Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Reaction to 2018 Football schedule

BC and the ACC released the 2018 Football schedules Wednesday. Here is BC's:

September 1 -- UMass
September 8 -- Holy Cross
September 13 -- at Wake Forest (Thursday night game)
September 22 -- at Purdue
September 29 -- Temple
October 6 --  at NC State
October 13 -- Louisville
October 26 -- Miami (Friday night game)
November 3 -- at Virginia Tech
November 10 -- Clemson
November 17 -- at Florida State
November 24 -- Syracuse

While we have known the opponents for months, this is the first time we are seeing the order. Here are my initial thoughts.

1. Addazio can't plan for a late-season run again. The past two years have seen BC stumble in September and early October, only to rally towards bowl eligibility during the latter parts of the season. I don't think he will have that much wiggle room this year. BC closes with Louisville, Miami, VT, Clemson, FSU and Cuse. Even though BC beat FSU and Lousville this year and even if you assume Miami takes a slight step back, that is a tough, tough stretch of games. If BC truly has ambitions of being a Top 25 team, they need to go at least 3-3 during that stretch.

2. The bye week is well placed. BC gets their bye right in middle of October and before the Friday night game against Miami. I know they don't have control over that, but it did work out. Hopefully the rest will help with injuries and the team gets plenty of time to prep for Miami.

3. Year 6 will really depend on the Wake-Purdue weeks. Although Addazio keeps pushing back the timeline a bit with regards to when the program will be "ready," there are no excuse in Year 6. This team should be a Top 25 squad and the schedule comes with three wins baked in (UMass, Holy Cross, and Temple). The difference between a Top 25 season and another middling 7-6 effort will really come down to back-to-back road games against Wake and Purdue. Both were surprise teams in 2017 and both will probably be tough wins in 2018. But BC should have more talent than both next year. It is up to Addazio to harness that talent and come away with two wins. If he doesn't, we'll be praying for 7-6 again.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

BC coaches making lots of offers

With the 2018 Class presumably finished up, Addazio and his staff have used this critical time to make offers to 2019 and 2020 players. Based on their tweets, here are some of the latest targets.

This Rhode Island OLine prospect is getting offers from major programs like Ohio State and Florida. Hopefully BC can leverage our proximity.

Florida DB Renardo Green is highly rated but doesn't have a lot of offers yet. Perhaps it is his size. He seemed excited about BC's offer.

Coach Brian White seems active in Florida, as he also offered DLine prospect Norell Pollard and DB Brandon Hill

Another New England recruit is Avon, CT QB Taisun Phommachanh.

Gunnell offered New Jersey prospect Marlyn Johnson.

This OLine prospect is in Ohio and has an OSU offer, so it may be an uphill battle.
BC also offered this New York Line prospect.
Coach Frye seems to be out in the Midwest making offers.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Basketball takes care of FSU at home

If you are measuring baby steps, Jim Christian passed last year's ACC win total by beating Florida State Monday night. BC dominated the first half with a great defensive effort. There was good rebounding, good movement and plenty of blocks. FSU only shot 26% in the first half and BC built a 16-point lead. The 'Noles chipped away at that lead and made it interesting in the second half. But BC made their foul shots and closed it out.

Popovic had the most notable night. His five blocks helped BC build the lead. He also made some nice plays late in the second half as Florida State tried to force BC into turnovers and bad shots.

You would hope with such a big lead, Christian would have given his bench more minutes, but Reyes and Baker barely played.

While exceeding the two ACC win mark is not really a big deal, I do like the general progress of the team. There should be more ACC wins ahead.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Where did BC fall in CFN's final ranking?

It was a 7-6 year, but it still felt a little different this season. BC found itself in a big hole and then it went on a refreshing win streak. At times the team looked like it could beat anyone. The next week, you were surprised with some of the simple struggles. College Football News seems to have more respect for BC's accomplishments than maybe even a regular BC fan. CFN put BC at No. 28 in their Final Season Rankings.

If you look, some familiar teams are around BC (Iowa, Wake, NC State). I guess another win might have helped perception a little, but clearly not much.

I don't know if BC is a Top 25 team next year, but that should be the expectation. There are plenty of pieces coming back and the schedule is manageable. I don't want to be sitting here a year from now, glad that CFN or some other site almost ranked BC.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

BC downs Darthmouth

BC made the most of their last non-conference game of the season by beating Dartmouth on Saturday. It wasn't perfect though. BC started the game flat again and only led by three at half. They cannot take whole chunks of the game off again if they want to compete in ACC games. 

Dartmouth made seven 3s in the first half. In the second, BC adjusted and the Green only made two more.

Bowman scored 19, but it was a balanced effort with five Eagles in double-digits. Baker came off the bench to score nine.

The ACC gauntlet resumes Monday against FSU.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hasselbeck favorite for MNF and other links

Matt Hasselbeck will call the Pro Bowl with Sean McDonough for ESPN in place of Jon Gruden. It is sort of an audition/tryout for the full-time role on Monday Night Football. It appears Hasselbeck is the network's favorite for the job.

Hockey lost to Providence. They have UNH Sunday.

If you haven' already heard, Hilliman is headed to Rutgers. This was rumored since the bowl game. As a graduate, he will be eligible to play immediately. Best of luck to him.

BC offered a 2019 Rhode Island Line prospect.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Christian lands his biggest recruit yet in Jairus Hamilton

While the talent level has improved under Jim Christian, the program still lacks depth and elite talent. The elite talent is about to change as consensus Top 100 recruit Jairus Hamilton committed to BC Thursday.

The 6'8 Forward is a 4-star with all the services and selected BC over Maryland and Mississippi State. He also had offers from Duke, NC State and Kansas. He's another North Carolina prospect to go with our two current Carolina stars. Christian and his staff's ability to get Tobacco Road players to leave the state is encouraging. One of the ways BC landed Hamilton was by also offering his brother Jared, who just transferred to BC. Jared comes from Georgia Southern and is not an elite player, but sometimes you've got to play the game and if Jairus wanted to play with his brother and we have the room, why not offer them both?

If Hamilton lives up to the hype, BC will have enough talent to compete in the ACC. Let's hope this year ends on a high note, so we continue to generate interest from elite players.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ESPN says Antoine Smith is getting promoted to 10th assistant

According to ESPN, current Football Director Antoine Smith will get promoted to BC as its new 10th assistant. Smith joined Addazio's staff last year as "Director of Football Initiatives."

I have no idea what "Football Initiatives" means. But all of these new, non-recruiting roles don't really have to be defined (at any school). Usually there is a good deal of film study, since there are also limitations on player interaction. But these types of jobs are different from Graduate Assistants, as they typically get paid better and don't have as much grunt work.

According to ESPN, Smith will work with the DLine. The big advantage of adding him is the new foot on the ground to talk to recruits. Smith has history in the region, having played at Maine and worked at Holy Cross. He was at Texas State prior to BC.

Still no official word from BC, so there could be other developments. I expect BC will also add a few more Football Directors this offseason.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

UNC kills BC on boards

BC has made a habit of playing much better in the second half of games. That didn't work out so well against North Carolina Tuesday night. The Tar Heels built an early lead by dominating BC on the boards and never looked back. BC mounted a min-comeback in when Bowman hit a few 3s in a row, but nothing ever really serious.

Beyond the rebounding issues, the D wasn't good either. Carolina had a ton of easy baskets and Luke Maye had his way with Pop and JCR.

Whenever we face a team with a defined style (UVA, UNC) it can get messy. We play their way and are depth usually becomes an issue. A high scoring, uptempo game against a talented team like UNC was going to be tough. Our lack of D and bad shots didn't make it easier.

The good news out of the game was Tim Brando mentioning BC's new basketball facility. Jarmond has been talking to donors about it (including Tuesday's Monan Donor call), but there hasn't been a public statement from the school. It would be a basketball dedicated practice facility and would put us in line with the rest of the conference. Like the Football facility, it would show the recruits and basketball world that we are serious about competing in the ACC. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I am sure the school will explain something shortly.

Monday, January 08, 2018

How Georgia provides a lesson for BC

[I am writing this prior to kickoff of the game, so there is a good chance that when you read this Georgia will have been smothered in another clinical Alabama championship game. I don't think that's going to happen, but the outcome is not really the point of this post.] 

The last time Georgia competed for a National Championship was in the early '80s with Herschel Walker carrying the team. A contemporary of Doug Flutie, Walker won the Heisman and was a household name. Like BC, Georgia has had some high points since, but has never recaptured the glory of the Walker years...until now. The reasons for Georgia's ups and downs are many. And Georgia will never be a great parallel for BC due to their different histories, local talent, and fan expectations. However, there is one lesson from Georgia's success this year that BC can apply. It involves making a tough decision on a coaching change.

Mark Richt did nearly everything right at Georgia. He was a model citizen and a mentor. While perhaps a tad boring, he was someone that the fans base could be proud of and the recruits could embrace. High school coaches loved him. The media loved him. He was not some constant malcontent like Saban and became part of the community in Athens. He won two SEC Championships. If a coach won two ACC titles at BC, he would probably be employed for life. That's not how it worked in Athens

Georgia fired Mark Richt two years ago. Their leadership felt a change was needed in order to take their program to the next level. Now they are playing for the National Championship.

It is tough to fire a winning coach. Just ask BC fans. You can spin it to the media and your fanbase, but if the new coach doesn't win at a higher level, the school and its AD look dumb. I don't know what the future holds for Addazio. I appreciate many of the things he has done, but still have real doubts if he can ever rise above his established ceiling. If he keeps going 7-6, will Jarmond -- our whoever is AD at the time -- make the call to replace him? Georgia made the tough call and it looks like it was worth the risk.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

What's the early consensus on Landry?

Zach Allen's decision to return to BC was a reminder that another elite BC Defensive End returned for a senior season just a year ago. Harold Landry came back for many of the same reasons as Allen, including the goal of becoming a first round draft pick. Injuries derailed most of Landry's season, but not his chance at the NFL. But did he do enough to be a first-round pick? Here are what the early mock drafts say:

-- Bleacher Report: To Tampa at No. 7
-- USA Today: To Tennessee at No. 21
-- The Sporting News: To Arizona at No. 16

Now these guesses don't guarantee anything, but it does reinforce the idea that Landry's stock is still high. The Senior Bowl, the Combine and individual workouts will give him the chance to move up...or down. He needs to prove he is healthy and that his 2016 season is just a glimpse of what he can do.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Basketball bounces back against Wake

If BC is really a bubble team, then they needed to prove it Saturday in a game against a depleted Wake Forest team. And they did!

Robinson had another big day with 25 points, including 10-10 from the foul line. Chatman also started scoring again after going 0fer this week and coming out cold. Check out Bowman's highlight dunk below.

The bad news is that the team started flat again. They also made plenty of mental mistakes in the first half.

They are back at it again Tuesday against North Carolina.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Allen returning and other links

I never thought he was a real threat to leave, but Zach Allen announced he will return for his final year. His goal is to become a first round pick.

As for Darius Wade, if you base it off of who he started following on Twitter, he is talking to lots of teams. The obvious target is his home town Delaware, but he is following plenty of Illinois coaches, plus FAU, plus Kansas and Texas A&M, and many more.

Hockey lost their opener in the Las Vegas Tournament.

Women's Basketball upset UNC, to earn their first ACC win of the year.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The assistant coaching carousel

An ugly problem of College Football has moved up the calendar a bit. It used to be that many assistants didn't switch jobs until after Signing Day. This was so they could lock the kids into their previous employer and then move onto the new one. The recruits got screwed when their lead recruiter or position coach left, but the coaches took care of each other. The Early Signing Day now means more recruiting classes are locked in, so more assistants are free to leave. Former BC assistant Al Washington is leaving Cincinnati after one year to join Jim Harbaugh's staff at Michigan. This is a good move for Al and I hope he has real success there. Doing well outside of BC makes him that much better of a candidate to return to BC in a high level position.

As for BC's current staff, I haven't heard of any pending departures. Anthony Campanile is now a hot name and I could see multiple programs contacting him, but I don't know if he will leave for just any job and I don't see him getting a coordinator role at a Power 5.

Next week all programs are allowed to add to their official staffs, so we know BC will be getting at least one new assistant. Addazio has done a mix of internal promotions and hiring outside guys. I have no idea which way he will go now.

I also know that the administrative staff will get beefed up with some familiar names. I assume BC will announce that next week too.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Comeback against Clemson comes up short

The good news is that Robinson's hot streak wasn't a one-time thing. He played out of his mind again in the second half against Clemson, including six 3s. The bad news is that the heroic performance was wasted in another close loss.

BC was really sloppy and ineffective in the first half and put themselves in a big hole (down 19 at one point). They got no movement towards the basket and were chucking bad perimeter shots. They were also turning the ball over.

In the second half, BC turned it on...but it wasn't enough. Aside from Robinson, the other big game came from Mitchell, who made smart plays all over the court.

Chatman was too quiet for such and important game and Robinson and Bowman have to be more careful with their passes against a good defense.

BC's overall D was good in the half court. If not of Clemson's transition off of our turnovers, BC would have won the game.

Like others I am sick of the close losses. If we just play a little smarter early in the game, we will start winning.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

What are the experts saying about BC's bubble?

It is probably premature, but what the heck? The bracketologists are listing BC, so we might as well track their thoughts.

Fox Sports' Howie Schwab has BC as a 10 seed.

Bracketville has us in the First Four. CBS hasn't updated in the new year, but had us in the First Four also.

Last week ESPN had us as 12 seed.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Something to watch in 2018: a coaching change in Women's Basketball

When Martin Jarmond was hired, we assumed that the first coaching decisions he might have to make would be in Football or Men's Basketball. Instead it looks like he might have to address Women's Basketball first. I haven't written about it much, but the current season is off to a disaster. BC sits at 5-9 (0-1) and has shown little promise heading into the heart of ACC play.

Coach Erik Johnson -- who was one of Gene D's last major hires -- is now 66-101 (17-66). I don't pretend that a lot of people care about BC Women's Basketball, but letting the program flounder like this is a wasted opportunity. BC can and should be competitive in Women's Basketball. The cliche challenge we face in Football and Basketball -- recruiting -- is not as much of an issue for Women's Basketball. There is plenty of local talent and you are not battling the one and done mentality (and buying of players) of Men's Basketball.

Jarmond has nothing to lose with making a change and actually can use the hiring/firing to learn how a coaching change actually works at BC. There won't be as much meddling or scrutiny, but it will still deal with the BC politics of the process.