Brian: As we pointed out late last year, BC will face three first-year coaches this football season. They are Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Virginia’s Mike London. Over the last 10 years, the Eagles football program has had a great deal of success against first-year head coaches.
In fact, BC’s ten-year record against first-year coaches stands at 19-3. Since the 2000 season, only Miami’s Larry Coker (thanks to Ed Reed!), Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney have defeated BC as first-year coaches.
Here’s a list of the last 10 years of results against first-year coaches:
09/09/2000 - Win at Army (Todd Berry)
09/01/2001 - Win vs. West Virginia (Rich Rodriguez)
11/10/2001 - Loss vs. Miami (Fla.) (Larry Coker)
11/17/2001 - Win at Rutgers (Greg Schiano)
12/28/2001 - Win vs. Georgia (Mark Richt)
09/07/2002 - Win vs. Stanford (Buddy Teevens)
10/19/2002 - Win vs. Navy (Paul Johnson)
11/02/2002 - Win at Notre Dame (Tyrone Willingham)
09/27/2003 - Win vs. Ball State (Brady Hoke)
10/02/2004 - Win vs. Massachusetts (Don Brown)
09/03/2005 - Win at BYU (Bronco Mendenhall)
10/28/2006 - Win vs. Buffalo (Turner Gill)
09/08/2007 - Win vs. N.C. State (Tom O'Brien)
09/22/2007 - Win vs. Army (Stan Brock)
11/24/2007 - Win vs. Miami (Randy Shannon)
12/28/2007 - Win vs. Michigan State (Mark Dantonio)
09/06/2008 - Loss vs. Georgia Tech (Paul Johnson)
09/27/2008 - Win vs. Rhode Island (Darren Rizzi)
11/01/2008 - Loss vs. Clemson (Dabo Swinney)
Sure, there’s some lightweights on that list such as Rhode Island, Army and UMass. But there’s a even greater number of accomplished head coaches, including Mark Richt, Greg Schiano, Rich Rodriguez, Paul Johnson, Bronco Mendenhall, Turner Gill, Randy Shannon and Mark Dantonio.
My question is do you expect BC’s success against first-year coaches to continue this year against Notre Dame, FSU and Virginia. Or are the circumstances around the change in head coaches at say Notre Dame (Brian Kelly leading Cincinnati to the Sugar Bowl last year) and Florida State (Jimbo Fisher replacing a coaching legend) so different that we can’t use this as a predictor of future success? Your thoughts?
Jeff: Interesting information here. It probably should be just another weird statistic that makes us feel better about next season. But for me, it doesn't do that. I look at Jimbo Fisher replacing Bobby Bowden and, even though it is hardly an apples-to-apples comparison, I see us losing to Dabo Swinney as the most similar recent situation.
Then, looking for something similar to Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, aside from looking at previous Notre Dame first year coaches who we've had success against, I look at losing to Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech in Chestnut Hill two years ago. Virginia's Mike London might continue to help BC's record against first year coaches though, especially with that game in Chestnut Hill.
Maybe there is something to be said about the success BC has had against some now great coaches earlier in the decade. I think some of that can be credited to Tom O'Brien and his staff because they always had teams ready to beat teams they should and first year coaches are usually at programs that are rebuilding.