CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 03: Members of the Boston College Eagles salutes the fans after their loss to the Northwestern Wildcats on September 3, 2011 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.The Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Boston College Eagles 24-17. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ESPN's Heather Dinich is out with her latest ... offseason rankings list, ranking the best coaching jobs in the conference. While it's extremely easy to pile it on the Boston College football program, I completely disagree with these rankings. Like, not even close. HD ranked the Boston College coaching job 10th in the conference, ahead of only Maryland and Duke.
[Dinich's colleague, Andrea Adelson, who covers the Big East, ranked Pitt second and Syracuse sixth, so you can probably slot BC in at 11 or 12 in the expanded ACC.]
Here's what HD had to say about the Boston College coaching job:
You've got to like the cold, and have to accept the fact the program is overshadowed by the local pro sports and even the school's hockey team. It's a tough task to change that perception, and to convince the bowls your fans will travel.
Let's take these one at a time.
You've got to like the cold. Because successful college football programs only play in warmer climes?
Program is overshadowed by the local pro sports. The tired pro sports town excuse didn't seem to affect Miami's standing on this list, though I do see HD slipped in a Redskins / Ravens reference in there for Maryland. Perhaps this is her go-to if she can't think of anything else to say about the program, or on her crib notes supplied by DeFilippo and Maryland's Kevin Anderson.
.. and even the school's hockey team. So BC is the only program in the conference overshadowed by another athletics program on campus? North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest basketball? Maryland lacrosse? The Virginia wine and cheese club? Boston College is much more of a football-first school than half the schools in the conference. This is just lazy.
Convince the bowls your fans will travel. Again, another tired excuse that seems to only apply to BC. Doesn't apply to any of the other small, private schools in the conference? Maryland? Virginia? North Carolina? Where is the history of strong fan travel for 2/3 of the ACC's programs? The reality is BC has been a victim of its own success. How many ACC programs can say they went to a bowl game in 12 straight seasons? I can count those programs on one hand.
Here's what HD's colleague Andrea Adelson had to say about the Pitt football program ranking them second in the Big East behind only USF.
"The Panthers are also in one of the best recruiting areas, being able to mine Pennsylvania and Ohio for talent. They do have a winning tradition and top-notch facilities and a history of turning out first-round NFL picks. Plus, a move to the ACC now means they have a guaranteed tie-in to a major bowl game."
Much more complimentary and more along the lines of what I would expect someone to say about the Boston College football program -- at least when it comes to the "winning tradition" and "history of turning out first-round NFL picks" parts.
It's one thing to nitpick a list like this, but it's another to see a program like Boston College ranked below programs like North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest. Wake is the smallest school in the BCS and a historically terrible program. The Deacon's .411 winning percentage ranks 118th in FBS history, ahead of only Kent State and FIU. Similarly, North Carolina and Virginia are basketball- and Olympic Sports-first schools with little success historically.
There's no way that BC should be ranked lower than those three programs. The program probably isn't far behind N.C. State, either. Clearly I'm biased, so I'll defer to Myerberg on this one. The Eagles should fall somewhere around 6-7 on this list -- both today and post-Syracuse, Pitt expansion to 14.
I get that it's all too easy to pile it on the program at the moment and bury the Eagles towards the bottom of this list. And maybe BC is only the 10th best job in the conference under the current program leadership. But there's also no reason to think that this is a long-term thing.
More thoughts on HD's complete head coaching job rankings after the jump.
1. Virginia Tech Hokies
2. Florida St. Seminoles
3. Clemson Tigers
4. Miami Hurricanes
5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
6. N.C. State Wolfpack
7. North Carolina Tar Heels
8. Virginia Cavaliers
9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
10. Boston College Eagles
11. Maryland Terrapins
12. Duke Blue Devils
Some other thoughts:
-- Virginia Tech at #1. While Virginia Tech has been the class of the post-expansion ACC, there is no way this coaching job is the best in the country. Both Florida State and Clemson outclass the Hokies when it comes to recruiting, facilities, historical success and other natural advantages afforded the programs.
-- Miami at #4. The Hurricanes clearly have the historical success to propel them into the top half of the conference, but I have my doubts that we'll ever see the U return to its dominance of the 1990s and early 2000s. Fan support for the program isn't what it was even 5-7 years ago as the program struggles to fill its sterile, NFL-sized home today. Miami plays in an NFL stadium it can't fill, so you have to knock the facilities down a bit too, no? The NCAA looms; not to mention Miami plays in a pro sports town too. Obligatory.
-- N.C. State too low at #6. N.C. State is the only football-first program in the conference located in NC. The Wolfpack have the facilities to compete with anyone in the conference. This job should be higher up on the list if not for TOB straight rollin' mediocrity down in Raleigh. I would have this job ranked as high as third or fourth behind Florida State, Clemson and possibly Virginia Tech.
-- North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest ranked ahead of BC. No.
-- Duke at #12. Duh.