Thursday, July 02, 2015

Dudley traded and other links

Good news for BC fans in D.C.: Jared Dudley is coming to town. Dudley has done many events for BC alumni over the years and I am sure things will be similar in Washington. Plus he will serve as a nice replacement for Paul Pierce.

Another BC guy excited about a trade is Jimmy Hayes. The Massachusetts native is coming home to play for the Bruins.

Anthony Castonzo is now giving cooking tips.

BC pitcher John Nicklas didn't get drafted this June. That has him motivated for a big Senior year. His teammate Justin Dunn is playing in Cape Cod this summer.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

BC adds a punter to recruiting class

Recruiting class are not just about stars and ratings. It is also about backfilling positions, especially in unique areas like Special Teams. It looks like Addazio found his punter of the future, as Texas kicker/punter Grant Carlson committed Wednesday.

Ignore Carlson's low rating. His position ranking (5th overall) is signal that he has enough leg. If a guy has enough leg, he can refine technique and improve (with BC's coaching and private special teams coaching). Carlson also kicks too. Maybe we will luck out and he'll be an asset in both.

BC has recruited plenty of good kickers and punters over the years. When they struggle it is rarely about the leg and all about the head. We won't know if Carlson can hack it at this level until he takes the field. Good luck to him and welcome aboard. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Unhappy Oklahoma is good for the ACC

Oklahoma stirred the pot in College Football over the last few days by publicly complaining about the current Big XII. There are a host of issues but the main two are Longhorn Network undermining any chance of a Big XII Network and the lack of good expansion prospects. Nothing will happen this summer, but Big XII weakness is great for the ACC.

As long as there is just a four-team playoff and five major conferences, there will be plenty of selection controversy. Four major conferences with four auto-bids would make more sense. And if you take the next step, four-auto bids as part of a eight team playoff would work well. Some form of consolidation will come. It the Big XII is the weakest conference, then that means the ACC is safe. Plus the ACC's flexibility with Notre Dame is a clear signal to Texas or any other unhappy Big XII team, that we are the best destination for their athletic programs.

BC is never going to drive the conference shuffles, but we can influence things. I hope Brad Bates is working the back channels in the conference and the Big XII in a way that makes the ACC and BC stronger.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Thoughts on the out of conference Basketball schedule

BC announced their non-conference schedule and it is best to call it...soft. The best games -- outside of one holiday tournament -- are Harvard, Penn State and Providence. This is not a schedule to build BC's resume. It is designed to help Christian get through his second season with a very young roster.

I don't begrudge the soft scheduling this year. It is the same philosophy we are using in football. The belief is the easier wins now will lead to better wins in a few years. It's the opposite strategy of Steve Donahue's Death March meant to impress Selection Committees. The idea is that the team learns to win before taking on ACC teams. I think it might work. I also don't think we are heading to any tournament this year, so the team's resume is a non-issue. I also don't think scheduling a bunch of heavyweights would generate much interest. Or at least as much interest as winning should.

My only real gripe is not scheduling more local teams. Why not schedule a BU or Holy Cross in place of Delaware or St. Francis? Even though they are not basketball rivals, teams like those do carry some tradition. A little juice and energy into a non-conference game is better than nothing.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gray verbals and other links

New Jersey DB/WR KJ Gray committed to BC this weekend. He's considered a three star and the one of the Top 20 players in New Jersey. He also had offers from Iowa, Rutgers and Syracuse.

Three Eagles were selected in the weekend's NHL Draft.

Hanlan is ready for the NBA's Summer League.

All the various NFL analytics reinforce how well Matt Ryan is playing.

Congrats to BC guy Bob Ryan on his Red Smith Award.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Buffalo on the 2016 schedule

BC's 2016 schedule is becoming a little more clear. After working FOIA requests, MattBC03 confirmed that BC will host Buffalo October 1, 2016. The good news is that this means that BC will have six home games despite the trip to Ireland. The bad news? The home games will be UMass, Buffalo, three ACC games and barring a miracle another FCS team.

Bates deserves credit for working with Buffalo, Northern Illinois and the MAC on making this work. Plenty of altered schedules and penalties were in play, so this did take a good amount of dealing and scheduling to pull it off. 

It will be interesting to see how the coach and AD spin the game. It confirms they are keeping the schedule manageable and winnable. The people who pay attention are going to be upset, but I feel like casual fans, recruits and the media won't. I think padding BC's win total is their goal and that will help change perception of the program. I think it will work too. However, if we do build the program with soft scheduling, eventually the media will start calling BC out.

Friday, June 26, 2015

We know about Wade, but who will catch his passes?

Each Darius Wade interview confirms that he's going to be the starting QB this season and probably have a long leash. If there was still uncertainty or if the other guys were breathing down his neck, BC wouldn't have him making the media rounds. That's good news. Locking in a QB is critical. Technically the OLine is a question mark, but we can trust the coaching there. The backfield is proven, so the only real unknown is the pass catchers.

Let's start with the obvious: it is unlikely any of the blocking Tight Ends will become big pass catchers. So that means Louie Addazio and Michael Giacone are not suddenly going to become threats to score or move the ball through the air. Drew Barksdale...hasn't gotten on the field much in two years. Probably more of the same this year. Wolford is a nice change of pace, but won't be a primary target. Harrison Jackson is returning from injury and was a secondary option prior to sitting out.

We could group Swigert with Jackson as an unknown after injury but when he has been healthy, he's been very good. Even if he doesn't have his previous speed, I still trust him to get open and make plays. I think Callinan can get some of the passes that went to Bordner last year. Dudeck always proves useful and has good hands, so I expect him to be good for a catch a game.

Alston and Outlow will be big parts of the passing attack. That is easy to predict. They are both proven. They both have huge upside and can make plays. And both will be on the field a lot. In most situations they will be easy passes for Wade to complete. If anyone has a big jump in production, it will be these guys.

Dixon, Smith and McClary [edited: he's now officially a DB] are all young and didn't get much attention last season. One of them will increase his role.

If there is one newcomer who might make an immediate impact, it could be Nolan Borgersen. He's got size, speed and a head start on the offense.

Even with a new QB and new OC, I don't expect us to turn into a Mike Leach offense. But we will throw it more. Let's just hope these guys can catch.