Thursday, October 20, 2016

BC-Syracuse preview

The season is halfway over, but I don't even feel like it has ever started. Our first game had an exhibition like feel from Ireland. The three wins all felt like scrimmages and the two losses were lopsided jokes. Yet there are only six games left. On paper this should be a nice solid conference win. But it is never that simple.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I've written and said a lot about Daz's future. One thing that I learned in the process is that his job status is totally independent of Bates' status. Bates can't save him and firing/not renewing Bates won't impede BC's decision on Addazio. He has to win this season (six games) and might not even get that far if the losses continue to be so one-sided.

Three Simple Keys
1. Sack Dungey a lot. BC had two weeks to prepare for the Orange's gimmick offense. The last time we faced such a unique attack -- Georgia Tech -- the D was really well prepared. I am hoping that BC created some new looks and brings plenty of pressure.
2. Play to Syracuse's speed. Steve Logan had a really simple premise about tempo and time of possession. If you believe you have more talent, play fast. It increases possessions for both sides and with more possessions, the talented team is more likely to prevail. Conversely he believed if you had less talent, you want to slow the game down. Limit their opportunity to score and hopefully pull off an upset. Neither coach on Saturday believes in that. Syracuse wants to go fast regardless of who they are playing. We want to sit on the ball regardless. I think we have more talent than Syracuse. We need to play close to their pace. Force them into mistakes and hopefully get some of our own points on the board.
3. Turn shot passes into long TDs. I've never seen a team miss tackles like this Syracuse one. If we want to win, we have to take advantage of those misses and get real yards after the catch.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 1-2 against Syracuse
-- Syracuse leads the series 19-30
-- Babers is 10-5 on the road as an FBS head coach
The current line is BC-4.5

The last time Syracuse won a game at Alumni was our final game in the Big East, when their third string running back ran all over us and cost BC a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. So there's that.

Scoreboard Watching
We are at the point where scoreboard watching doesn't matter. The only score that matters is this one. So instead of putting a game in this space, I am going to link to a coaching bio. If Syracuse goes up by 21, pull out your phone and click on this link to Pete Carmichael, Jr's biography. Bates didn't give him the time of day last go around. Hopefully Pete earns at least an interview if we make a change this season.

I hope to see...
The OLine dominate. As mentioned, Syracuse's D is not good. We have yet to put together one clean game with the OLine. This is supposed to be Addazio's specialty. Now in our time of need, we need the OLine to be great

BC is in trouble if...
We get down by 14. I don't know if our Offense can make up that sort of deficit. I also fear many of our players might check out.

BC should win this weekend. The odds say it. The computers say it. I want to believe. I hope we win. I just don't know if Addazio will push the right buttons this week. But I am telling myself he can, the D has a great game and the Offense makes some huge plays.
Final Score: BC 31, Syracuse 21

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A midseason firing wouldn't make sense for BC

If Syracuse hangs 50 on BC Saturday, you will hear people calling for Addazio's head. There is speculation that he could even be fired midseason. To me that would be a huge mistake.

A midseason change hurts recruiting
One thing Addazio is still doing relatively well is recruiting. If he is fired now, it becomes open season on our current verbals and our roster for transfers. If we fire Addazio in November after the Wake game, the window in which to pick apart our recruiting class becomes that much smaller.

An interim mess
Every once in a while an interim coach takes his program to the next level. Dabo Swinney is the most prominent example. But more often the interim is given the job in an emotional move and things don't get better. I don't know who would be the interim. The logical candidate is Paul Pasqualoni, but sometimes schools go with the popular position coach (like Ed Orgeron). Would that be Al Washington? Or maybe one of the coordinators? I don't know. As much as it would be nice to give a young BC grad like Washington a professional bump in this process, I don't want BC making a rash decision.

The message it sends to BC fans
Brad Bates is the lamest of lame ducks, but if Addazio is fired midseason, it will seem like he made the call. The call is above Bates head now. Given our history, I don't expect BC to get a nuanced message to the media about how the process came about. That inturn would just make our current fans think BC remains chaotic and without a plan.

I hope this doesn't become an issue. Let's go beat Syracuse and judge Addazio on the whole season. Things will get better, so let's not make them worse.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Iowa State taking shots at BC and other links

Things are bad. We are headed for an AD change and barring a great turnaround, are probably headed for a coaching change. But our history -- both recent and long-term -- is much better than the current perception of Boston College. Take this quote from Iowa State's AD with regards to the Big XII's decision not to expand.
"When you know that the athletic administrators think that the best solution is the solution we currently have, why would we then want to say no we'd rather have 12 members? "Because we want to add more schools to this league that are going to be like Rutgers or Boston College in their conferences? Which have no fans coming to the games, and they're getting outscored 170 to whatever it was. In Boston College's case, haven't won a game in two to three years in their conference. That totally dilutes your value."

Anyone representing Iowa State has true gall to criticize any other school or talk about "diluting value." Iowa State's whole value to the old Big 8 and the current Big XII is to be doormat to the conference powers. They are the Washington Generals of the Midwest! The bring no fans. They are not the flagship school in their state. They bring no academic reputation. No TV markets. No fans. Oh, and they are currently 1-6!!! Who are they to talk? BC is a better team than Iowa State is now and has been much better historically.

BC needs to get its act together for because we are wasting our athletes' time and wasting the university's resources. But we also need to win so we can silence our critics.

BCI posted a good preview of the basketball newcomers.

In case you missed it, BC posted a good article on field hockey star Lucy Lytle.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Get ready for lots of 12:30 games

The ACC announced that the NC State game will be at 12:30 pm and shown over the air on local affiliates. I think our record and our TV market will lead to a few more 12:30 games before the season is over.

The over the air game is usually the third pick by the ACC. While the rest of the games are on cable, it is the lone Raycom production. The stations that pick up these games vary market to market, and that is where the benefit of BC comes into play. Most ACC games will always be shown in long-time ACC markets in the south. However, when BC is involved, Raycom is able to get coverage in less traditional ACC markets. Obviously Boston is going to carry a BC game, but it helps to get Providence and Springfield, etc. BC also helps a little on the west coast and other northern cities. If that game is between North Carolina and Virginia (like their matchup this weekend), many of those New England stations do not pick up the game.

Ideally BC goes on a run and some of our final games have national implications. But if we don't, the ACC's TV partners will still care enough to grab BC with their pick.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

BC still favored over Syracuse

For weeks it was noted that Syracuse was the only ACC game where the computers (and oddsmakers) favored BC. But as the Orange upset Virginia Tech on Saturday -- and looked good doing it -- I doubted the point spread would still favor BC. I was wrong. Despite the huge win, BC opened as a six point favorite

The BC home game accounts for approximately three of those points. And BC's defense and Syracuse's terrible D, account for the remainder of the spread. I predict the line will shrink as the game nears. 

I hope BC wins. I think it could be enough to give us a little momentum. 

By the way, Addazio is 4-2 when favored in ACC games. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Is this guy going to get Brad Bates a new job?

This is Todd Turner. He runs a college search firm that places high level athletic personnel, including Athletic Directors. He was also the Athletic Director at Vanderbilt when Brad Bates was there. If you read between the lines, it appears he's helping out his former protege again.

This summer when Turner ran the Athletic Director search for Missouri, he presented Bates as a candidate. Now Blauds is reporting that Bates is in the mix for the San Diego State opening. Guess who is running their search? Yep, it is Todd Turner. (The fact that San Diego State only has an opening because Turner landed their old AD at Mizzou is an entirely different topic altogether.)

Bates could have spun taking the Mizzou job as a step up. It is an SEC school, a flagship state university and more money. San Diego State -- even with BC's current issues -- would be a step back. It is not a Power 5 school and not as big a department. But for Bates it might seem like a nice landing spot given his contract situation. What happens to Bates if BC doesn't extend him and San Diego State doesn't hire him? No big deal. Turner will just float his name for the next search he runs.

Friday, October 14, 2016

End of the Week Rant: Leave the Coordinators alone

Remember last year when BC had the worst offense among the Power 5 teams and one of the worst in college football? Offensive Coordinator Todd Fitch took the blame and was pushed out. Now he is coordinating a Top 10 Offense at Louisiana Tech. I hammered Fitch last year even though prior to the season Addazio said it was "his" offense and the coordinator implemented his philosophy. I also endorsed Addazio's idea to have Jim Reid run the same defense as Don Brown. In retrospect, I was probably wrong. And so is Addazio. A good head coach needs to find a scheme and coordinator he likes and then give that guy some freedom. We had injuries last year on Offense, but as big a problem was flipping QBs and styles and approaches. We never simplified. Now the Defense -- with the majority of the players the same -- look lost or overmatched. Something is not working. My fear is that once again we are dictating to coordinators instead of letting them set the approach.

Periscope Update: I held another Periscope Friday morning to discuss schedules and Brad Bates' contract. These remain a work in progress so I appreciate feedback. A few notes:
-- If you doubleclick the video it takes you to a Periscope fullscreen so that the movie is not such a closeup.
-- This didn't get as many live interactions as the Post Game Periscope did. Post game after a night game is a natural timeslot. Is there a daytime slot that people would prefer to discuss general news?
-- I appreciate the questions and topics that I got ahead of time. Keep them coming.

Friday picks

No BC game this week to clutter my mind. Maybe that will result in better picks.

(Picks in bold.)

West Virginia-1 at Texas Tech

Minnesota+7 at Maryland

Pitt-3 at Virginia

Central Michigan-2.5 at Northern Illinois

Northwestern+7 at Michigan State

North Carolina+7 at Miami

Nebraska-3 at Indiana

Ole Miss-7.5 at Arkansas

Temple+3.5 at UCF

Stanford+3 at Notre Dame

Last week I was 6-4. For the season I am 24-33-3.