Monday, May 04, 2015

ESPN still slighting BC in ACC Power Rankings

It is the offseason, but that doesn't slow down ESPN. They continue to fill up their ACC blog with power rankings. Any list or ranking is a good tool as it engages readers and helps improve search engine optimization. The latest poll ranks teams heading into 2015. Not so surprisingly, ESPN ranked 11 out of 14 ACC teams heading into next season.

In the power rankings, there is another team tied with BC, leaving only Wake and Cuse as lower than the Eagles. This also isn't surprising. Yet instead of explaining why BC is below so many (new QB, new OL), the recap focuses on Addazio's first two years. Adelson notes his success in beating expectations in Year 1 and Year 2. But she doesn't follow that logic and move him up in this ranking. With his track record, I would have put UVA (with London's hot seats) and Pitt (new staff) behind our Eagles. I also would have used the Power Rankings to question a traditional power. Why not put Virginia Tech low? They've been uneven the past two years. Or give Al Golden's critics fuel by moving BC ahead of the Canes. This is subjective, so ESPN should make it interesting.

In the whole scheme of things, it is good that expectations are so low this year. If BC can show just the littlest aptitude and get to a bowl, it will be viewed as a major accomplishment.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Other Eagles sign NFL deals

The NFL Draft is not the only way to get on an NFL team. Depending on the situation, signing as an undrafted free agent has its advantages. The player is just as much of a long-shot as a late rounder, yet has a little more control over where he goes. He and his agent can pick a spot or team that has real need. Many Eagles in the past few years have picked up Super Bowl rings by signing with the right team as a free agent (Herzy!). Here are the guys who didn't hear their names called over the weekend but still have a chance to make a team:

  • Tyler Murphy -- signed with the Steelers. He will be part of their mini-camp and is listed as a WR. He has to show potential early for them to invest time in his transition from QB. 
  • Josh Keyes -- signed with Tampa Bay. He seems like a good fit for Smith's 4-3, Cover 2 scheme. He can cover a lot of ground and has good speed. 
  • Manny Asprilla -- signed with the Chargers. San Diego brought in 21 undrafted free agents. That seems like a shotgun approach. I don't love Asprilla's chances, but I am glad he'll get a shot.
  • Bobby Vardaro -- signed with the Vikings. Their Fanside site considers him a potential backup.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

49ers draft Silberman

I rushed my earlier post and failed to note that the 49ers selected Ian Silberman in the 6th round too. Congrats to Ian and I love that he gets to work with former BC assistant Steve Logan.

Silberman provides another good story for Addazio since he was a transfer who BC helped make better. Good luck to him.

Gallik, Mihalik taken in NFL Draft

Congratulations to the newest Eagles in the NFL. First the Tennessee Titan took Andy Gallik in the sixth round Saturday. One round later, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Brian Mihalik. Both were somewhat surprising.

Most projections had Gallik going in the midrounds. Falling into the sixth means less upfront money -- and doesn't even assure a final roster spot -- but Gallik should get a fair shake in Tennessee. He's versatile enough that even if he doesn't earn a starter's spot, he can back up the interior positions.

Mihalik always seemed a long shot, but the Philadelphia connections to the current BC roster gives the Eagles a different sort of insight. Seventh rounders are regularly cut. Hopefully Brian impresses and he makes the team. His size always gives him a differentiator.

Considering the attrition and questionable lack of quality that went into Spaz's core recruiting classes, BC should be happy with two players taken. Let's hope the upcoming NFL Drafts are filled with more Eagles.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Addazio adds another WR recruit

Pennsylvania prospect Kobay White committed to Boston College on Twitter Wednesday night. After a relatively slow month, Addazio and team should be happy to close April with one of their key targets.

White holds offers from numerous ACC and Big Ten schools. He has decent size. The various recruiting services rank him as a 3 star.

Although this class will be smaller than the last two, I still expect Addazio to load up early and before camps. White is the fifth verbal for the 2016 recruiting class.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Boston College blogger on Jameis Winston

One the eve of the NFL Draft there isn't much Boston College news, but the football world remains focused on a player very familiar to BC fans: Jameis Winston. His off the field issues are well known. I cannot speak to his character or his maturity. Both could be issues in his NFL success. But as a football player, I think he's going to be very good in the NFL. In fact, I have a tried and true, never failed*, totally subjective form of evaluation for all NFL prospects. I throw out all the stats. I ignore the combine. I don't even care about most of their college career. Instead I evaluate them on how they played against BC.

As silly as it might seem, I do have faith in my "how'd he play against us" theory. In part because I know our team pretty well, so I know when someone has played them well. Also our defenses have been very reliant on systems (heavy zone in Spaz, heavy pressure with Brown). Because we are one-dimensional and usually decent in that dimension, it puts pressure on the opposing QB to make the plays. If a QB cannot figure out and adjust to our systems, I don't trust them at the next level where everything gets more complex.

Russell Wilson surprised many NFL fans, but most BC fans remember how good he was against us. Michael Vick had one of his best games ever against BC. I became a believer in Colin Kaepernick when we shut down his running and he still did enough in the air to beat us. Can any BC fan think of a recent QB who looked bad against us and then went on to have a top flight NFL career?

Winston's two games against BC were probably two of his biggest tests in college. He famously used the 2013 game as a reminder to his teammates that they could come back to win the National Championship game. Last season's contest wasn't filled with highlights but it ended with Winston leading a winning drive in the final minutes.

In the two games, I saw enough to think Winston will be a good NFL QB. He made good decisions on the field. He made tight throws. He read things well and when things broke down, he made great plays (see the video above). Winston is not perfect, but he's tough to bring down and can make any throw. That alone will get him plenty of chances in the NFL. But his ability to adjust to BC's different pressures leads me to believe he'll be fine in the NFL's faster game.

Could something derail him? Sure. A bad team or more bad choices could sink his career. But if he is the player BC fans saw, he's worth the risk.

*I've never actually selected nor coached a player in the NFL. But who's paying attention to that sort of detail.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Problems with paying players

Chad Scott wrote a good piece on the head scratching math that goes into the NCAA's new cost of attendance policy. The money is supposed to be related to the cost of living in that particular area for a student, not related to tuition or already covered room, board and books. In the current world it is more costly to attend the University of Tennessee ($5,666) than Boston College ($1,400). In the spirit of the new rules, Tennessee would be able to hand out more than $4,000 to a student athlete than BC would be able to offer to the same athlete. How do you think that is going to play out?

Scott noted that these numbers were not cooked up by some scheming SEC Football recruiter, but by each university's office of financial aid and collected by the Department of Education. That explains why school that would seemingly be inline with one another (USC and UCLA) or (Auburn and Alabama) are so different.

The good news is that this calculation won't last. Forget the bad math and worse logic behind Knoxville being more costly than Chestnut Hill. The reason this won't last is that the SEC won't allow one school to have a leg up on another. I expect that eventually there will be a flattening of the cost of attendance stipend and all schools will offer the same thing.

When BC voted against the pay players plan, they never mentioned this issue. They were thinking big picture and where the paying players will creep, but they should have included this aspect of the issue in their protest. It might have generated a little more support and slowed the movement down.