Monday, December 19, 2011

Year in Review: Biggest Disappointments

In the past when I've done the "Biggest Disappointments" people felt it was unfair to single out college kid for being disappointments. In keeping with the tradition but softening the criticism, I did not target any particular player this year. Also, I could say 1. Spaz 2. Spaz 3. Spaz and be done, but that's not the spirit of this. We all know how bad Spaz is. This series is about looking at more specific aspects of this season.

1. Kevin Rogers/Dave Brock. Gary Tranquill was the scape goat of Spaz's first two seasons. That was all suppose to change this year. We know what happened. We had the worst total offense in the ACC and scored the fewest points. Our national rankings were also pitiful. Rogers can escape some of the blame since he wasn't around very long and our Northwestern game wasn't bad. But he still was around long enough to make an impact and didn't. I've been advocating that Brock stay on as OC, but that is not an endorsement of how he handled things. We remained ultra conservative, put in predictable packages and never did one thing well.

2. Offensive Line. Apologists for Spaz and Sean Devine will say that our offensive line is lacking talent. I disagree. I think many former BC Oline coaches could have molded these guys into better units. As I pointed out during the season, we had trouble executing a basic double team.

3. The hype surrounding our schedule. I was as guilty as anyone of thinking our schedule was tough. It was a paper tiger. Northwestern was very beatable and lost to Army. Central Florida dominated us, yet never looked the same again. The Florida State team that killed us had serious issues. Spaz thought Notre Dame was a "Top 5" team yet they had four losses.


CT said...

I'm not sure how you could have thought that any ACC schedule is tough. Aside from the Big East, there's not a better conference to be bad in than the ACC. Our four wins came against opponents with a combined record of 20-31 (UMass included at 5-6). Eight losses vs. a combined record of 57-41 (Take away Clemson and Va. Tech and our other six opponents were 36-36).

The OL was a problem starting a year ago when we played Kent State and their D Line beat us up. If it's not talent, then the coaches really have issues. That's two seasons of sub-par play vs. a relatively soft schedule. No offense to the guys playing, but I do think we're talking talent, esp. in pass protection.

The biggest disappointments for me are the OL, the inability to win in a mediocre conference, and the glaring lack of a playmaking WR for the 86th year in a row. Nice recruiting, fellas.

mod34b said...

ATL -- How much input and control does Spaz have over play calling?

You gotta figure that he goes over and approves the game plan days before the game.

I wonder if Spaz is vetting the game-time play calling. I think he is. He certainly is in control of clock (mis)management. So he must have some veto power/control on play calling.

How else to explain the same pathetic game strategy remaining unchanged through 3 coordinators?

Bottom line: Spaz is beyond horrible and he infects the entire program.

To me the biggest disappointment was the defense, especially through the first half of the season. In fact, you could say that the big decline in the defense was the difference between going 4-8 and going 7-5 or 6-6.

FakeShalomTfree said...

Disappointment # 4) The arrogance of the athletic department, their shameless defense of the team and coaching staff using the Globe and Herald as a mouthpiece.

As much as I disagree with keeping Spaz, it would have been an easier pill to swallow if GDF was forthright about the team's issues.

Hopefully the Trustees take notice of the decline in donations and empty seats this year, which i'm sure will be spun as byproduct of the weak economy (which is obviously B.S.)

Big Jack Krack said...

Wow - where to start?

Overall, my biggest disappointment was the philosophy of playing not to lose too badly, rather than playing to win. We do not have the players to be ultra conservative on offense. I remember Doug Flutie saying a few years back that in his day "we had to finesse teams; now BC is strong enough to go head to head" or words to that effect.

Well the considerable drop off was heartbreaking enough - but for the AD and HC to blame everyone else but themselves was a huge disappointment.

I personally would have appreciated some finesse on offense. Here are the results:

Total Offense = 112/120
Scoring Offense = 112/120
Rushing Offense = 83/120
Passing Offense = 100/120
Sacks Allowed = 65/120
3rd Down Conversions = 93/120
Time of Possession = 42/120

Our time of possession was not outrageously bad - but Spaziani uses it to keep the other team off the field rather than first and foremost trying to put points on the board. The other offensive results were astoundingly pathetic.

We almost have to ask ourselves - do we want to compete in FBS? I think the answer is a loud YES - so let's do it properly. Let's put in the effort in recruiting and coaching.

Total Defense = 72/120
Scoring Defense = 44/120
Passing Defense = 80/120
Rushing Defense = 60/120
Tackles for Loss = 113/120
Sacks = 114/120

We are a disciplined team - let's build on that.

Fewest Penalties per game = 8/120
Fewest Yards Penalized per game = 5/120

Big Jack Krack said...

Mod - I don't know for sure, but once the offensive coaches study the opponent and formulate their game plan, I'm sure they meet with the Head Coach.

This is where Spaziani probably says - no, you're crazy, we're not going to do that. etc.

Depending on how hard they fight, Spaziani wins. That's probably what's happening.

I am watching closely for any coaching changes - particularly Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach for the 2012 season.

We need to pray for coaches that can overwhelm Spaziani - by that I mean have discussions with him, of course, but ultimately run their own show with confidence and without fear.

Tough to find those guys, I guess.

janebc said...

My biggest disappointment? The BC BOT and Administration, for permitting one man to bring down the football program for the sake of his own ego and his reluctance to admit a terrible mistake. And then, in allowing that same individual to blatantly insult the fans who are devoted to BC football.

Big Jack Krack said...

Balteagle - I agree that the drop off in attendance and enthusiasm is very disheartening.

I remember flying up for the Wake Forest game - we drove through Cleveland Circle one hour before the game and you wouldn't even know there was a game that day.

The only time I had to apply the brakes was at a red light. Once on Commonwealth Ave I drove right into the Brighton Campus without having to slow down.

Only a complete idiot would blame this apathy on the bad economy. The lowest attendance and second lowest attendance in 18 years since stadium expansion belong to Frank Spaziani and Gene DeFilippo. We have probably 10,000 empty seats every game in a 44,500 seat stadium.

Everyone comes late and leaves early because of the tailgating rules - disgraceful.

We need an AD who will fight for his fans/alumni - not for city and town governments and neighborhood associations!!!!! Get your priorities straight, Gene.

And get the students on the sidelines close to the floor at Conte - are you blind?

janebc said...

I could also add that I am disappointed in Spaz; I (naively) thought he would be big enough to admit that he was incapable of doing this job, and would make way for a younger, more enthusiastic coach who could do just that. I think he has a lot of nerve to come back next season.

Big Jack Krack said...

Well stated, Jane.

mod34b said...

janebc -- did you really think Spaz would quit?

a) he wants the $3-4,000,000 owed for retirement (who wouldn't?)

b) he is a life-long #2. He is never standing up to an authority figure on principle

c) see a)

Tim said...

"And get the students on the sidelines close to the floor at Conte - are you blind?"


janebc said...

mod 34-Spaz's generally weariness, his defeated and discouraged demeanor, along with his outdated, play-not-to-lose mentality, did lead me to believe that he was ready to call it a day. I thought he would be shamed into leaving, if nothing else. I now admit I was naive. I overestimated his character and underestimated his sheer nerve.

mod34b said...

it is none of those things jane.

Why would a 64 year-old guy who had been making $200,000 or $300,000 his whole life give up a guaranteed $3,000,000 to $4,000,000 when his next move is retirement? it is a big payday for Spaz that will determine the quality of the rest of his life.

Answer: He'll go for the $$ (and so would 99% of everyone else).

I don't blame Spaz for choosing the $$. It is the rational choice.

janebc said...

I disagree. I believe that pride demands you to leave a job you are incapable of doing.

dixieagle said...

In this case, $$$ clearly trumped pride and common sense.

I am completely astonished that someone in the Powers that Be hasn't reacted strongly to the fact that a BC football program that has been a point of pride and in large part responsible for our high profile is in a rapid downward spiral. Are they this stupid?

JD BC90 said...

The right thing for Spaz to do, given GDF's refusal to fire him, is to approach the admin about a friendly buyout. The choice is not resigning and walking away with nothing vs. full salary for the life of the contract. It is negotiating probably 50 cents on the dollar, making arrangements for the assistants until they find a new job, securing a tuition allowance for your kids through grad school if the so choose to attend BC, forgiving part of a loan or mortgage if he has one through BC and leaving with a shred of dignity. That way there is some face saving on both sides and he will have at least somewhat of a positive legacy at BC. As it stands now, I would say there is at least an 80% chance that Spaz's tenure at BC will end very badly probably with him having to step down or announce he is leaving before the end of a season - hopefully the next one even though I am still praying for a miracle THIS year !!

But for all I know GDF has loaded Spaz's contract with enough poison pills and guaranteed post-employment benefits that he has no reason to do the right thing.

The two headed idiot monster known as GDFSpaz is doing serious harm financially and to the reputation of the program and the school with this act. Shame!

Peanut said...

I suppose the biggest disappointment of the year for me was when I received bad intel regarding Spaz’s address, and I ended up egging the wrong house! Still a fun night though..

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Knucklehead said...

I am not sure why Spaz would be shamed into leaving.

Nobody of repute/power has said publicly that he is doing a poor job. The big boosters keep a low profile.

Don't put it past Gene to provide motivation to local writers to create a postive spin on the season.

Specifically, go back and read Mark Blaudshum(spelling) articles about Boston College from prior to 2011. ALL the old articles have a negative spin against the team/program. Suddenly he changes his tone?

EL MIZ said...

the idea that spaz is going to approach the administration and request a buyout for going 4-8 after an 8-5 season and a 7-6 season borders on delusional. do you watch spaz's halftime and post game comments, where every loss is attributable not to his fraidy cat coaching but to players failure to execute? even the duke game, where spaz failed to center the ball (something middle school football coaches would do) on the last running play blamed the loss on quigley for missing from the far hashmark.

the biggest disappointment is spaz just for his general stewardship of the program into the ground. second biggest disappointment has to be the offense; for 3 years we have had a predictable and boring offense that fails to score points. i would rank rettig's progress as the third biggest disappointment but i hate to blame the players, especially when there has been such pathetic leadership at the top.

fact of the matter is, spaz is going to coach BC in 2012 and there is very little we can do about it. we can influence whether he is still coaching in 2013 by not going to the games, but i think the on-field play will dictate that more than the amount of people in the seats, especially with a tone-deaf and ignorant AD who couldn't care less about the fans or what they think.