I still think Spaziani might survive this awful season thanks to his recent contract extension and the athletic director's general stressing of loyalty. HOWEVER ... it is never a good sign when a former captain of yours is now calling you out on Twitter. Thanks to a surprising road win over equally lowly Maryland, the Eagles clinched at least a two-win season in 2011; they will get, probably, their final chance at a win this Saturday when they host N.C. State and former B.C. coach Tom O'Brien. (They finish with road games versus Miami and  Notre Dame.) For a program that has been to 12 straight bowls (every year since O'Brien's third in Chestnut Hill), this season has been an outright abomination.
The Tom O'Brien era at N.C. State is not buried and dead, but the "program-builder" image Lee Fowler had in December of 2006 is currently being given its Last Rites. In 10 years at BC, O'Brien turned a wayward program into a winner - the Eagles entered 2011 with an opportunity to notch a 13th consecutive winning season.
That's when we know O'Brien's tenure with BC and his first 54 games with the Pack are officially beginning to trend apart from each other.
North Carolina State coach Tom O’Brien sent a not-so-subtle message to the ACC office in his press conference when he pointed out that the Wolfpack will "for the fifth time go on the road for an (ACC) opener." NC State opens its league schedule Saturday at Wake Forest. In O’Brien’s five seasons in Raleigh, no other team in the league has opened ACC play every season on the road. By the way, in 2006, the last time the Wolfpack played their first league game at home, they played Boston College, coached by…Tom O’Brien.
"We chose Michael Glennon as our quarterback. He is very talented," [Tom] O’Brien said. "He will be the quarterback. That’s the story. He’s as good as any quarterback I’ve been around, certainly through our years at Boston College. It’s up to him to perform, relax and play the game."
I was on board when NC State hired Tom O'Brien thinking he would be able to exceed what he did at BC. Now I am seeing BC fans are right. O'Brien is what he is -- he will beat the rival but lose plenty to the Dukes and Wakes on the schedule. Do you think new AD Debbie Yow will make a move if TOB doesn't win this season?
-- Mike, Charlotte
Count me among those disappointed with O'Brien's Wolfpack tenure to date. Even with one of the most exciting dual-threat quarterbacks, Russell Wilson, NC State was all over the map last season, beating Pittsburgh and North Carolina but finishing 2-6 in the ACC. As a result, the Wolfpack posted their third straight seven-loss season (with a 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl appearance wedged in there). Meanwhile, the BC fans Mike mentions who grew dissatisfied with O'Brien's perceived ceiling -- whom I considered to be spoiled at the time -- have been validated by the Eagles' continued success under Jeff Jagodzinski and Frank Spaziani.