Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Talent/Recruiting narrative is pretty hollow

Monday on my drive home, I heard Mike Mayock tell the guys on 790 The Zone that BC's problems are because of Jags's disinterest in recruiting. We've heard this in the past and will hear it again, but it just doesn't hold up on many levels. I am not trying to be a Jags apologist again but I can't let another Spaz excuse slide. I won't even get into if talent was the reason we lost to Duke, Northwestern and UCF. Instead just look at recruiting. If we are losing because of talent, the current staff needs to only look in the mirror.

1. The current roster.
Any way you slice it, the majority of the current roster is comprised of Spaz guys. There are 77 active players currently on scholarship who went through the recruiting process (I am including Hampton Hughes as a Jags recruit). 28 of them committed to BC under Jags. Four committed to BC under TOB. That leaves 45 of the active players as Spaz recruits. If you want to get even more technical and go by the coach who signed them, only 19 of the current the current 77 players signed under Jags. The remaining 58 players signed with Spaz.

2. Mike Siravo
The role of a recruiting coordinator differs from staff to staff. On some teams the Recruiting Coordinator is the lead talent evaluator and lead salesman. On other staffs, the RC serves as more of an administrator who coordinates the process and other assistants' moves and decisions. BC has never spelled out Mike Siravo's job, but given how it appears in the media, he is our primary salesman and frontline recruiter. Every player on this current roster signed with BC under Mike Siravo. Does the head coach influence approach, what BC sells, who we offer and who we don't? Sure, but Siravo is the common link between every player on the field. If recruiting was a problem under Jags, why has his recruiting coordinator stayed on for an additional three years?

3. The rest of the staff
Frank Spaziani is in his 15th season at Boston College. Bill McGovern is in his 11th season at Boston College. Ryan Day, Mike Siravo, Ben Sirmans, and Jeff Comissiong are in their fifth seasons at Boston College. If Siravo and Spaz can only do so much, where do you want to assign blame with this crew? Every player signed by BC was evaluated and recruited by 60% of the current coaching staff. These are the staffers who put together this team. They didn't inherit anything. Everything that has happened as far as players leaving or underperforming or not buying into Spaz, happened on their watch too.

4. The recruiting rankings
I am not a big believer in the recruiting rankings, but they serve as an objective, generally accepted industry benchmark. Using Rivals.com (which has followed the BC program more closely), this is how our last ten classes stacked up nationally.

2012: Not trending in the top 50 -- Spaz
2011: outside Top 50 -- Spaz
2010: 47 -- Spaz
2009: outside Top 50 -- Spaz
2008: 33 -- Jags
2007: 46 -- Jags
2006: 37 -- TOB
2005: 49 -- TOB
2004: 24 -- TOB
2003: 24 -- TOB

If you want to point to declines, it started before Jags ever returned to college. He maintained the historical BC talent level. The ratings on Spaz's recruiting are not as strong.

I don't think talent is our current issue. It's coaching. But I find the excuse making even worse. The season is far from over, but given how our coach is quick to point out flaws without taking any blame himself, I have real concerns about how this season and Spaz's tenure will end.


neenan said...

Very nice post ATL. Interesting stuff. This is the kind of post I like to see. !

SaturdaysOnShea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SaturdaysOnShea said...

I'm glad that this has finally been spelled out. Too many times, Spaz apologists blame Jags for the team's shortcomings today and the fact most of these players are Spaz guys. "The Cupboard was bare" excuse is not holding water anymore and I hope more people begin to recognize that.

The Sean McMahon said...

I agree that Jags didn't recruit well, but I also agree neither has Spaz. And you can't blame Jags for the team looking unprepared this season, the dumb mistakes players keep making this year, the predictable play calling, etc. I still think a large part of the blame has to be put on Gene DeFilippo, who probably passed over better coaches to pick his golf buddy Jags and then became a laughingstock with the way it ended.

Big Jack Krack said...

Looks like we've been smoke and mirrors since 2005, and we will be paying for the Spaziani/DeFilippo Effect for a long time. Unfortunately, this will not be a quick fix - this is a mess.

It seems reasonable to me that our program should aspire to and reach the goal of a recruiting ranking between 20 and 35 every year - year in and year out. That is quite attainable and quite reasonable. Perhaps the high end of the ranking is a stretch (maybe not) but the low end should not be. Look at our ten year Sagarin Power Rating to show that BC can do this.

To fall out of the Top 50 as is happening with Spaz is totally unacceptable and there has to be accountability.

It will take us 5 years to recover from this fiasco - what a shame.

Big Jack Krack said...

Even though it's the SEC, it has taken Steve Spurrier 5 years to build the Gamecocks into a winner - and he has no restrictions on recruiting. He had to clean up the mess left by Lou Holtz.

That's where I came up with the 5 years. Maybe we'll get lucky and turn our fortunes around sooner. But first we have to deal with the problems - HC, Coaching Staff, Recruiting Coordinator and ultimately the AD. We haven't done that yet.

CS92 said...

You should really know if you have a good coach by year 3. By year 3...
Bicknell had a great year (thanks to #22).
Coughlin knocked off the #1 team in the country in year 3
Henning had a losing season and let scandal enter the program.
TOB turned it around in year 3.
We'll never know what Jags would have done.
Spaz is currently running the program into the ground. I would be stunned if he gets to 6 wins this year. It should be clear to everyone, that he is not a long-term answer. The sooner he is fired the better.

John said...

Agree with CS92. As a season ticket holder, it is so hard to cheer for the team and root against Spaz. We need to start the new era in 2012. As I have said before, if Spaz comes back next year, I will give up my season tickets.

FYI -Wake favored by 1 1/2. We have sunk to a new low.

Mr. Tambourine MAn said...

Didn't Spaz say this would be his best recruiting class ever since they were in on the ground floor with all these recruits? Jags got positive momentum in year 1, Spaz continues to trend downward.

Side note: Those stats do provide some support for the "Jags inherited the best talent in BC history" and managed to squander it arguments.

Lenny Sienko said...

One of Spaz's top recruits from St.Xavier, with whom we must maintain good relations, is talking about backing out.

Daniels Rethinking

hsk said...

I would think that our current mess is going to cause many a recruit to pause and ponder their future commitment to the Eagles. As I think about this more than I want, and distress over not being able to witness competitive football, I am beginning to come to the conclusion that this administration doesn't particularly care about the success of the team/program. For example, there are so many obvious issues that haven't been addressed over the most recent years that you can only conclude that it doesn't matter to Fr. Leahy and the rest. This is not the first time that we had to endure some lean years, but one thing in the past was always being assured of at least a good time while being on campus. That "good time" is gone, and nothing has been done to address any of the issues which have been presented on this blog over and over again these past few years. It continues to feel as if you are trespassing while on campus, you are being watched at every turn, and it is expected that your stay on campus is as brief and inconvenient as possible. It is similar to living in denial, and perhaps when one "hits bottom" change will begin to take place. Unfortunately, I am not sure how many of us are willing to hang around and wait to witness this bottoming out.

Jeff said...

"Looks like we've been smoke and mirrors since 2005..."

Based on what? Recruiting rankings? You've gotta be kidding me. Recruiting rankings don't mean much. Yeah, I guess Matt Ryan, Castonzo, and Herzlich were all "smoke and mirrors." Ridiculous!

Mr. Tambourine MAn said...

Herzlich and Ryan were high three stars. Castanzo went to a PG year before coming to school. They're not perfect, but the rankings do give insight.

Big Jack Krack said...

The way in which I expressed myself was ridiculous.

What I meant to say was that we are trending down for sure - and we see the results of poor recruiting.

We had below our own average recruiting in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

It's tough enough to play with the big boys with questionable coaching, but when combined with lack of talent (in the trenches)we are hurting. Combine that with injuries and players leaving the program and we are in a tough spot.

canttakeit said...

From the bostn Herald- Between GD salary (over 1 mill, which is standard for a "good" ad) His fired coaches and present non-functioning coaches. (I dont include Donahue yet, though I don't think slow white players are going to compete-hope I am wrong) He is costing BC over 5 mill per year. This also does not include woman's bball. No one ever says a thing about the 2 great baseball coaches that he let get away

Erik said...

With all respect, you lead with how much he's paying people as if it is a bad thing, but then indicate he should have paid more to the baseball coaches who left for higher paying jobs, and baseball is purely a cost center.

If Notre Dame and Virginia Tech (or whichever schools it was) wants to overpay our baseball coaches to lure them away, then let them - we don't need a bidding war. BC baseball has 30 fans per game. That is why no one mentions it.

Big Jack Krack said...

What concerns me are things like this. While our lines are being pushed around by the likes of NW, UCF, Duke and UMass - Clemson has been named the National Team of the Week of College Football for its 35-30 win over Florida State on September 24.

Clemson downed the 11th ranked Seminoles to give the Tigers a second win over a top 20 team in eight days - and now they are going up against another top 20 team in VT at Blacksburg. We have been even with or better than Clemson since we joined the ACC IMO (at least final score wise) - but now they are clearly pulling away from us with a new offensive scheme and a very positive attitude.

They are trending up, and we are trending down. Clemson could put up 50 or 60 against us October 8th.

Then we'll see some real squirming.

I don't take any delight in this, but rather I am mad and embarrassed to think what might actually happen when we get into the meat of the schedule.

Laxman said...

I agree with some of this post and disagree with some. To be fair Spaz came in very very late in the recruiting process so he's not had 3 full years. Most all of his recruits have broken into the 2 deep. But that doesn't make them good when your depth is wafer thin! Also the number of defensive recruits was abnormally low under Jags, not sure why. Could have been Jags wanted to focus on O (which was hinted at by Spaz when Jags left). You can't simply dismiss the sheer number of players that have left from the 2008 class and also the injuries. Its going to catch up and have an effect sooner or later and we are feeling it now.

HOWEVER, what concerns me most is that it appears the staff Spaz assembled is not able to coach up the players they have. The O and D lines have been nothing short of disasters since Spaz took the job. His first choice at an OC was a disaster and perhaps his 2nd as well. This tells me no matter who we recruit it won't matter.

Also, and I never thought it that big a deal, your Head Coach should be a promoter for the program. Spaz is a wet noodle when talking with the press. I get the whole not giving anything away, circle the wagons us against the world crap but recruits and their parents and coaches watch these interviews and you only get 1 chance at a first impression. Spaz needs work on his Media Presence!

We are not a 1-3 team talent wise. At worse we should be 3-1. That 2 game swing is on Spaz in my book.

I just don't think the guy is head coach material at this point and frankly I"m not interested in waiting to see if he is going to become one.

canttakeit said...


It is a bad thing because these are his mistakes. That is money that now will handcuff any future moves. He hire Jags and fired him. Knew he wanted to get rid of Skinner-extended him-before firing him. Has now extended Spaz. Baseball is important in the ACC. It is important not to be embarrassed. There was a great deal of fanfair, maybe not fans, when they went to the world series in 09 and had the players drafted. And please, losing coaches to our biggest rivels. That figure doesn't even count the money pissed away on assistant coach contracts. All is a big deal because the administration is also so rectionary when it comes to the press. Out of the 3 highest paid positions at the school 2 do not work there. Is there a chance they will add a third even when the stop paying Jags and Skinner. All Jags and Spaz money could have been used to hire a real coach.

BobW said...

Your "facts" are completely wrong. BC was ranked #38 in recruiting by Rivals in 2011. The second completely misleading item is that Spaz is listed for 2009. The recruiting class of 2009 is the year that Jags left the cupboard bare. When Spaz came in the recruiting season for 2009 was all but finished. That was Jags recruiting class and not Spaziani's!
Here's the link for the 2011 rankings:

Bob B. said...

BC simply can't compete for recruits with the top ACC teams like Clemson and FSU because we have academic standards. Most elite recruits (like the ones FSU and Clemson have gotten the past couple years) couldn't qualify academically for BC even if they wanted to. To make up for this, BC has always been able to use a favorable scheme and sound coaching to its advantage. Now that we clearly don't have the upper hand in terms of coaching, we cannot expect to compete. Recruiting is not the real issue here because it will never be great. One can use the Rivals rankings to blame this mess on recruiting failures, but has BC ever really been a recruiting powerhouse? Even the great Matt Ryan was an unheralded 3-star recruit...