Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Chip Kelly dreaming starts now!

According to multiple reports, the San Francisco 49ers plan to fire Chip Kelly as part of a management house cleaning. The timing means he will probably not coach this upcoming season. I imagine his head coaching career in the NFL is over. However, he will be the hot name in College Football next fall. Any Power 5 team looking to make a change will make a run at Kelly. A lot has to happen, but I could see a scenario where Kelly comes to BC.

Kelly marches to the beat of his own drummer. Read any profile on him to see how he tries to zig when others zag. Sure he could easily walk into a cushy job next December like UCLA, or even Notre Dame or Tennessee, but is that what he wants? All of those sorts of jobs come with huge expectations and huge microscopes. At BC he could return to New England, be near his long-time friends and do nearly whatever he wants. Any challenges of the job like recruiting or money could be offset by Kelly's cachet and cash.

I know no one believes this but Kelly expressed interest in the job when we fired Spaz. It was via a third party and Bates never took it seriously or pursued it. Now it will be up to another AD to pull of the most delicate courtship in BC history.

Oh, there is the fact that we currently have a head coach. I don't know what sort of relationship Addazio has with Kelly. The coaching community is small and they both share a common connection with Ryan Day. I don't know if Kelly would avoid any BC talk out of respect. Who knows? Also, it might not seem fair to speculate on Addazio's job after ending the season with three wins. But the man remains under .500 and has only won two ACC games in two years. If he finishes 7-6 again, I have no problem with BC making a change and swinging for the fences. With how these things go, BC will know if Kelly is interested well before BC's season is over in December.

But all of this will really depend on how BC changes its Sports Leadership. Aside from an AD change, there has been plenty of talk about a financial and Board of Trustees commitment. If BC wants to show its commitment to upgrades to its fanbase and the college sports world, there is no bigger sign than pulling off a Chip Kelly signing.

In the end, I doubt it will happen. There are just too many things that have to fall into place. But that doesn't mean that BC shouldn't try to pull it off.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Graves to St. Louis and other links

We hardly knew ya, Ty Graves. As BC announced last week, Graves is leaving the program. Now we know he is headed to St. Louis. Maybe he will get the minutes and starts he wants there.

Hockey finished 3rd in the Three Rivers Classic.

The story of former BC guy Miles Wood history with Alex Ovechkin is going viral.

The Chargers are activating Andre Williams.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Big ratings for BC's bowl

The biggest sky is falling BC fan often worry about "the ACC kicking BC out of the conference." Even when BC looks inept, that won't happen. Why? Because of television. Look at what a 6-6 BC and 6-6 Maryland team did on a Monday afternoon after Christmas.

BC can't take credit for this alone. Maryland has a good TV footprint too (hence why they are in the Big Ten). BC also can't sit on their media market and not try to improve on the field and in marketing within Boston. Imagine what the ratings would be if BC was great and had a rabid following in the Boston area.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Maryland

This game felt weird to watch live and even weirder on the second viewing. BC dominated yet the score was close. In a way it was a fitting end to the year. I don't know of many scores, including the blowouts and the close wins, that really captured this team's potential. I don't think BC was great this year, but I do think BC should have been better than the final record. This game had moments that showed what could have been. At least they held it together and closed it out for the win.

Offense: B

It was a typical Towles game. He made some nice throws and used his athleticism (nice catch!) but also was inconsistent with his footwork and rushed things a bit. I often wondered if they should use him differently during the season, but maybe we saw the whole package. He can do great things but just not consistently.

Hilliman started strong. He made good cuts and ran hard. I thought he got a little overused though as the game wore on. There was less explosiveness and of course the fumble. I wish the staff split the carries a bit more. Willis' two touches were great. Jones didn't get to do much.

Smith didn't get enough touches, but the pass worked well. Callinan dropped two early, but recovered to contribute later. Sweeney's catches were good. Walker's TD was great. Idrizi was a nice surprise early.

The OLine played pretty well. There was good work in the interior with Baker, Johnson and Lindstrom. Lowery had the false start issues again. But overall this group got a big push and opened holes. This was also the least amount of pressure that Towles faced all year against a Power 5 team.

The tempo caught Maryland by surprise and that set the tone. The early running was great. But as the Terps adjusted, we didn't answer. Where were the play actions passes in the second half? Why no bootlegs? Why not so of the edge stuff that worked against Wake? Instead we sat on the lead and put a ton of pressure on the D.

Defense: B-

I hope Landry comes back because this game is a blue print for how things might work next year. Maryland doubled him a lot and that opened up things for everyone else. And despite being doubled, he had a great game. The DTs played well and forced Maryland to abandon running between the tackles. Merritt and Ray Smith stepped up. Gutaphel did what he needed. Kavalec had a big stop. Allen also looked good (but I thought his facemask penalty was going to kill BC).

The LBs were not as successful as the DLine. There were a few too many missed tackles and they allowed some big plays by being a little out of position and a little over aggressive. Strachan made the most tackles. Schwab was fine.

The DBs made some great plays but were also burned repeatedly. Harris gave up a big play where he just got beat (and looked hurt). The corners had some big moments but few missed tackles. Yiadom's late tackle was critical. Johnson had a strong overall game.

BC brought a lot of pressure this game and it showed how things are high risk-high reward. We have the talent upfront to get to the QB, but it allowed for huge plays when we didn't. That has been a problem all year. Unlike the offense, the D kept up its aggressiveness in the second half and ultimately that is what saved BC. They gave up a lot of big plays, but that was in part because the offense wasn't sustaining drives in the second half.

Special Teams: C-

Throughout the season our Special Teams were probably our most consistent unit. They had their one of their worst games during the Bowl.

Knoll's punts were decent. His kickoffs were okay and included two touchbacks. The place kicking was bad. The first miss was due to a blocking breakdown, but maybe it got in his head. He missed another PAT. The field goal miss was pretty makeable. He just went wide.

The punt coverage was fine. The kick coverage was not great and we got lucky on some Maryland penalties.

Rouse wasn't able to do much. Willis' returns were fine.

Overall: B

The first half was great. Addazio added new wrinkles -- like tempo -- that worked. Our trick plays worked. Yet in the second half as Maryland adjusted, we just reverted to old form. We went way too conservative, especially considering that Maryland showed they could score quickly. I thought the play calling in our last two possessions nearly cost BC the game. It was like he learned nothing from Ireland. Getting the first down is what is important, not just killing clock. It worked out, but that doesn't mean it was the right call.

I don't know where the team goes from here. There are plenty of pieces in place, but also many of the same old questions. We have the whole offseason to think about what's to come. For now, I am very happy for the team and happy the season ended on a high note.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Addazio's challenges between now and spring football

Nick Saban is infamous for "hating" the Championship games because of all the time it takes away from the regular schedule. He knows that while he is preparing, other coaches are working. Steve Addazio seemed rightfully proud after BC's Bowl win in Detroit, but there is no time to rest. This team has some major short-term concerns. This is what Addazio needs to do between now and the start of Spring Ball.

1. Close out the recruiting class.
This class picked up some positive momentum in the past few weeks. In part due to how BC finished their season. The bowl game should only help that momentum. We know that BC has a few remaining needs and targets available. Let's see the staff go get them. Because there have been fewer coaching changes this year at other schools, there are fewer committed prospects to grab. But there are plenty of kids out there that might still flip. Find them.

Addazio also needs to decide if he will take any 5th years. As frustrating as Towles and Lowery were this year, that doesn't mean that 5th years are bad. BC could use veteran depth at QB, OLine, LB and even RB.

2. Get Landry and Wade to stay.
Harold Landry was the talk in the postgame. He has already put his name in for the NFL evaluation. Personally I think he should return. I don't think he has developed enough (physically nor in his technique) to go in the first round. If he comes back to BC, he would be the featured player on a loaded Defensive Line. It should only make him that much better a prospect.

Darius Wade was quietly forgotten as the season progressed. Even in his talks with the media, Addazio spent most of his time talking up Anthony Brown. If I were Wade, I would not feel good about my prospects at BC. But he is still needed. BC lacks depth and experience at QB and even if Brown is a huge talent, there is no guarantee he can stay healthy. Addazio's pitch should be simple enough: return, compete and get your degree. If he still doesn't play next year, he is free to go anywhere as 5th year. If he transfers right now, he will have to sit next year anyway. I don't know what Wade is thinking, but the smart -- albeit frustrating -- move is to come back to BC.

3. Make staff decisions.

Last season's losses and the departure of Don Brown forced Addazio to shake up his staff. This year doesn't require the same sort of house cleaning. The only issue might be what to do with the Defensive Coordinator situation. Jim Reid had some health issues during the season and there was some gossip that Pasqualoni took over play calling duties. Reid and Pasqualoni are both veteran guys who came to BC as their last stop. I am sure any issues can be worked out. Maybe Reid leaves (but I doubt it). Pasqualoni isn't going anywhere.

4. Make some philosophical decisions about BC's offense.

BC had a new QB and new OC, yet still had major issues scoring points. Some of the challenges were talent based, but other aspects are clearly on the coaching. You saw BC use uptempo a bit in the bowl and it worked. However, it is not as simple as going no huddle. When you struggle like BC does -- often times with simple things -- you are not preparing well. There is no true system. We spend time installing gimmicks and trick plays (Smith at the Wildcat, Jones throwing TDs) but don't so the basics well. There are many ways Addazio can go with things. I don't object to a run-based pro-style system, but I do think it has to be simplified so that the team can get better at it. BC should be able to plug any player within the system into his respective position when needed. BC also needs to improve execution so that the line is better, the QB play is better and BC can mix up tempo whenever they see the need.

Monday, December 26, 2016

DLine saves the day in Detroit

The first half was nearly perfect. The second half was a heartburn inducing roller-coaster. At this point this is what we should expect as BC fans. But fortunately the DLine made some huge stops on Maryland's last possession to preserve the win.

I am happy we won and very happy for the seniors.

Addazio keeps pointing to Year 5 as the point where it all comes together. I hope this game serves as a spark. Right now it feels like Addazio is a 7-6 coach.

I will have second viewing thoughts and grades up Tuesday or Wednesday.

In-game comments post: Maryland

It is our last game of the year and a chance to finish with a winning record. It is also BC's chance to end the bowl losing streak. Let's do this!

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Lewis commits to BC

As rumored, Connecticut QB CJ Lewis committed to BC on Christmas Day. Since the last time I mentioned Lewis, I've been told he is committing as a Athlete/QB. What that means is that he might not ever play QB at BC and Addazio could still bring in yet another QB in this class.

Regardless of where he plays and what sort of impact he eventually makes, landing Lewis is a good sign. He previously verballed to Tennessee and had plenty of Power 5 offers (including late pushes from Penn State and Baylor). Addazio will hopefully close this class out strong and give his roster the overall depth he needs.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Thank you for all the support. Go BC!

Friday, December 23, 2016

BC upsets PC!

Writers use the analogy of Jekyll and Hyde when you don't know what version of a team will show up for each game. But I think the tag is fair for this year's BC Basketball team. How else can you explain a team losing to these low rung programs and then beating an Auburn or upsetting Providence?

BC did a lot right in this game, including exploding in the second half. Jeffers had his best game of the season. He looked good on the pick and rolls, played really good defense and made big plays all over the court. Bowman ran the point (for good reason) and converted his shots at a high rate. Chatman's 3s fell and that certainly helped.

It wasn't all perfect though. BC still turned the ball over too much and had issues with pressure as Providence made a late comeback. The other news of the day was that freshman Ty Graves is leaving. This had been rumored, but losing a young player with good upside is always disappointing. Fortunately Bowman seems capable. I don't take Graves' departure as a sign of program problems. When you sell playing time and a guy sees someone in his own class ahead of him (Bowman), you can see why he would bail.

The guys will have a few days off for Christmas and then start up back on New Year's Day against Syracuse. Who knows what team will show. Hopefully it is this one.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

BC-Maryland preview

The general college football world is either ignoring or deriding this game. Yet it remains important, especially for Addazio. He is claiming that BC's recent momentum will be unaffected by the outcome of the game. I disagree. I don't think the recruiting class will fall apart if we lose, but a winning season versus a losing season will have impact in BC fan perception. It will also influence his new boss (when he/she is hired). Addazio is safe for another season, but this game is a must win if he really wants to build a winner in Boston.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I roll my eyes and argue vehemently whenever I read or hear someone say "BC doesn't belong in the ACC." Yet in my ever-growing list of hypocrisies, I keep thinking to myself that "Maryland doesn't belong in the Big Ten." I can talk myself into the differences and why BC does belong and the Terps don't, but what's the point? It is all nonsense. I can't remember who said it recently, but these are not conferences anymore. Just TV packages among a confluence of schools. It is a sham, but I will keep putting my head in the sand because I want to watch some BC Football.

Three Simple Keys
1. Stop the run. Sometimes it is that simple. Maryland is one dimensional and it plays to our strength. We need Gutapfel to dominate.
2. Get the TEs involved early. I think finding Sweeney early -- especially off of play action -- will create some big plays for BC.
3. Great OLine play. I don't expect a new team after just a few weeks of bowl practice, but I do expect them to play better than they did during the regular season.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 1-2 in bowls
-- BC is 13-11 in bowls
-- BC is 8-3 all time against Maryland
The current line is BC+2.5

BC had a fairly regular series in Detroit against fellow Jesuit school, University of Detroit. (Now known as Detroit Mercy.) It ended when Detroit dropped Football in 1964. To the Father Neenan post earlier in the week, do you think Detroit would be more of a national university if it still had football?

Scoreboard Watching
None of these games mean much for BC, but it would be nice to see Clemson win the playoff. It would be the conference's second title in four years. That would be good for the ACC and for BC.

What I hope to see...
A great game from Patrick Towles. After an uneven season as a senior, Brian St. Pierre played the best game of his career in a Detroit bowl game. It would be nice to see Towles do something similar in his final college game.

BC is in trouble if...
They waste good field position. It happened in the Wake game. So avoid turnovers in the redzone and don't let drives stall.

Coaches talk all the time about imposing their will on the other team. I think these two guys take it a little too literally. I think both teams will run the ball into a wall of defenders out of stubbornness and determination. I think BC's D will prove stronger and I think our few passes will help break the game open. BC wins and everyone feels better going into Spring Ball.
Final: BC 24, Maryland 13

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Basketball looks bad in loss to Fairfield

I thought Auburn might have been a turning point. After losing to Fairfield, it looks like an aberration. Bad defense and poor foul shooting were the main reasons for BC's loss. But the recurring trend is that the team didn't look prepared.

How did Fairfield get so many good looks from 3? It is like the guys don't know what is coming. Fairfield did what they like to do. We just weren't ready defensively. As he gets his lineup in order, I hope Christian starts putting more emphasis on D. We can't be this bad if we are going to be competitive at all in AC game.

The poor free throw shooting is another recurring problem. It is good news they are drawing this many fouls, but someone's got to make them.

The good news of the night was the career high from Bowman. He is showing he can dribble and get to the hoop. On a team as limited as BC that skill will be critical.

BC renews its rivalry with Providence next. I hope the team that knocked off Auburn shows up and not the team that got outplayed by Fairfield.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Waiting on CJ Lewis and other links

I usually just post some sort of picture and a "Merry Christmas" post on December 25. This year might be different as one of BC's top remaining targets is set to decide on the big day. CJ Lewis would be the second QB in this recruiting class. BC is the favorite, but plenty of schools are trying to get in the mix.

Landry is considered BC's top NFL prospect in the game

If you have 50 minutes to spare, you can watch a computer simulation of the Bowl Game. This might be more watchable the the actual bowl game. Spoiler: BC wins.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Jesuit who got it

This is the late, long-time faculty member and BC Administrator Father William Neenan, S.J. This is part of a longer speech, but I highlighted the reference to BC history and the importance of football below. (Go to 9:48 in the video.)

We hear various things about what sort of school BC wants to be and where the Board of Trustees wants the school to go. While I don't want to put sports first, I hope BC's leaders share Father Neenan's perspective and realize that taking sports seriously has always helped and will continue to help BC.

(Thanks to CE for the heads up.)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hoops defeats Sacred Heart

It wasn't pretty, but BC held on to beat Sacred Heart Sunday. The game was full of fouls and BC had a scary moment when Sacred Heart made a run in the second half, but Robinson made the difference. He scored 32 and converted 9 of 11 free throw attempts. Not a great effort overall, but at least there wasn't a hangover from the Auburn win.

Next the team plays Fairfield on Tuesday.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Jahmin Muse joins recruiting class

Addazio keeps making the most of this downtime before the bowl game. The coach added to his recruiting class as New Jersey WR Jahmin Muse verballed over the weekend. Muse is listed as an athlete so he might end on Defense. He had offers from Purdue, Iowa, Rutgers, and a few other power 5 programs. 

I don't know what's to explain the recent uptick in recruiting. Maybe the improvement on the field. Maybe Addazio is on a hot streak. Who cares? Let's just hope he keeps riding this momentum until Signing Day. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

More Bowl talk

Here is more related media to the bowl. What I found interesting is that the talking heads are favoring BC. I know they are only doing cursory prep, but it is still encouraging.

The final clip doesn't embed, but does breakdown the bowl with a focus on their running game vs BC's run defense.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

BC in the clear on Wakeyleaks

I don't know if any other program is going to get in trouble for the Wakayleaks scandal, but Steve Addazio verified that he nor anyone on his staff had any contact with Tommy Elrod. I believe the coach for a few reasons. One we looked generally disorganized and sloppy when facing Clawson's Wake teams. Second, there is no obvious connection between Elrod and any former or current BC staffers. That is a relief and it will be even better if Bobby Petrino is forced out after all this mess.

While I am relieved about BC's lack of involvement, I still don't understand Elrod's motive. What could have happened that led to him hurting his employer and Alma Mater? Even if he was gaining financially, there is still only so much you can make on one game. Plus that is a short term gain and if caught it kills your long-term financial opportunities. Elrod will never work in College Sports again. 

I do support an ACC investigation. I don't know what they will find, but you have to see how widespread this was. And hopefully when the smoke clears, a couple big coaches will be out and Addazio will have his team ready to compete. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dillon's commitment is a big deal

Massachusetts' top recruit is headed to Boston College. Steve Addazio and Company were able to flip Running Back AJ Dillon from Michigan back to New England. This had been rumored for a few weeks, as Dillon became more engaged with BC players on social media. In addition to Addazio's sales pitch was the fact that Michigan wouldn't guarantee him a spot at Running Back and left open the option of moving Dillon to Linebacker. Regardless of how it came together, closing on Dillon is a big deal.

Who knows if Dillon will live up to the hype? (He is coming off an injury.) What does matter is that BC's sales pitch worked on an elite recruit. In the past, some BC staffs would have given up on the running back. Plus there remains a lingering belief that elite New England recruits need to leave the area and only the "B" players go to BC. Dillon helps change that narrative. He also shows that recruits are buying into Addazio's turning the corner pitch.

Dillon might not be the only elite guy the staff flips. Tennessee verbal CJ Lewis is also supposedly interested in staying in the area. The Connecticut QB would be a huge pick up and provide some more depth at the position.

Addazio is never going to X & O us to success, but maybe he can still raise the talent level enough that we become consistent winners again.

Vintage BC posters

There are no BC Calendars this year. However, Asgard -- the company behind the old calendars -- still has a lot of cool Christmas gift ideas. You can buy a vintage BC poster (above) or classic art and products from old comic books, other sports teams or other gift sets. If you are still trying to find a good gift, take a look and be sure to use their discount for readers of this blog.

How to buy: 
1. Go to, and use the promo code "atleagle16."


2. Just click on the link below.

(A heads-up, the site doesn't calculate the 10% discount until the very end, so don't worry when you don't see the discount when you put the calendar in your shopping cart.)

I do get a referral on all the purchases made through the link.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Frates honored and other links

The NCAA gave Pete Frates its 2017 inspiration award for his work with ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge.

BC is adding more recruits before the quiet period, including Ohio DLine prospect DeAri Todd, and Conneticut Linebacker TJ Gardner. Michigan fans are also worried we might flip AJ Dillon.

This is a long article on the Houston Rockets Daryl Morey by Michael Lewis. If you like Lewis' approach it is worth your time. If you are just a curious BC fan, then read about Sean Williams and Houston's experience with him. The Williams stuff comes early in the article.

Monday, December 12, 2016

BC beats Auburn! (Maybe it was a good time to play Pearl.)

If last week was a disaster for the basketball team, this week is off to a good start. BC upset Auburn in Madison Square Garden 72-71. There was a lot to like about this game and still some things of concern. However, I don't want to diminish this win. It is was against a Power 5 team on a big stage and against a team with momentum. I don't expect this to mean BC turned a corner. This could still be a fluke. Most likely this is the "two steps forward" process of progression. Here are some other likes and dislikes:

-- Clutch plays from Popovic. When BC needed a basket, he made a beautiful post move. The tip in to win was also nice. It seems like he has a good basketball IQ.
-- Bowman creating in traffic with the game on the line. He wanted the ball late and got his shot off. That seems like a simple thing, but when was the last time we had someone who wanted the ball like that, could actually get a shot off and we didn't wince when he did?
-- Not letting the game get away from them. BC had a ton of mistakes down the stretch (see below). Yet they didn't fold. That is progress.

-- So many turnovers. Pearl pressures. We know that. But things were really sloppy, especially for Robinson.
-- Trouble with a two man game on D. Auburn kept getting open shots with just two guys on the perimeter. Do our guys not talk to each other out there?
-- Christian calling a timeout as BC drove for an open shot. And BC made what would have been the go ahead basket. Thank god that didn't come back to haunt us.  

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bruce Pearl on the schedule at the wrong time

I don't think BC put a ton of thought into playing Auburn Monday night. It was really driven by our shared apparel partner Under Armour. But the timing and Auburn's coach make things that much more interesting. Because Bruce Pearl could just as easily be coaching BC right now.

Based on his first two years back in college basketball at Auburn, there is no guarantee that Pearl would have turned BC around. Pearl has struggled to integrate transfers (sound familiar?) and win meaningful conference games. This year is off to a more promising start although they've played a favorable schedule thus far. 

Although he was available when BC made their last coaching change, Pearl was never a real candidate. Despite his ties to the school, his NCAA show clause made him an automatic no with BC's leadership. And given what we know about Brad Bates now, I don't think he had the political instinct nor desire to get support for Pearl among BC's leadership. Plus, I don't know if Pearl would have wanted to return to BC as it was set up then. Why go to a Power 5 program where you will have to fight battles on budgets and admissions, when those same obstacles don't exist at another school offering you a job?

As BC decides what to do with the Athletic Department, the Athletic Director and our major coaches, the school has to think about Pearl and other coaches like him. Can we give those coaches what they want without compromising who we are? I believe we can. It will start a commitment from the Board. Then the AD change. Finally finding another Bruce Pearl. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hockey falls to ND and other links

The Men's Hockey team dropped their first Hockey East game of the season. It was a frustrating loss as the team built an early lead and watched it slip away in the second period.

The Women's Basketball team beat Providence. They will take a break for finals and then resume their season next week against Central Connecticut.

Here is another preview of BC's Bowl game.

Friday, December 09, 2016

New low for BC Hoops under Christian

The Harvard game could be rationalized away. Losing at home to a previously 2-8 Hartford team cannot. This is the lowest point in Jim Christian's short tenure at BC. We all thought the new AD would have to deal with football first. I think the timing and the start of the season means Basketball team will probably be addressed this spring.

For those who didn't watch the game, it was extremely frustrating. BC opened up an early lead and seemingly checked out in the first half. Robinson was cold, so BC had no answer on offense. Against a simple 2-3 zone (with bad America East level talent) BC could not score. What was worse is that they didn't even know what to do. BC knows it will face a 2-3 every year in Syracuse. Is there no preseason preparation on how to operate against one? Finally and ultimately too late, they realized they could get their big guards clean looks from the paint with a little high low. Why did it take 20 minutes to make that adjustment?

More alarming was how bad the D was. This BC team has decent athleticism and some big guards and wings. That should create all sorts of defensive benefits for BC. Yet Hartford had multiple open 3s because of bad rotations and defenders helping the wrong guy. Who is teaching these guys?

I am probably overrating the current BC talent, but I am hoping there is something there. Because if we are hoping for Christian to save things with Xs & Os, we're doomed.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

More bowl previews

More and more bowl previews are coming out (here and here)  and even though Maryland is favored, there are some who like BC's chances. I am still unsure, but Maryland's flaws give me hope. Below is another clip previewing the game.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Harvard hands BC another basketball loss

In his first two seasons, Jim Christian managed to avoid losing to Harvard. That changed Wednesday night as the Crimson beat BC 74-66. Harvard built a big lead early. BC chipped away a bit in the second half, but couldn't close the deal in the final minutes.

This Harvard team is better than their last two teams, but this is not one of Amaker's best. This was a winnable game and Christian should have had the guys playing better. Especially on D. Also, where is the supposed speed that he was preaching in the preseason?

It is still early in the year and this team is still young, but I am starting to worry. The transfers don't really seem like ACC caliber players. That leaves a huge burden on the young guys.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Temple sends another coach to a Power 5

Addazio's successor at Temple is moving up to the big time. Baylor hired Matt Rhule to be their new head coach and signed him to a seven year contract. Rhule's association with Temple means he was never going to be a BC coach, but is interesting to look at Baylor's move as it relates to BC.

There were plenty of jokes online after the announcement that Baylor clearly didn't learn from Al Golden and Steve Addazio that winning at Temple is not always a good indicator of future success. But I don't even know if Baylor would see themselves as something comparable to BC. This process has shown they are in their own bubble and lack perspective. I am sure they see themselves above BC given their location and financial commitment to football. I see them as a program that struggled for a long time prior to Art Briles and one that could likely struggle again, especially if Texas ascends back to the top of the Big XII. If anything, Baylor should look at the challenges Golden faced at Miami and realize Rhule could have the same issues due to "fit."

Al Golden never became part of the "U." He was an outsider and that hurt with the fanbase, the local recruits and the alumni. If he had won at a higher rate things would have been smoother, but ultimately they never embraced him and that made it easier to fire him. Rhule is a true northeast guy going to a very religious school in the middle of nowhere. He is going to heavily recruit Texas for the first time. Plus, like Golden, he will have the looming scandal repercussions hanging over the rebuild. It is not an ideal situation. We had many questions about Addazio coming to BC, but a culture and recruiting fit was not one of them. 

I don't know how Rhule will do at Baylor. No one does. But I don't know if it is fair to use Addazio as a benchmark for anything. Each coach is his own man and each job has its own unique challenges. 

Does Baylor's decision offer a little validation to Brad Bates' hire? Is Temple really a legitimate stepping stone to Power 5 jobs? I think we are past the point of validating the process that produced Addazio. It doesn't really matter after four years of on-the-job results. And it doesn't really matter for Bates since he won't be hiring the next BC Football coach. The only lesson that BC should take away from Baylor is that they made a major investment in their program and it led to more wins. I think BC can do the same thing, and hopefully unlike Baylor, not ruin our reputation by covering up the crimes of the football players. 

Monday, December 05, 2016

What others are saying about BC's bowl

I think the various BC communities had consistent reaction to the bowl announcement. Most BC fans realize the Quick Lane Bowl is not the same at making the College Playoff, but it is still a positive opportunity. Most BC players on social media and the coaches seem very excited about playing in any bowl game. The general college football community seems a bit indifferent. Others took a mocking tone. All of that is to be expected. Both teams had plenty of rough moments this year. But BC shouldn't care. Ignore the chatter and win the game.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

BC bowling in Detroit

As predicted by most, BC will play Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl December 26 in Detroit. While technically this game doesn't share the same official legacy of the previous bowls in Detroit, this is basically the same game. It is the same stadium (Ford Field) and the same date after Christmas. BC will face old ACC foe Maryland. There is nothing particularly exciting about this game, location or matchup, but that's fine. BC just needs to win and this game is very winnable.

The Terps open as slight favorites. But neither of their units are especially strong (93rd in Offense, 80th in Defense). If BC can play like they did against Wake and NC State, they win. If BC's D struggles...well we know how that goes.

The game is at 2:30 PM. I know some of you will be back in the office, but I imagine many BC fans will be able to watch. I doubt many will travel, but for those who do, buy your tickets through BC.

I hope the players are excited. This has been an frustrating and disappointing season. A win here would be a slight bit of redemption.

There will be plenty more bowl coverage in the coming weeks. I know no one wanted to be 6-6 and in a meaningless bowl, but at least we have one more BC game. That's always a good thing.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Hoops win, Hockey loses

Basketball took care of Dartmouth Saturday. Robinson led the way with 27 points. Dartmouth is not a good team, but every win helps. BC was able to control early and never really feel threatened. BC takes on another Ivy League team Wednesday night.

The Men's Hockey team had a huge game Saturday night. They took on North Dakota at Madison Square Garden. BC just had trouble scoring and were behind more most of the game. Even a late surge late in the game wasn't enough. The team has a few days to regroup before Northeastern on Tuesday night.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Rutgers returns to the schedule

BC agreed to a home and home series with Rutgers. Of course with the nature of college football, the series won't take place until 2026 and 2027. I know BC has to lock in games now and works hard to find the right type of Power 5 teams to play, but to me this is just being overly cautious. Scheduling Rutgers for a series three years from now would be smart scheduling. Scheduling Rutgers ten years from now -- over any and all possible College Football power -- is a missed opportunity.

As I've pointed out in many of these future scheduling discussions, it is highly likely that neither Addazio or Rutgers coach Chris Ash will be leading their respective teams in 2026. It is highly likely that Jim Harbaugh won't be coaching Michigan in 2026 and I doubt that 65 year-old Nick Saban will be coaching Alabama in 2026. Why not swing for the fences and schedule a really big name program? We don't know if we will catch them on a downswing. We don't know where BC will be. There is risk, but what's the worse thing that could happen? Two losses. But the upside, aside from two wins, is the positive perception that scheduling a power brings. You can sell it to recruits. You can sell it to fans. It is a sign that the current leaders of the program have faith in its future.

It is not like Addazio or Bates are going to be around to play this potential juggernaut. You would think they would want to leverage the positive short-term aspects of scheduling a power. I hope they see the big picture.

Other than scheduling a potential loss for the program, the only reason I can see BC avoiding super powers ten years from now would be the buyout clause. Perhaps Bates doesn't want to straddle the program with a seven figure buyout if BC's future coach doesn't want to play an Oklahoma or Texas.

I don't know. Maybe the whole landscape of college football will be so different in 2026 that playing Rutgers will not matter. Or maybe it will prove to be prudent. I just wish BC would take the occasional risk. We have nothing to lose.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Coaches on the road

There are many things to criticize Addazio for, but you can't complain about his willingness to hit the road and talk to recruits and coaches. Maybe it is Addazio's preference or maybe it is another example of emulating Urban Meyer, but the guy is out there. Many of his head coaching peers would be using this time to prep for a bowl or just catch their breath. Addazio's predecessor at BC was certainly not on the road this much.

Here are a few of the stops for Addazio (and based on social media, it seems like Washington, White, Campanile and Gunnell are also out on the road).

A photo posted by Elijah Brooks (@ebrooks784) on

The timing of all of this works well too. Addazio is out there selling "we're going bowling and things are just getting better." If you are reading this blog, you have watched more BC Football this season than most high school coaches. If you are reading this blog, you have probably watched more BC Football than most BC recruits. They just aren't paying attention like we do, so when the BC coaches show up smiling and talking about the big win, the recruits and high school coaches don't worry about the ugly losses earlier in the year. As we all know, perception still matters in college football.

Now some of Addazio's critics are think his recruiting has gone down as he's been at BC. I don't fault him in that area. While the third party rankings may not be as high, I do think there is more depth and overall talent each year. And hitting the road like he is should pay off this year and next.