Monday, September 30, 2019

ESPN's FPI thinks we won't win again

Most people felt that BC's schedule was backloaded with tough games. Yet there was some optimism -- especially after the VT win -- that BC could start 5-0. We didn't. And now things might not get better. Look at ESPN's FPI for our remaining schedule:

Louisville -- 22.4%
NC State -- 49.4%
Clemson -- 1.7%
Syracuse -- 30.9%
Florida State -- 30.1%
Notre Dame -- 3.6%
Pittsburgh -- 26.6%

We are not favored in any of the remaining games and given the slimmest of chance to upset Clemson and Notre Dame. According to the models, our last best chance to win is against NC State. If Addazio finishes 3-9, he is done at BC.

I am on record as wanting a new coach, but I actually think the formulas are off. Is BC bad? Yes. But is the rest of the ACC that much better? No. I still think Louisville, NC State, Cuse, Florida State and Pitt are winnable. I also think Addazio will grind his way to six regular season wins. That might still be too little, too late, but I do think that is what will happen.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Game Day: Wake Forest

No comments this year. 

What you need to know

Weather: Another perfect, dry afternoon game. Should be in the high 70s at kickoff and will drop off a little as the sunsets, but still a great day.

TV: The ACC Network. I should be getting paid for this plug, but if you are still without the ACC Network, try Youtube TV.

Radio: SiriusXM 202

Thursday, September 26, 2019

BC-Wake Forest preview

I think most of us expected BC to be 3-1 heading into Wake Forest. I guess the way it played out though has many questioning how BC will handle the meat of the season. The Wake game will be a barometer as they seem like one of the teams in the league that is playing better than expected and has been fairly consistent.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
It is only September and we've only played one ACC game, but it feels weird to see BC sitting in second in the division. That is due to our lone ACC win. But it also shows how this season is not going as planned for NC State, Syracuse, Louisville, and obviously Florida State.

Three Simple Keys
1. Avoid Turnovers. The best thing about this offense-defense combination is that they are not turning it over and getting turnovers. Wake is probably the better team. If we are going to win, we need to be careful on offense and opportunistic on D.
2. Pressure on the QB. This has been terrible. I know we are not Don Brown anymore, but copying some of his ideas about bringing pressure from unusual and unexpected slots would be good right about now.
3. Keep using Brown in the running game. Last week was a good start. Keep it up this week. It will open some many other things up on offense.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 4-2 vs Clawson
-- Addazio is 9-15 at home in ACC games
-- Clawson is 12-17 on the road while coaching Wake
The current line is BC+6.5

The visiting team has won five straight in this series.

Scoreboard Watching
Florida State and NC State has division implications as well as Hot Seat implications. If NC State loses, I think you will see them asking the same questions about Doeren, we always seem to be asking about Addazio. If FSU loses, their fans will once again be very vocal in their desire for change.

I hope to see...
No more false starts. That was embarrassing, especially for a team that practices so much "tempo."

BC is in trouble if...
Wake has multiple explosive plays. That's the sign that things are not fixed.

Bottom Line
I am not going to lie. I don't feel good about this game. I will pick BC to win and keep with the spirit of this all, but I think this is a bad matchup for BC. If we win, it will be by just pounding, pounding and pounding some more. We need to keep their Offense off the field.
Finale Score: BC 24, Wake 23

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Addazio is all in on AB

In his postgame press conference and since, Addazio has defended Anthony Brown's performance so far this season. He explains away the inaccuracy due to the types of passes they are asking Brown to make. And in fairness, Brown does have the arm to make throws that few college QBs can. He has more than enough arm to throw deep downfield. And we are also scoring at a fairly high rate. Currently BC has the 42nd most efficient offense in College Football. If they hold that form, it would be the best Addazio's teams have finished since Ryan Day left.

The problem is that Brown and BC are leaving big plays on the field. Those extra scores and longer drives are the only solution to BC winning more than seven games this year. The D is lost (109 in Def Efficiency). While that will hopefully improve, what is more likely to get better: the side of the ball with the talent and experience (O) or the side with lots of youth and questionable speed (D)?

It might not be fair to ask Brown to suddenly be as accurate as some Big XII QB, but BC doesn't have a choice. They need him to hit open guys and keep drives going. That is the only way to avoid more games like Kansas, where the D couldn't stop anything.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Game Day: Rutgers

No comments this year.

What you need to know

Weather: It will start to get a little warm, possibly into the 80s by the afternoon, but overall still great weather.

TV: The Big Ten Network. If you have the ACC Network, your package should have the Big Ten. For those who don't, it might be sports bar time as I don't know of any workarounds.

Radio: The BC broadcast is streaming on XM 970. If you are driving around in your car, you can hear Rutgers on XM 196.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

BC-Rutgers preview

I guess all the BC bloggers and followers owe Steve Addazio some bit of thanks. With the Kansas loss, the season has a tidy little narrative: "can the team bounce back?" I assume things will get better against Rutgers, but the hangover of the Kansas game will linger for games until he has a chance to shake things up in a positive way. There is also the chance that Kansas wasn't just a bad night but a harbinger of things to come. If we are a disaster against Rutgers, the post-game reactions will be even more sarcastic and vitriolic than they were last week.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
While Addazio got some heat for losing to Kansas in such a way, there are plenty of other College Football coaches under more fire...including Chip Kelly. I have been an unabashed Kelly fan for a long time and always wish he had been a BC coach. I don't know all the problems out at UCLA, but it seems like Bruins fans are already done with him. I guess you never know how any of this will play out. Even if he is run out of town in California, I would definitely welcome him back in New England.

Three Simple Keys
1. Give Anthony Brown throws he can make. This puts the simple in "simple keys" but Brown is really the key to this game and this season. In a way, he reminds me a lot of Chris Crane (big kid, big arm, very inconsistent accuracy). He can throw the deep ball when our guys are in single coverage. Everything else is iffy. So stretch the D with the deep stuff and give him easy decisions on everything else and let him take off with his legs. Crossing stuff is worrisome. Throwing into heavy zones is tough. Keep Rutgers honest, but also play to Brown's strengths.
2. Fix communication in the defensive backfield. This was a disaster against Kansas. I hope they've figured out all the problems. Inexperience and talent are part of the problem, but the primary issue was guys making mental mistakes.
3. Defensive pressure. It is not coming from the front four. They need to create new looks to disrupt Rutgers.

Gambling Notes
-- Chris Ash is 0-3 vs Power 5 teams
-- BC has won its last six away games vs Rutgers
-- Addazio is 2-9 vs P5 teams at BC
The current line is BC-8.5

25 seasons ago, BC tied Rutgers at Alumni. (It was probably a sign that Henning wasn't going to be a great college head coach.)

Scoreboard Watching
It is not an ACC game, but Notre Dame at Georgia has big implications. If the Irish win, they are going to be highly ranked heading into our game with them at the end of the season. Wouldn't you love to play spoiler again?

I hope to see...
A resounding BC victory. Although I want change and don't trust Addazio, I still want to see BC succeed. Things are so much more enjoyable when BC is winning and we have something to believe in.

BC is in trouble if...
They give up huge plays on D again. If Rutgers and Kansas can score at will, I fear for what others will do.

Bottom Line
I believe Addazio when he says things are good and they are ready to put last week behind them. I also think playing Rutgers helps. My guess is they keep it on the ground and run over the Knights.
Final Score: BC 35, Rutgers 21

Friday, September 13, 2019

It may not be over, but it might as well be

Fire Steve Addazio. I know it won't be done tonight or this weekend, but like so many other mediocre or bad BC coaches of the past, we are now clearly in the "wasting time" portion of the tenure. He might rebound and grind his way to seven wins again, but he will never, ever be anything more than that. Every game is just more confirmation. He can't find a kicker. His team will come out completely flat at least once a year (if not more often). And seven years in, he still has not developed a QB. (He inherited Rettig and Murphy was a grad transfer.)

The Kansas game was an embarrassment. The execution was terrible. The game plan was terrible. The adjustments were terrible. Worst of all, this team gave up. Flat out gave up when punched in the mouth. They took the lead right before half, got caught sleeping on D to lose the lead before half and waived the white flag thereafter.

I know there is always the risk with a coaching change of taking a step back but what are we holding on to? A .500 coach? The ever shrinking fanbase needs to believe that once in a while BC will put together a great season. That won't ever happen with Addazio.

Game Day: Kansas

No comments this year. 

What you need to know 

Weather: Mid 60s. Have we ever had three straight games with better weather?

TV: The ACC Network. I guess the Youtube TV thing is proving to be a good workaround if you haven't already tried it.

Radio: XM 81

Thursday, September 12, 2019

BC-Kansas preview

I know I've called our scheduling cynical, but I do like the idea of playing Kansas. They haven't been a good team for a decade, but they're still a P5 team and this year they have a well known coach. I don't expect Kansas fans to travel en masse, nor do the Jayhawks get the locals out, but I could spend days writing about worse opponents we've hosted at Alumni. The biggest issue is avoiding a trap. Let's hope the team knows enough not to take anyone lightly.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
We are only two weeks in but our schedule doesn't seem so daunting now. Cuse looks terrible. Pitt hasn't shown much. Florida State is lucky not to be 0-2. If BC can take care of business early, exceeding seven wins seems more likely.

Three Simple Keys
1. Bring lots and lots of pressure on Stanley. The KU QB might be the worst we see this year. If we put him under the gun, he is going to make a lot of mistakes.
2. Keep using Dillon in the passing game. Doing it against Richmond was one thing. Now do it against a FBS team. All so that he is more comfortable and a real threat. It will help the running game too.
3. Put up a big number. I don't think Kansas will hang around, but I don't want BC to let up. Our schedule is such that a big offensive output would get attention nationally. Plus I would like to show a killer instinct.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 2-7 in non-conference P5 games
-- Miles is 20-8 in non-conference P5 games
-- Miles is 36-12 coming off a loss
The current line is BC-21

BC recruited Miles' son Ben. He committed to Nebraska and later transferred to Texas A&M.

Scoreboard Watching
Syracuse has played Clemson tough lately. Plus they are looking to bounce back after last week's embarrassment. This game will tell us a lot about both teams.

I hope to see...
A huge game from AJ Dillon. The Heisman was always a long shot, but ACC Player of the Year wasn't and isn't. If he can start putting up big numbers this week, he can get the right sort of hype and attention.

BC is in trouble if...
The Oline can't dominate. Kansas is respectable on D and will sell out to stop the run. We need to prove we can control the line of scrimmage.

Bottom Line
There is so much to like about this game. It's home. They are coming off an awful performance. We are basically healthy. There is no reason not to win and win big. I think BC comes out early with some big plays and never looks back.
Final Score: BC 35, Kansas 9

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Jarmond to USC talk is all about Urban Meyer

Earlier this week, Lynn Swan resigned as USC Athletic Director. Even if it was a forced resignation, Swann's tenure was just another rocky step in the recent run of USC Athletics which has seen coaching churn, probation and an extensive bribery scandal. Among the names floated early as a replacement was BC's Martin Jarmond. While Jarmond is a reasonable candidate (P5 school AD, young, charismatic, good fundraiser at a private school), there are plenty of other good candidates out there. Every candidate has his or her pluses and minuses. But if USC goes hard after Jarmond, it will be a signal to the college football world that they want Urban Meyer.

From the minute he stepped down at Ohio State, many started predicting USC as Meyer's next step. Meyer is a great coach, but one of the keys to his success is picking opportunities where he knows he can succeed. SC has been in a down cycle, but they still have a fertile recruiting base, a national brand and a winnable conference. But Meyer is mercurial. Just because it makes sense, doesn't mean that USC can just pick up the phone and get him. This is where Jarmond's prior relationship comes into play. Jarmond is the type who can talk to Meyer and build up his comfort in taking the USC job.

Could Jarmond get the job even if he tells them Meyer is not his vision for USC Football or that he doesn't think the coach will come back? Sure. While his experience is still light, he has enough on his resume for them to hire him. But that doesn't seem like USC's style. They may miss often, but they like to take big swings. If they hire a green, young east coast AD, it will be because they want Jarmond to land the biggest free agent in College Football. 

Saturday, September 07, 2019

That's how it is supposed to go

BC took care of Richmond. Good reps all around and no one got hurt. We will see if we can learn anything from it. On to Kansas.

Game Day: Richmond

No comments this year. 

What you need to know

Weather: Another perfect day. Temps in the high 60s with no chance of rain.

TV: The ACC Network stream only. So ACCNX. Supposedly you will be blocked if your local provider doesn't have an deal with the ACC. However, some people have recommended signing up for a free trial with YoutubeTV to see the game.

Radio: XM 194

Friday, September 06, 2019

Addazio as a game manager

At one point during the Virginia Tech game, the announce team referenced Addazio using a card to decide when to go for it on 4th or kick the field goal. Using a card is nothing revolutionary in football. I don't know if it is for Addazio. But as they were discussing it, they also shared that Addazio will sometimes ignore the card and go with his gut. This is pretty commonplace in football too...and it is part of the problem. If Addazio is ever going to break through, he is going to have to abandon the debunked football conventional wisdom and do what the numbers say.

A few years ago against Clemson, Addazio punted over and over again from Clemson territory as BC drives stalled. Some applauded, but it was the wrong move. Giving up on possessions, especially when he other team is favored and is explosive is a losing gameplan. BC lost that game. I never heard Addazio defend his strategy, but every once in a while you will hear him discuss stats and probability as if he is picking up new info. Some of his colleagues like Urban Meyer and Ryan Day were early adopters of bucking conventional wisdom, so maybe he is hearing it from people he trusts. Moving to tempo a few years ago was a sign that he could adapt. Now, he needs to take it one step further and not go with his gut when he should go for it.

Beyond the field goal issue, BC did go for it on 4th down against VT. It was unsuccessful, but that doesn't mean it was the wrong call. BC is more likely to convert 4th and short with Dillon than they are to make a FG and what ever field position they would pick up in a punt wouldn't be nearly as valuable as continuing their own drive.

Richmond is a perfect game to keep going with the numbers over the gut. I hope it works so that Addazio feels more comfortable with the numbers when the game is on the line against a real team.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

BC-Richmond preview

I don't look forward to any FCS games, but this one is scheduled pretty perfectly. Coming off of last week's win, BC is inevitably going to make mistakes and play with less intensity. Getting their easiest opponent should help soften the landing. I know there is always the fear of actually losing this type of game, but I think even if BC comes out flat, they have more than enough of a talent advantage to win.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
Outside of actual games, I haven't watched a minute of the ACC Network. I know I am on the old end of their ideal demographic, but I know I am also 1. someone who has yet to cut the cord and pays for premium sports packages, 2. a fan of one of their less popular schools. There should be something that draws me in or gets on my radar. But nothing has yet. This week, BC doesn't even get the game on the actual network and is instead pushed back to streaming. Wasn't the network supposed to end the streaming problem?

Three Simple Keys
1. Intermediate passes. We know teams will sell out to stop the run. We know BC is now a deep passing threat. This week, BC needs to establish the short passing game. It will be good for Brown and for the Tight Ends.
2. Third and long D. BC could have put VT away at different times if they had just got them off the field. Don't let that same thing happen against Richmond.
3. Figure out the kicking. I don't think this game will be decided by 3 points. So use it as a chance to find out who -- if anyone -- can consistently make a field goal.

Gambling notes
-- Addazio has never lost to an FCS team
-- Since the DI split, BC has never lost to an FCS team
-- BC leads the series 4-1
The current line is BC-33.5

The schools have not played since 1971.

Scoreboard Watching
Texas A&M vs Clemson is probably the most important ACC game of the weekend. How good is Clemson and how does an early SEC game like this impact their and the ACC's playoff hopes? This won't impact BC's chances of winning the division, but it will provide some insight into how good the defending champs are.

I hope to see...
Extended time from Dennis Grosel. I've shared my fear about the backup QB situation. Hopefully this game will give BC plenty of snaps to see what these guys can do.

BC is in trouble if...
This game is close in the 4th quarter. That is how these games are lost. When the heavy favorite presses late and makes mistakes.

Bottom Line
BC is winning this game. The key is to get through it without issue or injury.
Final Score: BC 35, Richmond 10