Setting Expectations For The 2012 Boston College Football Season

Brian: With the release of the 2012 Boston College football schedule on Monday, an interesting question was posed by one of our readers -- would you rather see an awful 2-10 season in 2012 if it meant turning the page on the Spaziani-DeFilippo era of Boston College football or a mediocre 6-7 win season that allowed both Spaz and Gene to keep their current positions.

What are the thresholds here -- both lower and upper -- in terms of number of wins that would be acceptable in 2012?

Jeff: I would rather have the bowl game loss scenario which keeps Gene and Spaz around. It is not ideal of course, but going to a bowl game is something that I really don't want the team to miss out on this season. Boston College has been recognized nationally for the last decade as a quality, not elite, football program. Missing the bowl picture three years in a row would completely ruin that reputation. I say three years because I think a coaching change after this season would lead to some transfers and another season next year without a bowl appearance.

For both GDF and Spaz to keep their jobs this season, I would think that a bowl appearance is necessary. If we fail to make a bowl again, with a roster that will now have a bunch of juniors, then something will have to be done. If we finish with five wins, but the offense shows great improvement, there are some injuries again, and we win against at least one of Florida State, Notre Dame or Virginia Tech, then I could also see both men sticking around for one more season with a statement from GDF that improvement the following season is the only way the current leaders of the football program stick around.

I think four wins or less means that Spaz is fired by GDF no later than the Monday after the final game. If we are looking at a three win season come the end of October and everyone is calling for GDF's job, then he might make a midseason move in order to save himself.

I don't think there is any win total that absolutely means that GDF will be replaced, but I do think that he is 100 percent safe if we go bowling. Depending on how the six wins come, Spaz might still face a little heat with only six wins and a bowl loss but would probably be retained. If we win four or less games, it is 100 percent certain that Spaz will lose his job.

Brian: The bar is pretty high for me. I think it's pretty clear to everyone not named Eric Avidon, Heather Dinich, Mark Blaudschun or to relatives of Spaz or Gene that Spaziani is not the answer as our head coach. Why should we prolong the inevitable any longer than necessary?

The Boston College football program cannot afford to slip any farther, especially with the conference moving to 14 programs as early as next season. Wins, total offense, total defense, attendance and recruiting are all trending downwards and there's not much hope, for me, anyway, of doing better than .500 seasons under Spaz.

That's why my minimum win threshold is set to 7-8. Split the difference and say 7.5-5.5. You can even count a win in a bowl game towards the total. If Spaz can't get to eight wins, including the bowl game, then it's time to make a change at the top.

This staff is all out of excuses. Youth is no longer an excuse as BC returns one of the highest total number of returning starters in the nation next season. Staff attrition / turnover? Five offensive coordinators in five years? That's on the HC and the AD. Recruiting? How many more years can we pin recruiting failures on Jeff Jagodzinski, especially when Spaz just brought in one of the lowest ranked recruiting classes in the country and is currently rocking a sanction-level scholarship count? Schedule? BC draws three of its toughest 2012 opponents -- Clemson, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech -- at home this year. No more.

So can Spaz turn it around? I have my doubts.

You'd be hard pressed to tell me BC is winning even one of Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Notre Dame this year. That's four teams the Eagles have been largely uncompetitive against over the last three seasons with few exceptions (Florida State 2009, Clemson 2010). Maine, at Army and Maryland are the closest things to guaranteed wins this season, with the Army game very much in question for me. That leaves the Eagles having to win five out of these six games -- Miami, at Northwestern, at Georgia Tech, at Wake Forest, at N.C. State and the bowl game. That's five road/neutral games to just one home game. The odds are simply not in BC's favor.

If I had to wager a way too early guess, I'd say the Eagles are heading for a 5-7 season and might ... might manage a Military Bowl berth at 6-6. Wins over Miami, Maine, at Army, Maryland and one of at Wake Forest / at N.C. State. Close losses to either Wake or N.C. State, at Northwestern and at Georgia Tech. Non-competitive losses to Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Notre Dame.

With just five wins and missing a bowl game for the second straight season, I think it's high time to make a change at HC.

I mean, it's really hard to miss a bowl game in this day and age of scheduling your way to six wins and a bowl game. Six wins is an absolute minimum mandatory requirement to keep your job in my opinion. The school shouldn't have to pay Spaz over a million dollars to coach from September to November. The return on that investment sucks.

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