Thursday, October 18, 2018

Waiting on Felder news

One of BC's prime targets for the 2019 class is making a big show of his recruitment.

At one point on Thursday, 247 actually had Felder committing to BC. They later retracted it, but they obviously felt pretty good about his intentions.

Felder is 6'7 and is considered a wing. He's a South Carolina native.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Miami using off week to shake things up

Mark Richt named old starter and recent backup Malik Rosier the starter for the BC game. He also said that former backup turned starter turned demoted QB Kosi Perry will also play. If this is all confusing to you, great. It is clearly confusing to Miami.

The only downside for BC in all of this is having to prepare for two different QBs. But neither should be a real problem since they are both very mistake prone and inaccurate. The trouble comes when they run. Miami's D is also pretty good.

What I like about Richt's issues is that BC's night game and rowdy crowd to honor Welles Crowther will only add to the tension on the Miami sidelines. If either QB struggles, look for a quick hook. If both struggle, who knows what will happen.

Our D has issues. But if they can create pressure on the Miami QBs, this will get interesting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How will new transfer rules impact BC?

A major rule quietly changed the landscape of college football this week. Starting October 15, football players are allowed to transfer without a release from their current school. That player can still play for his current team and still be in the National Transfer database, so that the whole college football world knows who is available and a coach can recruit a player during the season. For example, if say Hamp Cheevers wanted to put his name out there, Alabama could contact him tomorrow and he could still play for BC next week. Because the rule is brand new and transfers are still risky and political, there wasn't a flood of database listings this week (see screenshot below). However, that will probably change. But how will this impact BC?

In Addizio's first four years, he had multiple grad transfers and they were helpful to the transition and rebuilding. Now that the roster is his, there are no significant transfers playing for BC. But I think something like this and the updated database might be a good tool for Addazio. As much as the Alabamas of the world will try to grab other team's players, Addazio proved pretty adapt at finding guys buried on the depth chart at other places who could play at BC. The more access and information to that talent, the better for BC. I also think BC sells well to transfers. If they've already been to a football factory, they've seen all the fancy facilities. A more mature recruit would see what BC is selling and find that more appealing.

The database is not open to the public, but I imagine that it is being monitored closely and any BC-related news will be now as soon as it happens.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Let's check in on what the computers think

With  BC stopping the bleeding and upsets occuring throughout college football, it is time to look at BC's ESPN FPI. As you probably remember, ESPN's systems loved BC after the fast start. At one point we were a favorite in all remaining games aside from Clemson.

With the win over Louisville, BC is 42 in ESPN's system (right behind a resurgent Purdue). As for upcoming games, BC is only considered a favorite in the last two. Miami has a slight edge, VT's larger and Clemson looks to remain a heavy favorite.

Of course none of this really matters. The rankings don't play the games, the players do. And a healthy Dillon would mean BC can win any game left on the schedule.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Checking in on Bowl projections

With the win, BC is one step closer to another bowl game. But where will we go? Here is what the experts are saying:

CBS -- The Sun Bowl vs Stanford.
In my opinion, this would be a pretty good solution. A lower tier, yet respectable bowl plus an interesting opponent.

SB Nation -- Military Bowl vs Cincinnati
This is not exciting, but it is very plausible. The only upside is that BC fans could go to the game.

ESPN -- The Sun Bowl vs either USC or Utah
I am glad to see the consensus around the Sun Bowl. Like last year with the Pinstripe, it probably means the Bowl, BC and the ACC are already talking it through.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

New uniforms, same issues as BC defeats Louisville

In this case, the final score doesn't tell the whole story. For most of the game, BC was either in a hole or letting Louisville hang around based on BC's own miscues and mistakes. But in the end, talent and focus prevailed. I keep hoping for a point when things get cleaned up, but maybe this team is just talented but sloppy. The win -- and the uniforms -- were nice. BC is positioned well for the second half of the season. 

I will have more Sunday and grades later in the week. 

In-game comments post: Louisville

BC is a heavy favorite. Now let's play like it.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday picks

Another week, another group of winners. I'm going with a lot of road teams again.


Picks in bold.

Toledo-3 at Eastern Michigan

Nebraska+4 at Northwestern

Iowa-5.5 at Indiana

Duke+2.5 at Georgia Tech

Texas A&M-2.5 at South Carolina

Washington-3 at Oregon

UCF-5 at Memphis

Virginia Tech-6 at North Carolina

Miami-6.5 at Virginia

Colorado+7 at USC

Last week I was 6-4 again. I am 28-33-1 on the season.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

BC-Louisville preview

Last year's Louisville game was a turning point. The offense exploded with Dillon and became an exciting team in the second half of the season. Although the problems are different, BC could use another turnaround this week. Louisville is also desperate after getting run over by Georgia Tech. This is probably a must win for both teams.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
Since we are playing Louisville, it is a good time to mention the college basketball world is glued to the bribery trial going on in New York. Louisville has been in the spotlight for the issue, but plenty of other major and mid-major programs are involved. I am for paying the players, so hopefully this will lead to that. BC has not been mentioned yet with any of these bag men, but former BC assistant Preston Murphy has been. I don't know how I will feel if (or when) it is revealed that BC was part of this mess too.

Three Simple Keys
1. Use Brown in the run game.
It will work...especially if Dillon returns. No one respects it nor expects it. I know the injury risk is real, but having him keep it three or four times on the zone read will open up plays all over the field. 
2. Keep running. I know I am the only BC blogger or fan advocating for more runs, but this week it will work. Even if Louisville made some adjustments from last week, they are still not a good run D. BC needs to pound it and not look back.
3. Better tackling. I've been harping on this all season. I don't know what the problem is, but it has got to get better soon.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 15-27 in ACC play
-- Louisville is 3-2 at Alumni
-- Addazio is 15-15 following a loss while at BC
The current line is BC-13.5

Factoid
This is the first time that BC has been favored in this matchup since Louisville joined the ACC.

Scoreboard Watching
Future opponent Miami heads to UVA this weekend. When the schedule came out, I thought a Friday night game against the Canes might be our chance to make a statement. But right now Miami looks pretty good. They will be favored vs BC. Let's see how they do against Virginia.

I hope to see...
Game changing plays in Special Teams. How exciting was the punt block last week? I know it can be a crap shoot, but I don't know why we've never gone all in on Special Teams like say Virginia Tech. It would seem to be an area where we could make a difference.

BC is in trouble if...
The offense is stagnant again. We can't have another 3-point half.

Overall
Does it all come down to Dillon? I don't think so. I think there was enough positives for the offense in the second half of the NC State game for BC to move the ball and score. I think they will overpower Louisville and it will be a comfortable and encouraging win.
Final Score: BC 31, Louisville 17

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Second viewing thoughts and grades: NC State

Watching this loss back was frustrating but not for the reasons you might think. There were bad calls. There were also moments when Dillon might have made a difference. But ultimately it was frustating to see so many missed opportunities. BC could have and probably should have won that game even without Dillon. NC State is good but didn't play their best. They handed us the game and we didn't take it.

Offense: C+

Brown's passing wasn't great but it probably wasn't as bad as it felt live. He needs to hit the deep balls but there were also some drops. My bigger concern is he doesn't always anticipate the pressure or get rid of the ball before a terrible play. I do like the runs though. I don't know if he is getting more aggressive or getting healthy or both, but being just a slight running threat opens things up.

Glines played well. He ran hard and looked good catching passes. The fumble wasn't his fault. Levy didn't touch it much.

Smith's drops were rough. Catching even one of those might change the game. Sweeney had a nice catch but still needs to work on helping in pass protection. White played well. Walker also had some nice catches when he was open and in traffic.

The Oline was a big part of the challenge in the first half. They were making mistakes, getting run over and not opening up holes. Once NC State stopped loading up on the line things got a bit better. Petrula and Monteiro had some issues pass blocking. Schmal and Baker looked good.

I don't mind being pass first. However, I can't believe that BC sticks with the same plays over and over when they are not executing. Once they brought back the zone read, the run game did improve. But that took until the second half. I also don't know why we didn't use more play action or get Brown out of the pocket more. If he were a great and accurate pocket passer, I would understand. But right now it feels like we don't play to his strengths.

Defense: B-

Allen was awesome. Without him the D would be a total mess. I am surprised Ray is not having a bigger year. Smith was better. Karafa was ok. Glad to Berry get some playing time.

The LBs are really a problem right now. Lots of missed tackles and not much help on the run. McDuffie was pretty active but not with game changing plays. Bletzer was probably the highlight for the whole unit. I am guessing Lamot and Strachan are still not 100%. Richardson's targeting was dumb. He should have known better.

Jones got thrown in the fire and played well. At least better than the guy he was replacing. Torres was fine. Harris missed some tackles but was ok. Palmer had some good moments but his help was too late on one of NC State's big TDs. Denis was forced to play out of position and was pretty good.

I don't think the D was aggressive enough. Finley clearly showed that he could pick us apart. How were we not ready with something to disrupt him early? The lack of pressure and pass rush was too little too late.

Special Teams: A

After being such an issue for most of the year, Special Teams delivered. NC State helped a bit with some mistakes, but our coverage team and punt block team were aggressive and did their part.

Walker had some nice returns.

The kicking and punting was fine.

Overall: C

I'm right in the middle. As reassuring as the near comeback was, the huge hole was beyond frustrating. Did BC makes some adjustments in the second half? Yes. And that isn't always the case with Addazio's guys. I also think he managed the clock and onsides as well as possible. I even understood the early attempt at the 2-point conversion. And on the meltdown scale, I didn't find the fit after the fumble terrible. Is cutting the lead and making it close an improvement over our last road debacle? I guess. But it is still not good enough.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Throwbacks are back, now let us make the perfect uniform

As rumored, BC is breaking out the retro-'80s uniforms for the Louisville game. Before I nitpick a little, let me say that I love when they do this and I love the throwback look. We should do a throwback uniform once a season. However, this uniform is also a reminder of what still needs to be done. Here is my latest on how BC should plan their uniforms annually.

1. Always have a lone maroon stripe on the helmet. I know this is a relatively new aspect of BC Football (about 27 years), but I like the stripe. It differentiates us from other solid gold helmets and has been our thing long enough that it should be permanent.
2. Have one red bandana inspired uniform per year. This is another fairly new tradition, but a good one. Don't overuse it and make it the only time we wear white pants.
3. Have one "crazy" uniform look per year. I don't love this but recruits do. So let Under Armour go crazy. Put wings on the helmets. Go with wacky color schemes. Do whatever. But only do it once per year. Beyond a weird helmet or pattern, this is also the time where BC could experiment with long suggested ideas like the all SuperFan Yellow uniforms or even gray like basketball used this year.
4. Have one color of gold. This is my main complaint about the retro uniforms this weekend. The pants, the helmet and the shoulder stripes all look like different shades of gold. I prefer metallic gold to mustard, but BC needs to just pick one.
5. Create a new logo that is inspired by the classic BC logo. This retro logo is pretty darn close to what BC should wear. And based on fan reaction this is would be a popular move.
6. Regular home uniforms should look close to the early '90s look. Gold pants with solid maroon stripe. Maroon top with numbers on shoulders and Eagle or BC logo on the sleeve.
7. Road uniforms should be white jersey with maroon pants. Think of the mid-TOB era. No more all-white road uniforms.

Monday, October 08, 2018

And now we all wait on Dillon news

After his usual press conference and media appearances Monday, Addazio remained purposefully vague on AJ Dillon's injury. He says Dillon is showing improvement but his status for Louisville remains unknown. Ankle injuries can be nagging and take longer than expected to recover. Just look at how Landry's issues became a weekly unknown last year. The oddsmakers have us as big favorites against Louisville already, so the team should win without him. However, having Dillon does change the dynamic of the team and the game.

While our offense did show it can function without him in the second half, Dillon does two things that no one else on the roster can. First he is a home run threat any time he touches the ball. It doesn't mean he will make something out of nothing every touch, but he can do it enough to change games. Second, he draws such attention from the other team, that he opens up plays for other players. The drop off shouldn't be so severe without him, but until someone steps up, it is fact.

Without gossip or insight, I feel like Dillon will get back on the field this weekend. We know he walked on it right after and Vegas clearly baked in his return into the spread. But like last week, we will just have to wait until either Dillon or Addazio tells us some news.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Some postgame talk and looking ahead

Here is Addazio after the game. He is saying the right things. Although he could go a bit further but he's right in a lot of the issues and he is right to take blame. That's the first step in addressing the problem. Now can he fix them? As I said Saturday, many of these Addazio problems are recurring and fixable. Will he make the adjustments?



You know who is buying what Addazio is selling? The oddsmakers. As of Sunday night, we are a 13.5 favorite against Louisville.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Comeback falls short at State

I love the fight. I love the gutsy D. I hate the hole BC fell in during the first half. Lots to digest. I will have more tonight and tomorrow. I guess BC is still alive for a decent season but there is so much inconsistency.

In-game comments post: NC State

Here is BC's chance to fix its problems or let them continue to hurt this team. Go Eagles.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Friday picks

The picks keep improving each week. Here are this week's.

Picks in bold

Mizzou-1.5 at South Carolina

Illinois-5 at Rutgers

Syracuse-3.5 at Pitt

Navy-3 at Air Force

LSU-2 at Florida

Kansas State+4.5 at Baylor

Miami (OH)+5 at Akron

Arizona State+2.5 at Colorado

Auburn-3.5 at Mississippi State

Cal-2.5 at Arizona

Last week I was 6-4. I am 22-29-1 on the season.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

BC-NC State preview

Because of the TOB connection and Doeren and Addazio getting hired during the same cycle, I constantly feel like we have to use NC State as some sort of benchmark. Doeren's been slightly more successful than Addazio, but I don't know if it has been any more fulfilling for NC State fans. Both programs and coaches seem to have ceilings and I think either side will only feel happy when those ceilings are broken.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game) NC State and ECU just scheduled a tentative game for December 1 to make up for the games each lost with the hurricane (against different teams). If either makes their respective conference championship game, then this game won't happen. I guess I applaud the schools for scheduling a game. More football is better than less football. However, it seems really unnecessary for anything other than the gate revenue. The media contracts are covered. There was probably some sort of insurance related to any cancellation problems. At that point it is unlikely that either will need a win. So why do it? Also, can you imagine the fight BC would go through with the locals to get a replacement game at Alumni with only two months notice?

Three Simple Keys
1. Rush for more than 200 yards. Regardless of it if is Dillon or Glines or a collective of BC guys, BC needs to establish the run and stick with it. We have an advantage on the Oline. Let's lean on it.
2. Great LB play. This group has been collectively the most disappointing. All the guys coming off injury seem a step too slow. We need them to come up huge this weekend. No missed tackles. No getting swallowed up on running plays. No letting short easy passes over the middle turn into long gains.
3. Good decisions from Brown. I feel like Brown is on the edge of something really big, but it will only come when he is making good reads and also when he can be a slight threat to run. There are big plays for him to make if he does the right thing.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 3-2 vs Doeren
-- BC leads the series 9-6
-- Addazio is 14-13 on the road while coaching BC
The current line is BC+6

Factoid
The road team has won four straight in this series.

Scoreboard Watching
Once again a Notre Dame game matters to us. This week the Irish take on our future opponent Virginia Tech. I didn't expect VT to be good this year, but they are looking decent so far. I big home win would be hard to ignore.

I hope to see...
Denis have a big second half. I feel for his targeting penalty/suspension. The season has probably not gone as he expected and sitting out half a game is a weird way to prepare. I hope he comes out in the second half and gives everyone a lift. [CORRECTION: I guess I have the timing wrong on this and Denis won't be suspended for the first half, since he was called for it in the first half of the Temple game.]

BC is in trouble if...
Finley has time in the pocket. He will find the open man or at least attack the guy they view as the weakest.

Bottom Line
Because I almost always do, I am going to predict a BC victory, but I don't feel great about it. If we can avoid turnovers and force a few of our own, I think BC can win a close, physical battle.
Final Score: BC 28, NC State 24

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Temple

After the game, Addazio kept mentioning that this was a very physical game. Aside from the targeting issues and some unlucky injuries, I didn't see it. It looked just like the other games. We are almost at the midpoint of the season and watching Watching the game back shows clear patterns developing. I hope that the coaches start fixing the troublesome patterns because once again, the game was much closer than it should have been.

Offense: B+

Brown was very inconsistent in this game. He made a few nice throws and then some terrible ones. He also threw into double coverage multiple times (he was lucky one INT was bobbled). While he didn't get any balls batted this week, there were some weird arm angles. He did show some toughness in the pocket and improved speed.

Dillon was more disciplined this week with his reads and hitting the holes. Glines looked very good just executing the basic offense. Levy got a few touches.

Smith had some drops. Sweeney's TD was great. White also did well in running after the catch. Lewis' one drop was almost a highlight catch. He has great potential. Walker did well getting right where he needed to be for first downs.

The Oline's job was simplified and they played better. I think the jumbo and bunch formations are what we should stick with. Just wear everyone down. It actually pairs well with tempo. As you saw with Glines, we were set and ready to run and Temple was worn out. Baker struggled a bit with penalties. Lindstrom was good. Petrula played well.

Aside from the heavy usage for bunch, BC didn't add many new wrinkles this week. They did have Dillon on some quasi-zone reads but until Brown is a threat to run, those won't be game breakers. I also want to see us use even more play action. It worked against Wake and teams are still crowding the box. Punish them for doing so.

Defense: C

Allen carried the D and we are lucky he did since the rest of the DLine was not as good. Ray was quiet. Smith had plenty of tackles but they were coming right at him for much of the game. Karafa was fine. I don't know why they didn't rotate the other young guys in, but they should have. We need to see if any of them can step up.

Richardson did not have a great game. He's is not shedding blockers well. Strachan missed some tackles. Lamont had a few tackles.

Sebastian struggled again. It almost seemed like Temple was throwing at him. Torres had some better moments but still had a few issues. Harris was pretty good. Denis didn't get to do much before he was tossed.

BC is 72nd in total D and we haven't played great Offenses. Addazio is mentioning the inability to get off the field. I think it is more about lack of adjustments. Temple kept running inside zones on us and we couldn't stop it or any other designed run up the middle. It was the same against Wake and Purdue. This needs to be fixed. I also am frustrated that the corner play is not getting better. Where are the adjustments there?

Special Teams: C

I think they made a necessary change on the PAT. The kick and punt coverage was better. I don't know what happened on the fumbled punt attempt. The snap was fine, so it was just a straight untouched drop.

Walker and Glines were fine on returns. I know Walker fumbled again, but in my opinion that was more on Daz. He elected to receive a kick again instead of just tacking the yards onto the previous return. Naturally the return team would be tired and more likely to make mistakes.

Overall: B-

This was supposed to be a bounce back game. Yes, BC got the win. But the mistakes of the prior games remained and that's on Addazio. Beyond the frustration, the other questionable ingame decision was how he still had the team running tempo with the lead in the 4th quarter. I know it is hard to slow down after practicing tempo for so long, but eating up more clock was the better idea when trying to close out an opponent. Imagine if failure to kill clock costs us a game in the near future. Good teams are able to switch when the situation calls for it.

He should take solace in his recruiting, because talent remains the reason we keep winning these sloppy games.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

BC guy brings Baldwin to 'This is SportsCenter'

Baldwin makes an appearance in the latest "This is Sports Center" commercial. They could have picked numerous bird mascots, but grabbed Baldwin in part because of Mike Giblin. The BC and ESPN guy wrote the Miller commercial and was sure to get his favorite Eagle in there. Great job.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Louisville gametime, Addazio says nothing, and Hoops hype

BC is playing another early game. The ACC announced the kickoff for the matchup with Louisville will be 12:30. The game will be on your regional sports network and NESN in the Boston area.

Addazio said nothing Sunday or Monday about the various injuries of BC's star players.

I know we are in football season, but here is a basketball highlight tweet that BC put out. I'm a sucker for this stuff and it makes our very good players look great.