Monday, April 30, 2012

A glimpse into the new offense via Steve Logan

Steve Logan is long gone from BC, but with his former protege Doug Martin taking over the offense, I predict you will see some of Logan's touches on the new offense. There are two big takeaways from these two videos: 1. how the offense is taught and 2. what is the core philosophy.

The best part for me is the discussion is getting rid of the ball off of the five step drop. It speaks to an aggressiveness that has been lacking from BC for the entire Spaz era. Logan concedes that the QB will get hit, but he also has faith that his guy will get rid of the ball and that a big play will be there.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Baseball sweeps Wake and other links

BC Baseball has struggled in a variety of ways this season. But a sweep of an ACC rival makes everything seem a little better. Over the weekend, BC beat Wake Forest 2-1, 6-1 and 9-5. It was the first sweep of Mike Gambino's tenure and the first since 2010. There hasn't been much to cheer about this year, but maybe the team can finish strong.

Chris Kreider's amazing run continued on Saturday. (Thanks to all for the links.) If the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, this will become a big BC story.

Lacrosse beat Yale 16-5.

The Softball team lost to Maryland to fall to 2-16 in conference play.

For those who missed it last week, the Army football game will be at noon and shown nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Also from last week (but important), O'Neill Plaza will have added green space.

Former Eagle Dominique Davis signed with the Falcons, where he will reunite with Matt Ryan.

A BC student was found dead in Walsh over the weekend. The cause of death remains unknown, although foul play is not suspected. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fletcher signs with Jets

After going undrafted, Donnie Fletcher signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets. I am happy for Fletcher and his family. Let's hope the new NFL roster rules will allow him to make a good impression. Being a free agent still makes him a long shot to make the final team. However, plenty of his former teammates have built NFL careers after going undrafted. Good luck, Donnie.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Interview with Erik Johnson and other links

BC posted an video interview with new women's basketball coach Erik Johnson. It seems like he has the right approach to turning the program around.

Donnie Fletcher couldn't have gone this far without his aunt and uncle. Also note how important Ben Sirmans was in recruiting him. Sirmans was the lead recruiter on Kuechly too.

Jerry York answered some questions from the BC Chronicle.

Soccer MVP Kate McCarthy is playing Lacrosse this spring.

More praise for Chris Kreider.

BC held a Draft party last night. It seems like a good idea to raise interest and please donors. Maybe they do it again when we have another first rounder.

Spaz becoming his caricature

Multiple people have sent this or commented on it, so I thought it deserved its own post. This is from the Globe's article on Luke Kuechly.

The choice by the Panthers drew praise from BC coach Frank Spaziani. “A great choice,’’ he said. “He will be perfect for them. And it was the perfect pick for me as well since it came two minutes before my bedtime.’’

Spaz should stop trying to be funny. His quips fall flat. He also shouldn't joke about things that other coaches are saying about him. Once Spaz wins the ACC I will hire a drummer to follow him around hitting rimshots after every joke. Until then focus on football and not being funny.

(For those wondering, Kuechly was drafted at approximately 8:55 PM.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Panthers draft Kuechly 9th overall

After all the speculation and despite plenty of trades coming in the first round, Luke Kuechly ended up as a Top 10 pick. The Carolina Panthers selected him with the 9th pick overall. Kuechly is the 10th Eagle to have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in the last 13 years.

Congratulations to Luke, his family and the BC football program. Now he'll get to square off against Matt Ryan twice a year, every year.

Here is the Carolina leadership talking about him and their expectations. The Draft continues over the weekend and we can hope that Donnie Fletcher joins Kuechly as a BC draftee.

Who are the future 1st rounder's currently on the BC roster?

19 BC football players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. We all hope Luke Kuechly becomes the 20th tonight. I think most BC fans realized Kuechly would be a high pick during his amazing sophomore season. I don't think many feel as strongly about our current roster. There are no obvious first-round picks, but I do think a few players have the chance. Let's look at the guys who can still play their way into the first round.

Kevin Pierre-Louis KPL played at an all conference level before injuries slowed him down in the middle of the season. Like Kuechly, he's very instintive, very productive and covers a ton of space. He's got good speed. The biggest question is size. KPL will need to add a little more bulk to his frame like Kuechly did. If he has stays healthy and productive over the next two seasons, I think he could be a first-round pick in 2014.

Kaleb Ramsey Kaleb Ramsey has one season to take his game to the next level. He's got the build and has shown flashes of potential, but NFL scouts are likely to questions his heart and desire. He needs to have a big year, stay healthy and prove to teams that he wants to play football.

Dominic Appiah At times it might seem like I am President of the Dominic Appiah fanclub, but I do think he has great game-changing potential. Plus BC has a history of producing solid NFL DTs. Because he's got so much playing time head of him, Appiah has the most upside. We know he is in the right system to display his talents. Now let's hope he develops and gets better every year.

Chase Rettig This might seem like the ultimate BC fan post considering he has a completion percentage in the low 50s, but Rettig has a few things going for him. NFL teams will like his size and arm strength. They will appreciate that he took a beating and kept playing. They will like that he's had to learn new systems and adapt to different coordinators. But if Chase wants to be the next Matt Ryan or even a guy considered for a late first-round pick, he is going to have to have an outstanding final two seasons. It will take a huge jump in productivity (which I will address in an upcoming post) but there is still the possibility that it can happen.

There are a few other players that may develop into something more, but for now this group stands our best chance. Let me know if you think I missed anyone else.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Kuechly projections on Draft Eve

The Mock Drafts are flying around the internet. In theory nothing has changed but that doesn't mean players aren't moving up and down draft boards. One of the "hot" names is Luke Kuechly. Luke's sudden popularity makes sense. Every draft pick is a roll of the dice. As much as team's draft for need and upside, what they all want to avoid is a bust. Busts don't help you win games. A competent, hard working, tackling machine will. Here are what some of the experts think.

Mike Mayock now believes Kuechly moves up to Buffalo with the 10th pick. The Bills haven't really been at the center of much Kuechly talk, but he did visit them last week.

The ESPN crew now thinks Kuechly could go as high as the 5th pick to Tampa. That would be a huge honor for him and a nice boost for BC. The downside is that he'd be facing Matt Ryan twice a year.

Fox News (not Fox Sports) thinks Luke ends up in Seattle. From the outset must thought Kuechly would be picked in the teens, so this makes sense.

Greg Cosell mocks his draft based on his ratings, not projections. He has Kuechly heading to Kansas City.

BCS changes and what it means for BC

The BCS meetings start this week and plenty of changes are being reviewed. While the degree of change is unknown, the direction of the meetings is great news for BC.

Semifinals Call it a Plus+1. Call it a playoff. It doesn't matter. It seems like there is finally consensus to have have a mini-postseason. A four team playoff will still be a political nightmare that would nearly always exclude a team like BC, but it is a start. Once Pandora's Box is open, the 4-team playoff will expand to an 8 or 16 team playoff. That format would give BC hope.

Home playoff games The bowls are fighting hard, but it looks like some portion of the playoff would be on campus. That would be huge for a team like BC. Bowls are never really neutral sites for us. We always travel far and don't bring fans. I know a home playoff game will be a rare occurrence at Alumni, but it is still better than playing in an empty pro stadium. I also think that home playoff games will lead to home Conference Championship games. Do you think 2007 and 2008 might have been different if the ACC Championship games were played at BC?

Minimizing the importance of "travel reputation" This movement sounds like it will kill the lower tier bowls. It also sounds like all ADs are tired of buying huge blocks of tickets. That means that the non-playoff bowl games that remain will need good TV. BC -- when playing well -- is a great TV draw. The culling of the smaller bowls, might mean BC plays in fewer bowls, but does anyone really care? I think excitement and travel related to a bowl would improve if it was a true honor.

More shared money The playoffs will mean more money. It will also be more evenly split among the major conferences. That's great news from BC and could allow us to upgrade our facilities.

The ACC sent Georgia Tech's Dan Radakovich as its representative so Gene won't have a seat at the table this week. But I hope he is a strong supporter of playoffs. It is the only solution for BC. And one day we will have a coach who can get us to the playoffs again.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Recruiting news and other links

My gut tells me that our chances with Hayden Rettig really depend on how BC does this season. If we show that we've turned the corner and can run a dynamic offense, then maybe he'll want to join his brother at the Heights. Maryland DE prospect has BC interested, but he hasn't visited campus yet. Ricky Town is 2015 prospect and already receiving interest from major programs. Wyoming is not a usual stop on our recruiting searches, but BC has offered DE prospect Donnie White Jr.

South Jersey is proud of Johnny Gaudreau.

Mike Mayock praised Kuechly's potential in the Globe and in

Not BC-related, but here is a great read on how some coaches have been hired. I think there is a happy medium between a committee and one man calling the shots. As we've seen there can be mixed results if there is no one questioning one-man show.

Catching up with Troy Bell.

Looking at other Eagle's chances in the Draft

Luke Kuechly will be drafted in the First Round of the NFL Draft. With the Draft weekend approaching, it looks like he might be the only Eagle drafted.

Of the other eligible players, only Donnie Fletcher is getting any mainstream attention. ProFootball Weekly considers him a fifth or sixth rounder and all of their anonymous gossip is bad. Rob Rang of likes him more than most but still sees him as a sixth rounder. Fletcher's got good size and is a good tackler. But will that be enough for him to overcome his lack of speed and his rumored work ethic issues. I've always liked the way he played. I think if he is drafted he will have some staying power.

While the news isn't good on Donnie, at least he is getting some attention. Even the sites that go deep into the talent pool aren't even bothering with Lars Anderson, Ryan Quigley, Mark Spinney or Max Holloway. They all have profiles on NFLDraftscout, but not one write up among them. Holloway is the most frustrating case. As dreary as BC football may have been last year, it is still better than not playing. And if he truly had NFL ambitions, one more year to get notice may have made a difference.

Ifeanyi Momah looks like a lost cause too. Because he still is not healthy enough to work out, no one will touch him. Maybe someone will bring him in this summer, but he will already be behind the eight-ball due to lack of practice and familiarity.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Everett star to Notre Dame, UMass schedule and other links

BC target John Montelus won't be joining his fellow Everett teammates at the Heights. The OL prospect committed to Notre Dame over the weekend. Remember when people justified keeping Spaz for recruiting reasons...

UMass released their future football schedules. BC will play the Minutemen in 2014, 2016 and 2018. For those who have longed for a BC game day filled with uninterrupted spacious tailgating, we will finally play a game at Gillette Stadium in UMass's 2014 opener.

How are people still saying Kuechly is too slow after the Combine?

BC baseball commit Chris Shaw is generating Major League interest.

Baseball drops doubleheader and other links

Baseball lost both of their games to NC State on Saturday. They are now 6-15 in ACC play. Their next game is Tuesday against St. John's.

Rain interrupted softball's doubleheader against Florida State. They lost the first game.

Future women's basketball player Amber Cooper hasn't played a game but is already a great story of persistence and hard work.

Connecticut LB Matt Walsh had a good visit to BC.

Caroline King medaled at the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championship.

Marc Colombo retired Friday. Who would have thought he would play so long after injuries nearly derailed that start of his career.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Skinner, Sean Williams in the news and other links

Andy Katz reported that Brown is interested in Al Skinner. I am a huge Skinner fan and would love to see him get another shot but I don't know if this is the right choice. While he knows the area, I think Brown's limited budget and lack of scholarships would pose some challenges. I don't know if he could hire an experienced staff or an ace recruiter. I also wonder if he could sell the Ivy League experience to kids who have DIA scholarship offers. Al's smart and has a good eye for coaching and playing talent. He would be a better fit rebuilding a midmajor. If he does take the Brown job, I wish him the best of luck.

Another basketball name from the past is back in Boston. Williams is lucky. You don't often get fourth chances. But he's still young and a great shot blocker. Maybe this time and this team will work.

Peter King thinks Kuechly ends up in Kansas City. This is a short Q&A with Luke from a Baltimore radio station.

With Fenway on everyone's mind, BCI posted some of the BC-moments that are part of the park's history.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Would Fenway Sports Group support a BC game in Anfield?

I've blogged before about BC Football's potential return to Ireland. While it would make sense for a BC-Notre Dame game to be played on the Emerald Isle, the game has never really gained traction (for a variety of reasons). But reading tweets about Fenway's Open House reminded me that BC partners with an aggressive sports marketing company (Fenway Sports Group) that has no problem re-purposing their stadiums if it means a few extra dollars. Since the Red Sox owners also own Liverpool FC, playing a game on their field starts to make sense.

What's in it for Fenway Sports Group?
Aside from the potential of a onetime pay day, FSG could benefit from a couple of aspects of a game. As a sports marketing company it would help flex their muscle in Europe. It could also be a test run for using Anfield for non-Liverpool FC events. I also think it extends the Liverpool FC brand in the U.S. FSG seemed to get a pink Red Sox hat on millions of women outside of New England. I think they understand the value of reaching non-traditional supporters. The game wouldn't be a merchandise play but it would help the Liverpool paraphernalia sales. Let's assume they got a team with a large U.S. fanbase to play BC (i.e. Alabama, Texas, Ohio State), wouldn't the Red Sox owners be thrilled with 5,000 LFC scarves floating around Austin or Tuscaloosa? The NFL is not coming to Liverpool. Baseball would require putting an infield on Anfield, so that is not an option. The next best thing for FSG would be college football.

What's in it for BC?
In a way, BC has less to gain than the Fenway Sports Group. There would be money, but uprooting the team and the travel costs are one of the reasons the Ireland game has never come together. But I do think the spotlight would be worth it. I don't think you would get a flood of applicants from Liverpool but I do think it would help the school gain some additional recognition in the United Kingdom. And as I mentioned in the Ireland post, it would be a chance for our BC alumni in Europe to have a big event.

Would ESPN do it?
The Red Sox would have to put up most of the money, but ESPN would have to step up too. The travel costs to England would be extreme for both teams. Additional money from ESPN would be needed. But I think they would do it gladly. They know that unique settings and gimmick games can drive ratings. Just look at the North Carolina-Michigan State basketball game from an aircraft carrier. If BC played a solid team early on a Saturday morning, people would watch. In fact I predict a live college football game as a lead in would give College Game Day its best ratings of the year.

If the Anfield game were to happen, it would take years to plan and sell. So BC wouldn't and shouldn't do it to lift the current malaise around the program. But it would be forward looking and aggressive. It would be a strong marketing move from a school that has been extremely conservative. Plus we could recruit off of it. I know both the Red Sox and BC have bigger priorities right now, but this is the type of idea that both need to explore.

Heights' Donahue Q&A and other links

The Heights has been tweeting out quotes from their Donahue Q&A for a couple of days. Today they posted it. It is very thorough and well done. Donahue is more than candid and seems to have a good perspective on BC, his players and building the program. Hats off to the writer Austin Tedesco. He looks to have a bright future covering BC sports.

Donavan Henry -- who spurned Spaz's offer to play football -- explained his choice to pursue track to the Herald.

Track's Jon Vaughn is looking to build off of his strong indoor season.

Kent State named former Eagle Danielle O'Banion their new women's basketball head coach.

Kristin Igoe, Mikaela Rix, and Covie Stanwick earned All-ACC honors in lacrosse.

Former Eagle Rakim Sanders played well at the Portsmouth Invitational, but I still doubt he'll earn a spot on an NBA roster. What can Rakim do that 40 other potential draftees cannot?

Maryland athlete Daikiel Shorts is on BC's recruiting radar.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mining Cincinnati again and other links

Since TOB's first days at BC, Cincinnati has been a vital recruiting area for BC. Being the "other" Catholic school helped us make inroads in the area's deep and talented Greater Catholic League. At first we turned guys who didn't get offers from Notre Dame and Ohio State into contributors. In later years we took some of the best talent in the area. When Ben Sirmans left there was concern about keeping a foothold in the area. To remain relevant BC is hitting the area hard again. During this week's visit we offered St. Xavier WR Trey Kilgore and La Salle DB Jaleel Hytchye. While the coaching staff was in town looking for future Eagles, former Eagle Luke Kuechly was working out for the Bengals. Luke also visited Buffalo. Mel Kiper thinks Carolina will take Kuechly with the 9th pick.

Closer to home, BC offered a scholarship to Maryland RB Rachid Ibrahim.

Even with a drop off in talent on offensive line, Rivals still recognizes our history with offensive tackles.

Moton transferring, UMass off schedule and other links

Gabe Moton is the latest basketball player to transfer away. Some are raising the red flag because it leaves us with no upperclass scholarship players, but I have no real concerns about it. Moton's playing time was likely to decrease and now Donahue can add another player to this class without robbing future recruiting classes.

Moton's former teammates won't be playing UMass this year. BC explained it away due to the expanded ACC schedule. I understand but I am disappointed. This series has a nice history and is an inexpensive non-conference game. I would rather keep UMass on the schedule and lose the inevitable random team we will replace them with.

BC recruiting target Damion Terry verballed to Michigan State.

Others mentioning Football's "malaise"

In digging into UMass's football potential, Presnap Read captured the feeling that most of us share: "malaise." If the New York Times writers have a good feel for the mood of BC fans, why doesn't our Athletic Department?

Boston College is suffering from a deep-seeded malaise; the Eagles have seen their win total drop in each of the last four years, bottoming out with a four-win finish a year ago. The program lacks direction: Frank Spaziani is the favorite son of the administration, but he has painfully mishandled the program since inheriting a strong foundation in 2009.

B.C. hasn’t been this devoid of hope entering a season since the mid-1990s — before Tom O’Brien rebuilt the program, the Eagles spent three years scuffling under Dan Henning. That situation has one major parallel with the Eagles’ current issues: Henning replaced Tom Coughlin, theoretically taking control of a team on the rise, but like Spaziani, he failed to match his predecessor’s success.

As in 1997, when the university replaced Henning with O’Brien, the Eagles might need to make a drastic change in order to regain its footing in the A.C.C. Someone like O’Brien, who altered the entire culture of the program, would constitute a drastic change — especially after Spaziani, who seems befuddled by the program’s steep decline over the last 36 months.

Using terms and words like "befuddled" and "mishandled" is never a good sign. I appreciate that Presnap also points the blame at Spaz and not Jags.

While there were other factors in the attendance issues for the Spring Game, the black eye it is bringing to the program doesn't help perception.

I would say that BC needs to do something, but if you are reading this blog you already know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What other teams can win championships at BC?

Jerry York clearly this championship thing figured out. We are also a perennial power in sailing. But in both of those cases BC benefits from some cultural and geographic advantages. We have great coaching and great athletes in both sports, but they are also working from a great foundation. With that in mind, I've been wondering which other BC teams have a basic foundation for winning a National Championship. I also through out current coaches when considering the likely hood. For example, we could have Nick Saban as our football coach and I still think we would be more likely to win a National Championship in basketball. The current championship system in football is so stacked against a school like BC. I grouped them by revenue sports and then national sports and then specialized/niche sports.

Revenue Sports
1. Women's basketball
2. Men's basketball
3. Men's football

Of the revenue sports, I think women's basketball has the best chance to win a national championship. First, their championship is decided in a tournament. Second ACC teams, private schools and teams from the northeast are the power players in the sport. With the depth of female talent in the northeast, there is no reason BC women's basketball couldn't be one of the elite. We also have a desirable campus and unlike the men's game -- with its elite players focused on the NBA -- BC can sell its academic credentials to the best high school players. While less likely, I still think the men could win a National Championship. The survive and advance aspect allows for a team with a talent disadvantage to get hot and make a run (see Butler, VCU and George Mason). But as much as those Cinderella stories make the Big Dance interesting, none of those underdogs has actually walked away with the title. The Champions have been traditional powers with the best players. If BC were to win, it would be as sort of a hybrid champ. We would be the underdog from a power conference. Football is not going to happen. As we saw in 1997 BC would have to be perfect AND watch all the more traditional powers lose at least once. Fortunately I think we are moving towards a playoff. But even then BC is going to have to earn an auto bid because it would take a miracle for us to get one of the few at large bids.

National Sports
1. Women's Ice Hockey
2. Men's Soccer
3. Women's Soccer
4. Women's Lacrosse
5. Women's Rowing
5. Women's Cross Country
6. Men's Cross Country
7. Field hockey
8. Softball
9. Baseball
10. Volleyball
11. Women's Tennis
12. Men's Tennis
13. Golf
14. Women's Swimming
15. Men's Swimming
16. Track & Field

I believe BC could be a powerhouse in Women's sports. First I think our Women's Ice Hockey team is close to a breakthrough. In a few years I could see us winning the men and women's Ice Hockey Championship in the same year. Our ACC Championship in soccer showed that BC can win at an elite level. We just need to do it in the NCAA Tournament. If you look at the rest of the list you realize that BC could be a power in Women's Sports. Peer programs in Women's soccer and Women's lacrosse are racking up Championships. BC has the appeal and the geography to do the same. We've had past success in Cross Country. The key there is recruiting and fortunately BC has shown the ability to bring in top running talent. Scholarships are an issue though. The other sports all suffer from similar issues: facilities, talent, geography and traditional. Tennis, Golf, Baseball, etc. are all dominated by big schools from sunny states. BC cannot change the weather but we would need to invest in some serious building if we ever want to compete in some of these sports. The same goes for swimming and track. We can't be a serious player to recruits if we don't have facilities.

Regional Sports
1. Fencing
2. Skiing

Fencing is improving and could be a factor. Skiing may have a chance. Eastern schools have won, but they tending to be closer to slopes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

More projections for Kuechly and other links

Considering he is a consensus first round pick, no one really seems to agree on where Luke Kuechly will go in the first round. This guy doesn't think Luke should go Top 15.

The Orlando Sentinel is starting a series on coaches on the hot seat. Guess who they feature first?

Former Eagle Brian Boyle is having a great playoff run.

Chris Kreider debuted with the Rangers and made a good first impression (considering it is the playoffs.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baseball breaks out against FSU and other links

Baseball avoided the sleep with a big day against Florida State.

BC target, quarterback Matt Alviti committed to Northwestern.

Men's Tennis lost to Duke in their final match prior to the ACC Tournament. Women's tennis lost to North Carolina in their final match before the ACC Tournament.

The BC Crew performed well at the Knecht Cup.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Women's Lax win in Crowther game and other links

Women's lacrosse beat Cal 16-6 Saturday in the first "Red Bandanna #19 Game." The goal was to honor Welles Crowther the former BC men's lacrosse player who lost his life on September 11, 2001. It was a nice win and hopefully the start of a nice tradition.

Baseball had a chance to upset No. 1 Florida State but couldn't hold the lead in the 9th.

Dan Koppen will be staying in New England a few more years.

The Football staff will be in Cincinnati this week to evaluate new recruits.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Athlon doesn't think much of Spaz

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Spaz tops Athlon's Hot Seat rankings. Getting placed their didn't mean the Athlon's editors didn't like Spaz. They just felt he has the most pressure heading into the season. However, his place on their other lists shows that they don't like him.

"No. 5 on the Worst Coach List". What's unique about Spaz's spot on this list is that he is the only coach in the Top Ten with a winning record. Athlon rehashes the Jags stuff but then correctly points out that Spaz hasn't done much to change things.

"Worst Coach in the ACC." Even though Randy Edsall inspired mutiny and apathy at Maryland, he ranks above Spaz here. Athlon points out the stats we all know:

-- Under Coach Spaziani, Boston College has scored 30 or more points just six times in 38 games
-- The Eagles won 74% of their games in the five years prior to Spaziani's arrival. BC is 20-19 under Coach Spaziani.
-- Coach Spaziani is 5-14 against teams finishing the season over .500 and 0-5 against Top 25 teams.

As the other preview magazines come out it will be interesting to read their takes on our embattled coach. I don't think there will be much praise or excuse making. How can you when entering your fourth season?

A day in the life of coaches and other links

If you haven't already, do read Spencer Hall's day spent with the Mississippi State coaching staff. It confirms the grind that goes into the job and the energy needed to do it all well. What I found interesting is Mississippi State's building spree that includes a new player's lounge. There remains a facilities race in college football and BC is far, far behind. We will need an indoor practice facility in the next five years. Also, for those keeping hope that Dan Mullen might tire of facing Alabama and LSU annually and comeback to his native New England, this article is not going to help. The guy seems to like the SEC life. If he leaves, I don't think it will be for a job like BC.

Our current coach is No. 1 on Athlon's Hot Seat list.

The Heights followed up their Humphrey's work with a quote from Donahue.

BC will play St. John's at a neutral site in Connecticut at the Tigers' Class A Facility. Ticket details are here.

BC has interest in Ohio Tight End Greg Hart.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Draft news for Luke Kuechly

ESPN tagged along with Luke and his family on a recent trip to Chicago. Luke and Spaz are saying all the right things about Luke's abilities and history. Even though everyone thinks Kansas City will draft him at 11th overall, Luke will not attend the Draft. I think its a smart move on his part. If Kansas City doesn't pick him, Luke could slide much later into the round. Why expose him to that? I am sure that ESPN can put a camera in his home where he can still get on TV. No reason for embarrassment.

Sports Science tested Luke Kuechly on their various drills. As any BC fan could predict, his scores were as good or better than current Probowlers.

Matt Ryan finally starts tweeting

As I tweeted earlier today, my neighbor and fellow Eagle Matt Ryan has finally started tweeting. Day 1 consisted mostly of Atlanta media and BC shout-outs. You can also follow Mrs. Ryan, who also still has her tabs on BC sports.

Coaches with baggage

Let's assume BC football struggles this year and makes a coaching change in the offseason. We will look at numerous coaching candidates, but consider if you would want either of these two guys.

Coach A: Has been an offensive coordinator of elite offenses in the Big East, SEC and Big Ten. Has recruited the midwest including a focus on Cincinnati. Is 46, married father of three and a devout Catholic. Played QB at a Division II Catholic College. Is the son of a coach and his brother is a high profile coach. Has a stint in the NFL. Although his brother is known as a jerk, he is well liked by recruits and coaches. He has never been a head coach and never worked at a school like BC.

Coach B: Proven winner at multiple stops at the college level. Former Coughlin staffer. Runs explosive offenses and has a reputation for getting the most out of his talent. Is difficult to work for and with and has been fired. His reputation is tarnished, but if hired would certainly need to prove himself and rebuild his image at BC. Would probably win big at his next stop.

I don't think either of these coaches would be hired by BC. The problem is they are both Petrinos.

Paul Petrino took a job at Illinois to build a profile that was separate from his successful older brother. His name was hot when the Illini started strong in 2011. But as Zook's final season started falling apart, Petrino the younger fell off of people's short list. Looking for a safe landing he returned to his brother's staff. I don't know Paul personally, but from people who do know him, his reputation is that he is the anti-Bobby. He's personable and well liked. He's big on facing the music and working well with his superiors. The Catholic stuff is second-hand but fits with his father's profile too (Bobby Sr still attends Mass four times a week). In the past Petrino could have been a great sell from BC: "he's got Bobby's Xs and Os but loves BC and is here to stay." Now the association with his brother will be a negative and probably too much for BC. When Paul does get his chance he is going to have to answer questions about his brother. Other coaches will use it against him too. If his last name was Smith, BC would probably roll the dice post-Spaz. Now I don't see it happening. There are enough blank slates with upside, that I don't think Gene or BC would want to touch Paul.

If BC is going to roll the dice on a Petrino it would probably be with Bobby. Now let me clearly say that I don't think Gene or Father Leahy would touch Bobby Petrino with a ten-foot pole. The only way Petrino would get involved with BC is if the season gets so bad and Gene and Leahy are somewhat removed from the hiring process. BC wouldn't be a bad place for him to rehab his image. He knows he could win in the ACC and do it without media scrutiny. I have no idea what is going on with the Petrino's marriage or family, but Boston and a school like BC would be an extreme change of scenery from Arkansas. It might work. And as far as BC's reputation being sullied by association with a job-hopping, jerky philanderer, if framed correctly, BC could claim that we are a forgiving community and that we are helping Petrino rebuild his career as he rebuilds BC football.

In an ideal situation, I would like the next BC football coach to be a perfect guy, with the experience, track record and personality to win big at BC. I don't know if that guy exists. We might not need to take a chance with a Petrino, but we should consider guys with issues. A coach looking to build or rebuild his reputation while rebuilding our program is not a bad trade off.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Missing student found dead and other links

[Note: This isn't sports related but it has been one of the bigger BC stories of the past few months.] The body of missing BC student Franco Garcia was found in the Reservoir. There is still no public explanation of how or why he was there. At this point all you can do is pray for the family.

For those who missed it, BC's rally for the hockey team came off pretty well. posted a photo gallery of the event. Based on twitter response Gene received some boos anytime he spoke.

California Lineman Sam Murphy plans to attend camp at BC. You would hope that BC would have an inside track with DT recruit Darius Commissiong.

Deadspin posted a great take on the Frozen Four. What I found most interesting was the former Ferris State player's reaction to Gaudreau's goal.

This is not BC-specific, but I thought it was a good read on no huddle and how teams are practicing. Reading things like this makes me feel like BC is very far removed from some of college football's best practices.

Here's NESN's preview of the football team.

Elite basketball recruit Nerlens Noel -- the brother of Jimmy Noel -- will attend Kentucky.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Insight into Humphrey and other links

Matt Humphrey's departure surprised many but not Heights writer Austin Tedesco. In this column he paints a picture of a guy who was very frustrated and separate from his teammates. Great job by Austin and I encourage other on campus reporters to leverage their time and access to write the same sorts of stories.

There were a few BC related names on Tom Lemming's Top 100 list. But at this point I don't really expect Spaz to land any of them.

Chris Kreider and the Rangers agreed to terms. He will join the team on Wednesday.

Coach Johnson is now focused on building his own recruiting pipeline. It will be interesting to see how he handles the players that were leaning towards BC under Crawley.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Guys heading to the NHL, wrestling and other links

As expected a few members of the National Championship team have signed with NHL teams. Almeida signed with the Capitals and Paul Carey agreed to terms with Colorado. The Frozen Four and BC also generated interest from the big media outlets. Grantland captured Jerry York's class and focus on winning trophies. Grantland also gave Tampa high marks for their job as host of the event. Most of the BC fans I know loved having the Frozen Four there. The New York Times got into the Frozen Four fever by having The Heights writer Greg Joyce file a piece. Congrats to Greg for the exposure.

Former BC Eagle Kevin Kiley is better known by his ring name Alex Riley. In this article Kevin/Alex shares the story of his rise and similarity between football and wrestling.

This is a pretty good look at next year's basketball team.

With HD on maternity leave there hasn't been much coverage of football on the ACC Blog. However, Matt Fortuna did post today on our rising linebackers.

BC basketball is in the mix for two transfers from Rice. The first is PG Dylan Ennis. The other is G/F Jarelle Reischel.

The Patriot Ledger wrote a long feature on BC Baseball's Anthony Melchionda. He wasn't the only baseball guy getting positive press. The Globe wrote about Kyle Prohovich being part of three generations of college baseball.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Hockey Parade and other links

BC will host the the National Champions Tuesday with a parade and rally. The parade will start at 5:30 and circle around parts of campus. The celebration will wind its way to O'Neill Plaza for a rally at 6 PM. All those in the area should come out to celebrate and thank the guys for a job well done.

Spaz received a commitment from Minnesota LB Jack Cottrell.

The offers are piling up for BC target Maurice Hurst Jr.

The BC baseball team struggled all weekend against Virginia Tech.

Latest Championship puts York in elite company

Photo courtesy of The Heights.

We like to chant "We are BC!" at sporting events and attribute any athletic success as an inevitability considering the school's motto is "Ever to Excel." But BC's 4-1 win in the National Championship wasn't really about the team effort, or the school or even the guys on the ice. All of those were factors, but our third National Title in five years and fifth overall was really about the guy behind the bench: Jerry York. York's fifth title (fourth at BC) rewrote history. He is no longer just a great hockey coach. He is a transcendent college coach who should be mentioned alongside the likes of John Wooden, Bear Bryant, Anson Dorrance, Pat Summitt and Dan Gable. Michigan's Victor Heyliger is the only college hockey coach who won more National Title's than York, but he did it in an entirely different era and he never won championships at two schools.

Like the other coaches mentioned, York has been an innovator in the sport. His focus on offense, speed and skill has changed the face of college hockey. Like other greats, he also has a great eye for talent and has managed to find small scorers and untested goalies as the backbones of multiple national championships. But what I hope people appreciate most is that York has done this all while being a class act. You'll never find anyone who has a bad thing to say about Jerry. The warmth, humor and confidence you see in front of the cameras is real.

As for the game, hats off to Ferris State. Considering the circumstances, they gave BC a tough fight. It was a tight affair until Johnny Gaudreau's beautiful goal in the 3rd.

I'll have more on the celebration in the following days. For now be proud to be an Eagle fan and be thankful for Jerry York!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Will students come back for the Game and other links

Despite what the Herald writes, I think the campus will be a little subdued on Saturday night because so many students are away for the Easter holiday.

Milner can join the other BC goalie greats with a big performance Saturday.

Defense is the key to victory on Saturday night.

Mark Hartsell is now coaching young football players.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Humphrey's leaving, new football recruit and other links

Matt Humphrey decided to transfer from Boston College. Because he is set to graduate, Humphrey will be able to play for his next (third) school immediately. While it is a loss all around, Humphrey's decision is a bigger deal off the court than on. Humphrey proved to be BC's most consistent defender. He's was a streaky scorer, but seemed to improve his decision making as the season went on. The problem with Humphrey leaving is that it reinforces some of the negative rumors about Donahue. Donahue's reputation is that he is a tough critic and very candid with players regarding what they need to do and where their future is with the team. If a guy like Humphrey has one year of college basketball left and his coach is telling him he might not start and his minutes will probably go down, then you can't be surprised when those same players leave. What might be more effective for Donahue is to say (paraphrasing): "Matt these are the things to work on, this is how I see our roster next year, but I have all the confidence in the world that you will be a valuable player and critical leader for this team." Donahue needs Humphrey even at reduced minutes. I do think Donahue is one of the best coaches in basketball. He's smart and engaged and intense. He seems like a good teacher and I do think he is a very, very good game manager. He's also smart enough to know that he will need great players to succeed. To get those players to buy in, he needs to tweak his approach. If he doesn't other coaches will use it against BC in recruiting. Coaches will say that Donahue cannot relate to players and his current guys are bailing. Donahue is a smart guy. Let's hope he is smart enough to work on his people skills, so that player want to play for him instead of leaving.

Spaz signed Georgia WR Nigel Matthews to be part of the 2012 class. Nigel has decent potential. Previously he committed to Air Force. My bigger issue is with Spaz and his roster management. If things were well organized we wouldn't have all these open slots months after Signing Day.

Details are emerging about Jo-Lonn Dunbar's free agent deal with the Rams.

The Rangers are waiting for Chris Kreider's season to end.

Softball loss to UMass on Wednesday.

One step closer to another championship

Minnesota is a good hockey team. Their most lopsided loss on the whole season was a 6-2 defeat to North Dakota in January. Tonight BC beat them 6-1 to advance to the National Championship Game on Saturday. Minnesota played well and pressured BC but we made up for it with quality shots on net. Watch enough highlights on Friday and you're sure to see multiple BC goals. Paul Carey led the team with two goals.

We will take on Ferris State Saturday. BC has to be considered a major favorite. Let's keep it up. As we all know, this might be the most fun related to BC sports for some time.

Game Watches: Frozen Four

It's been a rough year for BC sports, but Jerry York and crew can start to change all of that tonight. Enjoy the Frozen Four with your fellow fans. If I missed any, post them in the comments. And for those in Florida, check out the pregame in Tampa.

Atlanta Game Watch
5600 Roswell Rd

Austin Game Watch
Third Base Sports Bar
1717 West 6th Street

Boston Game Watch
Jerry Remy's Seaport
250 Northern Avenue

1510 N. Wells

Connecticut Game Watch
Bobby V's
225 Main Street
Stamford, CT 06901

New York Game Watch
Thunder Jackson's
169 Bleecker St.
New York

New Jersey Game Watch
O'Hara's Downtown
172 First Street
Jersey City

Philadelphia Game Watch
Fox & Hound
1501 Spruce Street

Pittsburgh Game Watch
Damon's Grill and Sports Bar
600 Grant Street

San Francisco Game Watch
Shanghai Kelly’s
Polk at Broadway

Seattle Game Watch
Buckley's In Belltown
2331 2nd Ave

MacDinton's Irish Pub
405 South Howard Avenue

Washington, D.C. Game Watch
Cleveland Park Bar & Grill
3421 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What to make of the Erik Johnson hire

Erik Johnson is the new Women's Basketball Coach. Congratulations to him and welcome back to Boston College. I know very little about Johnson. Based on his resume and his head coaching track record, Johnson was as good a candidate as anyone. It's not like he has big shoes to fill and the program has no where to go but up. But the Johnson hire probably felt very familiar to critics of Gene D. Obviously there are exceptions to these cases, but they do form a pattern.

1. Hiring former BC Assistants that he already knew. Johnson is just the latest. Spaz, Jags, Aoki, and Gambino were all BC assistants under Gene. Donahue was one of the few finalists in the last basketball search that didn't have a BC connection.

I want guys who know BC as head coaches. There are enough quirks to our school and programs that familiarity helps any learning curve. But Gene's reliance on his network means many good candidates don't get consideration. Cynics would also wonder if these coaches are hired because they are willing to kiss Gene's ring.

2. Gene is more willing to share responsibility when it comes to sports other than football. Gene credited Steve Donahue for assisting in the process. When he hired Crawley he also leaned on basketball guys he knew to asses her ability. I know he seeks feedback and recommendations on the football searches, but ultimately he is making the call and taking responsibility for what happens on the football field. In the other sports he either doesn't have the connections or doesn't trust himself to make a solid pick. In general I am glad he asked for Donahue for feedback.

3. Money is not an issue. We always hear how tight the purse strings are at BC, yet here we are handing out another big contract. BC only seems to go cheap when it can be used as a crutch to neutralize candidates that might be a threat to Gene's power.

I know when we make our next football change, Gene will want to hire someone he knows. But if he knows that we know his M.O., maybe there is a chance for him to make a great hire.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Should BC football barnstorm in the Spring?

Many ACC bloggers (BCI & TN) are talking about the doom and gloom that followed Miami's second scrimmage. Overlooked in the Cane talk was that the scrimmage was held in Fort Myers. They used one of their precious Spring practices to reach fans and more importantly recruits two and half hours away from their campus. Now this wasn't all forward thinking from Al Golden and Company. They couldn't use their own stadium because of Wrestlemania. But still you have to admire their ability to turn lemons into lemonade. Even in the best of years, BC Football's springs are dull. Holding a scrimmage outside of Alumni might be a nice change of pace and a chance to reach our fans and recruits outside of Boston.

Because this is still BC, we would have to do it with a tight budget and no more than a bus ride away. It would also have to be accessable to enough fans and media to make it worthwhile. I recommend the following:

1. Don Bosco Prep. The BC-connections to Bosco are well known. Holding a scrimmage there would only strengthen those ties. We know they have facilities capable of hosting one practice. The campus is in Ramsey, New Jersey and relatively accessible by car for most of our Alumni in the Tri-State area.

2. Timex Performance Center. The New York Giants' practice facility could certain handle one measly BC scrimmage. It is located in the Meadowlands complex, so location and transportation is not an issue. The rub with an NFL franchise certainly wouldn't hurt our perception with recruits. What would be an issue is letting fans all over the complex. As much as the Giants love BC, I don't know if they want to let a few thousand random BC fans onto their complex.

3. Randall's Island. This complex in the middle of the East River is probably the biggest stretch. There are hundreds of New York City groups lined up to use the property at different times. It's location would probably curb some fans from attending and wouldn't draw much media interest. However, I still think it would be cool. And I think our city based fans would turn out for at least one event.

Those are my thoughts. Where would you like to see BC practice?

Monday, April 02, 2012

The ideal base for any BC recruiting class

Injuries have left our DT position very thin. Our Spring Game roster at running back led to Finch carrying the ball on seemingly every running play. All of this makes me question why we didn't sign a Defensive Tackle and why we scrambled to find one running back well after Signing Day. Things should never be this bad.

Roster balance will always be a challenge to college coaches. Injures and transfers lead to the premature end of many college careers. But a good, well-organized coach should be able to manage some of that attrition through solid recruiting. In an ideal world you would take a predetermined base of players at various postitions annually. Then -- depending on your forecasted need -- you would use your extra scholarships to supplement your base.

If you plan to recruit 15 players each year as part of your base that commits a program to 75 scholarships over a five year cycle. Conservatively assume that 10% of those commits will not play five years. That leaves the cycle with 68 scholarships. BCS programs allow for 85 scholarships. If BC used the 15 scholarship base, at any one time they would still have 17 more scholarships to spread out based on need, transfers or rewarding walk-ons.

If 15 is the base number, how should that 15 be dispersed. These are my suggestions:
Quarterback -- 1
Running back -- 1
Wide Receiver -- 1
Tight End -- 1
Offensive Line -- 3
Defensive Tackle -- 1
Defensive End -- 1
Linebacker -- 3
Defensive Back -- 3

Explanation: Taking a QB every year makes sense. It allows for redshirting and for being pretty straight forward in the recruiting process: "You're going to be our only QB recruit this year!" Running back is similar to QB. However, a difference is that some of the other recruits can be switched to running back if needed (DB, LB, etc). In most high school programs your best athletes have played running back or QB. So if you ever need to switch someone to either of those positions odds are he would have some basic familiarity from playing the position in his younger days.

Wide Receiver is probably under represented in the base. But my feeling is that it can be over recruited when needed with the extra scholarships. Obviously if BC ever moved away from pro-style to a more pass happy spread, I think BC would need two WRs every year.

Although I allocated a certain number for DE, TE and LB, there are many situations where they could overlap or move players around. We've seen players before who were recruited to play one position (Brad Newman) but had enough athleticism to move around to others. Dan Williams is another guy who played LB, DE and FB.

Considering I started this post because of our depleted DT situation, it might seem that taking one DT every year is not enough. But if you offset it by taking three offensive linemen each year, someone from the offensive side will be available at DT.

None of this is rocket science. Most programs manage to it. That's what makes our inability to manage to need that much more confounding. Am I missing something here? Does anyone not think we should bring in one DT or one QB every year? If you would structure the recruiting base differently, leave your suggestions below. You never know if Spaz might read it and have a eureka moment.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Prepping for the Frozen Four and other links

The big news of the week will be the Frozen Four. Obviously check all your regular BC outlets. will probably have the best and broadest coverage of the event.

Women's lacrosse fell to UVA and now stands at just 1-3 in ACC play.

Here is a recap of BC's softball series with Maryland.

The investigation and prayers continue for missing BC student Franco Garcia.