Thursday, May 25, 2017

Alumni is getting new turf

For something that is supposed to last a long time, BC has changed the playing surface at Alumni quiet a bit over the last few years. The school and Astroturf just announced that Alumni will be getting a new rug. It is part of an extension with the synthetic grass company that will also include the baseball/softball fields and the Indoor Practice facility.

No costs were disclosed, but I assume BC got an significant break on the early upgrade to the Alumni surface due to selecting AstroTurf for all the new fields and facilities. BC made the switch to Astroturf from FieldTurf in 2012. For those of us who remember the original "astroturf," have no fear. This is not the hard flat green carpet. Astroturf's current solution has the modern feel with blades of fake grass and mini rubber pellets to cushion falls. To the average fan -- and probably many players -- there is no noticiable difference between AstroTurf and their competitor, FieldTurf.

It seems like AstroTurf is pretty proud of their BC deal. The lone stadium field on their Wikipedia page is of Alumni. After losing so much market share when FieldTurf came on the scene -- including losing the BC deal in 2004 -- it seems like AstroTurf has rebounded and is building up an impressive collection of stadiums.

As long as the deal makes sense and the players are happy, I don't care what brand BC uses for turf. I just hope that they take this opportunity to change the midfield logo. New turf would be a perfect time to get rid of the italics lettering in the logo.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BC win totals from CFN

Last week, the leading gaming service released their 2017 win totals for college football. However, BC only earned a "N/A." Most of the teams selected at the bottom of their conference received the same status. This is partially due to lack of interest and the fickle nature of predicting the bottom of a Power 5 conference. If scheduled well, a lower Power 5 team can walk right into five wins. Although the gaming experts are avoiding BC, CFN is not. They put the over/under on BC wins at 5.5.

I don't bet, but the over on 5.5 seems like easy money to me. I will get into season predictions later in the summer, but winning the three non-Power 5 games, and then getting three wins out of ACC and ND play doesn't seem too much to me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baseball drops ACC Tourney opener to NC State

BC left too many on base in a critical ACC Tournament loss to NC State. Jacob Stevens gave BC a solid start but BC failed to capitalize early and the Wolfpack padded their lead in the later innings. Now BC as they face UNC next in pool play. That game becomes a must win to keep any hopes alive. The good news is that this team has responded repeatedly when it seemed like they were in a hole. EDITED: My mistake. As Brian pointed out in comments, this eliminates BC. I thought they could still have a chance depending on how the pool played out, but even if UNC loses twice, BC is out.

Monday, May 22, 2017

New alums owe BC Sports a "thank you"

Another batch of Eagles went from students to alumni Monday. Congratulations to all for their hard work and dedication. One thing that gets overlooked in all of our BC sports debate is what an incredible service Boston College Athletics provides to our alums. It is and instant and constant connection back to the community. It can be a reason to gather, to stay in touch, to commiserate and provide a great form of pride.

I know plenty of graduates didn't care about BC Sports while they were students. I hope that changes as alumni. For all that is wrong with college sports, there is still plenty right. For as frustrating as being a BC fan can be, it also provides so many exciting moments. And while all recent graduates applied to an elite national university, I hope you remember that sports did play an important part in building that national reputation. So many of our Catholic and Jesuit peers don't have the same recognition nor endowment because they didn't have big time sports as and branding and fund raising tool.

To the Class of 2017, continue to excel and keep rooting for the Eagles.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Baseball closes Shea with big wins, headed to ACCs

Some run down facilities grow in charm as they age. Sometimes when we look back at something terrible, the memories become more found than they were in reality. I don't know if one day BC Baseball fans will look back at the time on Shea Field as the "good ol' days," but at least they will remember the final weekend as a good time. BC swept Notre Dame to secure a spot in the ACC Tournament. Considering how the regular season and ACC season started, this is a great way to finish. The team is playing much better. Although they will be a long shot to advance beyond pool play in the ACC, there is more hope now than there was four weeks ago. Congrats to the guys. I hope BC's new baseball complex let's them take the program to the next level.

Arthur Bailin did a great job capturing the last out.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lax headed to Final Four

Big congrats to the Lacrosse team. They are headed to the Final Four after knocking off USC 20-14. BC established the lead with a strong defensive performance in the first half. The second half was more back and forth, but BC did enough to hold off the Trojans.

BC has a bit of a home field advantage in the semis, as the Final Four is being held at Gillette. They face Navy for a chance to get to the Championship game. As the saying goes, "you gotta take 'em one step at a time..." but this is a huge opportunity for BC sports. Winning a national championship in a growing sport like Lacrosse would be a great moment for the school and athletic department. Lacrosse is one of those sports that is huge in traditional ACC county AND New England. It is the type of sport where our conference and geography come together and can support a champion. Let's see the women keep going!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tucky to Cincy shows complications when staffers leave

Before this post gets misinterpreted, let me make a few things clear: Ethan Tucky wasn't going to make or break BC in 2017 nor change Addazio's future. I also don't think former Addazio assistant Al Washington is "disloyal" or doing anything wrong. But Tucky is an example of having to sell a kid on BC the program and not the bond he has with his recruiter. The former BC LB got his release and is now officially headed to Cincinnati

Tucky to Cincinnati makes sense beyond the Washington connection. It is much closer to home for him. They have a new, young and exciting coach. However, it is not all roses. He will have to sit a year and is changing positions. Despite the Fickell excitement, he is also leaving a Power 5 team for a mid-major. 

BC and Addazio could have made his release conditional and "blocked" Cincinnati, but they did not. Fickell shares an Urban Meyer connection with Addazio and BC doesn't want to make enemies in such a traditionally strong recruiting area for us in Cincinnati. Tucky and the Bearcats also played it the right way. In the article there is no mention of Al Washington nor his prior relationship with Tucky. 

I don't imagine any other current BC kids are going to leave to reunite with Washington. But other kids will leave for various reasons when they are not happy at BC. That is why all coaches need to sell BC first. It is not about the assistant, nor Addazio, nor playing time. It is about playing and going to school at BC. That is all the coach can guarantee. If the kid buys that first, the other unpredictable stuff becomes less important.