Wednesday, January 30, 2019

BC comes up short vs Syracuse

What can you say? To win, we need everything to go our way and it didn't against Syracuse. Bowman and Chatman got their points, but weren't particularly efficient in doing so and no one else really filled the other voids. This is all tougher with Tabbs' lingering injury too. 

The frustration really comes in on two fronts. BC played bad D for long stretches, couldn't get good rebounds late and didn't capitalize when Syracuse cooled off a bit. 

The little streak is over. Now let's hope they regroup.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Feedback on BC guys after Senior Bowl

Four of BC's highest profile players were at the Senior Bowl last weekend. Overall they seemed to make a good impression, but it wasn't universal. Here are some article and potential teams of interest.

Will Harris played and practiced well and supposedly is moving up the Colts Draft Board.

Christ Lindstrom got rave reviews from practice and the game. The Giants are supposedly interested. The Jaguars also gave him a long look.

Zach Allen entered with plenty of hype but came out a mixed bag. This article thinks the week hurt him. The Raiders are still interested but even their write up says his actual Senior Bowl game wasn't great. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Bowman saves best for last in win over Wake

For all the issues I've raised with Christian, sometimes coaching is as simple as have the better players. That is sort of how the Wake game played out. BC trailed for stretches of the second half, but in the closing minutes our best players made plays and their didn't. Bowman's dagger set the tone, but Pop and Mitchell were key late too.

BC is back at it this week against Syracuse. Let's hope Tabbs is healthy and all the guys come to play.

Friday, January 25, 2019

BC gets another grad transfer

Former Miami Offensive Lineman Hayden Mahoney is now an Eagle. As a grad transfer, he is eligible to play right away. Mahoney comes from Malvern Prep in Pennsylvania and was recruited by BC out of high school. He started nine games for Miami this year and has played a lot for the Hurricanes that past two years. I assume he is coming to start at BC.

Even if he doesn't prove to be a starter, like Dalton before him Hayden is a great insurance policy. We know he can play ACC-level Football and he doesn't tie up BC's long-term plans. Addazio has shown in the past that he is good at getting the most out of grad transfers -- especially at OLine.

I also think it is good to bring back kids who spurned us in the recruiting process the first time around. This can become a great selling point to parents and coaches. Addazio can claim "look at ______. He went to____ and never developed like he should have. In one season at BC, he is a star..."

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The value of the Red Bandanna game

As you may have seen, BC moved the game against Kansas from Saturday to Friday, September 13. Long story short, this was always BC and ESPN's intention, but Kansas only agreed to it this week, hence it was changed just after the official ACC schedule announcement earlier this month. Friday games can be inconvenient for fans attending the game, but BC and ESPN wanted a BC Friday home game because the "Red Bandanna" game has become important to both the school and the company.

By having a locked in date and time, BC can prepare uniforms, special merchandise and work closely with the Crowther family. ESPN can use a whole week of shows -- especially close to the anniversary of September 11 -- to promote their own award winning feature and pump the ratings for an otherwise ho-hum matchup. It also helps fulfill the ACC's Friday night contractual commitment.

Every year the Red Bandanna game has been a great showcase for BC. I always worry about it feeling exploitative, but clearly the Crowther Family embraces it. Ideally it would have been better to tie things up before the ACC released schedules, but these things happen. The Kansas game was going to be an iffy ticket driver on a Saturday. Moving it to Friday alone wouldn't help, but making it a special game might.

UPDATE: BC wants to make it clear that nothing has been decided about the Red Bandanna game. ESPN and other BC folks strongly feel it will be this game.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

BC adds depth to recruiting class

BC seems to be taking a different approach to recruiting this year. Last year after the Early Signing Period, they were seemingly done with the 2018 class. This year, they are still filling roster spots before the second signing deadline. Tuesday, New Jersey Lineman Christian Mahogany verballed. 

Mahogany is plenty big (6'5 and 300+ lbs) and comes form a solid program in Paraums Catholic. He holds offers from Pitt, Syracuse and Rutgers. While BC didn't get him early, he seems like a very real candidate to hit the field one day.

The other recent recruit was Penn State grad transfer Danny Dalton. The Massachusetts Tight End committed to BC originally out of high school before flipping to Penn State. He now comes back to Boston looking for a little redemption and to reach his potential. Dalton might not be a huge get, but it is a win-win for BC. He adds depth and only uses a scholarship for two years. Anything good that comes from him is a bonus.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Report: Eric Lewis set to join staff

Multiple reports have former Colorado State assistant Eric Lewis joining BC as a replacement for Campanile as a DBs coach. Lewis has no obvious prior connection to Addazio. He's worked in the NFL and in college. He is the son of longtime Packers assistant Sherman Lewis.

I will wait to see what BC says about Lewis. He seems perfectly fine as a replacement given his varied experience. What concerns me is that he doesn't come across as an ace recruiter nor have a natural recruiting territory, which is probably the biggest void left by Campanile departure.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Hoops gets much needed win over FSU

This was how it was supposed to be. Bowman lit it up for 37 and Chatman made a bunch of 3s as BC upset No. 11 Florida State. Aside from the best players stepping up, the other key to what was "supposed to be" this season was a healthy and active roster. BC got big minutes from Mitchell and Tabbs. The D was rough in the first half, but BC adjusted and really helped slow the Noles down in the second half.

I know that I've already written off the season and said fire Christian, but I don't want it to be that way. Winning is fun. Seeing great players is fun. Upsetting ranked teams is fun. I just can't get over how inconsistent this team is. Maybe I've been wrong and now healthy, they will go on a run. I hope so, but...

In the mean time, congrats to the guys on the win. BC takes on Wake Forest next week.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

BC beats Providence again

Maybe BC just needed some games against Providence to get better. They beat the Friars again Saturday. This leaves their Hockey East record respectable (8-3-2) while the overall record still lags (8-11-2).

Thursday, January 17, 2019

BC shutsdown Servpro Bowl t-shirts

A few hours after ESPN et al cancelled the First Responder's Bowl, a small t-shirt company in Louisiana made a satirical shirt commemorating BC's win in the aborted game.
According to Twin City Designs, no one really noticed. Then this week, I and a very other BC folks saw it on Twitter and it finally went viral. Sadly, and predictably, BC put an end to all the fun by enforcing their trademark.
Twin City probably could fight this move, but it is not worth it. As much as BC fans enjoy the shirt and the sentiment, I doubt the revenue from the shirt would cover the legal fees. BC has every right to protect their trademarks, however, their handling of the situation is disappointing.

This is a simple, fun shirt that highlights the absurdity of what happened. While I don't think BC wants to remind people that the bowl was cancelled after ten minutes, adding some humor takes the edge off a bit. Ideally BC would have slapped together a quick, one-time agreement to allow Twin City to sell the shirts and let it be. Instead they look like a big bully who is worried about not getting their cut of a few t-shirts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thoughts on the Football schedule

BC and the ACC released the 2019 schedule Wednesday. Here it is:

2019 Schedule
Virginia Tech -- Aug. 31
Richmond -- Sept. 7
Kansas -- Sept. 14
at Rutgers -- Sept. 21
Wake Forest -- Sept. 28
at Louisville -- Oct. 5
NC State -- Oct. 19
at Clemson -- Oct. 26
at Syracuse -- Nov. 2
Florida State -- Nov. 9
at Notre Dame -- Nov. 23
at Pitt -- Nov. 30

Here are some thoughts:

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday
For the first time in a long time, BC won't be playing any Friday games. For those who watch from the comfort of our couch, that is a loss. But for the team and ticket buying fans, that is a huge win. Friday games can be a challenge for fans from outside of Boston. This should boost attendance a bit. The downside is that we don't get a national showcase game -- unless we are great -- like we have with the Friday games.

Backloaded road schedule
BC plays four of their last five on the road. That is not ideal. But we can't do much about when we host and when we don't. The ACC controls conference games. Throw in the late road game at Notre Dame, and that leaves BC travelling a lot late in the season. Having just sat through a flat home crowd for Syracuse, I don't mind avoiding Thanksgiving weekend home games.

Power 5!
We knew this ahead of time, but seeing it on paper might be a reminder that BC is playing the most Power 5 heavy schedule in the country. I know Kansas and Rutgers will be bad, but it still counts for something. Addazio's track record against P5 isn't great, but I still see seven wins for this team.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The best thing on the internet today

We didn't get that ridiculous trophy. We didn't even get a quarter of football. But the incomplete First Responder Bowl did give us some notoriety. Twin City Design created a t-shirt in honor of our aborted bowl game.

I am getting one because we have to commemorate the most famous ten minutes of BC Football that never officially happened.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Good and meh of Mike Bajakian

Steve Addazio finally hired his new Offensive Coordinator and it is long-time NFL and college coach Mike Bajakian. While not a household name, Bajakian checks a lot of Addazio's known boxes and also brings plenty of play-calling experience at the college level.

The Good News
There is plenty to like about the hire. Bajakian's been an OC and play caller at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Tennessee. He's a New Jersey native who has and will continue to recruit the Garden State. He's also has recent NFL experience that Addazio wanted as he tries to modernize and make the Offense more Ram-like.

What Addazio would never say, but what I find good (but not great) is that Bajakian is remarkable consistent in his production as a play caller. His offenses have never been elite, but they've been above average and definitely more efficient that what Addazio particularly produces. Take a look at his year-by-year Offensive S&P ranking:

Tennessee 2014 -- 51st
Tennessee 2013 -- 49th
Cincinnati 2012 -- 52nd
Cincinnati 2011 -- 66th
Cincinnati 2010 -- 47th
Central Michigan 2009 -- 60th
Central Michigan 2008 -- 46th
Central Michigan 2007 -- 31st

Three different locations, conferences and rosters and he consistently put teams in the top half of College Football offenses.  

As another frame of reference, here is how those same programs did before and after Bajakian

Tennessee before Bajakian: 10th, Tennessee after Bajakian left: 45th
Cincinnati before Bajakian: 1st, Cincinnati after Bajakian left: 82nd
Central Michigan before Bajakian: 44th, Central Michigan after before Bajakian: 93rd

In general, things improved when he got there and dropped when he left.

 As another frame of reference, this has been Addazio's Offensive S&P while at BC

Loeffler 2018 -- 95th
Loeffler 2017 -- 101st
Loeffler 2016 -- 124th
Fitch 2015 -- 125th
Day 2014 -- 50th
Day 2013 -- 30th

The Meh
Bajakian is not a household name, an older time Addazio bud, or an up and comer. In fact there are no overt ties to Addazio's network. That is somewhat refreshing but also a bit scary. Will he get along with his new boss?

I also don't love that he hasn't recruited in a while. I know he has recruited before, but every year away can be like dog years. High school coaches change, technologies change, kids communicate in new ways. Bajakian seems like a bright guy, so I hope he adjusts back to recruiting quickly.

A quick social media search and touching base with my one Vol fan friend confirmed that he was well liked at Tennessee but never viewed as critical or program changing.

Final Thought
Bajakian's consistency could be very valuable to BC. If we get the Offense in the top half of college football, it will probably lead to more than seven wins. I just hope he is given free reigns and not micromanaged by his boss.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Hoops keeps losing

A late game comeback came up short on Saturday as BC lost to Notre Dame in South Bend. There were a few late calls that hurt BC, but Notre Dame was decimated by injuries and we still couldn't beat them. We have problems.

The D was not great, but the bigger challenge remains Chatman. He is not making shots and making really bad decisions.

I don't know what the short-term answer is. Every lineup combo has a few obvious issues. The team doesn't seem particularly motivated. I don't see Christian and his staff making drastic changes to our style of play. I guess the only hope is for the team to get healthy soon.

Friday, January 11, 2019

I am not worried about Addazio finding coordinators

With Anthony Campanile heading to Michigan, Scot Loeffler in Bowling Green and Jim Reid supposedly considering retiring, Steve Addazio might be looking at a total overhaul of his coordinators. As disconcerting as that might seem, I am not worried. One thing Addazio has done well is manage his staff. With his extension in hand, I am assuming he will fill the open slots with good fits again.

We know from the attempted hire of Liam Coen what he is trying to do on Offense. He even mentioned he wants a OC who will compliment his run-first mentality with NFL/Ram-like passing concepts. Everyone in football is copying Sean McVay, so it may be hard to get an actual Ram assistant coach, but that's the desired direction. I expect some news on the OC front in the next week or so.

Even with Campanile's loss, Addazio may have some wiggle room on D. Reid's status remains unknown. There was speculation that he would retire. Maybe with Campanile gone, Addazio can talk Reid into coaching one more year. 

Losing Campanile as a recruiter hurts most. Given the lame duck status, recruiting this year was already going to be difficult. Without the ace, it gets harder. 

If Addazio still believes in long-term success at BC, then he can't just find good coordinators. He needs to empower them so that BC finally exceeds the ceiling Addazio has had regardless of who is calling the plays. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Now we wait on Campanile news

When the rumor broke about Anthony Campanile talking to Rutgers, BC quickly shut it down. Now there is news that he is talking to Michigan. BC has yet to refute it. Unlike the potential Rutgers move, this switch would make a little more sense. Michigan offers more money and prestige (within the profession). Based on some of the speculation, he may get his current "Co-DC" title there too. The only true downside is if Harbaugh leaves for the NFL in one year and Michigan cleans house. But at this point, I would say Harbaugh is more likely to be coaching Michigan in 2020 than Addazio is coaching BC in 2020.

The other added aspect of this sort of move is Campanile sets himself up for a return to BC if Addazio is fired after next season. It is rare to promote a staffer of a fired head coach to the head spot. Fans and administrators usual prefer a fresh face. However, assuming Campanile and Brown put together another Top 10 D, Campanile would certainly become a name floated to replace Addazio.

We should know shortly what Campanile will do. Once these names get floated, it is usually wrapped up quickly.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

BC looked directionless against UVA

UVA is better than BC. No argument there. BC was not even close to full strength (Mitchell out, Tabbs recovering, Chatman not 100%). Everyone who follows BC knew it would take some sort of miracle to win. The problem with BC's loss, is they looked so passive and unprepared for long stretches.

BC went scoreless for a long stretch in the second half. It wasn't just that UVA played good D as usual. It also wasn't that the shots weren't falling. It was that the guys had no idea where to even attack. They didn't move well. They dribbled out to take ill-advised 3s. It was a total mess.

Bright spots? Pop, I guess. But he is such a bad defender that his offensive productivity needs to be that much more.

We knew the start of ACC play was going to be tough. This made it seem hopeless.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

What's good for Clemson is good for BC

I rooted for Clemson last night for a variety of reasons. First, I've always enjoyed games there and their fans are always refreshingly nice. Second, their success helps the ACC. It improves our TV money. It improves the perception of the conference among the media, recruits and fans. Clemson helps legitimize everything associated with the ACC. You can't dismiss the conference -- as so many are wont to do -- if it is producing champions. Finally, I rooted for Clemson because their success makes BC's potential success that much more attainable.

Although it wasn't all that long ago, when BC joined the ACC, Clemson was arguably a peer program. At the time, their historical winning percentage was nearly identical and they were branded as constant underachievers. Even the first few years of Dabo were a bit uneven. However, through patience, embracing who they were, maximizing their program's advantages and identity, and through putting together a great recruiting and coaching staff, they became a juggernaut.

I know BC's advantages and identity are not the same as Clemson's. But that doesn't mean we are getting the most out of who we are and what we can be. I hope seeing it done in our own division, is a reminder to BC leadership and fans that it can be done in Chestnut Hill.

Congrats to Clemson. I hope one day to thank Clemson too, for forging a path that BC followed.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Cheevers declares for NFL Draft

Saturday night BC cornerback Hamp Cheevers announced he was skipping his senior season to declare for the NFL Draft.

Cheevers had a great season and led College Football in interceptions. Even with the shortened career, he has to be viewed as another classic case of BC finding a "two star" player who was ignored by bigger programs and giving him a program to develop. My only fear is that the same issue that kept Cheevers out of bigger programs -- his size -- will work against him in the NFL Draft process.

I wish Cheevers the best and thank him for his time at BC.

There has been no statement from Addazio, so I don't know if this was unexpected. Cheevers loss does hurt our defensive backfield. I hope that the young guys are ready to step up. I also hope that Addazio is going to maximize scholarship usage if this departure was not in his planning.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Basketball comes up short at VT

BC took the lead into the half after a solid defensive performance. However, the second half was not as good. BC came out flat, got whistled for seemingly everything and watched the Hokies build up lead. BC chipped away down the stretch but it wasn't enough. The Hokies held onto the win.

The story of the game were the officials. I know it is whiny. I know that the difference in fouls was only 4 (BC 22, VT 18), but it killed our momentum and we had two guys foul out.

The Hamilton brothers were solid. Chatman looks to be getting back to his usual form. Bowman was ok...too many misses and turnovers.

Virginia Tech was favored and at home, so this was always going to be a tough game. But it would have been nice to put together two solid halfs instead of one.

Friday, January 04, 2019

About the comments section

I have said for years I wanted an open comments section. I don't really have the time nor desire to monitor all the comments, but wanted people to have a forum. I welcomed critics. I let people do what they want for the most part. My hope is and was that people would use their best judgement. That has worked at times and not at others. So now, I am changing it up. There are new settings and approvals. We will see how this works.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Women's Lacrosse start season as No. 1

Expectations are high for BC Women's Lacrosse after two straight trips (and losses) in the National Championship Game. This year they start as No. 1 in the USA Lacrosse Top 20. Let's hope they finish the season as the best team.

The ranking is an accomplishment and a sign of respect for what the program has become. For all those who want a Men's team, keep cheering on the Women. Their continued excellence is the best argument for sports expansion at BC.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Urban Meyer: The BC Fan Rorschach Test

As I was watching the Rose Bowl and Urban Meyer retired (again), I first thought "he'll coach again." Next my thoughts drifted to the ultimate "what if" of would I want him coaching my team. Despite thinking he embodies so many of the consistent flaws in some college coaches -- he's myopic, he's hypocritical, he's a bully, he's thin-skinned, -- I still admitted that I would welcome him to BC in a minute. The guy might be the best game manager in the last 30 years, certainly knows how to build a program and has won everywhere.

As for it ever happening, it won't. I know that. But Meyer's connection to Jarmond and the slight chance that he'd want to comeback and do it differently and the "right way" means that there is the slightest of slight chance. Like getting struck by lightning. Meyer's snakey history of picking his spots where he can win big and quickly, and the fact that taking the BC job would mean undercutting one of his former assistants probably more than offsets Jarmond's history with him.

But I am willing to admit my hypocrisy even on the hypothetical. I want BC to win and he's proven he can do it. But to give you a sense of how BC fans see ourselves, all you have to do is look at the replies to my tweet about Meyer.

Some would never want Meyer and some would be over the moon. Very few are in the middle. It shows that BC fans value what BC stands for and that we are different. I think we could still be BC regardless of our coach.

I just hope that one day we get a coach at Meyer's level and he stays around long enough to win something big.