Saturday, December 31, 2016
The Chip Kelly dreaming starts now!
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
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
Remember the Quick Lane Bowl with Maryland and BC? It had cable's 4th biggest audience Monday (3.019M viewers) to MFN, MNF pre and MNF post.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) December 28, 2016
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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Sunday, December 25, 2016
Lewis commits to BC
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.
MERRY CHRISTMAS 🎄☃️. S/o to @Hayesfawcett3 for the ❄️edit. #WeAreBC #SoarEagle #DecideToFly 🕊 pic.twitter.com/Bhleuzb39U— D R I P (@SavageLew_14) December 25, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
BC upsets PC!
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
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.
-- 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?
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
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
Recruit Alert: Rumor has it that 2017 QB CJ Lewis of Cheshire Academy will commit on Christmas Day #cthsfb— Nutmeg Report (@NutmegReport) December 18, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
A Jesuit who got it
(Thanks to CE for the heads up.)
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Hoops defeats Sacred Heart
Next the team plays Fairfield on Tuesday.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Jahmin Muse joins recruiting class
Friday, December 16, 2016
More Bowl talk
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
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Dillon's commitment 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 www.asgardpress.com, and use the promo code "atleagle16."
2. Just click on the link below. http://www.asgardpress.com/?promocode=atleagle16
(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
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
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Hockey falls to ND and other links
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
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
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Harvard hands BC another basketball loss
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
Monday, December 05, 2016
What others are saying about BC's bowl
As if Detroit hasn't suffered enough in 2016, Maryland vs BC in the Quick Lane Bowl probably will hurt economy more than help.— Jonathan Howard (@JHowardWrites) December 5, 2016
Boston College and Maryland, who will meet in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, combined to beat ZERO FBS teams with winning records.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 4, 2016
Which bowl is No 1--as the worst. That would be the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit between Maryland and BC.. TMGcollegesportscom— Mark Blaudschun (@blauds) December 5, 2016
Playing against Maryland in the QuickLane Bowl. They got some smoke coming their way for not offering a hometown stud.— John Johnson III (@9reedyy) December 4, 2016
Maryland-Boston College in Detroit, possibly the most mediocre bowl of all time. Both 6-6, 87th and 88th in S&P+ https://t.co/hPIclVJ41T— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) December 5, 2016
All I can say is good luck trying to sell tickets to the Quick Lane Bowl. Just looked at the stats of both teams and it's amazing...— DC is Frustrated (@DCisFrustrated) December 5, 2016
Boston College vs Maryland bowl game should be on @RaycomSports for old times sake.— Not Danny Ford (@1981tigers1981) December 4, 2016
@BCFootball fans who were good this year get 2 tickets to Quick Lane Bowl from Santa. Those who were bad get 4. Happy holidays! https://t.co/G0JWbXNL5Q— Jim Donaldson (@JimDonaldsonJr) December 5, 2016
Ranking all 40 college football bowl games from 2016-17: From Heart of Dallas to CFP https://t.co/6ONkCEWEF5 pic.twitter.com/rUzZCPmUvd— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) December 5, 2016
December 5, 2016
There are too many Bowl Games when Maryland, outscored during 3 weeks in Nov. 149-13 faces Boston College, outscored 97-14 in 2 week in Nov.— Game Hunter (@MrGameHunter) December 5, 2016
Sunday, December 04, 2016
BC bowling in Detroit
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
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
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
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).
Big thanks to Boston College Head Coach @BCCoachAddazio and @BCCoachGunnell for stopping by Sherwood today.@BCFootball pic.twitter.com/foft25QD0H— Chris Grier (@CoachGrier) November 30, 2016
Boston College football coach Steve Addazio just stopped by to see Paramus Catholic at practice today.— Varsity Aces (@VarsityAces) November 29, 2016
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.