don't care how you feel about the move. I don't care about Tom Yawkey or current owner Sox owner John Henry. You can question the timing of Henry's request, but who cares if it is sincere, grandstanding or just out of fear. My concern in all of this is BC. We have a prominent Football building carrying the Yawkey name, and it is inevitably listed in articles mentioning the Sox's move. Before the spotlight comes, before any real controversy starts, BC just needs to get in front of it all and change the name. Right now. Have the change go up before the season even starts. 

Tom Yawkey had no affiliation to BC. The only reason the building carries his last name is because the trustee of the Yawkey Foundation and former Red Sox President John Harrington had deep ties to the school. Before joining the Sox he taught accounting at BC. It was Harrington who pushed for the gift and Harrington who guided the naming. At the time, the Yawkey name carried much less controversy so it was a no brainer for BC to use it. If anything, there was the belief that associating with the Red Sox would help the program. There is no sense carrying the name if it is going to hurt the program in the slightest. 

With respect to Harrington, there are a few workarounds that might help in the renaming. BC could call it the Jean Yawkey Center. Tom's widow was a very prominent philanthropist around Boston, and owned the Red Sox and contributed to Major League Baseball without controversy for decades after his death. Adding "Jean" distances it from Tom. I imagine several of the other local non-profits carrying Yawkey names or buildings will do the same.

BC could also rename it after Harrington. He was the guiding force for the gift. He was the BC guy. It wasn't his money, but why not give him some credit? I can't think of anything controversial about Harrington that would upset anyone.

BC could always rename it after another donor. Take the Yawkey name off now and shop around the naming opportunity to our biggest boosters. That might seem a little greedy and opportunistic, but we wouldn't be the first large non-profit to replace a name based on a bigger gift.

While I understand the sensitivity to the Yawkey Foundation, there are BC alums all over their board. I am sure they will understand BC's predicament. There are many courses of action. BC can be thoughtful in their plan and response. However, they can't drag their feet on Step 1. Drop the name now and figure the rest out later.

Let me restate, I don't care about this becoming a debate. I don't care how people feel about sensitivity or the president or social justice. There are many areas where I do care about BC's stand on things, but there is no reason to ever get into the fray or become a flashpoint over someone who was dead 30 years before some of his foundation's money headed over to BC.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fan Council and recruit updates

BC announced the members of their first Fan Council. The release didn't bother explaining who the members are or what their affiliation is to BC. I remain cynical as to how much impact the Council will ultimately have, but at this point Jarmond has very little to lose.

Future BC DB Tyler Days is excited about his final high school season.

This roundup of Dallas-area stars mentions BC OL prospect Thomas Shelmire.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The BC Stuff from Havoline Football Saturdays

Here is the Matt Ryan interview and most of the middle portion is BC talk.
The Addazio stuff is a little cliche, but you still here plenty from Addazio and the 9/11 aspect of the USC win.

Here is Harold Landry.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hawkins to BC...again

According to Jon Rothstein and a few others, Illinois State grad transfer is committed to BC again. This after spending all summer talking to and about everyone but BC, where he initially committed. As a reminder, Hawkins is eligible immediately and will be an impact player.

I don't know what to make of this game of Musical Chairs. His initial verbal was a coup for JC. Then the basketball world reacted with a basic question of "what are you doing getting on that sinking ship, kid?" He flipped flopped and looked elsewhere. Despite talking to solid programs, it seemed like BC remained his best option. Christian and staff deserve some credit for pulling Hawkins back in, but also some blame for letting it fall apart.

Hawkins might lift the ACC win total. We can only hope he makes more news on the court than he did off the court this summer.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Some Tabbs video and other links

Here is a small highlight clip of new Basketball commit Wynston Tabbs.

The Panthers signed Connor Wujciak.

Spaz's son -- who had been a walk-on at UVA -- is now a scholarship player as a senior. UVA announced it as part of their preseason. Joe Spaziani is a QB and long-snapper. The other thing of note is the kid's facial hair. I guess when your dad is known for his mustache, you've got to take your facial hair game up a level.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Addazio in no hurry to name starting QB

BC held another scrimmage Saturday and although everyone talked to the media after, no one really said anything. According to reports and their interviews, both QBs played well. Addazio rotated them with the first team and also made sure the backups got reps. He explained after the scrimmage that he still views this portion of August as the heart of camp and won't narrow down the QB race for at least another week.

He doesn't seem worried about the QBs or the passing game. In my opinion the bigger news is that he's still concerned about depth on the OLine and at LB. Both have been depleted by injuries. Young guys will have to play. Let's just hope they are ready.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Good basketball news

Maryland wing Wynston Tabbs committed to BC! That was sort of a pleasant surprise. Tabbs is highly rated and with decent offers. He also committed early in the process. That is all great news, especially given Christian's precarious position.

I don't know enough about Christian to know if he is going to fight to keep his job or mail it in. Bringing in a good recruiting class would be a sign he cares. Maybe Tabbs is the start of something. Maybe Tabbs can even help get other recruits on board.

Even if Christian doesn't turn things around, I hope we can sell Tabbs on the BC experience so he remains committed to the school regardless of the coach.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thinking about Wake Forest

In Week 2, we open at home against Wake Forest. The past three meeting between the teams have been close. There is no reason to think this year will be any different. Because it is early in the season and a home game, this will be critical game for momentum. Here are some things to know about Wake now.

Wake's D will be a huge question mark
They have a new Defensive Coordinator and lost a lot of talent. In theory the unit should take a step back. The bad news is their run defense should still be decent. The game will be won in the trenches, where Wake does have some returning talent.

The Offense should still be bad
Wake has big questions at QB and OLine. John Wolford and Kendall Hinton are both back at QB. They each have had moments, but also have taken a pounding. Are either special enough to make a leap this year? Probably not. BC can bring the pressure early and hopefully disrupt everything.

If Wake improves their OL, they do have some talent in the backfield. But other than that, there is not much BC should fear.

What am I missing?
While the preseason odds favor BC in the matchup, most experts picked Wake to finish ahead of BC in the division. I don't get it. BC was better last year, the game is at home and BC has more overall talent. While Wake has more experience at QB, neither guy is a standout. The only fear I have is BC getting upset in the opener and comes into this game very dejected. But now -- a month away -- I don't really fear Wake.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I like BC hype videos, but does anyone else?

BC posted another Youtube video from camp. This one is a slickly edited, behind the scenes production that is meant to get fans hyped up. It worked for me. But based on the stats, I am not sure how many people are seeing it. As of late night Wednesday, the video had just over 100 views after half a day. That number will probably double when I post this and tweet it. 

The video is not a problem. It is well done. The distribution of it is a slight problem, but I assume Jarmond and staff will get some help improving the reach of content like this. The real problem is the lack of fans looking for content like this. In the past ten years, I think many BC fans have fallen from casual to former. That is going to be Jarmond's biggest task. Can he get those people back if Addazio doesn't win big? Addazio is associated with a lackluster era of BC Football and Athletic Department ineptitude. Another seven win season won't change that perception.

But for now, I suggest enjoying the video and let the Athletic Department figure out why no one is watching. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Stan Heath gone and it won't matter

The Orlando Magic hired BC Basketball Assistant Stan Heath as the coach of their G League team. Losing an assistant over the summer is not ideal, but I don't think anyone is upset by this. How can you get upset? Heath has done nothing to keep this team out of the dumps the past two years and has been a non-factor in recruiting.

I want some optimism, but this upcoming basketball season feels like a waste of time. Christian is a lame duck and while the talent might be better, I don't have much faith in that the coaching staff will get them to play well. Maybe with an empty suit like Heath gone, Christian might find a some young hungry assistant who can provide a spark.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Add USA Today to the list of doubters

As I keep hearing good things from practice, my optimism for the season grows. Yet the National experts -- who don't see the world through maroon & gold glasses -- keep pouring cold water on my hope. USA Today released their predictions for FBS teams and have BC going 5-7 (2-6 in the ACC).

Considering the 2-6 ACC record follows the same path as last year, their 5-7 conclusion is not a stretch. If the D regresses and the Offense doesn't improve, it could get worse. But I just don't think it will.

I will have my official predictions closer to the season, but all the talk of young talent has me looking forward to the year.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Who is ready to jump on the Travis Levy bandwagon?

Since we have to make the most out of the breadcrumbs that come from summer practices, I tend to put a lot of weight on reports and casual comments. If we are to go with Addazio's unrehearsed comments and Saturday's practice, Travis Levy is going to be a big surprise this year.

Levy is the freshman running back out of Maryland. He earned a decent rating from the recruiting sites, but didn't receive many big Power 5 offers. Levy was under the radar, especially after BC landed super recruit AJ Dillon.

BC needs playmakers. BC's backfield is loaded, so Levy might not get a ton of touches early. But if he makes some big plays, it will be hard to keep him off the field.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Thoughts on BC's promotional poster

BC released its 2017 promotional poster. It looks cool enough that it should keep the players happy. As much as the Athletic Department would like this to gain traction beyond current BC fans, the poster remains something only the dedicated care about.

However, the skyline and "Boston's College" slogan point to the Athletic Department's ambition. They want to be embraced locally. A poster won't do it, but the goal is admirable. Winning games will be the best first step.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

What the coaches have to say

Addazio and his coordinators met with the media Thursday to discuss the start of practice and the season ahead. While most of it was standard stuff, you can glean a bit of information on the season ahead. 

I think it is clear that Addazio has confidence in the team and views them as talented. As he rattles off thoughts on each position group, he continues to mention the upgrade in speed and depth. The only area where he doesn't seem 100% confident is Quarterback. He certainly thinks there is talent among the QBs. He also wisely mentions his philosophy of recruiting lots of QBs and hoping one breaks out. But when it comes to one QB to lead this team now, I don't see the same level of confidence. Maybe he will have it by Game 1...or maybe I am reading too much into this all. 

Here is a good article on the relationship between Landry and Pasqualoni. I do think Coach P was one of Addazio's best hires. He serves as a confidant and can turn raw prospects into elite Power 5 Dlinemen.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Grice retires

Tuesday Sullivan reported that Sharrieff Grice retired from Football due to injury. BC did not confirm, but Grice is no longer on the official roster. Sullivan attributed it to linger effects of a concussion suffered during the Spring Game.

Although he was expected to contribute, Grice is far from a season changing loss. The Junior might have started this year, but the linebacking group has decent depth. I feel for the kid. Hopefully he has a healthy perspective and will graduate on time. There have been plenty of BC players retire under similar circumstances and the vast majority are success stories.

I don't know how the growing concern over head injuries will play out. I just hope all athletes -- BC and others -- make the best decision for their long-term health.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Half full vs Half empty: game day alcohol sales

For years NCAA rules forbid alcohol sales in on campus stadiums. Plenty of schools -- like BC -- still sold some sort of booze at private events (tents, tailgates, suites, etc.), but not in the public stadium. A few years ago the rules changed and schools started expanding their alcohol sales. Now it looks like BC will try new alcohol outlets this fall. This is good news for everyone but still not an attendance cure all.

It is not surprising that this is one of Jarmond's first initiatives. Ohio State started selling beer last year and it was a huge money maker. I think the same would hold true for BC. Our fans would certainly buy more if it is conveniently sold on game days. I also don't fear this would be an execution problem nor a drinking and driving problem. BC handles unique sales all the time and getting ID is not that big an issue. Potential drivers already have access to booze and Alumni has fortunately avoided any significant alcohol and driving problems.

While access and convenience might help a few people get into the Stadium on time and bring a few more fans out, booze won't get Alumni full. When people complain as to why they don't buy tickets or don't go to games, in stadium alcohol is minor issue. The product on the field, the opponent and the overall game day experience are much bigger issues. While people get frustrated with tailgating, it is not primarily an alcohol complaint. It is more about the limited time, pricing, BC's treatment of those who pay extra to tailgate.

I applaud Jarmond for trying something new. If it worked at Ohio State, there is no reason it won't work here. But he will still need to make everything about attending a game better, if he wants to see 44,500 people every week.