Frank Spaziani: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Jared Wickerham

Frank Spaziani is gone, after four years of underwhelming and down right frustrating football, Brad Bates pulled the trigger. Now that he is the free time to watch Hingham baseball, golfing with Gene DeFilippo, or explore future job opportunities, we the fans should look back at the past four years, and see where things went right, wrong and horribly wrong. In honor of his work and dedication to Boston College, I proudly present to you: Frank Spaziani The Head Coach: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

The Good

The Final Five Games of the 2010 Season: If you look back to 2010, it was a tale of two seasons. BC came out flat, dropping five straight games including losses to FSU, Notre Dame and NC State. The first "Fire Spaz" hashtags were starting to appear, and the team seemed lost. However, given an easy schedule, BC cranked out five wins in a row to make themselves bowl eligible. The wins weren't pretty, and only one of the teams they beat ended up being bowl eligible, but wins are wins, and those five wins were only one less than Spaz managed his final two seasons combined.

BC defeats FSU in 2009: In a game that was largely overshadowed by College Gameday being on campus, and Mark Herzlich announcing that he had #beatcancer, BC came out and beat FSU in Bobby Bowden's final game against Boston College. Montel Harris ran for 179 yards, and Dave Shinskie threw for 2 touchdown passes.

Buying sandwiches for the grounds crew in 2011: That was nice of him wasn't it?

He never lost to an FCS opponent: Year after year we joked that BC was in such dire straits that a loss to an FCS school might happen. It never came close. Spaz never was able to have those epic blow outs you hope from an ACC school, but he never lost. And for that I am thankful.

The Bad

Spaz coached teams never beat a Top 25 school: This is pretty impressive, because you have to imagine that after four years, and the fact that the ACC was never GREAT, you'd have to expect that at some point he would trip into a win. But no, BC lost all seven games against ranked opponents during Spaz's tenure.

Chase Rettig: Highly touted as a solid California high school quarterback, Rettig was thrown to the vultures in 2009 after Dave Shinskie struggled. Rettig looked lost his first year, and then had to adjust to a mind numbing four offensive coordinators in the next four years, each with a new system which eventually was tinkered with by Spaz. Couple that with an offensive line the past two years that couldn't pass block, and the poor kid has been a tackling dummy.

Respect His Privacy: Something happened between offensive coordinator and Kevin Rogers during the halftime of the UCF game. The "he left the team due to health reasons, respect his privacy" charade was obviously a load of crap, because as we all saw he joined Temple less than 6 months later.

The Complete Decimation Of Offensive Line U: Remember the good ole days when BC would crank out high quality offensive lineman like Chris Snee, Marc Colombo and Damien Woody? Seems like ages ago right? Whether it's recruiting, or poor coaching, the line has been an unmitigated disaster over the past two seasons. Chase Rettig has been chased, tackled, sacked, and harassed more times than he could remember.

The Defense: In his four years at BC Frank Spaziani took a defense that ranked near the top of the country in 2009, and drove them into the ground, finishing a mind numbing 102nd in 2012. He had no excuse for it to ever get this bad because during his time at BC he had Luke Kuechly and a solid crew of linebackers to anchor the defense. But even the best linebacker in the past 10 years, couldn't mask literally no pass rush, and a porous secondary. Hopefully with the fall of Spaz comes the fall of the cushion.

Communication Style: Spaz never was comfortable communicating with basically anyone. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but watching him last season, he seemed completely alone on the field. A lasting memory of him will be the Maryland and NC State game, where he was walking alone for almost the entire game. It was pretty bizarre. Combine that with press conferences that were verbal Ambien, and you got a guy that didn't inspire much faith in BC football. His recruiting results proved that this was the case.

Clock Management: He must have finished his career at BC with roughly 200 unused timeouts. And Chief Takeaknee never bothered to figure out the two minute drill, which ironically enough ended his final home game at BC. That 4th quarter against Virginia Tech was a perfect example of what kind of coach Spaz was.

The Ugly

Middle Schmiddle: This was the defining moment of the Frank Spaziani blunder. Duke was an awful team, yet BC could not put them away. After letting Duke drive and score to take the lead, Spaz ran a draw play that set up Nate Freese with a kick on one of the far hash marks. He doinked the kick, BC lost to Duke and Spaz didn't seem to be bothered by it. I look to this game as the point when fans completely turned on him, and it was all downhill from there.

Roster Management: I thought about breaking this down into each individual example, but I have other things to do and that would take all day. Just for brevity's sake, let's just list all the examples of Spaz losing players for a variety of reasons: Montel Harris, Clyde Lee III, Dominick LeGrande, Okechukwu Okoroha, Dillon Quinn, Shakim Phillips, half of the 2012 recruiting class. And then there were the players he completely mismanaged which includes Rolandan Finch, Colin Larmond Jr., and 2011 Chase Rettig. Spaz never seemed to know what he was doing with the roster, and it showed. He started players out of position, he tinkered with starters, his two deep was always changing, and

Loss to Army: It's two months later and this game still gives me the creeps. Army, who had lost eight straight games including a loss to Stony Brook the week before, ran over BC for just short of 13,000 yards. BC couldn't tackle, looked clueless against the option, and made costly errors against an atrocious Black Knights defense. The pinnacle of the game was the BC's drive with 2:09 left on the clock:

-- 1st and 10 at BC 1 - Andre Williams rush for 3 yards to the BC 4, tackled by Geoffery Bacon
-- 2nd and 7 at BC 4 - Timeout ARMY, clock 02:00.
-- 2nd and 7 at BC 4 - Andre Williams rush for 3 yards to the BC 7, tackled by Thomas Holloway and Geoffery Bacon.
-- 3rd and 4 at BC 7 - Timeout ARMY, clock 01:56.
-- 3rd and 4 at BC 7 - Andrew Williams rush for 1 yard to the BC 8, tackled by T.J. Atimalala and Thomas Holloway.
-- 4th and 3 at BC 8 - BOSTON COLLEGE penalty 4 yard delay of game accepted.
-- 4th and 7 at BC 4 - Gerald Levano punt for 34 yards, punt out-of-bounds at the BC 38.

The Entire Game Experience: Just in general, look at the past four years of games. Were any of them fun to watch? Even the games BC won were tough to watch. Beating Maryland the past two years in ugly football games, and Miami were still borderline unwatchable. At least when Jeff Jagodzinski was here the games were exciting, losses were still great games to watch. Spaz sucked all of that away, let's just hope that Steve Addazio can breathe some of that fire back into the program. That might be the piece of BC football I miss the most.

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