Monday, December 17, 2018

Two thoughts on the shifting recruiting class

The Early Signing Day is Wednesday. As it approaches, BC's well-regarded class continues to lose members. Florida OLine prospect Maurice Smith flipped to Florida State. Michigan LB prospect Marvin Ham has decided to go to Colorado. Predictably this has created frustration among BC fans that follow this stuff. Here are two statements related to this griping, followed by my explanation.

1. I don't really worry about decommits. They happen everywhere. Conversely, we always tend to flip a player to us. No one that has decommited from Addazio so far has proven to be a difference maker elsewhere. (Kwity Paye is the highest profile and has only earned "honorable mention" All Big Ten.)

2. Keeping Addazio to protect this class was stupid. It wasn't mentioned in the extension press release, but I do know that this recruiting class was a factor in keeping Addazio. That was extremely short-sighted. You don't keep a coach because of one batch of recruits. You keep a coach because of a body of work and if he is maximizing the program's potential.

In the end this recruiting class will be fine. Addazio's most redeeming quality is that he's proven to be a very good talent evaluator. He has upgraded the talent across the board and most of his recruits have exceeded their ratings coming into the program. If ratings hold and his past evaluation skills carryover, this will be his best class yet. My concern and fear is that his other pattern (of mismanaging games) will negate this increased talent and he will continue to underachieve while at BC.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Herren Jr leads the way against Fairfield

Chris Herren Jr had his best game to date as BC beat Fairfield Sunday. While the Herren game was a nice surprise, being in a tight game with Fairfield and needed one of your reserves was far from ideal. Bowman was really cold (4-17) and the bench was really thin with Chatman and Mitchell both sitting with injuries.

BC is off for a week and then takes on Depaul next weekend.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A&M wants their money

Considering it was one cancelled basketball game, this Texas A&M issue seems like it will linger around BC sports for a little while longer. According to a report out of Texas (and based on a freedom of information request), A&M wants their $100,000 cancellation fee for the BC game. Supposedly their side will decide on a course of action this week. 

I don't have any access to BC's contract, but I imagine that there is a cancellation fee on our side of the contract too. So if A&M decides to cancel their visit to Conte, BC is potentially inline to collect that money. 

In the end I imagine this will be settled between the Athletic Departments. I don't think much or any money will change hands. What's surprising is that A&M is so adamant about this. As I've pointed out many times, College Sports is a small world. Usually both sides would try to settle this behind the scenes and amicably. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

What people are saying about the Bowl matchup

Narrative drives everything in college football, so it should be as no surprise that in their short summaries, the major websites are saying the same things about BC and Boise.

ESPN: mentions losing streak, predict Boise State win

Yahoo: thinks Boise wins and might not be much of a game. 

Bleacher Report: predicts a Boise win and mentions BC flaming out down the stretch.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Basketball flat but still wins against Columbia

BC didn't look great and were without Chatman, but it didn't matter as they beat Columbia at Conte. The D -- which had looked so good during the win streak -- was a mess tonight. Lots of slow rotations and confusion. Bowman scored well but still turned the ball over too much. Tabbs had another strong game.

The team's next game is against Fairfield on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

BC and Addazio out of limbo, so now what?

When is an extension, not a real extension? When your own press release buries the news in the fourth paragraph on the announcement. The message from Jarmond is light on specifics and lacks any dollar signs (which is typical of BC). It only explains that Addazio's contract was extended for two years. The extension had to be done. BC was in an untenable position...of their own making. But why did they do it like this and what does the future hold?

Clearly BC is frustrated with Addazio. You don't start your message off with we wish we had won more if everything is wonderful. But following the losing streak and the rumors, BC had to say or do something. In College Football it becomes very hard to lock down quality recruits and a quality staff if there is much uncertainty. This public extension provides some relief to Addazio's recruits and anyone he is going to try to bring on as a new staffer. (But as the Coen news mentioned, most of the new hires will probably ask for and get a two-year deal.) That was the only reason for the extension. There are no other suitors out there trying to hire Addazio away from BC. He wasn't walking away either. This settles the public aspect. Behind the scenes is a little different.

You don't drag negotiations after six years, no suitors and a .500 record if you want to secure and pay your coach for the long term. You don't have to because you are negotiating against yourself. While there was incentive to help recruiting, there was no incentive to help the Steve Addazio retirement fund. I don't know any of the specific financials of the deal, but do know that this new commitment won't be a financial obstacle if BC decides to make a change next year.

This means that Addazio is coaching for his job. He's got the talent, the practice facility, a schedule he handpicked, his best recruiting class, a veteran QB and playmakers all over the roster. There are no excuses. And if he doesn't break his ceiling, he will be done.

Knowing this only makes me frustrated with how Martin Jarmond played this. As I said the Sunday after the Syracuse game: Addazio is either the right guy or not. We are not learning anything new in Year 7 that we don't already know in Year 6. He is who he is. While that had value at a certain point to BC and while he does deserve credit for building BC up after Spaz, at what point do we say we can be more? It is a risk, but I think it is a risk worth taking. Jarmond himself has even said in sports you are getting better or you are getting worse. Does he really feel we are getting better or are we stagnant?

I don't know how this will end. My gut tells me it will end with seven wins in 2019 and Addazio being fired. I hope I am wrong because that will mean we wasted a year of everyone's time.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Surprise, surprise, Texas A&M won't be coming to Boston next year

Texas A&M Basketball Coach Billy Kennedy announced that his team won't be travelling to Boston next year for the scheduled home and home. Basketball coaches usually have control over their schedules, so I could see why Kennedy thinks this, but we have no official word from Texas A&M. They are under contract, so the AD might have to weigh in on if the series is actually off.  If they do cancel, I hope our penalty matches their $100,000.

What's interesting is BC and Martin Jarmond are defending their position on social media. They care what is being said and how this is being perceived. I imagine no one wants to play this series now but saving face and money is the priority.

With all this nonsense you know this means the two teams will end up playing each other in the postseason somewhere...or we will end up against Texas A&M in a bowl game soon.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

The Texas A&M issue was not BC's fault

Long story short, but I've worked in the airline space and in the charter airline space. There is a bit to unpack in BC-Texas A&M's cancellation, but this is not about BC screwing up or having an inferior charter partner.

1. BC's charter company is the same one as Texas A&M's and handles the vast majority of the ACC, SEC and Big Ten. People love to complain about BC's decisions and accuse BC of going cheap, but we are using the premier company for college sports. It is the company every major basketball program uses. This could have happened to Duke, Louisville, Kentucky, etc.

2. All Travel Managers (charter brokers) use sub contractors. The charter business is all about subcontracting. Once again, all college basketball teams deal with this. The company whose plane had the mechanical issue (Elite) is a reliable and big company. The second sub contractor used and mentioned in the BC announcement (Via) is not as big but still a good operator. If their pilot didn't want to fly in the weather or was worried about the necessary refuel in the bad weather across the country, then you don't fly.

3. Texas A&M was inflexible on the reschedule. Think of how often this is done (we did it with Wake Forest football this year). We've done it outside the conference too. A&M would not play the game later on Saturday nor any time on Sunday or even Monday.

This is unfortunate since I we could have used a win. My guess is with the finger pointing, this future series won't happen.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Revisiting our last game against Boise State

This was fun to watch again (especially since BC held on to win). Lots of familiar names. The most impressive thing in retrospect was the offensive line play. Truly controlled the whole game.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

What we can infer from the Coen news

Liam Coen is not going to be BC's new offensive coordinator. This comes a day after news that he would. But like my speculation from last weekend, Coen made sense. If this is the type of guy who Addazio is talking to and making offers to, we can probably infer a few more things about his eventual hire.

1. He is going to be QB guy. Addazio basically said as much. Coen played QB at UMass.
2. Addazio is still leaning into his network. This is natural although I always feel like it is a little limiting. Coen played QB for Don Brown.
3. It looks like he is going to go young. Instead of going with a veteran play caller, he made an offer to Coen, someone who has never called a play at an FBS level. Whether he wants young for the recruiting energy, the opportunity to hire the next big thing, or because the guy would defer to him, Addazio clearly wasn't going the old timer path.
4. He has a list and is looking to move. I wondered if he would wait until after the bowl game to make a move. That's when lots of guys are free and many staff changes are made. Addazio met with a guy during the ongoing NFL season and was ready to make a move. I don't know his urgency. Maybe he wants the new OC to lockdown recruits.

I don't know if Coen's NFL connection meant much. Addazio publicly mentioned the Rams last week. Maybe an NFL pedigree helps with recruiting. If you are looking for innovation, I don't think the NFL is a must. If anything, the best NFL teams are stealing from college football offenses.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Basketball falls to Providence in OT

That's what a rivalry game should be like. The only problem was BC lost. The refs didn't help the cause, but some defensive lapses combined with Providence making a clutch shot, forced OT. In OT, BC never got control and was constantly trying to chip away at the Friars' lead. They never did catch them.

Chatman had a big night. Bowman and Tabbs put up points but not by shooting well. Pop didn't play. If any of those guys are at 100%, BC wins the game with ease.

That would have been a nice non-conference win. Instead it is just another frustrating loss.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Cbeckout these new basketball uniforms

I guess I should have been an Oregon fan, because I keep finding myself getting excited about uniforms. Look at what basketball is going to wear against Providence Tuesday.

These look cool, are not over the top and relate to BC's past. What's not to like? I want a classic and consistent look for all our sports, but appreciate that the occasional special uniform gets players and fans excited.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

BC headed to Dallas for bowl game with Boise State

If you had asked me about BC's bowl destination Sunday morning, I don't think I ever would have selected the Servpro Bowl in Dallas vs Boise State. Yet here we are, getting ready to play the Broncos on December 26 in the old Cotton Bowl. All things considered, this was the best outcome of all the undesirable bowls that were in the mix for BC.

First the bad. This is a made for TV game on December 26. There is no history. There will be little fan support. Barring some viral moment, no one beyond BC and Boise State fans will remember it.

The good? It is more BC Football against a legitimate opponent in a real city. Detroit and Shreveport were on the table and real options. This game feels like the Rose Bowl when you consider the alternative of going to Shreveport again. 

Boise State opened as a 2.5 point favorite. I will have more on the matchup in the weeks ahead. I will also post on the ACC's politics and BC's role. 

Now let's win this thing. Addazio keeps claiming progress. Time for him to show it. 

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Report: Addazio coming back

According to Football Scoop, which specializes in coaching news and is pretty well sourced, Addazio is coming back for 2019 season. Based on that report and Jarmond's meetings in New York City, it doesn't appear that BC will be making any announcement or extending Addazio beyond his current deal. I don't love this strategy, but I am not the AD. I will have more on the different implications of the non-extension, but for now let's hope it doesn't hurt Early Signing Day.