CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Head coach Frank Spaziani of the Boston College Eagles reacts after Dave Shinskie is hit after the whistle in the final minutes of the first half against the Virginia Tech Hokies on September 25 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Yesterday, BCI took a critical look at this season and how disastrous it would be to fire Coach Frank Spaziani. Today we are going to look at the other side of the coin. What would it take for BC students and fans to fully embrace Spaz?
Spaz was put in a difficult position when he came here taking over after two wildly successful years under Jeff Jagodzinski. He came aboard after BC had gone to back-to-back ACC Championship Games and the program was riding a consistent level of success that had been unseen on the Heights in years. Was this setting Spaz up right from the get go? Matt Ryan was gone, B.J. Raji and Ron Brace left and Mark Herzlich lost the 2009 season to his battle with cancer. A string of QB recruits either fell on their face or transferred. Also on the coaching side, when Jags left so did his OC Steve Logan, leaving BC's offense in the hands of *gulp* Gary Tranquill. Things seemed stacked against Spaz right from the start.
The Eagles' record during Spaz's first two seasons speak for themselves. BC's record declined, their offense sputtered and attendance dwindled. But not all of this had to with the level of player talent. Rather, many fans wanted to see Spaz play with a little more, how you say it, BALLS. Spaz's conservative play calling irked fans, just open up Twitter during a game last season and you can see fans -- myself included -- fuming about punting on fourth and 1, the barrage of RB draws or Spaz's apathetic views of his teams performance.
How can this change? What will BC have to do this season for Spaz to win the trust of the BC fanbase?
For one, BC is going to have to beat a few solid ACC teams, teams like Virginia Tech, Florida State, N.C. State, Clemson, Maryland and Miami. Fans like myself want to see BC beat a solid opponent. Sure you can beat Duke, Wake Forest, and Virginia (all barely). Big deal. You are expected to win those games. We want to see the Eagles win a game against ACC contenders ... teams with a .500 record. None of these games are going to be easy, but getting embarrassed on a big stage is unacceptable. Win, Spaz, win, or I promise you this blog won't be treating you kindly.
Secondly, for the love of god beat Notre Dame. I know their fans don't view this game as a rivalry, but we do, and for many in our fanbase the BC-ND is the marquee game of the season. Spaz is 0-2 against the Irish. Beating them this year, especially in South Bend would be a great step in winning the fanbase. Students pay hundreds of dollars to go to South Bend to see BC win, not get embarrassed by the Irish. And while he's at it, beating UCF and Northwestern wouldn't hurt either.
Getting our offense up and going would be another easy way for fans to finally get behind Spaz. He no longer has Tranquill to hide behind when the offense goes out and lays an egg. Kevin Rogers has shown he can do it, now Spaz has to go out and show that maybe he can get some of that Jags/Logan offensive energy back at the Heights. The fans jump behind Spaz more if they see a huge turn around in the offense, especially the passing game, and more of an aggressive attacking game plan. And if Chase Rettig becomes a solid-good QB, with Andre Williams behind him pounding out yards, Spaz's recruiting efforts will be praised as well.
In terms of a final record, this is going to be a tough season for Coach Spaziani. If he can somehow pull of a 8-4 or 7-5 record against this schedule, he will definitely shut me up. Win a bowl game as well. How about you? What kind of season would it take for you to jump on the Frank Spaziani band wagon?