Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trojans too much for BC Hoops

BC took a week off for exams. The rust and lack of intensity from the break was obvious as the team lost at home to USC. The game was close throughout and BC fouled in the final seconds in an attempt to close the gap, but USC didn't make enough mistakes to let BC steal it. The loss was disappointing as this was a chance to pick up a good non-conference win. And BC should have won. We've seen them play better, but the this game was sloppy and the defense was bad. Here are some other thoughts:

-- We couldn't buy a shot. Good looks weren't falling. Hanlan missed from everywhere. Batten was ineffective. If not for Heckmann's stats, things would have been much worse.
-- Bad interior defense. None of the defense was that good, but it was worse close to the basket. I don't expect our bigs to become good defenders overnight, but they need to be better than they were Sunday.
-- The refs were terrible. That ruined our flow and our rotations.

This felt like last year's team. I hope we are not that sluggish after Christmas. 

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

TOB finally hangs it up

BC's winningest coach didn't go out with a bang, nor a wimper, nor on anyone else's terms. He just stuck with his announced plan to retire after UVA's season. His whole two years in Charlottesville was unexpected, so I always thought he might stick around a little longer. I guess I should have known better. TOB was always pretty transparent. He didn't like getting fired at NC State, wanted to help out Mike London and always loved UVA. Once Virginia announced that London would return for 2015, TOB probably felt he had done enough.

As we get further away from the TOB years, his legacy and those games become a bit of a blur. All our other modern coaches either had short tenures or such memorable high points (Flutie during Bicknell) that it is easy to recall or categorize. TOB's ten years had a predictable sameness. We had our highs and lows, but nothing as painful or exhilarating as the football that surrounded his era.

I don't know if getting fired by NC State and mentoring some bad UVA teams was what he envisioned when he left BC, but that's how it ended. Hopefully he enjoys his retirement.

Now that he is officially out of ACC football it is probably time for Brad Bates to honor him in some way. He also belongs in the Varsity Club Hall of Fame. He's still a BC parent and still responsible for a the most wins in program history. For that he's earned a respectful welcome back. And as we reopen communication, we can always hit him up for a donation...because he's always said BC needs better facilities.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Addazio at home at ESPN

There are times when you do something so seemingly obvious that you're only left to ask yourself: "why did it take us so long to do this?" That is sort of how I feel about Steve Addazio's frequent stops at ESPN. The BC Coach is now a regular down in Bristol. He spent most of Friday on various ESPN outlets, including SportsCenter, College Football Live and ESPN Radio. This is after his preseason stops in 2013 and 2014, his day with Andre Williams last year and his participation in the BCS National Title Game "Film Room."

BC's proximity to Bristol was never really leveraged by any BC figure until Addazio came around. In part because our various other coaches have not been that media friendly. It is a shame. Getting down there is easy and ESPN is always looking for interesting guests. Addazio is a natural, so I assume we will see more appearances like this is the future. It is very important for him to be there. While he is raising his own profile, he is also raising BC's. That helps in recruiting and it helps when the rest of college football thinks of BC. With the selection committee and scheduling obstacles, branding and remaining top of mind is more important than ever. Winning trumps everything, but Addazio spending half a day in Bristol every few months helps the effort.

ESPN hasn't posted any video clips from the visit yet, but they will eventually get out there. Next time he's back in town, just set your DVR. You'll be ready to run through a brick wall after watching him.

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Tweets of the Week


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Addazio gets his extension

BC gave Steve Addazio a contract extension. As usual the financial terms were not disclosed, but the school did announce that the coach is under contract until 2020. The money doesn't really matter. These sorts of things are never really about money. It is about power and score keeping. We weren't losing Addazio this time around and doubt that anything in the new contract will ever keep him if another job comes along that he wants. However, BC is better off with a happy, motivated Addazio. If he (and his agent) wanted an extension right now, then BC rightly gave him one. He's earned it by college football standards.

Addazio is not perfect, but he's been much better than I ever thought he would be. The overachieving in Year 1 and Year 2 bought him some time and credibility with fans and recruits. Now as he tries to transition us from overachievers into contenders, he won't have any obstacles from BC. We've supported him publicly and financially. Soon we will have the facilities improvements. I now hope that Year 3 and Year 4 go so well that his next extension is another no-brainer like this one.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Pinstripe Bowl has already made BC a winner

We all want BC to beat Penn State, but the Pinstripe Bowl is already a huge positive for BC. By selling out our full ticket allotment and the game selling out quickly BC can finally start to change our travel reputation. Technically BC sold our ticket allotment for the 2007 Champs Bowl, but I know for that game we gave some tickets away to local charities and Catholic churches. There was no need to give tickets away this time around. In fact, BC had to use a priority system on tickets for the first time in a bowl game.

I assume most of the success is due to location. We are playing relatively close to campus and in the middle of a huge alumni population. However, future bowl organizers don't need to know that. We can spin the demand for this game in multiple ways: "BC will sell out a bowl game when we face a team from a major conference", or "We will sell out our tickets when we travel to a desirable destination" or "Addazio has changed the culture of BC Football." All of that is completely subjective, but it makes sense to a bowl organizer. 

The Pinstripe is truly excited to have us. They were one of the first bowls to sell out this year. Even before we take the field, we have done enough that they will select us in the future. But this is about more than the Pinstripe. We need to turn this success into future bowl opportunities. 

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NESN to host Pinstripe preview Sunday night

BC is making a big deal out of the Pinstripe Bowl and we are not alone. The media is paying more attention than normal. This Sunday night at 10:30 BC play-by-play man Jon Meterparel will host a Pinstripe Bowl preview on NESN. It will be a good time to get caught up on the bowl and get BC-specific original content on local TV. If you're outside of the region but have a sports package, you should still be able to watch it on NESN.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Does BC need to publicly extend Addazio?

With big names like Mullen and Miles removing themselves from the Michigan search, it seems like the Wolverines are narrowing in on someone. The consensus is now Harbaugh or bust and guys like Schiano and Addazio are fall back/emergency candidates. I remain convinced that Addazio is not getting the job, regardless of his loyalty or happiness. But the coaching carousel and Addazio's success does raise a question: should BC publicly extend his contract?

Coaches are competitive. It is the nature of the job. Even for guys who don't need it, money becomes another way to keep score. Think of how many guys have requirements that they make $1 more than other coaches in their conference. But coaches are also like us. When things are going well, we want signs that we are appreciated. Signs that our boss respects what we've done. Two years into a tenure is a typical time to look at a college contract. Spaz got an extension after two years. Jags was in the midst of negotiating one when the showdown with Gene occurred. Rewarding Addazio now makes sense. It is an acknowledgement of two years of overachieving and a message to recruits and the staff that there is stability at BC.

But extending Addazio has a few drawbacks. BC is essentially negotiating against itself. Michigan -- even with heavy speculation -- remains a longshot. While we have healthy revenue for football, we still could use Addazio's potential raise towards infrastructure projects like the practice facility or continued Alumni renovations.

Brad Bates isn't coming to me for advice, but I think BC should give Addazio a small raise and a few more seasons on his contract. BC should wait until the smoke clears on Michigan and the bowl game and then make the announcement. The announcement would reaffirm BC stability to recruits and its future under its passionate coach.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

What to do during the recruiting Dead Period

This year's recruiting Dead Period started Monday December 15. For a recruiting focused staff, that might seem like a hindrance or maybe even an excuse to stop thinking about recruiting for two weeks. Not for Addazio. They will certainly use this week for bowl prep, but they are also still doing plenty of recruiting work.

1. Find 5th years. You can't reach out to players on other teams, but you can do homework. The obvious targets are guys the coaches have worked with before (Florida, UConn, etc.). However, as the Addazio staff spends more time at BC, there are fewer candidates at those schools. You can also look at rosters at schools where there have been coaching changes. Players at those programs might rather roll the dice with Addazio than deal with whatever the new guy is selling at their current program. Our coaches can also talk to high school coaches and hear about former players they coached who might be unhappy at their current college.

2. Find poachable verbals. This is similar to finding 5th years, only the staff is looking at commitments at places like Michigan, Nebraska, etc. At places like Nebraska, the new staff is already talking to the verbals, but that doesn't mean all the guys will be on board. Any potential target needs to get a call the day the dead period ends.

3. Find a couple more under the radar guys. The coaches cannot talk to recruits, but they can certainly watch video. Find the late bloomers. Find the guys who are still new to football. Find the good players who just fell through the cracks. There are still plenty of guys who dreamed of playing big time football. During this dead period they are going to think there dream is slipping away. If BC comes with an offer after the dead period, the guys will be thrilled.

Addazio's first full class produced a lot of immediate impact players. This class looks strong but we cannot let up -- even during a dead period.