Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mood music

You know what I listened to today? The BC Marching Band's latest album -- "Traditions." If you don't have it, you can buy or download it for less than $10. The season is only a few weeks away, so we all have to do our part to get ready!

P.S. The preamble to "For Boston" mentions that it is the oldest fight song in college football. I've heard that before and was always a little suspect of its validity. Yet tonight I looked up every notable college fight song I could think of and didn't find one older than ours. Why doesn't BC play this up more often? It's a neat little fact.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick take on Media Guide and Depth Chart

BC has been putting its media guide online for more than a decade. But this year it is in a much more reader friendly format (see below). The guide is a huge and difficult project every year, so congrats to the team for another job well done. I also thank them for the new format and embedded code. While there are only a few of us who keep referencing back to the doc over time, the format improvement is welcome.

The biggest news in the whole document is the preseason depth chart. While it will change before the start of the season, it still offers a glimpse into the direction the staff is heading.

Of note...

-- Richman is at LG, Spinney is at C and Cleary is at RT. In my outside opinion the problems with last year's offensive line began when they moved guys from positions of strength to new spots within the line (Richman from LG to C and Cleary from T to G). Now you have three guys who will start in the same positions they finished last year. Wetzel and White are not as experienced at their respective spots, but I think we will be ok upfront.
-- Momah as a starter. I feel like Momah's potential has been wasted a bit with bad QBs and misguided redshirt year on Defense. Maybe this year it will all click. I don't think it is a slight to Swigert either since there should be plenty of snaps for the 2nd team WRs.
-- Nick Clancy still in the mix. Clancy is another guy who showed promise early in his career but has seen his playing time diminish bit. I guess we are fortunate to have plenty of depth at LB.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Henning to UNC? and other links

EDSBS had a little fun with UNC and offered a few suggestions on who they should hire. One of their top choices was Dan Henning. Looking back at Henning, it was amazing that he was ever hired by BC. At the time, the move was panned by most BC fans. Now it would be an internet uproar. Henning couldn't manage kids or his offense. He did not have any roots in Boston nor BC. Yet we hired him. Thankfully it only lasted three years.

Thomas Claiborne signed with Tampa. I believe Claiborne's 2010 season was an aberration but I will be surprised if he stays on with the Bucs. I think he's still too short to be an NFL lineman.

We may get ignored when it comes to traditional licensing products, but you can get a BC boat fender. Does this mean BC fans own a lot boats? Maybe they are buying the boats with their BC credit cards.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Donahue fills out staff: "Meet the Metz"

Since Joe Jones took the BU job, Steve Donahue has been left with a opening on his staff. It looks like he will fill it with one of his former assistants Izzi Metz. Metz comes to BC after five seasons as the Head Coach at Hobart. Blaudschun speculates that Donahue might move Metz into an Ops position. I am not too concerned about which role he takes. My bigger issue is recruiting. Let's look at the Pros and Cons of Donahue hiring one of his own for the spot.

-- Metz already has a working relationship with Donahue. There is trust and an understanding of the systems. Metz will be familiar with how Donahue runs things around the program.
-- Metz has head coaching experience. It was at Hobart, but Metz still understands in game coaching.
-- Metz is the right age to make the jump to the big leagues. He's young enough to work hard and brings a young energy, but also has been around the block once. He won't get overwhelmed by the new level of competition.

-- Metz has never recruited at this level. He is filling the role left by our ace recruiter. Even if Donahue shifts duties a bit, Metz will have to recruit ACC talent for the first time. It is an entirely different process from Hobart or Cornell.
-- Doesn't have much experience outside of the Donahue environment. They haven't been together for a few years, but coaching Donahue's system at Hobart is not a huge career stretch from working for him at Cornell. One thing I liked about Jones is that he brought head coaching experience and the perspective of working as an assistant in an elite conference.

Donahue has been pretty solid in building the program so far, so Metz coming on board doesn't give me much pause. I just hope he can fill Jones's big shoes and keep up our momentum.

A Cornell blog's look at Metz.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eagles landing in the NFL

After all the ups and downs, all we wanted was for Mark Herzlich to have a chance. The New York Giants gave him one. As others have noted, Herzlich is just the latest BC-Giants connection. Multiple teams had interest, so I assume Mark signed with the Giants because of their assurances that he would make the team. I am happy for him and his family and cannot wait to see him make an impact in 2011.

Herzlich wasn't the only undrafted free agent to sign. Alex Albright -- whose injuries kept him from reaching his potential in college -- signed with the Cowboys. This deal surprised me a bit. Rob Ryan kept the 3-4 in Dallas, which leaves me wondering what position Alex will play. I don't know if he has the size to play DE? Can he play LB in the 3-4? I know Albright turned heads in his UFL tryouts, so he probably had options. Let's hope this was the right one.

Rich Lapham signed with Buffalo. Despite my occasional doubts about his potential, Rich's size will always open doors for him. Buffalo may prove to be a good opportunity.

James McCluskey joining the Raiders might be the most interesting signing of the day. After some UFL tryouts, McCluskey was somewhat resigned that the NFL would not happen. And then he got the call. I will stick to my guns that McCluskey can be a perfect NFL FB. He just needs to demonstrate his versatility.

Damik Scafe signed with the Chargers. Like his teammates in this class, Scafe had some real great BC moments, but just couldn't stay healthy.

The path from signee to official member of the final roster is long and treacherous. All of these guys will have to fight hard. I will update the news as it happens.

The new guys aren't the only ones making news. Some veteran Eagles like Matt Hasselbeck and Jamie Silva are looking for new teams. Pro bowler Damien Woody has decided to retire after a great NFL career.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shakim Phillips gone and other links

Instead of celebrating the good buzz from the ACC Kickoff Day 2, most BC fans were buzzing about the absence of Shakim Phillips and Clyde Lee from the roster. The school is yet to explain their absence, but credible posters are confirming that both are gone. I wasn't expecting much from either this year, but it is a loss none the less. Both had untapped potential. It may have bloomed for both this year. And as much as I would like to throw Spaz under the bus for the departures, this is all too common in college football. Some times good kids just don't fit in certain programs.It's best to move on and fill their spots with quality recruits.

The ACC Media named Montel Harris its Preseason Player of the Year. Kuechly finished 3rd in the voting. While the real award means a lot more, I think the projections reinforce that BC has real talent. Yet the same voters picked us to finish 4th in the division.

Luke Kuechly also spoke with Joe Schad.

This is the most optimistic I've heard Spaz (Spaz starts at the 3:07 mark) with regards to the season.

Here are some talking heads discussing BC's offense. (Of course they predict big things from Phillips.)

Multiple reports are saying Herzy signed with the Ravens, however, Mark says it is still speculation and he'll have news on Tuesday.

Votes for BC in the preseason poll surprised a few writers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

ACC Media Kickoff Day 1

For those who weren't following on twitter, here is the ACC's roundup of Day 1 of the ACC Football Kickoff.

Both Montel Harris and Luke Kuechly scored big points with the assembled media. Neither seems concerned about individual awards.

For many fans, the biggest news of Day 1 was the debut of BC's new jerseys. Most pleasing is the return of normal numbers. The italics are gone! Let's hope we phased them out on our logo too.

(Screen grab courtesy of EO.)

With the ACC record within reach, Montel Harris is also getting national attention.

I am glad someone finally mentioned Kuechly's stats getting padded. I thought they might be too, but towards the end of the season, I started logging his specific tackles and they were pretty accurate.

HD and Pat Forde gave their take on Day 1.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lift for Life after Herzy and other links

If you ever doubt that BC continues to have the "right" kind of guys, look no further than this year's Lift for Life event. Mark Herzlich is gone, yet his former teammates are keeping up the event because they know it is important.

Jake Sinkovec was one of the team leaders in the fund raising and as you can see from this tweet, he is getting some media training too. While all the players get some media training, Sinkovec getting featured may be an indicator to keep your eyes out for him on the field.

Alejandro Bedoya got a three year deal with Rangers. While it is not EPL, in terms of European Football, Rangers is a big deal. This will help as he tries to become a more permanent fixture for the US National Team

Friday, July 22, 2011

Luke Kuechly: Media Star

Luke Kuechly's interview with Raycom was just the start of what I assume will be a busy season in front of the camera. This weekend, he and Montel Harris will represent BC at the ACC's annual media event. Although he is our best player on defense, bringing Kuechly breaks tradition for BC. We've always had two SRs represent the school (even when Matt Ryan was playing). Showcasing Kuechly will help raise his profile and start momentum for postseason awards. With an uncertain season ahead, it is in BC's interest to push its best player and help him win some individual honors.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011 Position Previews: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

New season. New format. Instead of a digestible combo of factoids and opinions, I am going to write in a more narrative, free style post. As always, feedback is appreciated.

If you've read this blog long enough, you know that at times the little things can piss me off. But you know what moment still lingers with me a year later? Matt Millen disparaging our Wide Receivers during the Notre Dame game. I don't have his direct quote, but the gist was that we didn't have FBS talent at the position. While we aren't sending out a bunch of Jerry Rices, the guys played hard and have potential. The reason no one noticed had more to do with the rest of the offense and not them. I think that will start to change this season.

The reason I remain so optimistic about our WR talent is that I've seen plenty of mediocre pass catchers at BC over the years. A guy can look servicable in an offense if the offense finds the right playes. Plays that work. Plays that build off of one another. Think of some of the catches we saw Swigert and Amidon make last year. Were they flukes? Of course not. But we didn't get them the ball enough because the patterns didn't allow them to get space, the QBs didn't have time and the play calling was suspect. That has to change this year. Not only are the players more mature, but we should have some offensive competency. I'd argue that there were multiple Dana Bible offenses that had less raw talent and depth than our returning starters. If we could put plays together then, there is no reason to think it can't happen now.

The biggest reason you won't hear a Matt Millen type run down our WRs is the return of Colin Larmond. He has big play capability. He's saying he's faster than ever. Whispers differ a bit. Knee injuries are tricky, but even at less than 100% he should be the leading target. Swigert and Amidon were forced to grow up fast last year. It should pay off this season. I still like what Momah brings to the table. We had him all over the place last year but you can't coach height. Logan found a niche for him in 2008. I hope Rogers can his year. Lee will also get a chance to make plays.

I also like our Tight Ends. Pantale is progressing and I could see him having a 40+ catch season. (Rogers likes to work the ball to Tight Ends and H backs.) Anderson has be been very dependable for most of his career. I am guessing that he'll spend a little time in the backfield as a blocking back. I doesn't matter as long as he is being used effectively. Naples and Darmstatter both have favorable buzz. Are there enough snaps for them to make an impact?

If you want to torture analogies to get an understanding of our pass catchers, you can't even use the chicken and the egg. We had a rotten egg that produced nothing but an embarrassing stench. How can you say what is and is not FBS when the scoreboard would indicate that none of it was? But that changes this year because you can't keep talent and hard work down forever.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dudley connects with Donahue and other links

I always thought Jared Dudley had the highest basketball IQ I had seen in a college player. Now I think it is pretty clear that he is a smart beyond basketball and understands relationships, marketing and giving back. While in Boston this week for his own camp, he also stopped in to see BC's new players -- even though he had no relationship with them or the coaching staff. Then he made the effort to get to know Steve Donahue (not his coach) and then used his twitter account to blow up Donahue's account.

The Sporting News and Orlando Sentinel both released BC previews. You would hope that with its resources and reputation the Sporting News would be better, but I actually think the Sentinel's version was superior.

We've known about German signee Patrick Heckmann but now it is official.

Florida DB Justin Simmons joined Spaz's recruiting class. At this rate Spaz will have the class closed out in August. Here is more on his future teammate Michael Strizak.

Mark Herzlich signed a deal with Saucony. I found it interesting that one of the bigger name companies didn't work out a deal. Even if they think Mark is a longshot, there is very little downside in him endorsing your product. Good luck to both Saucony and Mark.

Here is a story on incoming BC player Spencer Rositano.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Big Spenders

This article in Forbes reinforced many of our BC stereotypes, but also left me scratching my head. Long story short: BC has a fraction of the fanbase of other schools when it comes to affinity credit cards, yet outspends every other group by an absurd amount. First the numbers that stood out:

-- BC only has 597 people enrolled on a BC card. Forget bandwagon fans, we don't even have a fraction of what another private, catholic, non-football school like Villanova has (5,538).
-- Those 597 people generated $1.1 million in revenue for BC. That revenue is based on BC's share of the fees. As another point of reference, Stanford has 16,079 enrollees and only generated a $1 million.

Assuming that Mastercard generates 2% in fees and splits it with BC, that means that the average BC cardholder puts $187,000 in charges on his/her card every year. That's the average! In a down economy. Maybe our marketing is all wrong. Instead of trying to sell 45,000 tickets, maybe we should just sell whole sections to a few fans. We can fan them during the game, while they are fed grapes.

Once I got over the average, then the whole redemption thing left me scratching my head. I put everything I can on my credit cards and happily redeem the rewards. Travel, electronics, and even cash back all have their merits. So what can these BC big spenders buy with their 200k annual points? A pair of basketball tickets or some BC t-shirts. Maybe you want to tour the Yawkey Center. That will only cost you 5,000 points, meaning the average BC card holder can take the tour 40 times!

But if you are already spending $200K on your BC credit card, aren't you already buying all the BC tickets and t-shirts you want?

Now I really don't like to tell people how to spend their money, but if any of you big spenders have considered an investment in a media company, I know a great blog you can buy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What others think of Gene & Spaz and other links

In select interviews this spring, Gene made an effort to distance himself from his meddling reputation. While it was unchallenged by the mainstream writers covering the team (Globe, Herald, Dinich), I've found plenty of summer previews critical of Spaz, his offense, BC's slide the past two years and Gene. Today, in his fair preview of the team, Dr. Saturday captured how Gene is painted into a corner:
But DeFilippo also wants to avoid a reputation as a meddler who goes through head coaches like socks. Even after two backwards steps in his first two seasons as head coach, Spaziani seems safe barring a worst-case collapse.

This analyst thinks we will finish fourth in the division.

Athlon considers Kuechly the best player in the conference, but slights Montel Harris. Kuechly's on the Camp watch list too.

Colin Murphy is on New Zealand's Under 20 team.

Finally, this pic of Ben Affleck made the rounds today. I appreciate the support but I have yet to hear that he's a real BC fan. Regardless of his passion, I want to know where he got the shirt. I assumed Retro, but they don't have that version. If you have the shirt or know where to get it, leave the info in the comments section.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A different look at Kuechly and other links

Based on its affiliate list, I am guessing not many of you got to see Raycom's Football Saturdays in the South. I hope Raycom (or some fan) puts it up online, because it was the best piece I've seen on Luke Kuechly. Instead of the usual intense Clark Kent/Superman angle, they actually showed his sense of humor. You also got to see his family and a little of life at home back in Cincinnati. The coolest part was Luke and his dad shooting clay pigeons. Who doesn't look cool with a shotgun? [NOTE to BC: get Raycom to put this piece up ASAP.]

BC's top target Canaan Severin still has us in his top five. It looks like he and Steven Daniels will be teammates this fall. Hopefully they connect and decide to come to BC together.

Did our newest recruit tip off what sort of offense we will run. Most have labeled it "Pro Style" but Lynch said it is a "zone." I am guessing he didn't come up with that on his own. The coaches must be describing Rogers's system that way.

Steve Donahue's crew is targeting Wisconsin guard Matt Thomas.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pillow Pets are the latest novelty gift to slight BC fans

Are you familiar with Pillow Pets? They are pillows that fold into cute stuffed animals. Their infomercials are ubiquitous. I must say the marketing is highly effective as both of my daughters have one. In the ultimate brand extension, there are now NCAA Pillow Pets. You can buy Pillow Pets for many teams including Miami, UNC, FSU, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Clemson, NC State, and Virginia Tech. I guess the brains behind the latest fad didn't think the wine and cheese crowds at UVA, Duke, Wake and BC would be interested. But when you can get a Syracuse Pillow Pet or a UConn Pillow Pet or even some FCS schools, you know BC isn't connecting from a marketing standpoint. I have to say it is disappointing. What am I supposed to lay my head on when I am curled up under my BC Snuggie?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Yet another recruit and other links

Spaz added another verbal recruit with the commitment of RB Akeel Lynch. Although he plays in upstate New York, Lynch is Canadian and based on the video, proud to be a Canuck. If we keep grabbing Canadians, we might want to bring in someone to sing "O, Canada" before each game.

If he just wins a portion of the awards that are "watching" him, Kuechly will need to practice his acceptance speeches.

We might not be expecting much this season, but the simulations on EA show promise. (HT, BCI.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daniels going to Prep School and other links

As I tweeted earlier, incoming recruit Steven Daniels will not play for BC this fall. He is scheduled to attend Worcester Academy. The delay is based on academics. Now it probably won't impact us this season, but I hope we retain him as he re-enters the recruiting process.

A Notre Dame site held an interview with Kevin Rogers. In addition to sharing his history, the Q&A was also a reminder of how many big names were on Bob Davey's Notre Dame staffs. (Thanks to Fabian for the link.)

Rivals ranked their top 2-stars of the decade. Many Eagles made the list. appreciates our great defense.

In my take on the Oline, I mentioned looking at a recruit and projecting to the next level. This article reinforces that BC has certain height requirements for our OLine.

Here is more on Mark Herzlich's charity golf tournament.

I liked BCI's take on the BYU schedule. But there is no way we will ever play ND, Syracuse and BYU in the same season.

This is from a few days ago, but here is HD's take on Rogers.

Both the men's and women's tennis teams earned academic honors.

2011 Position Previews: Offensive Line

New season. New format. Instead of a digestible combo of factoids and opinions, I am going to write in a more narrative, free style post. As always, feedback is appreciated.

Reputation is a funny thing. Bad or good, it often follows you even when it hasn't been relevant or accurate for years. BC's reputation is for producing great offensive lines. The reality is our offensive line play has been bad the past two years. But offensive line play is tough to measure. It is not about points or size or style. It is not about sacks or rushing yards. Real great offensive line play is about harmony. It is about rhythm and balance. It is about setting the stage for the skill players to score and get the glory. Great play offensive line play is really about five big clunky guys playing as one to the point where no one even notices how well they are playing.

Before I get into what's ahead for BC's Offensive line, let me give you my belief as to why our OLines were so good for so long. Seeing a 18-year-old throw a darting out pass or run a 40 yard dash gives you a good idea of how their skills translate to the next level. Projecting how a tall or chubby or clumsy 18-year-old will perform three years later and 60 pounds heavier is much harder to do. Offensive line isn't about measurables. It is about coaching. You need coaches who can look at a lump of coal and see the diamond underneath. And you need coaches who can teach their diamonds how to work together for the common goal. BC became OLineU because we had head coaches and position coaches who understood and appreciated offensive line play. Bicknell had his sons on the OLine. Coughlin came from Parcells's school where OLine was considered the foundation of everything. Henning for all his issues knew that much of the Redskins success was about great offensive line. TOB was a longtime OLine coach as was Jags. While year to year, some OLines were better than others, there was enough continuity that you could count on BC being strong upfront.

Now getting a defensive head coach isn't the reason our offensive line fell apart the past two years. The awkward combination of Spaz, Tranq, Devine, the system we ran, the lack of playmakers and the OL players they inherited all played a role. I do believe that if the coaching philosophies had been on the same page, we could have been respectable instead of just bad.

Despite my growing cynicism surrounding Spaz, I actually believe the offensive line will play better this year. Rogers' Olines at Syracuse and Notre Dame were always decent. I think Spinney, Richman and Cleary make a solid foundation...all with a chance to be very good or even great. White was decent last year in spot duty. That leaves Wetzel, Goodman, Betancourt, Williams or Kramer to step up and fill the void. All have potential. They just need to be put in position to blossom and excel. That is about hard work, coaching and scheme.

For someone who only watches the games and doesn't attend practices, my predictions and suggestions would be Cleary at LT, Richman at LG, Spinney at C, White at RG and Betancourt at RT. (Sub in Wetzel if Betancourt is not ready.) But one thing I don't want is starts based on seniority. Put the best guys in their best positions.

BC has managed to compete despite terrible line play the past two years. That trend cannot continue as the schedule is more demanding. If Devine doesn't get the guys clicking this year, than our days as Oline U may be on hiatus.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Herzy at the ESPYs and other links

Usually I skip the ESPYs, but I was glad to see Mark Herzlich win the Comeback of the Year. Now let's hope the lockout ends and he can take the comeback all the way to the NFL.

CFN released their usually strong BC season preview. They mention all the hot buttons that must of us diehards expect to be factors.

Here is more on Donovan Henry (need insider to read the full article). Based on the players set to announce, BC could have a few more commits within the next week. Overall I am hearing that the goal is to have 12 or so verbals by September.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Local commit and other news

BC picked up another verbal commitment. This time from Catholic Memorial defensive back Donovan Henry. Welcome aboard, Donovan.

While Henry's commitment is good news, there is a growing concern that BC is collecting a few too many under the radar recruits. I am not concerned about stars or ratings. My bigger concern is that we didn't seem to close on some top recruits or seemingly easy sells. Maybe we need to freshen the message. The silver lining is that on the field, BC continues to outperform our recruiting.

BC High's Preston Cooper is hoping for a BC offer.

Rivals has us 41st in their preseason rankings.

Donnie Fletcher is another player added to a preseason watch list.

BYU keeps mentioning potential games against BC. While its not the same as playing an SEC power, BYU does represent solid scheduling for BC. We are on a similar playing field and would get decent respect for winning.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Finding space for the Indoor Practice Facility

BC's Strength & Conditioning Center renovations were a nice move. In the recruiting arms race it is always important to have the latest, greatest, biggest and best. So on the S&C front we are keeping up with the Joneses. The lingering issue remains the permanent indoor practice facility. It is a huge, needed project that is never mentioned by BC. I think the costs, political capital and the lack of space are all issues. But it will have to be done within the next ten years and probably should be done within the next five. I don't think donors would be an issue. BC always manages to rally support for important initiatives. I think the space and political issues are intertwined.

The minute BC announces a project in Newton or Brighton, it gets tied up with town-gown redtape. Although I don't think it would be as disruptive as a dorm, the idea of a "Football Practice Facility" would be the ultimate "not in my backyard" project for our neighbors. To avoid problems, my suggestion is to keep it simple and close to the current football facilities. In my master plan, the Beacon St. Garages are expanded and the practice facility is placed on the top level. As you can see from the image, this would encroach on Shea and the current baseball fields. In this plan the new baseball complex on Brighton would have to open first.

Obviously my end goal is the facility, but the added benefit of this plan is that it expands the number of parking spots. Let me know your thoughts. Where would you put the indoor practice facility? It is bound to be a political hot potato, but it doesn't have to be. BC could do it, with some smart planning and good uses of space.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Advice on selling tickets and other links

Lou Imbriano teaches Sports Marketing at BC. Previously he was the Chief of Marketing for the Patriots. Unfortunately the Athletic Department doesn't consult him on issues related to marketing BC sports. In his most recent sports marketing chat he had something simple to say regarding ticket sales.
Think ticket sales folks have to spend more time understanding the fans likes and dislikes and less time thinking up gimmicks.

I don't expect change in the near future but BC needs to improve the gameday experience...especially if the product on the field doesn't improve.

BC's 9th commitment keeps our pipeline to Canada open. I actually think Canada should always be a good source for BC recruits. Canadians usually have a solid academic foundations, are a little older and don't seem concerned about the weather in Boston.

Swiggert and Freese are the latest BC players to be added to award watch lists.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Suggested programming for regional New England Sports Networks

The Globe had an interesting article on the two regional New England sports networks -- CSNNE and NESN. Both have their respective niches and based on the article are both willing to explore new ideas in order to drive more viewers. What both are clearly lacking is Boston College content. While I appreciate the occasional taped piece that both will run on BC sports, there is a huge void. Both could and should do more. Given NESN and BC's relationship with the Red Sox, NESN's lack of BC programming is inexcusable. Here are my thoughts. All are relatively cheap and should be easy to implement.

1. Carry all games live. NESN has numerous Red Sox scheduling conflicts during the fall, so this would probably have to fall to CSNNE. I don't know the logistics or what it would cost the network to buy the regional rights, but I know it is done in other parts of the country. I don't think it would be a huge ratings boost, but I know it would be a better draw than any alternate programming they would use instead (often other lower level college football games). Getting BC on TV screens instead of PC screens would be a huge improvement for fans in New England. Those of us outside the region with satellite/cable "sports packs" would also appreciate an alternative to watching on a laptop.

2. Replay of all games Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. This is another seemingly simple solution. I live in Atlanta and can see Big East games replayed on YES or SNY, but not a BC game. Something is wrong there. If the regional New York stations can acquire the rights and make money on Rutgers and UConn replays, there must be a market for it in Boston. This is something NESN could do with ease. They have the programming slots. They have the relationship with BC. They have a sponsorship base that I presume would like to extend their brands to TV ("The Giant Glass BC replay" or "BC rewind brought to you by BMW of Peabody").

3. Football and Basketball coaches shows.
I know this has been tried before with little ratings success. But that doesn't mean BC and the networks shouldn't keep trying. The cost to produce a show is minimal. All you need is Meter and the respective coach to talk for 20 minutes. Have a BC student produce a "field" piece each week for free and you are down to 16 minutes. No travel needed. Very few highlights needed. If NESN can make more money showing an informercial, than BC should buy the time. We waste money on so many things around the program, this seems like a straight forward way to sell the programs and help the coaches reach fans and future players.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

3rd year is the charm

In this Blue Ribbon preview, Spaz starts talking about the challenges of not having many fifth year seniors on the roster. I'll save the validity of the 5th year void for another date, but what has me scratching my head is why are we still making excuses in Year 3. Forget the continuity that Spaz brought to the position. Put aside the bare cupboard debate for a moment. Even if a coach takes over a program in tatters, shouldn't Year 3 be the turning point?

By the third year a coach should have the majority of the roster filled with "his" players. He should have some cohesiveness among the staff. He should have his own QB in place and he should have a good feel for the conference and other teams's tendencies. Great coaches are well on their way by Year 3. But for this post I didn't want to cherry pick great coaches to make Spaz look like he is whining. Instead I just wanted to focus on BC. If you look at our history is Year 3 an indicator of where the program is headed?
[For relevancy, I started with Post WWII BC football.]

BC Coaches in their Third Year
Myer -- 1946. Record: 6-3 (Myer's tenure was interupted by WWII.)
Holovak -- 1953. Record: 5-3-1
Miller -- 1965. Record: 6-3
Yukica -- 1970. Record: 8-2
Chlebek -- 1980. Record: 7-4
Bicknell -- 1983. Record: 9-3
Coughlin -- 1993. Record: 9-3
Henning -- 1996. Record: 5-7
O'Brien -- 1999. Record: 8-4

Aside from Henning, everyone else has a winning record. Even Ed Chelibek -- the guy who had the worst season in BC history -- had things turned around by Year 3. I am not ready to make W-L predictions for this season yet but there really should be no excuses to justify a down season. This is Spaz's team and Spaz's program and Spaz's 5th year seniors.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Out of conference previews and other links

This writer previews our out of conference slate and thinks we took on too much. I agree that UCF will be a tough game, but this is the type of schedule we should be playing every year. Padding our win totals is not selling tickets or getting people excited about BC bowls. What is surprising is you haven't heard much talk from Gene or Spaz about the difficulty of our schedule in the lead up to the season.

BC is a finalist for New Jersey LB Michael Strizak.

BCI applauds Vanderbilt leveraging academics to land recruits. I think their success and Stanford's recent success selling academics is somewhat misleading. Duke, Stanford, BC, Vandy, Northwestern, etc have been selling their classroom experience and graduation rates for years. Vandy and Stanford's recent success recruiting is more about a fresh delivery and passion from new head coaches.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Ranking games by importance

Every season has a few turning points. Last year, we beat Clemson when we needed to and saved the season. This year I think there will be a few other turning point games. I also think there will be some must wins from a marketing and momentum standpoint. This is my order. Share yours in the comments.

Most important games
1. Northwestern.
This is BC's toughest out of conference schedule in many years. We will need the Northwestern win to help our bowl eligibility. Gene could also use a big win early in the season to help ticket sales.
2. Clemson. It is the first ACC road game. It is also the point when the schedule goes from easy to tough. BC needs to win this game to help the ACC Atlantic standings and keep the momentum going.
3. NC State. This is the last home game of the year. It will probably be TOB's last game in Boston. It comes at a point in the schedule when BC could be in the middle of a losing streak. BC will need this win to end the home slate on a high note and to get the last word with TOB.
4. Florida State. I actually think we will match up well with Florida State. The game's importance is more based on the Thursday night aspect. This will be BC's biggest showcase of the year. They need to play well.
5. Notre Dame. Spaz has yet to beat the Irish. For the casual BC fans this will start to become an issue.
6. Virginia Tech. Probably our toughest road game and chance for a statement.
7. Miami. I don't think this game will have major ACC implications. I also don't think either team will be ranked at this point. But it will be another national television game and BC might need the win to secure bowl eligibility.
8. UCF. First road game and important for early season momentum.
9. Maryland. This could be a trap game given that it comes between VT and FSU.
10. UMass. I expect us to win this game. If we lose the BC and Spaz bandwagon will be empty.
11. Wake Forest. It's Parent's Weekend. You want to make sure everyone is in a good mood.
12. Duke. Very little at stake here. If we win, no one will care. If we lose, no one will care.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

More from HD and other links

HD honors another BC player by saying Noel is one of the top safeties in the ACC.

Former Eagle Terry Doyle is pitching well in Double A.

Associate AD Jamie DiLoreto was named President of National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Is EA Sports already using our new look?

EO poster Onyx Blackman had a nice find today with his screen caps of our uniforms in EA Sports. I am still waiting on confirmation from BC if all these looks will be used on the field. The big changes are the return of maroon pants and the gold home jersey. I welcome both additions. Other thoughts:

-- It looks like the "all white" era is over. I will always associate it with Jags's time at BC, so we might as well drop it.
-- A gold home jersey may be a reality. It is not as dramatic a departure as I was hoping for, but the gold jersey is perfect for a one-time event. I predict it will debut in our Thursday night game against Florida State.
-- It looks like we will have the stained glass numbers we saw in basketball. I don't know if anyone other than die-hard BC fans notice, but it is a nice touch.
-- This will be the first time BC plays in maroon pants with stripes. The maroon pants of the TOB era were solid.
-- The helmet stays the same.

Please share your thoughts. I will update as I get new information.