Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's a start

It wasn't pretty and it was too close for most of the day, but it was still a win. We are halfway to last season's win total and one step into our rebuild. 

As for the impressions, I didn't like the play calling (and I will get into that more later this weekend). I was also surprised with the defensive issues. Linebacker was supposed to be the strength, but didn't look it.

Even with the questions the game raised, we still have plenty to look forward to and I am excited it is football season again.

I will have second viewing thoughts and grades up late Sunday night.

In-game comments post: Villanova

New coach, same fans. I am glad we are finally here. Leave your thoughts on our first game of the year below.

You can also follow me on twitter.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Game Watches: Villanova

The last few seasons haven't been the most fun. Instead of celebrating, the Game Watches have been about commiserating. The vibe should be more fun this fall. Join up with your fellow BC fans at a local Game Watch. If your Watch isn't listed, be sure to post it in the comments or email me.

Chicago Game Watch 
Nic and Dino's Tripoli Tap
 1147 W Armitage (Armitage Brown/Purple Line L)

Dallas Game Watch
Christie's Sports Bar
 2811 McKinney Ave Suite 22

New York City Game Watch 
The Royal 127 4th Avenue (between 12th & 13th Streets, near Union Square)

Philadelphia Game Watch 
Fox and Hound - Center City 1501 Spruce Street

Phoenix Game Watch
Gallagher's Sports Grill
7575 N. 16th Street

San Diego Game Watch 
The Beer Co. 602 Broadway

San Francisco Game Watch 
Shanghai Kelly’s 2064 Polk St (between Pacific Ave and Broadway St)

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 29, 2013

BC-Villanova preview

We are here. We've finally arrived at our new beginning. Whether you are counting coaching eras, coaching trees or just the time between seasons, Saturday's game marks a starting point to Addazio Football and a clear turning point for BC Football. Villanova is our worthy opponent, but it doesn't really matter who we are playing. This is the first step in our rebuilding, our return to what were were and our chance to be something better than we've every been. Let's go!

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I hope the Seniors are ready for a big season. I've written many times that College Football can be a real grind even when you are winning. Losing makes it that much worse. The Senior leaders on this team committed to BC under a different coach and -- although it was only five years ago -- a different time. They have put up with a lot on the field and in the locker room. I don't know any of these guys on a personal level but I hope they still have pride in being part of BC Football. Because their effort and this season will really set the tone for the next few years.

Three Simple Keys
1. Keep Robertson in the pocket. Is it too late to bring Spaz back as DC (I'm kidding)? My point is that Spaz's contain philosophy and dropping lots of guys into coverage would probably work well against the Wildcats. Obviously we are going to pressure Robertson, but I hope we at least spy him a bit in case he gets out of the pocket.
2. Run it and then run it some more. Addazio wants to run regardless of the opponent. So get used to it. What I hope is that we use this game as a tune-up and establish what works and what doesn't in the ground attack. Temple ran all over Villanova while Addazio was there. I expect more of the same.
3. Get other pass catchers involved besides Amidon. This is Rettig's chance to build trust and timing with other Receivers, Tight Ends and RBs.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 2-0 against Villanova
-- BC has lost two straight home openers
-- Villanova is 3-12 against FBS teams since restarting football
The current line is BC-16

Despite being in a conference with Temple for more than a decade, we've actually played fellow Philly football school Villanova more (37 games vs Temple and 45 games against Villanova). We haven't played any of the other "Big Five" schools (Penn, St. Joe's and LaSalle). As an Ivy and without scholarships, I don't see us ever playing Penn in the future. St. Joe's and LaSalle disbanded football.

Scoreboard Watching
Wake Forest is playing Thursday and also facing a FCS opponent, so there is not much value there. The most important game for the ACC is probably Clemson-Georgia. A win there will help the conference immeasurably and also give us an indicator of how good Clemson might be this year.

I hope to see...
The team look crisp. What upset me from early on in the Spaz era is how often we looked disorganized or confused (think of OL alignment or Shinskie lining up under the wrong guy). Addazio is preaching attention to detail. Let's see if the message got through.

BC is in trouble if...
We cannot stop the run. I don't see 'Nova beating us by airing it out. I don't think it will happen, but I also don't want to be in a close game with them.

Bottom Line
This game cannot be close or interesting. It is only one game and only the first game, but when you play a FCS team in Week 1 of a new coaching regime, there is no room for a dud. BC needs to make enough of a statement as you can without embarrassing Villanova or risking injury to key players. I think we get up early and cruise to a decisive victory.
Final Score: BC 34, Villanova 13

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Live Eagle!!! and other links

Brad Bates keep scoring points with the BC faithful. For years we've been asking for a live eagle mascot. For years were told it wasn't feasible. Not anymore. BC announced that for the first time in 47 years the school will have a live eagle mascot. There is also a fan naming contest for the bird. I don't think that this will suddenly get people to their seats on time, but it is the type of tradition building that is long overdue.

Matt Tennant is hoping to make the Eagles final roster. Will Blackmon signed with Jacksonville.

Women's Soccer lost to UConn.

Here is a history of the BC-Villanova rivalry.

In his conference with the Philly media Addazio addressed his time at Temple.

ATLeagle Google+ Hangout with Austin Tedesco

New feature alert! As much as there is a routine to the blog, I do like to try new things. This is my first attempt at a Google+ Hangout. My guest is Heights Sports Editor Austin Tedesco. We talk mostly football but do get into basketball at the end. 

Forgive any technical issues as I learn and adjust. There will be new Hangouts throughout the school year. As always your feedback is appreciated. 

Season Prediction Part III: what will happen

We've had our fun. Now let's get to what is really going to happen.

In my opinion the team underachieved throughout the entire Spaz era. I will agree with the pundits that our talent level also declined, but we were not a 2-10 roster last year. Coaching was a huge factor. Now our talent is probably worse than last year, but our coaching should be better. Where does that leave us? If Addazio doesn't double our win total, I will be very frustrated. We should do better. And this is how I think it will play out. [This is my official prediction for the season.] 

What will happen

Villanova. Win. Addazio took care of business against the Wildcats while at Temple. This will be more of the same.

Wake Forest. Win. As I've been writing all summer, I am expecting a huge season from Rettig. Against Wake he helps us win a close game with a late drive.

at USC. Loss. I don't like moral victories, but this might be one. It will be tough to win on the road this early against a thin but talented USC team.

Florida State. Loss. I like our schedule, but this is one area where it hurts us. We face our toughest games in the middle of the season. We will come through it with a below .500 record. It will be on Addazio to regroup.

Army. Win. I trust Don Brown to have the defense ready. We will still score 30 on them.

at Clemson. Loss. I think we can hang with them for a little, but the Tigers pull away in the second half.

at North Carolina. Loss. Another tough game that we don't win. I don't know how Addazio is going to prepare the team but this is where he will have to earn his paycheck. Confidence will be shaken.

Virginia Tech. Win. I think Virginia Tech is a good matchup for us this year.

at New Mexico State. Win. The Spaz-Martin combo would worry me if we had kept our schemes. Whatever familiarity they had with us is somewhat negated by the newness of Day and Brown. We win.

North Carolina State. Loss. They are a bit further along in their rebuild.

at Maryland. Win. Maybe my sense of Maryland is off, but I think at this point in the season they will be checked out.

at Syracuse. Win. Entering the game we will already be bowl eligible. This game will be about pride and finishing above .500. I think we win a close, emotional game.

7-5 (4-4) never sounded so good. We would go bowling. Let's say Shreveport against UAB. We win and finish 8-5. I think it is very possible. It will obviously take a little luck and no major injuries.

I will admit a year over year improvement like this is statistically unlikely. My hope and belief is that it will happen and we will enjoy a football season for the first time in five years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Season Prediction Part II: best case scenario

"If this guy plays well...if the Oline comes together...if the defense blitzes everyone..." Every best case scenario includes a lot of "if"s. Who knows? The stars could align this year. There is some talent in key areas. The schedule is manageable and we have a new staff that might ignite a confidence and aggression that has been simmering for four years. What's keeping me from going all in on this year though is not really knowing how Addazio will coach and manage this team. With TOB we always knew what to expect. Jags was a bit of a wild card, but there were still enough known elements so that we entered each season with an idea of the upside. With Spaz, I always hoped for an upside but never really believed in one. This year I don't know. And that unknown makes the "best case" possible and for that I am excited. The following is not what I think will happen, but just the idea that it could happen is welcome.

Best Case Scenario

Villanova. Win. This game should not be close. We look sharp right away and pass and run at will.

Wake Forest. Win. Our first test. Rettig puts up big numbers and we look like a productive offense.

at USC. Win. This is the critical game of the season. A win here raises expectations around the program and turns heads nationally. I think our defense gives USC trouble and Chase looks great in his "home coming."

Florida State. Loss. After the high, comes the low (it wouldn't be BC football any other way.) I think Florida State's explosiveness gives us trouble and we make some critical mistakes.

Army. Win. We control an Army game as we should have last year.

at Clemson. Loss. Sort of like Florida State. I worry about any uptempo team this year. I don't think we are talented enough to win shootouts yet. With the loss, BC falls out of the polls again.

at North Carolina. Loss. I know it is different coaches and different eras, but Chapel Hill has been a tough place for us. I think the struggles continue this year.

Virginia Tech. Win. Snaps the losing streak and gets people thinking a winning season and bowl will happen.

at New Mexico State. Win. Not even as close as the Army game.

North Carolina State. Win. I think this will be a low-scoring, defensive struggle. We prevail late.

at Maryland. Win. At this point we are a hot team and they are sleep walking through their final ACC season. We win by 14.

at Syracuse. Win. We finish with a once unthinkable five-game win streak.

In this scenario BC would finish 9-3 (5-3). This sort of season would be huge. Not only would we be ranked, but Addazio would be one of the hottest coaches in football. It would also be one of the largest turnarounds in recent college football.

But BC is still BC and a 5-3 ACC mark wouldn't put us in a great bowl. Instead we would probably end in the Sun Bowl. I see us playing maybe Oregon State. BC wins and finishes at a remarkable 10-3 and ranked just outside the Top 10. It is a long shot...but it could happen.

Wednesday, what I think will really happen.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Season Prediction Part I: worst case scenario [FIXED]

As a reminder, this is the series of posts where I play out potential scenarios for the season. This is Part 1, the worst-case scenarios. This is not what I think will happen, but what could happen. As you can see, 2012 was even worse than my worst-case scenario. I have a lot of optimism about this season, but there are still enough issues and still enough questions marks that I could see the team falling apart. If things do go bad, this is how it might play out.

Worst Case Scenario

Villanova. Win. This should be a dress rehearsal but during a rough season, I could see this game being very close and BC pulling out a tight win. In that scenario, I think there would be a lot of anxiety heading into ACC play.

Wake Forest. Loss. Wake is not more talented than BC, but I could see them coming into the game more prepared and able to handle our blitzing. If we lose this game, I think it will also be a sign that our offense has issues.

at USC. Loss. We fly across country hoping to turn things around. Both sides of the ball show a little promise early but cannot score enough to win.

Florida State. Loss. Against the class of the ACC, we struggle to move the ball. Our defense starts improving but we are still undermanned when trying to contain Florida State's talent. 

Army. Win. This season we look prepared for Army's option and are able to run on them again. It doesn't really make up for last year's nadir, but at least we will have matched 2012's two wins.

At Clemson. Loss. I don't see any scenario where we beat Clemson on the road this year. And although I am overjoyed in the change in our defensive mindset, this is one of those games where it will probably hurt us. Bend but don't break kept many Clemson games close over the years.

At North Carolina. Loss. At this point in the season I could see the team losing hope. Yet even in our worst case season, I think Addazio will have them fighting. It will make the team endearing but won't be enough to get a win here.

Virginia Tech. Loss. This is one of the matchups that I think will be close regardless of our record. I don't think we win, but I think at this point our defense will keep us in most games.

at New Mexico State. Win. This is a terrible team. I respect Doug Martin and curse Spaz for helping him prepare for us, but I still think we will win. If we don't we hired the wrong coach.

North Carolina State. Loss. Without TOB this game isn't as important as it once was. I don't think he left them in the same place he left BC, but I think their defense will be decent. I see another close loss.

at Maryland. Win. I think Maryland will have a rough final year in the ACC. Getting them late helps us as a close game finally breaks our way. Even in the worse circumstances, we exceed last year's win total. 

at Syracuse. Win. Loss. Even if we have a rough season, I see us ending on a high note in a close win over Syracuse. [FIXED] I don't think Syracuse is all that great but winning back-to-back games on the road is never easy, especially at the end of the year.

4-8 (2-6) leaves BC home again during bowl season. But even in the worst case we double our win total from last year. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Women's Soccer starts and other links

The Women's Soccer team started their season this weekend. They lost to Stanford on Friday and beat BU Sunday.

The Falcons waived Nick Clancy. Let's hope he catches on somewhere.

BC will stream Addazio's Monday press conferences live throughout the season. I don't expect them to be especially entertaining but it will be nice to have immediate access.

Dennis Clifford had his first planned surgery and the team feels it went well. There will be a planned follow up surgery before the season.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Captains announced

BC announced that Ian White and Kasim Edebali will be team Captains this season. No explanation was given for how they were selected or why Addazio limited it to two. What I appreciate about these two though is that they are not expected to be our best players. Perhaps the team and the coaches expect them to perform above expectations. Congrats to both.

Friday, August 23, 2013

New commitment and other links

BC added another playmaker to our current recruiting class. New Jersey athlete herman Alston committed Thursday. Alston is small but productive and could contribute in a few different positions.

The Mara family donated a Super Bowl Ticket package as part of the Dick Kelley auction.

The Heights broke down our basketball schedule.

Here is ESPN's preview of the team. The wake-up call for me was the "key losses" section. We really didn't lose much talent from our 2-10 team. You'd hope that correlates into this season's squad having plenty of talent and experience.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thoughts on the basketball schedule

BC released its basketball schedule Thursday. Most of us knew the opponents already but it is nice to see all the dates lined up, especially those in the ACC. Here are some thoughts:

Perfect out of conference schedule
Given the creep of conference play, special tournaments and some historical match-ups, there is less freedom in filling out the non-conference schedule than there used to be. This year is a very nice balance. We've got plenty of respectable teams (Purdue, VCU), some trips to Alumni friendly spots (USC, MSG) and a few softies to help pad the win total. The traditionalist in me would like to see a Holy Cross game, but this a solid list of games.

The other benefit of playing a respectable out of conference schedule is that it will help our tournament resume. BC should get a minimum of seven out of conference wins.

Exciting home games
Attendance has been in a long, embarrassing decline since our first season in the ACC. Everyone has a pet theory as to why. I attribute it to a variety of factors. One way to change things is to build some excitement and anticipation around the good games we have at home. This year Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pitt and Florida State come to us. Steve Donahue and the team can help by playing well, but filling the seats at this game is really on Bates. He's now had time to prepare for this season. The team will be better. If we cannot draw our own fans, we will need to readdress our whole approach to basketball marketing.

Must finish strong
The most critical part of the schedule is the final six games, four of which are on the road. How you finish is important for your tournament resume. That stretch will also include our first return to Syracuse since leaving the Big East. We must win at least four of those games.

I am excited about the schedule and the season. I hope the team lives up to expectations.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Last scrimmage update and other links

Addazio sort of curtailed his scrimmage a bit and turned it more into a partial scrimmage and partial practice. The Heights and Globe both had write ups. The big concern is Bordner's continued absence, leaving Walsh and Marscovetra to battle for the back-up role. There is also no clear No. 2 at running back. Addazio was vague when explaining Moore's injuries, but he will miss the year.

Big things are expected of Reggie Jackson this season in OKC.

The ACC soccer coaches picked BC to finish 8th overall in the conference.

Mack Lowrie is adjusting to FBS football.

I mentioned this on the blog, but it is worth noting that Bruce Pearl's NCAA suspension is up a year from now. If Donahue struggles, Bates will have to at least explore Pearl as an option.

Everyone is writing about Rettig and other links

The Heights wrote a nice feature on Chase Rettig. What stood out was this summation of his stats despite teh issues around him.

Of the 35 teams that allowed 30 or more sacks last season, only eight also had a 3,000-yard passer*. Rettig was one of them. These eight teams averaged 126 rushing yards per game. BC only averaged 90. The other schools in this grouping also didn’t have to rely on one receiver so heavily, like the Eagles did with Amidon. All of them, except for BC, had at least two wideouts bring in more than 600 yards.

Heights and Lows compared Rettig to Riley Skinner.

The Raiders cut John Wetzel.

BC is one of many teams interested in New Hampshire prospect Chris Garrison.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Small world

The picture on the left is the BC Bookstore catalog. The one on the right is from the University of Georgia's bookstore. They arrived in the mail yesterday. Notice anything familiar between the two?

When they arrived I knew what to look for (fellow Eagle in Atlanta Patrick S. gave me the heads up), but that still doesn't make it any less funny. I am not surprised that the companies use models for multiple schools. I guess the publisher doesn't expect the catalogs to arrive at the same house, on the same day with the same covers models. Or maybe they just don't expect any weirdo bloggers to pick up on it and care enough to post about it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

How much goodwill does Addazio have for Year 1?

I will post my predictions for the season next week. Not to spoil things, but I do think we will be decent this year. However, as we get closer to kickoff, I am starting to wonder how much leeway most fans will give Addazio? Does the team have to show improvement to make people feel better or is just being someone other than Spaz enough?

After talking, email and reading varied opinions, I don't think Addazio is totally Teflon. I think most fans would accept as few as four wins as long as the team plays hard, puts together a more exciting brand of football and looks like they are building toward something. Now here are the "what if"s that no one wants to talk about: What if we lose to Villanova? What if we lose to New Mexico State? What if we are 2-10 again?

That is where Addazio's track record hurts him. As Bill Connelly captured in his Temple write up, Addazio got this job despite a bad season last year:
"And despite the problems, Addazio -- clearly the most enchanting job interviewee on the planet this side of Charlie Weis -- fell up, taking the Boston College head coaching job.
That history will fuel any doubters if things turn bad in the first season.

Even though he hasn't coached a game yet, I've grown to like Addazio. I am very excited about the season and think he can build a winner here. I know he will get multiple seasons to prove himself, but I think early games are important. Goodwill is critical to any coach. You don't want to waste it all in the first year.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

More scrimmage coverage and other links

Here is the Herald's write up of the scrimmage. It looks like Rich Thompson is still on the BC beat. Globe had coverage, but it is behind their paywall. Vega did note that Bordner is out with an injury.

Former BC Hockey Captain Bernie Burke passed away last week. He was an All American in 1949.

Men's Soccer tied Northeastern in an exhibition. Their season starts August 30 against BU.

Brian Miller is hoping to stay healthy and build off of last year's solid start.

Alex Albright is out for the season and will require surgery on his back. Best of luck in his recovery.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

2nd scrimmage gets Addazio talking

BC held their second scrimmage of the summer. The school did not release any stats about the practice. Instead they grabbed a series of quotes from Addazio. This is actually very useful since it gives us a perspective on where the team is and what Addazio is trying to do. Here are the topics he addressed and my thoughts.

1st teamers and depth
Addazio was happy with his starters and wanted to use this scrimmage to test the backups. If there is something keeping our new coach up at night it is the lack of talent on the roster and how he can work around it. The new staff feels there is enough talent to win games, but the dropoff from the starters to the backups is huge. To use old "cupboard" analogy: Spaz didn't leave the cupboard bare but there is only about a day's worth of food. Hopefully the scrimmage does allow someone to shine in game-like conditions. I also expect the staff to coach up a guy or two. One of the best things about a coaching change is new perspective on the roster. It is a second chance for some kids and a new approach helps some buried players reach their potential. When we had full staff changes (like Henning to TOB and TOB to Jags) a few players fans had written off became starters.

Who is going to catch the ball?
We know Rettig can get it to Amidon. So does Addazio and the rest of the ACC. Now is the time to find new targets. Addazio dropped Harrison Jackson and Marcus Grant's names. On paper they both seem like solid second options.

Getting ready for the season
There is one more scrimmage until Villanova prep begins. I know it fits with how we usually approach things, but this summer session seems especially short. Maybe it is lack of real news out of practice that makes things seem a bit rushed. I would never want to take any opponent lightly but starting the year with an FCS team makes is a blessing this year. They get to gameprep next week, play a game that they should win and then get ready for Wake in a short week. The schedule should make the transition from summer to games smooth.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Will the Dennis Clifford story have a happy ending?

Eric Hoffses broke the news that Clifford is going to have minor surgeries in the next few weeks and may redshirt. All of us who follow BC Basketball have been hedging on Clifford ever making a full recovery. At this point I am not worried about the upcoming season. Fortunately the team is built in a way that they can succeed with or without him (obviously with him is preferred). Whatever happens with Donahue is also now independent of Clifford. After all, he is just one player. My real concern at this point is Dennis.

Clifford always seemed too good to be true. A local, late bloomer (most had him pegged as an Ivy League level player), Clifford just got better after committing to BC. Here was a true seven-footer who moved well, had strength and good offensive skills. He was set to be our best big man since Bill Curley. Who knows what will happen now.

I hope that whatever happens with his surgery or redshirt, Clifford gets better. Not for the team but so he can be the player he was meant to be.

Dunbar suspended and other links

The NFL suspended former BC linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar for four games. Dunbar denied PED use and instead said it was based on something he took by accident.

Here is another interview with Chase Rettig.

The Rant Sports guys are at it again and predict a rough go of it for Addazio.

Injuries on Oakland's offensive line might open up a spot for John Wetzel.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Predicting the start time for the USC game time announced UPDATED

[Updated: Austin Tedesco pointed out this press release from the spring that says it is a noon PT start. I will try to get confirmation from BC over which Pac 12 schedule is accurate.]

[USC put out a press release. Noon PT start. Probably the best news for BC fans and team travel. The rest of this post is obviously wrong and a waste of time.]

One month from today, BC will play USC in the Coliseum. Although we played the Trojans a few years ago in the San Fran Bowl, this game is still a big deal. USC is one of college football's traditional powers and it will be a true early test for our team and new staff. We already know the game will be on the Pac 12 Network, but we won't know the official start time until two weeks before the game. But looking at the schedule, I think we can start to guess when the game will kickoff.

Based on the announced start times for the weekend before our game, the Pac 12 Network will slot games for 11 AM PT, 2 PM PT, 5 PM PT, 8 PM PT. In general, TV people will always put their best TV draw in their primetime slot. Is BC vs USC the best game on our weekend? You be the judge:

Pac 12 Network Games for September 14
UT-San Antonio vs Arizona
Southern Utah vs Washington State
Fresno State vs Colorado (already scheduled for the 11 AM game)

If you were a TV programmer, which game would you put in prime time? The only other game that might justify the evening slot is Fresno State and Colorado, but that has already been assigned the 11 AM kickoff.

That leaves 2 PM, 5 PM and 8 PM for the other games. USC on its own would usually merit the late kickoff. Add in another BCS program and it is almost a sure thing.

Now USC and the Pac 12 could be considerate hosts and not force BC to play a game at the equivalent of 11 PM our time. An earlier game might also generate a better audience on the East Coast...if anyone actually had access to the Network. BC will probably make a plea to play early for travel reasons too. In the end, I don't think it will matter. I think we are destined for the late, late start and Eagles fans being forced to keep their local sports bars open late.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The little things only matter if you lose

I've had two offline conversations over the past week about Addazio's changes. One was the much talked about names on the jerseys. The other was about the new limitations on player interactions with the media. Both are signs of Addazio putting his stamp on the program. Coaches love to do these sorts of things. The only team I've ever coached was a bunch of five-year-olds playing soccer but I know enough about sports to say that none of these little things really matter.

Coaches at this level tend to be planners and guys who work a plan. They did what they were told on the way up the ladder and outworked most of their colleagues. There was some sort of blueprint at each stage and they followed it. However, the best coaches are the guys who take bits and pieces from their rise and combine those pieces in some sort of unique fashion. But what it all comes down to at the highest level is getting the best players and giving them the best schemes and gameplans.

I think Addazio understands that talent/scheme combination. Why else has he put such an emphasis on recruiting? And he also empowered two unique and potentially great coordinators. All the other things like names or interviews or a clean lockerroom are window dressing. He may be trying to establish a "culture" but that culture is going to come from wins and losses, how he leads his staff, and of course the players he recruits. There is a lot of self-selection in recruiting. Players recruit other players and recruits seek out places where they are comfortable and fit.

Addazio can keep making little changes. It gives everyone something to talk about. But ultimately all these little things will just be footnote to his time at BC. Winning is the big thing.

Monday, August 12, 2013

ACC W-L predictions and other links

Matt Hinton went team-by-team in the division to predict records. He settles on 5-7 for BC (which seems to be a growing consensus).

The players are saying the right things about taking the names off of the jerseys. I don't mind. I am sure it can and will change back in the future. We didn't have names on jerseys when I was a BC student.

The Heights puts some numbers behind our depth issues. It is not pretty.

Soaring to Glory took a look at our WRs.

ESPN put the spotlight on future Eagle Isaac Yiadom.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crazy Predictions: A Season Preview. Part 4: We will ruin the ACC's chance at a BCS Title game

Having been at this a long time, I try to keep things fresh. For this year's Season Previews I am going to make a few outlandish predictions based on my hunches.

Some team will have to play the winner of the SEC in the BCS National Championship Game. Lately I've been reading more experts who like Clemson's chances to get to the game. The only other ACC team with a high enough profile and difficult enough schedule to get into the national title picture is Florida State. The 'Noles and Tigers have a lot  in common. Their biggest obstacle is each other in a top-heavy ACC, they both have stockpiled talent to earn national recruiting respect, and they both can impress voters and computers by beating the SEC teams on their schedules. But unless you are an SEC team, you pretty much need an undefeated season to get into the National Championship. That means no trip-ups. Can they do it? I have a hunch that BC might be the underdog that can ruin a championship resume.

I don't know which actual game we will win, but there are enough elements to make me think it can happen. First there is our team. We have plenty of senior experience and put up yards on lots of teams last year. I think we will move the ball again. Then on defense you need a scheme that can catch another team off guard and forces a lot of big plays. That combo of efficient offenses and risky taking defense gives us a "puncher's chance" in any game.

Then there are the factors against Florida State and Clemson. FSU has played down to the level of their opponents at times under Fisher. I've underestimated Swinney for a long time at Clemson, but he's yet to prove he can avoid a hiccup during the season. I like where we fall on their respective schedules too. Florida State should come into our game undefeated and probably untested. After playing a series of cupcakes they may believe they can walk through our game too. Clemson is less likely to sleep walk through our game -- especially if we have looked tough on film -- but we do play them right before they take on Florida State. They could be looking ahead.

Thinking BC will pull off a major upset this season is not unique. Addazio is an emotional coach and these guys are desperate to win. One game this season things will fall into place. I just think that when it does, it will be against the ACC's best.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Encouraging first scrimmage

Addazio wants to run, so we run...Chase Rettig included. That was the big takeaway from the first scrimmage. The BC write up had quotes from the coach. Those in attendance said it was a fairly balanced performance. Kimble is getting all the attention but reports are freshman Myles Willis showed good burst.

Chase Rettig ran three times. I don't love the idea, but he might need to run once or twice a game to keep the opposing Defense honest. True freshman James Walsh also got some snaps at QB. Unless he proves to be much better than our current backups, I don't see Walsh playing this year. They can probably reshsirt him and help his development.

A few players were dinged up, but no major injuries. Austin Tedesco was impressed with WR Harrison Jackson's play and Steven Daniels turned heads on defense.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Two good BC-related articles and other links

Bill Connelly's preview of BC is pretty solid. I also appreciate that he led with how one coach can unravel a good foundation. He's also a bit pessimistic about Addazio (given things went at Florida and Temple).

Holly Anderson's New Mexico State preview pushed a few buttons among BC fans. I didn't perceive anything as a slight. We stunk last year. What bothered me more was how Spaz's assistance to Doug Martin was portrayed. What happened to all his "loyalty" to BC?

Here is Q&A with Senior transfer Matt Patchan.

Reports have Charlie Davies set to join the Revs. Former Eagle Alejandro Bedoya signed with Nantes in France's top league.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Reading between the headlines: We're screwed if Rettig gets hurt

Vega captured our QB issues in a balanced, informed manner in the Globe. What a blogger like me might have said is "we're f-cked." We all heard the talk out of spring practices and summer workouts: "the new staff loves Rettig", "they are going to let Chase throw", and "we will go as far as Rettig takes us." Depth was discussed but not in specifics when it came to QB. With Addazio publicly saying Bordner and Marscovetra are fighting for the second spot, it is clear that QB is the area where our depth is most alarming.

I am probably not being fair to our two primary backups. Both have put up with a lot and stuck around. Both have also shown glimpses of potential. The revolving door of coordinators and Spaz's haphazard approach to offense impacted them as much as it did Rettig. Neither were truly allowed to develop. But I also think both have limitations and neither are as good as Rettig throwing. Both might be more athletic and better suited for what Addazio would like to run, but we are a passing team this year. A mid-season switch due to injury will likely be a total mess.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. One of Spaz's biggest recruits was Christian Suntrup. However, he is not made for this offense and his development has been a disappointment (so far). James Walsh and Mack Lowrie may be diamonds in the rough, but no one expects a true freshman to come off the bench to great success.

I am getting excited about this season, so I am trying to ignore that we will certainly be without Rettig in 2014. The only thing keeping me from saying "we're f-cked" then too, is the pipe dream that another season will give Addazio time to develop and/or recruit the perfect QB for his system. Until then, pray for Rettig's continued health.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

New energy around Media Day

By now we all know about Steve Addazio's energy. It is palpable when he speaks and even comes to light in his social media and recruiting. What I didn't realize until today is that the program has bought it. As a distant but long-time observer of BC Media Days, I feel like a cloud has lifted. Players are excited and coaches are allowed to talk and be themselves (they also seem to share Addazio's optimism).

Take a look at the players' faces and body language. Then compare it to last season's Media Day. Other than Spaz -- who was smiling last year? I also appreciate that the Coordinators spoke directly to the press. Even allowing Day and Brown to speak shows a level of comfort and confidence Addazio has in his two playcallers.

The final positive of the day was the turnout. There seemed to be more coverage than in past years. The newness of Addazio is a story, but the changing attitude and accessibility are paying off. Hopefully that leads to more local support and enthusiasm.

Addazio's Press Conference

UMass looking for true home games and other links

UMass hopes to play more games on campus in the near future. What a shock that playing 90 miles away at Gillette wasn't an immediate success. Our games against the Minutemen would not be impacted. As much as I mock what they are doing, I am all for establishing a long-term series that goes Alumni-Gillette, Alumni-Gillette. That is a huge advantage for us.

Nick Clancy is solidly on the Falcons depth chart. Let's hope he gets plenty of playing time in the preseason games. 

SI predicts five wins this fall. 

Being surrounded by BC guys is making Matt Hasselbeck's transition to the Colts that much easier. 

ESPNBoston broke down things to watch as practice begins. 

Here is a round up of anonymous comments on BC from other ACC coaches. I am amazed by how shallow their knowledge of BC is. It shows we are a real afterthought. That will change soon. 

Monday, August 05, 2013

It is a start

With any new coach there will always be a lot of "first"s. First interview. First meeting. First recruit. It is all a bit overplayed since regardless of what one coach does early, careers are decided by W-L records over multiple seasons. Steve Addazio's big "first" will be the opener against Villanova. But that doesn't mean that today's first practice wasn't important.

Spring was Addazio's chance to get to know the roster and have the new staff gel. Summer the players work out, but there is no official interaction. These Fall practices are the first time the entire team has been together. All the new players are there and there are real games ahead.

Addazio said that the team responded well. It is still too early to be able to read between the lines like we could with TOB and Spaz, but I am taking him at his word.

I don't know how much was learned today or if it will matter once games begin, but I hope everyone around the program -- players and fans -- appreciate that this is new. We should be excited. No one knows what the future will bring, but we have hope. It is a start.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Art Donovan and other links

NFL Hall of Famer and Boston College graduate Art Donovan died this weekend. His long professional career and TV appearances are the source of his fame, but he was a decorated player while at BC. What might not be widely known was that Donovan began his collegiate career at Notre Dame. It was only after a stint in the Marines during World War II that he returned to college football and eventually to BC. 

The Riley Cooper incident might actually lead to more playing time for Momah in Philly.

A Virginia Tech fan has started posting full games on You Tube and it is glorious. Below is the 2006 VT-BC game on ESPN. It was one of TOB's best moments. It will also be remembered for the night Herbie ripped into the Hokie players for dancing to "Sweet Caroline." It is only a matter of time before the games are removed, but go to Hokie Tapes and relive some of our better VT games before it is too late. 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Kuechly ready for a big second season

Kuechly had an unbelievable rookie season. Of course expectations are even higher this year.

BCI talked to Doug Flutie about current college football and his involvement with EA Sports.

Kiwi is adjusting to the latest Giants position shift.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Boston Summer Olympics and other links

My pipe dream of a Boston Olympics is gaining steam. If BC plays its cards right we could host events in Conte (boxing, volleyball, basketball) and Alumni (field hockey?).

Here is a Q&A with incoming women's basketball transfer Karima Gabriel.

BC is going hard after 2014 basketball recruit Dominique Uhl. He's another wing player. Right now we don't have a second scholarship, but I bet one frees up soon.