Thursday, July 27, 2017

Watch Last Chance U Season 2 for more than just this clip of BC Football

In Last Chance U, Season 2 East Mississippi head coach Buddy Stephens goes to visit his father who has terminal cancer. While visiting, they watch BC football (I assume it is the bowl game). That is the only BC reference in two seasons of the Netflix show. For a variety of reasons, BC stays far away from the JUCO world. But don't let that distance keep you from watching. The show remains an excellent look at how the sausage is made in College Football. It is well worth your time.

Due to the popularity of Season 1, Season 2 takes on a whole different vibe than the first year. All the participants are hyper-aware of the cameras and how they might be portrayed. I also think the team and school benefited from the show's notoriety as there is an influx of Power 5 transfers looking to get back to the big time. East Mississippi made their name with Power 5 problem children, but this year's team had an unusually large amount of second chancers. I assume that when these guys went looking for JUCO options a year ago, being on TV was a major plus for East Mississippi.

But even if Scooba, Mississippi is a different world from Chestnut Hill, that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to learn. Our players deal with the same frustrations with coaches and classes. The bonding formed out of playing together and isolation from the rest of the world is similar. Plus the job aspect is the same. We want these guys to be playing for the love of the game, but most are using football to get somewhere else.

I continue to struggle with the hypocrisy and exploitation of college football, yet I still love it. Because of the nearly unlimited access, Last Chance U puts all of those issues on full display. And in the end, I still enjoyed the eight hours, was rooting for most involved, and couldn't wait for real football to start.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Time to start thinking about Northern Illinois

On Monday the Football team officially starts practice. Like all summer camps, there will be plenty of installations, scrimmages and position battles. But the team will also do some work getting ready for Week 1: Northern Illinois.

Don't take a MAC game for granted
In case you forgot, the whole set up against Northern Illinois is a little off and not in BC's favor. We're on the road and the game is a Friday night with a 9:30 PM kickoff. Because it is the first game, the team won't be breaking set routine, but those little schedule issues add up. It makes adjusting that much harder. Remember we had unexpectedly tough MAC road games to start the 2006 and 2004 season. BC is only a slight favorite now.

They have a QB battle too
While the enter the season with more experience at QB than BC, none of it is all that good. Ryan Graham has more experience and ok-ish stats. Daniel Santacaterina has youth and upside. Neither has faced the sort of pressure BC can bring. BC needs to attack these guys early.

BC should be able to run against them
We have an advantage on the OLine and need to ease our QBs into the game and season. The plan should be to run the ball and run some more. Sounds just like Addazio, right? I just hope that there is a bit of creativity in the approach as BC doesn't want to challenge NIU's respectable secondary.

In a season low on cupcakes, BC needs a win to start the year. NIU is a very winnable game. Let's hope the guys start thinking and preparing for that Monday.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nothing new from Addazio's trip to ESPN

ESPN hosted another group of ACC coaches Tuesday and Addazio made the rounds. He went on SportsCenter, the podcasts and met with ESPN's CFB writers. It was all fine and good exposure, but there was nothing revelatory about any of it. I know this is part of reaching beyond the BC diehards, but it would be nice to hear something beyond the dude and defense. Maybe he could discuss how he is tweaking his offense or how he has changed the roster in five years.

The podcast did allow Addazio to credit Pasqualoni for Landry's development. I do appreciate the role Coach P plays. I wish Addazio could find an offensive version of Coach P.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Daz's seat not as hot as national guys think

Hot Seat talk is a consistent point of discussion in college football. With the coach being such a focal point, getting rid of a loser and hiring a star, or up-and-comer can energize an entire fanbase. It is nearly August so the Hot Seat lists are rolling out and Addazio is a frequent name, but I don't think the national college football writers have a good feel for this. I think Addazio is safer than any of us realize.

A new AD, declining ticket sales, and an overall losing record are easy justification for Addazio-Hot Seat talk. Personally, I think that if he doesn't do something really special this year, he should be gone. But I think what is more likely is that BC has another mediocre year and he continues on at the Heights

Martin Jarmond was tasked with energizing the BC Athletic Department. Unlike Bates, he wasn't hired just to fire a football coach. If anything, hiring a guy with clear ties to Urban Meyer was a signal that this was a friendly hire for Addazio. Where Bates couldn't deliver on Addazio's needs nor control Addazio's personality, Jarmond is supposed to raise money, sell tickets, help recruiting and level with coach. Addazio didn't pick Jarmond, but he wasn't sidelined during the process.

Due to their connection, I think Jarmond will give Addazio another year if he only wins six or seven games. Even four months before it might happen, most BC fans could already pick out the rationalizations: "he has a winning record nearly every year" "BC went to a bowl again" "there is a great recruiting class coming in" "With Clemson and FSU so strong right now, Addazio is doing his best" "give him one more year with _____ (QB)".

If Addazio loses, I don't think Jarmond will use up good will keeping him on for another year. But if he just gets by -- again -- he is safe.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Havoline Football Saturdays like Addazio

Raycom puts together a series of summer preview shows that you might catch on your local stations. BC is rarely featured, but the producers clearly like Addazio. They already released this clip of him firing up the team last year. 

If BC just won a little more, Addazio would be a star. TV eats this fired up, run through a wall type locker-room stuff up. But you need to back it up with wins.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Good luck to the Boston Sports Journal

With business models constantly influx, it is hard to predict where sports coverage is going. BC is sort of in a weird position. We are not a national brand that gets covered regardless (i.e. Notre Dame, Michigan). We don't have an intense fanbase that drives hyper-local coverage (think Nebraska or most of the SEC). Instead we are a mid-level program lost in a major sports market. Coverage from the Globe and Herald shrinks every year and we rarely get attention from the local sports radio or cable stations. Maybe things will change with the Boston Sports Journal. Former Globe and SI writer Greg Bedard is starting a subscription service with a focus on the pro teams. I know BC has already reached out to ask for BC to be included. 

There is a niche. Eagle Action has a subscription model but can't be overly critical because they need recruiting access. The blogs show there is demand for information, but the free model doesn't drive enough revenue to support a full-time, on-site reporter. Maybe the Boston Sports Journal can fill the gap. 

Good luck to all those involved. BC could use the support. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Looking at AD pay in the ACC

Friday saw the updated release of Athletic Director pay among ACC schools. The list is incomplete since private schools do not have to disclose their Director's salaries. But the list does include Duke and Wake Forest.

Given BC's revenues and history, we can assume that Jarmond is in the lower half. Based on some uncovered tax filings in the past we know that GDF and Bates made approximately between $500,000 and $600,000 annually. 

As much as I think BC needs to have competitive salaries, there is an aspect of bidding against yourself when it comes to these high level positions. If BC had been paying more could we have hired a "better" AD than Jarmond? Maybe an older one, but not necessarily someone who would guarantee a turnaround.

I am sure Jarmond's salary will come out in the next year or so. At this point it doesn't really matter. What matters is he needs to get fans excited, raise some money and figure out what to do with football and basketball.