Tuesday, January 31, 2017

BC can't hold on against Wake

BC got hot late in the second half and I thought they were going to pull it out. But then just as quickly it fell apart and BC lost to Wake Forest. The primary problem was dealing with Wake's bigs. Both Jeffers and Popovic fouled out trying to defend the post. BC went small and it created some problems for Wake, but not enough to tie the game late.

The good news is that Chatman remained hot. He is a nice compliment to Bowman and Robinson. But BC had too many bad passes from guys kicking out to the perimeter.

Even without the size mismatches, I worry about the BC defense. There are times when they look okay (like when they forced Wake into a shot clock violation). Then moments later there is confusion or no help or as easy look. I hope as the guys mature, the D gets better.

The team next takes on Louisville on Saturday.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pre Signing Day recruiting news

Signing Day is approaching and BC used the last free weekend to close in on some more recruits. After just offering New York Defensive Tackle Nate Emer, he reportedly verballed this weekend. He's going to need to add weight and adjust to the higher level of play, but I think Emer has potential.

Another reported verbal was New Jersey DT TJ Rayman. He has a better offer list than Emer. He's also a bit older and more developed. Hopefully he will be able to contribute right away.

Matthew McDonald had a good visit too but won't announce until Wednesday.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Despite Chatman's record night, BC loses to VT

A role player made 10 3-pointers and BC still lost. It was that kind of night. We had heard that Chatman was a shooter, but until now, he had yet to show any game-breaking ability. I don't expect 30 a night from him, but I hope he can become a reliable threat from long range. It will open things up for everyone else.

As for why BC lost to Virginia Tech...it was a familiar story. They turned the ball over too much. They played confused D in the first half. That allowed Virginia Tech to establish a big lead, which BC then had to claw back from. Bowman was cold early. We also didn't get much from Turner. When they cut the lead to one point late, I tweeted that BC was in the middle of a great comeback. The final score does not indicate how tense it was late.

As for positives, Jeffers provided some solid minutes.

BC needs everything to be clicking to win an ACC game. It is a shame that Champan's effort did not result in a win. If he keeps up the sharpshooting, there will be plenty of wins to follow.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

The latest on BC's second QB target

We've known that BC was still looking at California QB Matt McDonald as a recruit in the 2017 class. Now he has an official offer and is on campus for an official visit. Based on timing and Twitter, it seems like McDonald is coming.

Adding another QB to this class is critical. Not only is BC's current BC depth chart inexperienced, but also thin. Assuming that Wade is out, the only QB on campus with experience is Fadule. Even if Brown is a super star in the making, we need some sort of hedge. EJ Perry is committed, but why not bring in another QB like McDonald?

McDonald is available because he is a late bloomer who transferred from a mega power to get more playing time. He played in a good league and has the build and arm of a ACC player. Because he just became a starter, there is a risk, but the upside is huge.

As much as I would love for Addazio to target an elite recruit well in advance and keep him locked in, the McDonald situation is pretty common in BC's recruiting. We always have to take fliers on late bloomers and guys who fall through the cracks. They don't always become stars, but as long as a few do, BC will keep winning.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bell honored and other links

These are mostly from earlier in the week, but I didn't have time to comment on them all here.

I always get a chuckle out of the awkward forced history required by our conference shift. This year at the ACC Tournament, the Conference will name Troy Bell and "ACC Legend" despite never playing in the conference. Troy certainly deserves to be recognized and there is no way the Big East will ever do it. In the end it is just another reason to bring a former player closer to the program. That's a good thing.

Snow Junior College named former Eagle Paul Peterson their new head coach. I am very happy for Paul and his success, although I wish his career path had him headed towards BC. Aside from a GA year under TOB at NC State, all of his professional experience has been out West. And the western FCS and JUCO ranks are very different from BC's niche. Hopefully he leverages success at Snow into either a head job at a four year school or as a coordinator in a Power 5.

Here is a link to Brent Musberger and Doug Flutie discussing the famous Hail Mary. He thinks it was the most special of his career.

The Women's Basketball team lost again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

BC's comeback against Miami falls short

This was one of those games where the score doesn't tell the whole story. BC lost to Miami by one, but the game was not close for long stretches. It was only a frantic comeback that made it interesting. You can look at a game like that two ways. BC fighting until the end and not giving up is a great sign for future close games. The bad news is that they fell so far behind with sloppy play and letting Miami get too many second chances.

Turner had one of his best games. He was aggressive from outside and grabbed some boards. Robinson carried the team. Bowman was contained and he made many of the sloppy turnovers. Overall, though, these guys were not the problem. We didn't get enough points out of the frontline and they also were allowing too many easy baskets.

The team next takes on Virginia Tech Sunday night.

"I don't believe it!" Voice of Flutie's Hail Mary retires

Brent Musberger is walking away from broadcasting. I will leave others to capture his career and legacy. Instead I will just remind you that he brought you this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gut reaction to BC's 2017 Football Schedule

BC and the ACC released the 2017 Football Schedule Tuesday. Many of the non-conference dates were already known. Now we know where the ACC games fall into places. Here is the schedule and below is my gut reaction:

Sept. 1  --  at Northern Illinois
Sept. 9  --   Wake Forest
Sept. 16  --   Notre Dame
Sept. 23   --   at Clemson
Sept. 30   --   Central Michigan
Oct. 7   --   Virginia Tech
Oct. 14   --   at Louisville
Oct. 21   --   at Virginia
Oct. 27   --   Florida State
Nov. 11   --   NC State
Nov. 18   --   at Connecticut (Fenway Park)
Nov. 25   --   at Syracuse

-- This is very front loaded. Even though Notre Dame is coming off of a rough season, they will be better in 2017. Wake will probably be better. BC will probably be 3-2 coming out of September and could easily be 2-3. That will dampen enthusiasm and heat up the Hot Seat talk for Addazio.

-- BC could run the table late. I don't expect Brown to be playing like a Senior come November, but you hope that by then he and the staff understand what he can and cannot do. BC could close the season with wins against NC State, UConn at Fenway and at Syracuse. It might be another bowl eligibility run like this season.

-- One of the best home games is on a Friday again. Fortunately for season ticket holders outside the Boston area, they still get to see Notre Dame and Virginia Tech on a Saturday. The Friday night games are not going away. I just wish the ACC and ESPN would use them for less desirable matchups. But they are more concerned about ratings and not ticket holder experiences.

-- We will know everything we need to know about Addazio by the BYE week. This is Year 5. This is what he has been pointing to since Day 1. Our BYE week comes during the first week in November. By then he will have played all the elite teams on the schedule. If he has not broken through with at least one of them and we need to finish 3-0 to make a bowl, then Addazio might as well be let go during BC's break.

With the ACC's recent depth and competitiveness, I don't know if you can craft a perfect schedule. This one is fine and manageable. Let's hope BC is up for it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

BC loses recruit and other links

BC lost one of its verbals as Ohio prospect DeAri Todd switched to Michigan State. It seems like a higher percentage of BC recruits have to flipped away this year. Hopefully Addazio will steal a few from other schools in the next week or two before Signing Day.

The Women's Basketball team lost again. They are now 1-6 in ACC play.

The Women's Hockey team swept Vermont this weekend.

And finally, some BC guy is in the Super Bowl. I might have a thing or two to say about him in the next two weeks.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Basketball can't close gap against UNC

BC played hard and made it interesting at times, but they never led during the game and couldn't pull out the upset against UNC. The Tar Heels are a good team with a lot of talent. That is the main story. But as to why BC lost this one: it came down to rebounding and turnovers.

The rebounding was frustrating to watch too. Every time BC cut the lead, UNC would seemingly extend it again off of a rebound. The offensive boards weren't great either. It seemed that BC was so focused on defending the transition, they gave up some second chance points.

Bowman scored 33 and Robinson chipped in 18. Conte was filled, but too many in attendance were wearing blue.

BC is back on the court Wednesday night. Nothing is a must win, but the team could use another confidence booster.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hockey bounces back against UMass

After the frustrating series with BU earlier in the week, BC Hockey needed a decisive win. They got one. BC built an early lead and never looked back. They also controlled and limited UMass's shots. The guys are off for a few days and then take on UConn Tuesday.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Steve Logan talks BC

Former BC Offensive Coordinator is once again a radio personality in North Carolina. With Matt Ryan in the NFC Title game, his fellow radio guys asked him to reminisce about his time at BC. Here are some of his quotes:

I hear many disgruntled BC fans and casual college sports fans say that BC is a "bad job." It is not. It is different from most and if you appreciate the differences, you will love it here. Logan is sincere. He wanted the Head Coach job after Jags was fired. It is one of the great "what ifs" of the past ten years.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rough night against UVA

We've seen BC get hot early and run away on Power 5 teams. We've seen them hang with Power 5s and win close games. They have yet to prove they can dig out of big holes against elite teams. That is what happened in the loss to Virginia Wednesday. BC was ice cold in the first half (in part because of UVA's tough D) and never got back into it. Things were relatively better in the second half, but at that point UVA was playing their bench. With the loss, BC falls to 2-4 in ACC games. Next up is UNC.

The good news is that Chatman played well. It was easily his best game at BC. Tava was also able to penetrate and find good looks...they just didn't fall.

UVA is the type of team that would give us fits. They have a tough, disciplined D and turn mistakes and turnovers into points. But now we need to see if BC can bounce back and get back the explosiveness they showed just a week ago.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

RIP Ray Henderson

I don't like writing about death, especially of young people. I also am always hoping for the happy ending for BC guys who give so much on the field. That is why it was sad to hear of the death of Ray Henderson.

Henderson was a Middle Linebacker on the first BC team in the ACC. Lining up alongside new BC coach Ricky Brown, Henderson was a exuberant presence on the field. Although not always the fastest or strongest guy, Henderson was savvy enough to be very good at dropping into coverage in Spaz's scheme. He ended up with nine career interceptions. I never heard of Ray getting in trouble at BC, but he quickly spiraled out of control after his Football career ended. He was arrested and indicted on drug charges. There are no recent updates regarding his drug usage or current status online. One can only pray that he was doing better.

We can project a lot about these guys on and off the field. I didn't know Ray and don't know who he really was. I just thank him for his service to BC and feel sorry for his friends, family and teammates.

Monday, January 16, 2017

BU beats BC again

The Hockey team dropped a second game to BU in three days, losing 3-0 on Monday. It was another defensive game, as BU added a few goals late.

The team gets a chance to snap its current losing streak when they take the ice again on Friday vs UMass.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hockey drops game to BU and other links

BC lost a defensive battle to BU Saturday. They meet again at BC on Monday night.

Now that the "quiet period" is over, Addazio and his staff are on the road again locking up the verbals.

Former verbal Jason Pinnock sounds like he really loves Pitt. Maybe Addazio can win him, back but it doesn't sound like it.

If you didn't read earlier in the week, Hoffses captured the good and the bad of Addazio's TV work during the National Championship Game.

Women's Basketball lost again.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Syracuse gets it revenge

When BC broke through in ACC play two weeks ago, many wondered what was wrong with Syracuse. If you go by Saturday's results: nothing is wrong with Syracuse. Bowman and Robinson were a combined 4 for 20 from the field. BC can't win games where those two don't play well.

The team also had too many turnovers and couldn't punish Syracuse from outside.

The good news was that Popovic played well. It would be nice for Popivic to take some giants leaps in maturity (like Bowman) so that we have a third option.

BC takes on UVA Wednesday.

Friday, January 13, 2017

BC doing the right thing with retired numbers and Ruth

Earlier in the week, BC announced they would honor John Bagley and Dana Barros with jersey retirement ceremonies. It is a real simple gesture, but an important one. BC doesn't do enough to promote its own history and athletic success. I also don't think BC Basketball nurtures a community and legacy like other BC sports do. While players and coaches are the key to continued success, if we want better fan support and more attention locally and nationally, BC needs to promote their history and build a true winning culture. Getting guys like Barros and Bagley around and honoring their accomplishments might start that change for BC Basketball's culture.

Also, earlier this week, the College Football Hall of Fame announced that former Eagle Mike Ruth would be inducted into the Hall. Ruth, at times, is the forgotten man of BC's success in the 1980s. He had a short NFL career and then dealt with numerous struggles off the field and in his personal life. Those issues have kept him in the background. You won't see the school trot him out for interviews and fundraisers like they do with Flutie or Ryan. But the BC Football alums have been providing support to Ruth for years. I don't know where Mike is in his life now, but hopefully the Hall honor is another step towards stability. And hopefully BC can use this moment to remind people of what he did on the field. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Report: UConn moving their BC home game to Fenway

According to Blauds, UConn is set to move their game this season from Rentschler Field to Fenway Park. If this comes together, it would be great news for BC.

Supposedly UConn is doing it for the money. But who cares what their motivation is? In this scenario, BC gets a guaranteed payout for a game 15 minutes from Alumni. The travel costs (with buses and hotels) are identical to a home game. BC can probably stay in their usual team hotel and keep nearly the same home game schedule. Heck, they could even do the Mass on campus and potentially the walk and STILL get to Fenway on time to warm up there. Like our game at Gillette against UMass, this is an away game to the computers, but becomes a virtual home game for us. Plus, there is a nice recruiting boost and a tiny spark to local interest in Boston.

I know plenty of people were unhappy when BC played Notre Dame at Fenway two years ago as the "road" team. I don't get the frustration. These schools are not taking over our town. Other than diehards, no one really pays attention to the fact that we are the road team. Even if the field is painted with UConn logos, the casual fan will just see a Boston team playing in Boston. Recruits don't care.

Tickets were tight when BC played Notre Dame in Fenway. I don't envision that same problem this time. If anything, more BC fans will be in attendance than would have gone to see the game in East Hartford.

I don't know who else wants to host us in Fenway, but I am all for it. As long as we get paid and don't lose a game at Alumni, it makes sense. Thanks to Fenway Sports Group and Brad Bates for making this happen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Another impressive basketball win

The "good" BC team came out to play Wednesday night as BC beat NC State at Conte. Maybe it is not fair to keep expecting a terrible performance like earlier in the year, because I think the team and the staff might now have a good feel for what they are. This win was still sparked by Robinson and Bowman, but it wasn't about them getting hot from the outside. BC won this game with good defense and smart ball movement.

NC State was sloppy, but that doesn't explain away all of BC's steals. Plus BC turned many of those steals into easy baskets. NC State was playing both Robinson and Bowman very tight outside, so they started using screen and finding cutters. Smart basketball is developing now that the guys have played together. One more positive -- the foul shooting was much better. BC converted many free throws down the stretch and slowed any NC State comeback.

Aside from foul trouble for Bowman and Jeffers, there weren't many concerns. BC was a little sloppy early, but got things under control. Tava made some great cuts but couldn't always convert. BC also had some bad possessions late when nursing the lead. 

Things are really looking up when you consider where the team was a month ago. Let's hope it continues against Cuse this weekend. 

BC adds Kansas to Football schedule (seriously)

I've called most of BC's recent Football scheduling short-sighted but justifiable. I am having a hard time rationalizing the new series with Kansas. BC will host the Jayhawks in 2019 and go to Lawrence in 2020. This means that after it became clear that the ACC would not add a ninth conference game, BC has locked in games with Kansas, Purdue, Rutgers, Mizzou and Stanford. If you take each team's current state and their historical performance, that is some cynical, borderline cowardly scheduling. We have no idea how good any of them will be when we take the field, but past performance tells us mediocre at best, with a good chance of being terrible.

The only commendable aspect to this current set up is BC is scheduled to play three non-conference Power 5 games in 2019. My guess is that will be more than any team in the country.

Aside from providing an opponent, Kansas Football doesn't do much else for BC. We don't recruit the area. While we have some Alumni in the Kansas/Missouri, those folks are already getting the Mizzou game in their neck of the woods. I doubt Kansas fans will travel en masse to Boston. If they are good in those years, we will get some respect. If they are not, no one will care.

I understand Addazio's cautious scheduling in the near future. He might actually have to coach those games! But I hope that Bates and BC use any game five or more years out as a chance to do something exciting. Why be scared? The odds say none of them will be around when BC plays those games.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BC adds more Rutgers games

Last month BC added a series with Rutgers. Tuesday they added two more games to the deal. BC will go to New Jersey in 2019 and host Rutgers in 2022.

When the first part of the deal was announced in December, I criticized BC for not taking bigger scheduling risks, especially with the games being so far out (2026 and 2027). These two new games are much closer and make more sense. We want to recruit New Jersey. This keeps us in the area. Plus, right now Rutgers looks like a winnable Big Ten game. We also have a good fan population in the area who will go to the game. It is smart scheduling.

Because we have a series of games on the books now with Rutgers, this also gives us some flexibility should something else come up. If a new coach comes in or we get really good and ESPN wants to place us in a special game, having a larger series with Rutgers allows for movement with their and our schedule. Not a bad thing. Let's hope ultimately this leads to four Ws.

Congrats Clemson, but let's talk Harold Landry!

BC's best defensive player Harold Landry will return for his senior season. This is huge news for BC's 2017 season. As we saw in the bowl game, Landry's presence will open up so many things on the defensive side of the ball. I also think his return means BC will have the best DLine in the conference and arguably the country.

As for Landry, this is probably his best move. The NFL scouts didn't grade him out as a first rounder. Now he has one more season to develop his skills and body. I hope he is motivated. I think he can be the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Monday, January 09, 2017

We're all Clemson fans tonight

I don't know about you, but I am rooting for Clemson in the National Championship tonight. There are more than a few reasons as to why.

What's good for the ACC is good for BC

Florida State's Championship was good for all of college football as it broke the SEC's monopoly on Championships. But even with Ohio State's win the following year, it didn't change the narrative that the SEC is still the best conference in football. However, if the ACC wins another title Monday, combined with the conference's success in out of conference games and bowl games and throw in the Heisman trophy, and it will hard to argue that any conference is better. With that perception comes respect, attention, recruits and money. BC's program won't suddenly change overnight, but the halo effect will make things easier for BC and improve our chances of getting better.

Clemson is the more realistic model for BC

Alabama got here by hiring a great mercenary coach. His wisdom and leadership combined with their tradition and resources led to this historic run of success. Clemson got here by promoting a relatively unknown young coach who after some initial stumbles, unlocked Clemson's long discussed, but never reached potential. Dabo woke the Sleeping Giant. BC is not a Sleeping Giant, but I don't think we've maximized our resources and potential in a long time. If -- or when -- we do, it is more likely to come from a youngish coach who figures it out at BC, instead of some hired gun.

Clemson fans are some of the best in sports

Aside from being overly friendly and welcoming on trips to Death Valley, the Clemson community has done other things to earn my respect. They wrote hundreds of letters to Clarence Megwa when he broke his leg in a Clemson game. They raised a lot of money for Mark Herzlich's charities when he first announced his cancer. They've built a fan culture that goes out of its way to demonstrate sportsmanship. I can be a cynical jerk in life and certainly as a fan, but I do respect that culture. The alternative is much, much worse.

Go Tigers!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

ACC calls Allen kick inconclusive and other links

The ACC reviewed Grayson Allen's stray leg to Tava's crotch called the footage inconclusive. I am not worked up about it. Fortunately Tava was not hurt and the game wasn't decided by that one moment. My only regret is that Coach K wasn't around to spin his latest bull about how he and his players are above it all.

Aaron Rodgers thinks his latest Hail Mary was like Doug Flutie's pass in Miami.

Once they finally got onto the ice, BC beat Providence at Fenway.

Women's Basketball lost to Syracuse. They are now 1-2 in ACC play.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Second half surge not enough as BC loses to Duke

This team is only going to win when Bowman and Robinson are hot. And by that, I don't just mean a good game (both played well Saturday). The two pretty much need to play great every minute of they're on the court. Take Saturday's loss to Duke. Bowman started hot and gave BC an early lead. Then he went cold and Robinson wasn't getting many touches. Duke built a huge lead during this spot. However, in the second half, both played much better. They cut the Duke lead, but couldn't pull off the miracle comeback.

The other challenges were BC's turnovers and defensive issues. The turnovers led to easy Duke baskets. When BC did get set in the first half, they were still letting Duke get too many good looks. The D tightened during the comeback. BC also didn't convert nearly enough 3s.

The good news was that the foul shooting was improved. Jeffers also did a good job on the boards. Chatman had one of his better games.

This wasn't a discouraging loss. Our best two players looked like the best players on the court for long stretches of the game. We just need more of that to compete with the elite ACC teams on a consistent basis.

Grayson Allen can't help himself

Maybe the kid is just clumsy...

Friday, January 06, 2017

Fenway Hockey postponed and other links

An expected storm forced organizers to move BC's game against Providence at Fenway to Sunday.

As expected, Coach K had his back surgery Friday. He will miss the BC game. It would have been nice to beat him. Instead we will have to settle for upsetting Grayson Allen.

In case you missed my tweet about it, the ACC had a great bowl season. Let's hope Clemson ends it all on a high note Monday night.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Can Ricky Brown reignite BC's recruiting in Cincy?

BC has always recruited the Midwest Catholic schools. TOB continued that tradition, but also put an emphasis on his hometown of Cincinnati. It made sense. There is a strong group of Catholic schools there and he knew the territory. Once he added other Cincy staffers like Dana Bible and Don Horton, it made that much more sense to focus on the area. And it paid off. Every year BC found quality recruits who were overlooked by Ohio State and Notre Dame and got them to come to Boston. Even after TOB left, Jags and Spaz kept hitting the area. While BC still has some Cincinnati guys on the roster, it has been less a point of emphasis. Maybe that will change now the another BC-Cincinnati guy Ricky Brown is on the staff.

On the current roster, only two guys remain from the Cincinnati area -- Ben Glines and Truman Gutapfel. With Gutaphel set to graduate, it will be down to just Glines. During the peak TOB days, we would average about five or six guys from the area and have multiple starters. BC still recruits Ohio, but our current roster has more guys from the Columbus and Cleveland areas, than in the southwest portion of the state.

I know in the big picture it doesn't matter where the guys come from. We just need people who can play. But when you have a successful niche and a quiet pipeline, it seems shortsighted to walk away from it. Also it seems natural to let Brown try to recruit his hometown. I don't know if he will have the same network TOB had, but Brown's own story: "I'm an Ohio kid who went to BC and became an NFL veteran" is compelling. It will always sell better at a St. Xavier kid than it will to some recruit who doesn't know Brown and can't relate to his experience.

I couldn't find a comprehensive list of BC players from Southwest Ohio since TOB came on board, but I did find all the guys from the area who made all conference teams (below). It would be nice to add a few more to the list.

Former All ACC Players

  • Pat Ross 
  • Dejuan Tribble 
  • Alex Albright 
  • Clif Ramsey 
  • Matt Tennant 
  • Luke Kuechly 
  • Steven Daniels

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Al Washington to Cincinnati [UPDATE BELOW]

After a 3-9 season, you expect a staff shakeup. After a bounce back year, you don't expect changes. Well that isn't happening this year as Special Teams Coach Al Washington is leaving BC for Cincinnati. This is good news for Al, but bad news for BC.

Washington is a critical recruiter and one of the younger, relatable guys on the staff. While being the "young guy" can be a tough spot on the staff, it is a much needed role with recruits and players. Whoever Addazio hires, he will certainly need to find another young coach who can fill the void. He also should try to find another African American. Football staffs don't have quotas, but every dirty trick is pulled in recruiting. Other teams are not afraid to go negative on BC for Boston's history of race issues or the outside perception that the student body is very homogenous. Rich Gunnell can speak to being a "BC athlete" but he shouldn't be the only one carrying that message.

I understand why Al is leaving. The Ohio native will be closer to home. He'll be joining a staff where there is less immeadiate pressure and more job security. And he'll be able to diversify his resume beyond BC. Al is a good recruiter and well liked by everyone at the Heights. While he and Addazio might not be on the same page right now, any future BC coach would probably jump on the chance to bring him back. Plus, if Al wants to be the head coach a BC one day, broadening his network of coaches and experiences beyond the BC way is important. (It is the same argument I made about Ryan Day earlier in the week.)

While I think it is a loss for BC, I don't think this really matters for Addazio. He's got to win next year and while the Special Teams were improved this season, Al Washington is not making or breaking BC in 2017. Addazio needs to make sure his coordinators are great and his talent pans out. If not, he's out the door too.

UPDATE: BC announced that former Eagle Ricky Brown will be promoted to fill Washington's spot. Brown has been around for a year in a restricted role, meaning he was limited in his ability to interact with players and was not allowed to recruit. Now as one of the nine NCAA approved positions, he will be allowed to do both. Brown can fill much of Washington's young, relatable vibe. I am excited for him and think he will be good. I just wish it didn't come because of Washington leaving.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Hoops runs out of steam in loss to Wake

BC looked good for about 25 minutes against Wake Forest Tuesday night. Unfortunately the game was 40 minutes long. As BC's shots went cold and players got in foul trouble, BC couldn't answer as Wake pulled away to win by 13.

The good news is that the free throw shooting was much better. The three point shooting much worse. I also felt BC settled for too many long twos and didn't drive enough as Wake pulled away. BC also needs to have an answer when Jeffers gets in foul trouble. Popovic has great offensive skills but did not deter Wake from driving to the hoop in the second half.

BC now has to regroup and get ready for a Coach K-less Duke on Saturday.

"Future Head Coach" Ryan Day makes his next move

There is a lingo to any fanbase, including BC's. One of the abbreviations on the BC Message Boards is FHCRD, which stands for Future Head Coach Ryan Day. There is a lot of sarcasm built into the acronym, but with Bruce Feldman reporting that Day is set to join Urban Meyer at Ohio State as Offensive Coordinator and QB coach, Day has taken the next step towards becoming BC's head coach. [UPDATE: Ohio State announced Day as QB coach. No coordinator role made official yet. Sometimes titles and roles are updated once all staff positions are in place.]

The sarcasm and skepticism towards Day is based on the belief that he's done nothing to earn his rise to the top. There is also the opinion that Day is too BC and too New England. That BC will never break through our ceiling with some guy who only really knows BC. I strongly disagree with those positions.

In my opinion Day's familiarity with BC and successful progression while at BC is a sign that he does get it. Working and winning under TOB, Jags, Spaz and Daz is the perfect environment to learn what works and doesn't work at BC. (It should be noted that Day was only part of one losing season at BC and that Daz and Spaz had their worst years after he left.) Yet Day also has had enough exposure to other coaches (Kelly, Golden, Meyer) and other environments (UNH, Temple, Florida, NFL) to not be so myopic to the BC way of doing things.

I inadvertently have been associated with Day's career rise since I reported that he would be BC's Offensive Coordinator following Gary Tranquil. I was premature in posting it and the behind the scenes politics between Gene and Spaz led to the Kevin Rogers compromise. The Spaz-Rogers situation blew up later that fall and when Spaz passed over Day again, the broken promises were enough to get him to join Addazio in Philly as Temple's Offensive Coordinator. He eventually became OC at BC when Daz got the job a year later. There has been plenty of ego and media talk about whose offense BC ran those first two years, but things worked much better than they have since Day left for the NFL. In both of those first two seasons, BC adapted to their personnel year to year, sprinkled in a little bit of spread and power, and yet still were a run-first team.

I know enough to know that Day might never come back to the Heights. So much of hiring a head coach is about timing and who is making the decisions. But one things is clear, if Day has any success as Ohio State's Offensive Coordinator, he will be a head coach soon. I just hope it is at BC.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Matt Ryan should be the MVP

There are probably many Patriot fans reading this blog who think Tom Brady should be the NFL Most Valuable Player. Brady is great, but Ryan has been the best QB in football this season and leader of the NFL's most prolific offense.

I don't have a say, but here are some other people weighing in:

CBS: Matt Ryan lock for MVP?

Mike Florio: One key stat favors Matt Ryan for MVP

Football Outsiders: Matt Ryan Is the 2016 NFL MVP

Why should any BC fan really care about who wins an NFL award? Aside from Matt being a passionate BC supporter, Matt winning helps BC. In the past 20 years -- even when we reached No. 2 -- there is always a perception and narrative problem with BC. We are nice little underdogs, but never elite. Matt has been shaking that perception too since he entered the NFL. Winning the NFL's top prize changes that perception for him and indirectly for BC.

BC produces great players. It would be nice for that to be recognized.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Basketball ends ACC drought!

I've written and tweeted about the "two steps forward, two steps back" nature of this year's Boston College Basketball team. Well Sunday they took two huge leaps forward and ended their long ACC losing streak. This BC team -- which lost to Fairfield two weeks ago -- crushed Syracuse at Conte. This year's Orange might stink, but this was an impressive win.

BC took apart the 2-3 with ease. They made a ton of 3s or moved the ball into the high post to get good looks to guys running the baseline. Bowman dominated making seven of eight 3s and setting the tone with his aggressiveness. Robinson and Turner also had big days. 

It wasn't all perfect though. Syracuse had plenty of guys who drove to the basket off of isolation. We need to work on either help or playing a little off on the perimeter. The team also had a little more trouble with the press than I would like. BC opted to throw long touchdown passes over the press instead of breaking it with dribbles and passing. I don't know if the long passes are a good long term strategy.

I can't express how excited I am by Bowman. It is not just the points, but the energy. I know that sounds kind of subjective, but I think a tough, aggressive player can change the whole culture of a team. He is the type of player that can give those guys around him confidence. Even though we have had great players like Rice, Jackson and Hanlan over the past ten years, I don't think we've had someone with this sort of vibe since Dudley. 

The other thing that I found interesting is that Garland Owens didn't play until the final minute of a blowout. His lack of playing time speaks to the change in talent around the program. The Donahue recruit has played since Day 1 and is now barely getting off the bench. That validates Christian's recruiting. 

I am sure BC will stumble some more this season. I am still not even sure if Christian can coach his way through an entire ACC schedule. But now I feel much better about our upside and what we can accomplish as the players mature.