Last week while I was sitting in the airport I came across Dennis Dodd's Hot Seat Index. I was curious to see where Coach Spaziani fell on the list. Even with a fan base who has grumbled with the lack of results, Gene DeFilippo has made it pretty clear that he has been satisfied with his head coach.
Using Dodd's system, let's see how Spaz's job safety stacks up to the rest of the ACC (0= Can't Be Touched, 5= Must Win Now).
0.0 -- Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech)
0.5 -- Jimbo Fisher (Florida State)
1.0 -- Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech)
1.5 -- Frank Spaziani (Boston College), Al Golden (Miami), Mike London (Virginia), Jim Grobe (Wake Forest)
2.0 -- Randy Edsall (Maryland), Tom O'Brien (N.C. State)
2.5 -- Dabo Swinney (Clemson), David Cutcliffe (Duke)
3.0 -- Butch Davis (North Carolina)
Dodd gives Spaz a 1.5, meaning "Very Safe, Change Highly Unlikely," which is what we would expect. But after two seasons of declining results, what would it take for Spaz to be on the Hot Seat in 2012? What kind of record would he have to produce this season and what games would he have to lose?
First off, the "Fire Spaz" sentiment will really pick up if he loses the first two to Northwestern and UCF. Opening the season 0-2 against two solid non-conference opponents will quickly turn the alumni against him, and the "Fire Spaz" sentiment will start again (mostly by me). In recent seasons, BC has started the year with a cupcake schedule (Kent State, Weber State, etc.), so fans are going to want to see the Eagles win at least one of these games against quality team.
Losing to either Duke or UMass would also be unforgivable, as both programs should be easy wins for the Eagles. I can't even imagine what the fanbase would do if BC lost to either of these teams. Actually, I do. They'd just stop showing up to the games. If BC somehow loses to Duke or UMass AND loses to Wake Forest, Spaz is going to be in a world of hurt. He has got to take all of these gimme games because you don't want to go into our October schedule hovering around .500.
For the remainder of the schedule -- Clemson, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame and N.C. State -- Spaz has got to win at least two of those games. If he loses all of them, or can only manage one win, his job security has got to be in trouble. Clemson, Maryland and N.C. State should be wins. But if the offense continues to fall on its collective face like last season and Rettig can't throw the ball, all those games will be tough. A second straight season without a marquee win against a good ACC opponent has got to be a blemish on Spaz's resume, but would it be enough to fire him?
So what kind of overall record what would it take for GDF to finally say enough is enough and remove Spaz? 5-7, failining to qualify for a bowl for the first time in more than a decade? I say no. Gene has an unhealthy loyalty to his coach and even that kind of season wouldn't be enough to break it. If Spaz is going to be canned, BC is going to have to tank to the tune of a 3-9 season, which I don't think will happen. But with Spaz at the helm, who knows.
I'm not advocating that Spaz be fired, just theorizing what it would take for GDF to pull the plug. What do you think it would take?
Tomorrow we will examine what kind of season it would take for Spaz to be fully embraced by the fan base.