Saturday, July 30, 2016

Addazio talks 5th years again

Addazio freely admits he made a mistake not bringing in a 5th year QB last year, but now he is opening up even more. This time with a Virginia paper. As assumed, Addazio did not take a QB last year out of fear of how it would hurt his recruiting and reputation:
"You didn’t want to get a reputation for not having faith [in the guys you have],” Addazio said. “No matter how you cut these things, they get sensitive.”

So with sophomore Darius Wade set to take over in 2015, Addazio opted against seeking outside depth.

“I closed my mind to it and said, ‘OK, it’s Darius’ deal. I want to develop a young guy,’” Addazio said. “I didn’t want to keep bringing fifth-year guys in here. I did it once with Murphy. I didn’t want to do it again. “You know, in hindsight — almost like, duh — it didn’t pan out.”


At least he learned. Yet I still can't believe a guy who has been around so long made such a mistake. You know what's worse than a reputation for bringing in 5th years? Losing. Losing big and going winless in conference play. That hurts your reputation. How about wasting one of the best defenses in college football? Does that hurt your reputation? But it also makes me shake my head that Addazio even thinks that long term. All coaches should think season to season. They are not guaranteed to have the next one. While I don't think Addazio is on the hot seat this year, he ruined a lot of good will with last year. If the players you recruit don't like when you bring in new players, that is their problem. Leave or compete. That is the answer. If a guy can't beat out some 5th year at BC, where is he going to be an impact player?

Coaches hate criticism from those on the outside. Yet they are so deep into their problems they often lose perspective. Think back to TOB trying to keep Quinton Porter happy while Matt Ryan sat on the bench? You should never promise playing time. Just the opportunity and a chance to get an education. Don't worry about reputations. I would rather have other schools say "Addazio will bring in someone over you" rather than "if you go to BC you will lose."

Friday, July 29, 2016

Are we supposed to be excited about Temple?

BC scheduled a home at home with Temple. The Alumni game will be played in 2018 and the return to Philadelphia will be in 2021. Temple is far from the worst team BC could schedule but in my opinion this is a filler game with little upside. And it continues Bates and Addazio's practice of safe non-conference scheduling.

BC rationalized the series with a little history. Temple was a staple of the BC schedule for years. And they were awful. But that was a time when Temple served as an easy W. These days all colleges schedule FCS teams to pad their win total. An easy win over Temple is harder to justify or shine up. Why play them? They are in a decent recruiting territory and have improved of late, but they are still likely to be bad in 2018 and 2021. No one will care if BC wins. There will be scorn if BC loses (I've sat through a loss to Temple).

If Addazio and Bates are really determined to take it easy, there are other schools we could schedule. Look at private academic schools outside the Power 5. Look at teams outside the Power 5 in markets where we have good alumni populations. Schedule in regions where we want to begin recruiting. Schedule a unique opponent with some sort of cache, would generate a little excitement. Scheduling Temple won't. For decades BC fans viewed the game as an easy win or skippable game. I have a feeling they will see it that way in 2018 too.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Getting to know Ethan Tucky

Expectations are pretty high for Ethan Tucky. The new LB was a key part of the recruiting class and then when Jim Reid came onboard, he raved about him and explained how badly he wanted Tucky at Iowa. If you're looking for signs that he will contribute early, take this interview as an example. BC would probably not have him sit down for the Q&A if they didn't think he was going to play this season. 

The interview doesn't contain anything groundbreaking or dramatic, but does give some insight into Tucky's personality. It seems like he has a good head on his shoulders and a good model for getting better. Beyond the physical, Tucky also explains the learning curve of college football and the staff's preparation. 

There's plenty of comparisons to Milano and Kuechly. That's a high ceiling, but if he really is in that league, BC can have a dominant defense for years to come. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The legacy of the Ice Bucket Challenge

Two years ago I posted my concerns about the Ice Bucket Challenge. At the time, I questioned people's motives and recommended people focus on the giving, not the ice. Well it turns out my crankiness missed the point. The Ice Bucket Challenge did raise tens of millions of dollars for ALS and that money led to a breakthrough with regards to genes connected to ALS.

Hopefully that discovering leads to meaningful improvement in treating the disease. Hopefully it leads to a cure for Pete Frates -- the man who helped make the Ice Bucket Challenge a viral sensation.

I still think I was right to question people's motives, but I clearly should have focused on the upside. Congrats to all those who gave and I hope they are proud of the breakthrough.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New details on ACC Network

Stewart Mandel posted a good article on the new ACC TV deal that resulted in a hard date for the ACC Network. What was clarified for the first time is how ESPN is going to generate money and guarantee carriage in a time when these types of networks are under fire. ESPN/Disney timed the launch of the ACC Network so that it coincides with the renewal of all the ESPN Networks. ESPN and the ACC will bundle the new network with the other ESPN Channels in an all or nothing proposal. If your cable company wants ESPN, they are going to need to carry the ACC Network.

Mandel also explains that basketball was a much bigger driver of the network than previously believed. All those Duke-UNC games plus the other second level powers will carry the network during the winter months.

I still have doubts that Notre Dame will ever give up football independence but they are the final piece in the puzzle. If the new playoff forced them into a conference, it will be the ACC. And if/when that happens, that gives the ACC one more trigger to juice the TV deal.

Monday, July 25, 2016

BC picked 5th in ACC Media Poll

Last week I predicted that the ACC Media would pick BC last in the Atlantic Division. Much to my surprise, they didn't. In fact, the media didn't even pick BC sixth. Instead our Eagles are expected to finish 5th. Maybe Addazio's enthusiasm and the confidence in BC's D is changing opinions.

The results of the poll show clear tiers in the division. At the top there is Clemson and FSU. Then some space before Louisville and NC State. BC is just barely ahead of Syracuse and then Wake. That's probably fair.

Just like my pessimism last week, this still doesn't mean much. BC has to go out and play the games, regardless of where they were expected to finish.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Based on media attention, Towles seems like the QB

The supposed open battle at QB doesn't look so open when you just read the press clippings. In interview after interview Addazio talked about the Towles and the mistake he made in not having more QB experience last season. This article references the "politics" of the situation last year. But the article also goes on about Towles winning qualities and fit with the approach. There is barely a mention of Wade.

in the end, I am not concerned with who plays and starts at QB. I am more concerned that Addazio learned from his mistakes. A QB rotation never really works and you can't worry about the player politics when the season is on the line.