Friday, July 31, 2015

How will this year's Coaching Carousel impact BC?

Addazio is perfectly safe. Even if the team craters this year, he's earned enough goodwill from his first two years to survive a terrible season. Other coaches won't be as lucky. Many will be fired. And if things go well for BC this year, some program might come for Addazio. But Addazio has just of enough of a history outside of BC that not just any program would hire him. He's not getting an SEC job. He's probably not drawing interest from the Pac 12. So it would come down to these spots that might be open:

Indiana -- The good news and bad news is that Addazio already coached there. They are familiar with him and might want him. The flipside is he knows how hard it is to win there. They also have Big Ten TV money. Ultimately I don't see him leaving for Bloomington, but he might leverage interest for a raise.

Virginia -- We've lost coaches to ACC programs before, but how did that work out for NC State? Virginia might be a better gig on paper (more local talent, potentially more local support), but I don't know if they would make a run at Addazio. 

Illinois -- This is a better job than Indiana, but it still has limited upside. The division is winnable but you still have to face Michigan and Ohio State to win the Championship. Of the positions likely to open, this one seems the most plausible.

Ultimately I don't think Addazio wants to leave for just any old job. I think it would take a lot of money and an opportunity to win. Those above don't seem like sure bets, but there are always a few twists in the process. But having a desirable coach is a nice problem to have. We can only hope that Addazio wins so much each year that he is always mentioned for new openings. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Let's get some Mass schools in the Global Ireland Football Tournament

The Global Ireland Football Tournament invited two Atlanta Catholic schools to their 2016 Tournament. I didn't even know the Global Ireland Football Tournament was a thing until the announcement, but hats off to the organizers. They smartly said, "we have a team from Atlanta playing a Catholic team, maybe if we invited Atlanta Catholic schools there will be some overlap." The Tournament will include 10 U.S. high school teams and there are still spots left. I hope BC is strongly suggesting at least two Massachusetts schools are included.

Adding Mass schools helps BC in a couple of ways. It generates that much more local interest and it sells a few more tickets. If a family flies over to see Everett or BC High or whoever, you have to assume they are going to stick around to watch BC play Georgia Tech.

There is also a nice recruiting edge to all of this. BC recruits at the Atlanta invitees already (Marist and Blessed Trinity). Now they will get nearly a week to watch these kids practice and see how they behave and interact with their teams off the field. Jesuit Prep -- another BC friendly school -- is also being courted for the Irish event. Let's hope they get a few more Catholic schools from Ohio or California. But there has to be a Massachusetts team.

I assume BC has some say in the process. Perhaps Bates is making suggestions daily, so that the Irish trip becomes a big marketing and recruiting success too.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jen Welter: BC grad and NFL trailblazer, and other links

BC grad Jen Welter made headlines this week by joining the Arizona Cardinals as a training camp coach. Now that the NBA has a full-time female assistant, the NFL will soon follow. I hope the Welter becomes that coach.

If you haven't seen it, this SI article on Texas A&M's Myles Garrett is worth the read. Garrett's half brother is Sean Williams and Williams' struggles have certainly influenced Garrett. Williams is quoted throughout as is Ed Cooley.

Former BC QB Mack Lowrie is leaving URI. It seems like he is headed to a JuCo in search of playing time. (HT: eagle98alum)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Addazio cleans up at ESPN's Carwash

In my opinion, this meeting below between Addazio and Norby Williamson was the most important moment of his ACC Carwash at ESPN. Williamson is in charge of all scheduling and development at the worldwide leader. He met with all the ACC coaches, but a face-to-face with Addazio is a little different. His energy is different. He's good on camera and can provide a good soundbite. In College Football, ESPN sells the coaches. If Addazio can keep BC winning, he and BC will be all over ESPN.

You probably saw or heard Addazio on air from Bristol. BC's Twitter account has a good recap of all the stops. Articles from the ESPN writers will probably trickle out in the next day or two.

These Carwashes are really just offseason filler for ESPN and now nearly all the major conferences hold them. I hope BC continues to leverage our proximity to get Addazio on the air more often. It remains one of our better selling points.

Monday, July 27, 2015

No Boston Olympics means no BC Olympics

The USOC pulled Boston's Olympic bid for the Summer 2024 games. But it seems like most in Boston are saying "good riddance."  As someone who doesn't live in Massachusetts this seems like a missed opportunity. As someone who cares about BC sports, I think this could have been a nice little niche and a chance to have someone else pay for facilities upgrades.

I didn't live in Atlanta during the Olympics, but have seen how it was a plus for the city. Boston could have been the same way. Because of the numerous colleges, the games could have avoided many of the White Elephants other Olympic hosts face. The one area that I was glad to see Boston draw the line on was the overruns and built-in five star demands for the IOC and its members.

As of the last plan, BC wasn't set to host any big events. So it wasn't like we lost out on a new pool, track stadium or basketball arena. But it still would have been neat to see some of the other sports at Conte or in the eventually renovated Plex.

This probably keeps Boston out of the Olympic talk for a long, long time, which also kills my idea of a Winter Games in Boston!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

More opponent previews

Now that Scout finished all of their team previews, I thought it was a good time to revisits some of our other opponents. (Part I is here.)

Clemson -- The Tigers have new Offensive Coordinators. It will be a "co" set up. I hope it blows up in their face. They have so much talent that they will win plenty of games, but this will be the year to see if Chad Morris was really the brains behind Dabo's operation.

Duke -- We should be able to run on Duke, which will make the road game more manageable. They also are breaking in a new QB.

Louisville -- Will probably have a quarterback controversy this season. All three guys played last year and all three want to start when each gets healthy. As much as I want this to disrupt their season, Petrino's offense is usually so good that it doesn't matter who plays QB.

NC State -- Like Addazio, Dave Doeren enters his third year. Unlike BC, expectations are a bit high in Raleigh. Have they upgraded their talent enough to pass BC?

Notre Dame -- The Irish should be very good this year. We are in the easier portion of their schedule, so hopefully they will have had some momentum killing losses prior to playing us.

Virginia Tech -- The D should be really good again and no one has any ideas what to expect from the offense. A Virginia Tech in decline might not be good for the ACC, but it is great for BC.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Farrell commits to Ohio State and other links

BC target Luke Farrell committed to Ohio State. While not much of a surprise, it would have been nice to pry the Ohio native away from the Buckeyes.

Right now there aren't many BC-Notre Dame Fenway tickets on the secondary market.

Jared Dudley explained how he ended up in Washington. Once again, it shows that he's got a good handle on his career and where he fits into the NBA landscape.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Braxton Miller and what could have been (but not really)

Everyone waited on Braxton Miller. He kept saying he was staying at Ohio State, but the football world didn't believe. To most it didn't make sense that he would fight for the QB spot with the national champs when he could waltz in as the starting QB at dozens of college programs. One of the recurring speculations was that he would end up at BC. 

It made sense. BC needed a QB and the one-year success of Tyler Murphy was a great selling point. Then there was the Addazio-Meyer connection. BC doesn't run the same exact offense at the Buckeyes, but there are plenty of similarities. BC's current QBs were young and could wait behind Miller. I heard the talk too, but I don't think it ever got far. And now it all makes sense because Miller is staying at OSU and converting to H-Back.

In reading about Miller's decision, I think the reason he didn't transfer is that he couldn't have played QB for anyone. He still has labrum issues and won't be able to throw completely for two more months. A transfer can't be that effective if he cannot practice with his new team. By playing this hybrid position at Ohio State, he can learn routes and practice catching balls. He can also prepare to be an NFL receiver.

It would have been nice to have a healthy 5th year superstar transfer, but I am excited about Wade. He might not be as dynamic as Miller, but now we can hope for multiple very good seasons instead of another stopgap. (At least that is what I am telling myself.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

BC Hall inductees and other links

BC announced eight new members of the Varsity Club's Hall of Fame. The headliners are Damien Woody and Mike Mottau.

The ACC announced their preseason All Conference team and there were no Eagles to be found. I hope that the postseason team looks a little different.

BC is still in good position for Connecticut OL prospect Lucas Niang..

FoxSports asked a few questions about BC's season.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It seems like opposing coaches like Addazio

Sometimes I miss the old days. Like when anonymous conference coaches would give Athlon catty quotes about BC. Now, even as they are nameless, the coaches have good things to say about BC. This is what Athlon quoted this year:

"The staff there has done a real good job, and they've gotten better every year, so I imagine they'll continue to get better." -- An opposing ACC assistant coach.

Instead of biting, that is pretty complimentary. But it is not condescending like some powers can be when discussing BC: "they are a nice little program..."

It is the sort of thing that makes me think Addazio earned the respect of his fellow coaches. He's done a lot so far and based on this article on Pat Narduzzi, it seems like he's willing to provide good advice to other new coaches.

While I miss trying to figure out which coaches trashed BC in Athlon, I am glad we are well liked and have a coach that others like and respect.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Addazio at the ACC Media Days

The coach hit on all his talking points in his ACC Media interviews. He mentioned 60 of the scholarship players being freshmen and sophomores. He talked about Wade. He mentioned Ireland and Fenway. He joked about the Offensive Line. But I am not concerned about the talk. We will hear all these stories for the next few months. My positive takeaway is Addazio's confidence.

Watch the video above. This is a guy who likes his team and thinks he can win. That sort of confidence will help the young team and help his staff come together.

I don't think confidence is the only key to winning. If it was Addazio's second season at Temple would have been better. But I do think that he's on the right path.

BC to play Michigan State in hoops and other links

Multiple reports out of Michigan, say that BC will play Michigan State in the opener of the Wooden Classic. The Tournament is in Anaheim, so there are plenty of BC fans in the area.

The media picked BC to finish 5th in the Atlantic Division.

Julian Benbow wrote a feature on the two Seniors and how the team is using last season's near misses as motivation.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Recapping ACC Media Day 1

Monday was the players' chance to talk to the collective media at the ACC Meetings. BC's guys, Harris Williams and Mehdi Abdesmad, represented themselves and the school well. Here are the ACC's highlights of the two:

You have to admire both players' composure. English is Abdesmad's second language. And Williams works in references to the Wall Street Journal, NASA and Michelangelo. There will be more stories on both in the coming days as the writers start turning Monday's interviews into features and articles.

These sorts of events don't win games, but they do establish a culture. When you have seemingly smart, good guys representing the school, it sets a tone for the team and for the fans.

Addazio should be fun on Tuesday.

Here are the guys trying to do a little play-by-play of Matt Ryan's comeback at Lane Stadium. I think Meter's job is safe for now.

One other note about the ACC Media Day...even though BC grad Courtney Cox works for the ACC Network, she's still an Eagle.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Media Guide released!

Another sign the football season is near: BC released their media guide. The timing coincides with the ACC Media Days that started Sunday. It might not mean much to the casual BC fan, but the media guide is a huge project for the Sports Information Department. Congrats to them on publishing the 2015 version.

Is it worth reading the media guide? It is full of fact and figures, so it can be a little dull. However, the athlete profiles are always well done. For many of the players, their Media Guide bio is our first detailed introduction to them. The media guide is also a great source for team history and records.

The summer roster was also released. The only real news there is that Nat Dixon is still listed. On social media it seems like he might have left the team. I am sure the Sport Information department will clear that up soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hanlan exploring options

Olivier Hanlan didn't play well in the Las Vegas Summer League. Now he has a decision

As a second round pick, the Jazz owe him a non-guaranteed one-year contract to keep his rights. He can sign, ride the bench, get a little money and get cut whenever they need to make room for someone else. He's unlikely to break the Jazz's rotation (based on how he played), so the only way to get better as part of the Jazz Organization is the D Leage. But that would solve one problem (playing time) and might create others (lack of money and lack of real coaching).

The other option is going to Europe. In this case the Jazz would retain his rights, but he could improve his game and make some decent money. If anything he should look at the nice career former Eagle Tyrese Rice created in Europe.  

I hope that he finds a place to develop. I think with the right coach and team, his shooting will improve and he'll become an regular NBA player. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lesson from the 2010 New Jersey recruits posted a look back on the state's top recruits from the Class of 2010. The focus of the article was Rutgers, but there is some BC stuff to learn too.

Three of the Top 20 guys enrolled at BC (Shakim Phillips, Steele DiVitto and Jarrett Darmstatter). They were part of Spaz's first full recruiting class. At the time it was encouraging to get three guys out of New Jersey but there was also a "what if" to the Garden State recruiting since we also missed on a few guys at friendly programs (Don Bosco). But with hindsight, it shows this whole group of New Jersey guys was relatively disappointing. Phillips multiple moves kept him from ever reaching the potential of his recruiting ratings. Darmstatter never became a big factor. Of BC's commitments, DiVitto clearly had the best career.

But looking back, not many of the guys in the New Jersey Top 20 exceeded or even met the expectations that came with their rankings. New Jersey is such a critical state for so many programs, so a weak recruiting year can impact teams all over the Northeast.

Overall this is a reminder that recruiting is not always as simple as "get all the best guys" in one area. Successful programs are the ones who are better at identifying talent than the recruiting services. They are also the ones that bring in good class after good class and have multiple regions where they find talent. That way one group that disappoints does not hamper the program long term.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sneak peek at 2015 uniform

BC's Football Equipment Staff put this picture up on Twitter Thursday. While we cannot see everything, it is a pretty good look at what the 2015 uniform will look like. The stained-glass is still part of the numbers and the colors remain the same. The ACC Football logo is new. Since I cannot see the whole sleeve, I cannot tell if the piping at the base is different. The piping around the collar looks a little different. To my eye, it seems like the maroon part in the front is a little shorter. The white area seems about the same, but because the maroon seems shorter, also seems a little closer to the chest area.

The best part about the picture is that we are one step closer to the start of the season.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Watch lists don't mean much

Every day a different BC player seems to end up on a new preseason watch list. Let me now give a blanket congratulations to all of them and more importantly a congrats to BC Sports Information for getting the players on the list. However, it all means nothing.

These preseason lists are so big and so sprawling there is not much true selectivity to it all. Plus even just getting on the voters' radar doesn't mean all that much. It is all about playing, stats and peaking at the right time. As Stewart Mandel pointed out in his recent mailbag, you don't have to be on the list to win the final award. For some awards nominations are open into October.

Andre Williams won all the big running back awards, including the Walker. He started the season on the Walker Watch list, but it was the 200-yard game after 200-yard game that won the award. It was the same with his Heisman invite. He worked his way into the finals. He put up huge number, the right amount of highlights and peaked at the right time. The list didn't sway voters.

I hope we win all the awards this year because if we do, it will be about having a great season, not a well-marketed offseason.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

UNC hires Crawley and other links

Former BC Women's Basketball Coach Sylvia Crawley is back in the ACC as an assistant at North Carolina. Because Women's Basketball doesn't get all that much attention, the Crawley tenure is often overlooked in how bad things got. Hopefully the rebuild is almost complete.

Olivier Hanlan's early struggles have disappointed some Jazz followers. If he cannot get more play in the Summer League, he's probably headed for the D-League.

Jay Paterno reached out to BC about staff jobs in the past. This came out as part of his lawsuit against the NCAA. He's been rejected by a number of Power 5 schools as well as James Madison. It is unclear if he talked to BC under Spaz or Addazio. As far as I know, Jay never enabled or ignored Sandusky's crimes. HE probably deserves another chance to prove himself as a coach. I don't see it happening at BC though...Addazio seems pretty committed to hiring from his own network.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Report: BC and North Dakota planning MSG game

It is good to be a BC fan in New York. New Yorker Eagles have been able to see the football and basketball teams locally numerous times. Now it looks like they will be able to see Hockey at Madison Square Garden. According to multiple reports, BC and North Dakota are in the final stages of scheduling a game the the New York arena in December 2016. 

The game should do well at the box office. North Dakota fans are known for traveling and BC showed they could sell ticket in New York. Plus the hardcore BC Hockey fans will make a trip of it to see BC play in the famous arena. Confirmation of the game should come during this upcoming hockey season. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Carlos Reyes talks about his BC commitment

Here is BC newest big man John Carlos Reyes talking about his decision to commit to Boston College. It is a casual conversation and he reviews his finalists and BC's ultimate appeal. I know we spend a lot of time talking about what BC has to offer, but as you can see, sometimes it is as simple as playing time in the ACC.

Good luck to John. I look forward to seeing how he develops.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hanifin signs and other links

The Hurricanes signed Noah Hanifin to a three-year contract with the standard AHL-NHL payouts. Good luck to him.

This Washington Post story on Jared Dudley starts with a BC anecdote. He only has a one-year deal in DC, but it seems like a good fit.

The BU alums won the Comm Ave Classic 7-5. The event raised over $55,000.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Campus Insiders BC Preview

In addition to the video above, their full preview is very similar to others we all read in preparation for the season. It's all going to come down to the OLine and QB.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Battle against ALS continues with Comm Ave Classic

Last summer, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral in part due to the support of the Boston College community. This summer a different BC alum is keeping the fight against ALS alive. Friday night a group of BC and BU Hockey Legends will square off in the 1st Annual Comm Ave Classic. The brainchild of former BC Hockey Captain Pat Mullane, the game is a fundraiser and a tribute to former BC Assistant SID Dick Kelley.

Obviously the best way you can join the fight is heading down to BU's Walter Brown Arena Friday night. The doors open at 6 PM and the puck drops at 7 PM. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go to Compassionate Care ALS. If you cannot make it, donations are always a good idea. Of course you can always help a local ALS charity in your area.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Reading too much into Williams and Abdesmad going to ACC Meetings

It is the offseason, so we are supposed to read tea leaves. BC fans found good news Wednesday in the announcement that Mehdi Abdesmad and Harris Williams will represent the school at the annual ACC Meetings. Selection is a collaborative process by the coaches and Sports Information. The intent is to select team leaders (usually upper classmen), who are expected to have big seasons and can represent the school well with the media.

This will be Williams second time at the event. He represented BC last year in anticipation of a big senior season (that was cut short by an injury in the UMass game). Abdesmad is also returning from injury. I am going to take both's selection as a sign that they are both 100% and ready to lead.

Last year's ACC Media Days didn't produce any memorable quotes or interviews. The event can be real hit or miss depending on the players and the questions asked. With little expected of BC, this year could be a bit boring too, or maybe the combination of Williams, Abdesmad and Addazio will prove interesting and the sign of good things to come this season.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Addazio doesn't like 7 on 7s

As football becomes a year round sport, 7 on 7 camps and drills are the go to set up for many offseasons. One football guy close to our hearts doesn't think too much of the trend. Last week in an interview with a Tennessee radio station Addazio talked about a variety of BC-related issues and eventually gets to the 7 on 7s. This is what he said:

"You don’t know how people really perform until you put them in those pressure situations, so I equate it to 7 on 7. To me, the 7 on 7 drill in football is kind of a joke. The quarterbacks are throwing, there is no threat of being sacked, or being hit, and there’s really not a heavy contact threat in the back end.”

His argument makes sense. 7 on 7s improve timing or passing routes, but tell you little.

Is it any wonder that Addazio feels so much is missing from 7 on 7s? He's made his living with good line play and running the ball. Both aspects are neutered in passing drills.

Once again, Addazio is a good interview and I like his honesty on the hot topics in college football.

Monday, July 06, 2015

CFN's BC Preview and the challenges or BC's current roster

College Football News posted their BC preview and their roster breakdown. The preview is pretty straightforward and hits on most of what we know and expect. Reading the player piece was a bit more of a reminder of the challenges we face this season. CFN ranks BC's best players as Hilliman,Wujciak, Daniels, Kavalec, Simmons, Adbesmad, Williams, Alston, Willis and Moore. Going purely on their history, that is not an elite group of players. If those guys are really BC's best players, then we need to hope for a few breakout seasons.

Of CFN's best, a few might still become All-ACC players (Hilliman, maybe Alston, maybe Kavalec?). Hilliman will probably get plenty of carries and showed great potential last year. Alston is a playmaker in space. If BC can get him the ball in situations other than sweeps, he could also be elite. Kavalec will get plenty of chances to make plays on defense. He started strong last year before plateauing a bit. Let's hope he can make the jump.

A couple of guys showed moments of greatness in the past, but now face huge question marks due to injury (Williams and Adbesmad). I have a little more faith in Williams' return since his injury and recovery were fairly typical. I don't know what to expect from Adbesmad. Like Swigert, after so many setbacks, any production Addazio gets is a bonus.

The other guys -- Simmons, Willis, Wujciak, Daniels, and Moore -- are all likeable and productive players. Each will make a play or two over the course of the year that will win BC a game. BC has won for decades with guys like these. Yet on our best teams, I don't think any would have cracked the Top 10. This is where I feel like the downturn in talent/recruiting under Spaz finally shows itself. Spaz and his staff found plenty of "BC guys." But didn't find enough elite difference makers that you need to win a conference.

But the shallow preseason Top 10 doesn't mean that all hope is lost. I do believe in Addazio's young talent and think that plenty of recruits who didn't make the list will step up and have huge seasons.

Jackson signs new deal with Detroit

Congrats to Reggie Jackson on his reported $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. After he turned down a smaller extension with the Thunder, many questioned if he would ever get as good a deal elsewhere. Turning down the deal also led to the trade to Detroit and many wondering if Jackson was worth the money or the fuss. Fortunately for Reggie (and his fans), he played well in Detroit and is now part of the Pistons' plans going forward.

Friday, July 03, 2015

BC recruits talk about how BC recruited them

Rivals put up a good summary of each of BC's current verbals and how BC approached them. Two things stood out to me. First, the varied time frames of each recruitment. You had guys like Scooter Harrington that were offered as freshmen in high school and others who BC approached later and moved on quickly. That shows that as much as a program wants to plan and build a class, they also have to be flexible and jump on late bloomers and new opportunities.

The other thing that stood out were the multiple mentions of Don Brown and Ben Albert. Al Washington is often mentioned and credited with the bulk of recruits, but all the coaches contribute. (And if you don't recruit well, Addazio will make a change.) At some programs, a coordinator like Brown wouldn't be as involved. At BC he is. That's a big asset, especially since he's recruiting players for his system. Albert is big on Twitter, so I imagine he can relate to young players well.

This is the first full Addazio class that won't be huge. Who they select and how they recruit is even more important this year. It is nice to see that recruits respect BC's approach and that all the coaches are finding "dudes."

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Dudley traded and other links

Good news for BC fans in D.C.: Jared Dudley is coming to town. Dudley has done many events for BC alumni over the years and I am sure things will be similar in Washington. Plus he will serve as a nice replacement for Paul Pierce.

Another BC guy excited about a trade is Jimmy Hayes. The Massachusetts native is coming home to play for the Bruins.

Anthony Castonzo is now giving cooking tips.

BC pitcher John Nicklas didn't get drafted this June. That has him motivated for a big Senior year. His teammate Justin Dunn is playing in Cape Cod this summer.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

BC adds a punter to recruiting class

Recruiting class are not just about stars and ratings. It is also about backfilling positions, especially in unique areas like Special Teams. It looks like Addazio found his punter of the future, as Texas kicker/punter Grant Carlson committed Wednesday.

Ignore Carlson's low rating. His position ranking (5th overall) is signal that he has enough leg. If a guy has enough leg, he can refine technique and improve (with BC's coaching and private special teams coaching). Carlson also kicks too. Maybe we will luck out and he'll be an asset in both.

BC has recruited plenty of good kickers and punters over the years. When they struggle it is rarely about the leg and all about the head. We won't know if Carlson can hack it at this level until he takes the field. Good luck to him and welcome aboard.