Monday, July 28, 2014

How many 5th years is too many?


BC's best teams have always been experienced. But in the past most of those classes were made up of rosters that redshirted and developed in Chestnut Hill. For a variety of reasons BC rarely had JUCOs and transfers. With the rise of the post-graduate 5th year transfer, BC finally has a sweet spot to fill in the roster gaps. Addazio grabbed Matt Patchan last year and backfilled the roster this season wtih Tyler Murphy, Ty-Meer Brown, Shakim Phillips, and Ian Silberman. The benefits of 5th years are well discussed: no academic risk, short scholarship commitment, phyical and mental maturity. However, we rarely address the risk associated with the strategy. Addazio needed an influx this year and will probably need more next year, but at what point does BC want to start weaning itself of 5th year transfers?

The biggest challenge posed by depending on 5th years is knowing who and how many are available. BC lucked into Murphy and a lessor extent to Shakim Phillips. Without them we would be starting a freshman at QB and have little depth at WR. Prior relationships with both players helped get them to BC, but both had options and both could have gone elsewhere. Unlike recruiting a high schooler or even a JUCO player, the annual 5th year pool lacks depth. Thinking you can pick up a quality player to fit critical needs is foolish. One day your luck will run out.

The other issue is the holding back scholarships for 5th years. BC has plenty of scholarships right now due to roster imbalance and attrition, but in most years there won't be four spots. BC will have 99% of their scholarships committed early in each recruiting cycle.

I don't know what's ahead for BC recruiting. As the roster turns there should be less need to grab older 5th years. All the players will be Addazio's and he'll be responsible for scholarship distribution.

I applaud Addazio's aggressiveness and creativity. Without them, we wouldn't be as strong a team. I just hope we soon get to the stage where BC has so much talent in house that we don't need to scramble with 5th years.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

More opponent previews

As the season nears, USA Today keeps posting more team previews. Since our last update, the site added Pitt and Syracuse breakdowns. As always Paul Myerberg does a great job with these write ups.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trojan trap and other links

The Big Lead called our game with USC a trap for the Trojans. It makes sense given their new coach, cross-country travel and coming right after Stanford. Even if USC struggles this year, it would still be a huge win for BC and Addazio in Year 2.

Andre Williams got the NYT feautre treament during Giants Training Camp.

Future Eagle Nolan Borgersen is ready for his final high school season.

Other sites covered this earlier in the week, but ESPN noted how strong BC's recruiting efforts have been in Massachusetts.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Tweets of the Week

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2014 Poster


BC released their 2014 promotional poster. It is certainly a change from past years, but I like it. Replacing the action shots and guys in uniform with the Gasson rotunda and the seniors in ties and blazers is different. Plus it reinforces the image and structure that Addazio is selling. These things are more about marketing to future players than current fans but this poster works on both levels.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Analytical love for Matt Ryan and other links

With the cliched talk of "elite" QBs, I feel like I am constantly defending Matt Ryan. The only person who might be a bigger defender of Ryan is Grantland's Bill Barnwell. Barnwell has Ryan in his Top 10 and ahead of Brady, Brees and Eli. I hope the Falcons bounce back this year, but more importantly I hope casual fans start to realize how well Ryan has played the past few years. Kuechly also made Barnwell's Top 25.

Andy Gallik made the Preseason All ACC team.

Earlier in the week EDSBS assigned parts of our galaxy to ACC teams. The BC analogy is probably fair.

Steele Divitto is ready for Jets Training Camp.

Miami is recruiting New England players this cycle.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2014 Preview Questions: How good is the Atlantic Division?

Winston's game-changing Hail Mary.


The ACC Media predicted a 6th place finish for BC. Considering how Carolina-centric the crowd is at the Media Days, our lowely standing is not a surprise. But is BC really that bad? Is the Divison that good?

Florida State returns their Heisman Trophy winning QB and much of the talent that won the National Championship. I think even the most biased BC fan will admit that the 'Noles will be good this season. Clemson lost a lot of their best skill players, but given their recruiting the past five years, I think it is fair to rank them above BC. Transitioning to a new conference could cause problems and they are also replacing lost stars, but Louisville comes into the division with arguably the best offensive coach in the conference. That will be a tough game. But after that, I think there are a series of teams that all have major questions. 

Syracuse -- reason why they might finish below BC. Still relatively young. Tough schedule could hurt momentum. Terrible passing game. We play them at Alumni. 

NC State -- reason why they might finish below BC. Coming off a terrible season. Breaking in a new QB. Still very young. 

Wake Forest -- reason why they might finish below BC. Tough schedule that could torpedo the season. Making major schematic changes from previous staff. Clawson started slow at his previous stops.

I don't know if BC will finish 4th or 7th in the Atlantic. But I don't think the division is loaded. Outside of Florida State every team is flawed. The bottom of the Division is manageble. It is just a matter BC covering our flaws better than our peer programs. 

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

College Football's MLS ideas and BC

The WSJ posted an interesting article last week on College Football programs looking to the MLS for marketing, game day experience and ticketing ideas. What's interesting to me is that programs that might not have much in common with the MLS are looking for answers in the soccer boom, yet the stadium size and locals markets are so different. BC, however, probably has more in common with an MLS' teams issues than a big SEC school. Our stadium is smaller, we are in an urban setting and we compete with bigger teams.

BC is not mentioned as a team looking to the MLS, but fortunately we are already doing things they recommend. Stadium improvements are the most obvious, but we are also tracking individual student attendence and rewarding loyalty.

What the MLS is also improving the food at the stadium. Food is rarely mentioned as the problem with BC sports. But maybe it is something BC should address. An improved team will always have a greater impact than improved concessions, but it doesn't mean something can't be done.

I rarely go to games so I am always an armchair QB on the issue. But I think that the only way to get Alumni and Conte filled is to make it an experience you cannot get at home. Winning is important, but everything else matters too.

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