Could this be Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani's last stand?
Brian: Could this be it?
Look, I know new Athletic Director Brad Bates has come out against midseason firings. I get that. But at what point does Bates listen to his fan base which grows angrier and more impatient by the day? (Just check @BCBradBates mentions on Twitter). At what point is the on-field performance and results deemed unacceptable?
The more I think about these questions, I just keep coming back to this weekend's game against Maryland. This will be Bates first home game as the school's A.D. so he'll get to witness first-hand both the product on the field and the sparse Alumni Stadium crowd (tickets on secondary markets start at $2). It's an extremely winnable game against a bad ACC program. Vegas has now installed BC as a slight home favorite, so even the oddsmakers expect this game to be close despite the Eagles' poor 1-6 (0-4 ACC) start to the season.
With a loss, BC would be assured of their second straight season with no postseason as well as the program's worst start since 1989. Attendance will likely take a hit for BC's two remaining games against Virginia Tech and (yes, even) Notre Dame. Donations will dry up. Fans are going to start walking out. Long-time, loyal season ticket holders will actually consider not renewing next season -- a decision that has seemed automatic for so many seasons.
So again, I go back to this weekend's game against Maryland. There's no doubt that Spaz is done at the end of this season, but is this Spaziani's last stand as head coach of the Eagles? Win and see another game, lose and go home? Your thoughts?
Jeff: I can't say that this is a win-or-go-home game for Spaz with certainty but it certainly could be. It would make perfect sense if Bates had no intention of making a move until the team was eliminated from making a bowl game and a loss on Saturday would mean exactly that. Even though the team has given absolutely no indication the past two weeks that they at all deserve to compete with teams that will be playing in bowl games this season, it would be considered fair if Spaz did not get the axe until the team is mathematically eliminated.
Now, due to injury, true freshman Caleb Rowe will get the start on Saturday at BC. This will make a loss to Maryland that much more painful and it will be tough to watch Spaz captain the ship for four more games. But if BC can win Sunday and then wins against a beatable Wake Forest team in Winston-Salem the next week, Spaz will be assured a job for the Notre Dame and I doubt he would get canned immediately following that game regardless of the outcome even though I am all in favor of him getting the boot immediately following our next loss.
Brian: Maryland is down to its fourth-string QB tomorrow afternoon against the Eagles. Advantage BC?
Jeff: I would rather them be playing with their fourth-string O-line.
Brian: It's not a question of whether the offense can outscore Maryland (they can). It's a question of whether the defense can stop the Maryland offense.
Brian: Is there any part of you that would have wanted Randy Edsall as BC's coach over Spaz, or are you good knowing Spaz will soon be replaced and Edsall is coach of the Terps?
Jeff: I would absolutely rather have Edsall. At least he had a successful run at UConn and he's only in year 2 at Maryland.
Jeff: Wake Forest got throttled by Clemson and was down 35 at home at one point in the first half. Any chance BC has a little 2 game winning streak in their future?
Brian: My guess is BC will be a slight road dog next weekend. But if BC is going to have any winning streak this season, these next two games are the last best chance.
Brian: Sounds like the Chick-Fil-A Bowl will become a "BCS" bowl in the new college football postseason. Will you be sad if the ACC loses its tie-in with the Atlanta-based bowl?
Jeff: I would be disappointed. I always hoped BC would land there eventually.
Jeff: Kirk Minihane of WEEI calls for BC to #FireSpaz midseason. Is there anyone left that hasn't written that?
Brian: Mark Blaudschun ... Eric Avidon ... Rich Thompson. That's the list.
Brian: Last one. Big hockey weekend with the Eagles facing a ranked Lowell team in a home-and-home. How many points do York and the boys bring home this weekend?
Jeff: Two points. Sorry I'm not more optimistic.
Jeff (4-1 last week, 17-23 overall):
Iowa Hawkeyes at Northwestern Wildcats (-5)
N.C. State Wolfpack (+7.5) at North Carolina Tar Heels
Michigan St. Spartans at Wisconsin Badgers (-6.5)
USC Trojans (-6.5) at Arizona Wildcats
Texas Tech Red Raiders at Kansas St. Wildcats (-7.5)
Brian (2-3 last week, 20-20 overall):
Maryland Terrapins at Boston College Eagles (-1.5)
Tennessee Volunteers (+14) at South Carolina Gamecocks
Florida Gators (-6.5) vs. Georgia Bulldogs
UMass Minutemen (+32.5) at Vanderbilt Commodores
Oregon St. Beavers (-3) at Washington Huskies
ATL (0-1 last week, 2-6 overall):