Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Two takes on the Spaz situation

The divide on Spaz will soon be the public narrative whenever BC takes the field. Every week at least one writer will take him down, while another provides some sort of cover. You saw it Monday with different takes from the student paper and local paper.

The first is Paul Sulzer of The Heights:

BC is still paying for the mistake of hiring an unqualified head coach. The Eagles are one of four BCS conference teams without a win over a Division 1 team. They might be touchdown-plus underdogs against all but two of their remaining opponents (Maryland and NC State). Their current recruiting class ranks outside the top 50, according to Rivals.

If the cupboard was bare before, it's about to become barren.

The second is from Eric Avidon of the Patriot-Ledger:

Spaziani has a pedigree, developing superb defenses for years as a coordinator at BC under Tom O’Brien and Jeff Jagozinski – the coaches whose sudden departures damaged two of BC’s recent recruiting classes, players who would now be in their third and fifth years in the program, respectively.

Now because one is a BC student and one is a professional, you might say that one is more informed or appropriately dispassionate. I would disagree. What is poor professional form is taking the depth argument at face value and not digging deeper.

Spaz could have veteran talent if he and his staff had managed things a little differently. There was no more obvious a reminder than Saturday when the Raycom broadcast flashed back to the end of the 2009 BC-Wake Forest game. In the winning play freshman Isaac Johnson knocks the ball lose and it is covered by Junior Wes Davis and freshman Alex DiSanzo. Now DiSanzo and Johnson were contributors as freshmen and on the field in the most important play of the game. Yet neither are with the program now when they would be Juniors. Spaz apologists will say that neither were good guys and didn't belong at BC. Johnson was from Everett and DiSanzo was from Don Bosco. Aren't those the type of guys BC has thrived with over the past 15 years? When does Spaz and his staff get the blame for not finding a place for those guys and keeping them as part of the program?


EL MIZ said...

here is a more national writer (ESPN's Pat Forde) criticizing spaz:

Coach who should take the bus to work

Frank Spaziani (38), Boston College. Spaz was dealt a bad hand when running back and preseason ACC Offensive Player of the Year Montel Harris got hurt and missed the first three games. But still, the offensive ineptitude in Chestnut Hill has been sobering.

In Spaziani's first year as head coach, the Eagles averaged 24.8 points per game and went 8-5. Last year the scoring dipped to 18.5 points and the record to 7-6. This year BC is 1-4 and averaging 20.6 points -- but just 14.5 against FBS competition. And after playing four at home in the first five, the next three are on the road.

JBQ said...

Actually, the info on Isaac Johnson and Alex DiSanzo is quite shocking. As is known, Wes Davis had severe back problems which led him to retire early this past year as co-captain.

mod34b said...

The patriot ledger article truly was comical. Nobody but Spaz and possibly the author could possibly believe that farce

Andrew S. said...

Avidon's arguments don't really make much sense to me. The argument basically boils down to "throw players under the bus for being not good" because Spaz previously had great defenses and shouldn't be blamed for not having good defenses now since there should be different players on the team.

What? My head hurts. Does this line of reasoning explain the inept offensive line? I'm being told that if we had a handful of different 3rd and 5th year players on the team then this season would be hunky dory. I wish I could believe that. For instance, we got the best RB in school history back in the lineup after missing a few early losses... still lost to Wake :( Should we blame Jags and TOB for losing to WF? If the problem is a gap in recruitment, wouldn't people sorta expect a coach to go out and ... I dunno... like... recruit better stuff so that we don't have to lose to Duke at footballs? Is that asking too much from a head coach who's recently been extended?

Also...didn't Gene fire both of those guys mentioned? So isn't this pro-Spaz article basically saying that this is all Gene's fault? But aren't Spaz supporters supposed to be Gene guys, since Spaz was Gene's choice? I don't know what's going on here. Can this be explained to me?

blockparty said...

Kudos to the heights writer for calling out spaz. I am surprised the school paper is openly demanding a change. When I was at bc, it was the ohliger years and if you wore those 'ohliger for heisman' shirts, you'd catch some shit from the football team for giving their teammate/brother a hard time. Not so, anymore, the spaz at the helm. Cohesive? #firespaz #firegene

neenan said...

I think DiSanzo left on his own. Went to Townson State with Sterlin. Both wanted more PT. DiSanzo was not going to breaking through the LB depth chart. So, losing and LB and RB to lack of PT is not on Spaz.

But losing LeGrande, O etc. is on Spaz. Not recruiting quality DLs, OLs, DBs is all on Spaz and his misfit coaches.

By the way, we can see just how good Damik Scafe was now that he is gone. He was the biggest reason we were so good against the run last year. None of the present DLs come close to Scafe.

Big Jack Krack said...

What is the real deal on Ramsey? I think he would have helped us this year. Is it injury or attitude?

Big Jack Krack said...

I posted this on another board in anticipation of what might happen at Clemson this Saturday -

Colorado put up 62 points on us in Tucson on 12/31/99. Other than that, I don't ever remember a team scoring that many points going back to the 60's. WVU hit us for 59 in '88 (A Bicknell disgrace); Army stuck us for 58 in '68 (when I was in the Army) and ND poked us in the eye with 54 points in '92.

Although Dabo's boys managed only 10 points last year in a pitiful display in Boston - things have changed so much for these two teams that Clemson will threaten to score the most points against BC in history. At least we are kind of expecting this, unlike the Holy Cross shocker in 1942! Frank, you have 6 if not 7 games left to prevent the record - what are the odds? You also have 6 if not 7 games to make this the most embarrassing year in my memory - and I have been a fan for a long time. Thanks for all you do for BC - what a guy! I don't know that we have ever been blown out more than twice in one year. Frank, you can get the record this year because your cupboard was left bare by O'Brien and Jagodzinski - what a shame that you were handed such a shit deal on your dream job.

Don't forget to give Napoleon DeFilippo his kickback when you get your buyout. We know it's simply been a conspiracy for both of you to line your retirement pockets at our expense.

neenan said...

BJK, last year you ripped on Tranquil like crazy. But you never complained about Spaz. I guess 3rd-n-Tranq was not the real problem after all??

Big Jack Krack said...

Hello Jimmy - point well taken.

I had serious doubts about Spaziani, and kept them more to myself, I guess. I of course wished that he was not elevated to the HC position. The fact that he hired Tranquill at all was an indicator of his ineptitude. Tranquill's time had come and gone, and he was wrong for BC at a time we could have used a little finesse in our offense.

I think I was hoping that I was somehow mistaken about the man, Spaziani. But the 3rd year is "gloves off" time. Spaz stinks and he has surrounded himself with sub-par coaches.

A Peter Principle guy if ever there was one. Way to go, Napoleon.

John said...

I am sure you have all seen this - Clemson favored by 21. I'd take Clemson. I am hoping in 3-4 years this will all be a bad memory and BC will again be a 9 win team, 5-3 in he ACC.

I have a question for everyone -- what is the # of the BC season ticket holder base and if Spaz comes back what % will they lose?

For the record, I am a season ticket holder.

Big Jack Krack said...

One final thought for my day - and it's high time I shut up anyway.

I hate being so negative - it sucks the energy right out of the room, so to speak. Negative thoughts bring nothing constructive into your life. They only bring you down, make you feel sad and depressed. You want to avoid them to keep a healthy mind.

Positive thoughts, on the other hand, bring you well-being and make you happy. You want a positive mindset on your quest for success.

Our college football team is our recreation - it is our enjoyment - our passion.

I am sorry for being so negative and might have to keep my thoughts to myself until this is straightened out.

mod10aeagle said...

Positive thoughts ... Eagles Hockey opens this Friday in the Ice Breaker Tournament! BC faces Michigan State at 5 p.m. EST, and it's on Fox College Sports Central (around channel 262 for Boston-area Comcast subscribers).

Freshman named Johnny Gaudreau sounds like he could be the next Brian Gionta or Nathan Gerbe.

Go Eagles!

Walter said...

#firespaz or not, there is no defense against the fact that Spaz has not been given a full five years to flesh out his players, or at least not a convincing one to me.

A bad coach is a bad coach and two more years may not change the fact, but I think Spaz, if fired, would have plenty of room to say that he was not given enough time to develop his own recruited players.

I think Spaz is bad for other reasons, but I can't ignore the coaching carousel that would exist at BC if we lost yet another coach in such a short span of time. (Especially when this is the first (looking to be) truly abysmal season we've had during that time span.)

neenan said...

Walter - Keep Spaz for 5 years so we avoid accusation of a coaching carousel?

Does Spaz have some god-given right to screw up the program for 5years? Who really cares what pathetic excuses Spaz spouts once he is canned.

Your post is ridiculous in the extreme. But was it a spoof? did i miss some subtlty?

ATL_eagle said...


How about that Spaz's trends make is seem that year 4 and year 5 will be worse than year 3. How about that the more of his players spaz has added to the team, the worse our performance has become. How about despite staff changes our offense still cannot score. And not to get ageist, but Spaz will be even older and more out of touch in Year 4 and Year 5. This is a guy who is skipping ACC media obligations to go watch baseball. Does it seem like he has a burning desire to turn this thing around?

canttakeit said...

Some one might deserve 5 years if they are treading water. A total downhill slope warrents nothing.

The third year is the final year that a team takes on their coaches identity. It might not show in wins but it shows in attitude and performance. The great coaches-Tom Coughlin- had his stamp on the team by the end of his first year. Though they lost to Miami that was an inspiring game. The excitment was building for the next years. Spaz and his ineptitude began his first year, while there was still carryover from the previous coaching staffs. It has gone downhill each year. (see Dan Henning. Even Chlebek trended up going 12-10 over his last 2 years. This is bad and only going to get worse. Have you seen any signs of offensive improvement? They actually moved the ball better in 2009 with a guy who had not played quarterback in 8 years. They went up and down the field in some games, just couldn't score. Plus the moron has had Montel for 2 years. How will they be without him . Sorry I am ranting. I had plans to go to Clemson with my kids. Would rather pay $375.00 to cancel the flights than watch this sorry display. If he is back next year Geno can count my 4 tickets and donor fees out. There will be nobody in those padded seats in my section.

mod10aeagle said...

Are there examples of coaches and programs that fell this far, this fast, igniting fury and worse - flight - in the fans but then climbed back up and out of the hole and went on to achieve something much, much better than mediocrity? It's hard to be hopeful.

BCballer said...

Just for fun...gallows fun, perhaps...I used to troll the New Mexico message board. That's New Mexico, until last week home of the 2-27 Mike Locksley.

They finally canned Coach Locksley, who like Spaz, was in year #3 of scorching the earth...in Albuquerque, rather than Chestnut Hill.

Know this: There were still apologists rationalizing why Locksley should be retained. Their reasons were eerily similar to the crap spewed by Spaz supporters.

I consider it the Stockholm syndrome, football-style.

Walter said...

Jimmy, it's not ridiculous to the extreme. It's just a fact that if we fire Spaz, we will have fired someone after a pretty short time period, getting rid of 3 coaches in an also pretty short time period. What does that say to future coaches? Would you want to coach there?

Atleagle, I take your trending downwards points. But our staff changes havent exactly worked out and I don't think that's his fault, either. We hired a new offensive coordinator, and for extremely murky reasons, he's gone. That's not all on Spaz. And that is ageist. I'm not going to doubt our coach's desire to coach at BC, because I can't imagine he'd hang around just because he had nothing better to do. How important are ACC media days anyway?

canttakeit, I agree with some of your points, but I do think our offense has gotten better this year (not that last year's offense was at all hard to top). They dont run it up the middle every single play. That is improvement, however pathetic.

Look, I don't like Spaz. I don't. But I don't see BC getting rid of him under any circumstances for the rest of the season. There is a case to be made that it's just wrong to fire someone after you don't give them much time, especially one of the few people who has ever been loyal enough to our program to stick around for as long as he has.

Jeff said...

“It’s a tremendous challenge, and the higher the reward the more opportunity there is. Playing a ranked team in their own stadium is a tremendous opportunity.”

Shocking to hear Spaz say something like this. His quotes are always so pessimistic and deflating - it's what bothers me most about him. Sometimes it feels like he's not even trying to win - just trying not to "lose too badly".