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Headlines: The Rest of the ACC Is Not Scared of You, Spaz

Brian: About a month ago I picked up Athlon’s College Football preview. While a lot of what was predicted for the Eagles has undoubtedly changed already this offseason, one article towards the front of the magazine also caught my eye. In this article entitled "Hello my name is … Welcome to the 2009 Coaching Carousel" was an evaluation of the newest FBS head coaches. Here is Athlon’s final analysis of BC’s head coaching hire (emphasis mine):
"Final Analysis: With DeFilippo so adamant about hiring someone who will remain at Boston College "for the length of his contract," you have to wonder if the school settled for Spaziani because he professed his love for the maroon and gold. He is an outstanding defensive coordinator with a strong pedigree, but you can be sure that this hire won’t have opposing ACC coaching staffs overly concerned."

Athlon seems to come down fairly hard on the hire of Spaz. While I hadn’t really thought of this question earlier, the article did raise a red flag or two in my mind. Will ACC coaching staffs be overly concerned when it comes to playing against Spaziani and Boston College?

Jeff: Will opposing teams be concerned with playing Boston College this year (who happens to be coached by Frank Spaziani)? Absolutely. No one in the conference is going to take the two-time defending Atlantic Division champs lightly.

Are they more concerned now that Spaziani is the coach than they would've been anyways? Probably not.

Remember, Spaziani was passed up for this job just two years prior and Spaz was already a member of the staff. Not only was he a member of the staff but he coordinated our defense which has been dominant in our run to two ACC Championship Game appearances. Therefore you have to wonder if the defense might even take a step back (since improving is hardly even an option) now that Spaz has to devote plenty of time to other duties as head coach.

In the long run we might find out that this coaching change was a good or great thing for BC but in the short term there is no reason to be intimidated as an opponent. Compare the Eagles opponents' situation to opponents of Georgia Tech. The Jackets brought in Paul Johnson and a completely new offensive scheme and philosophy last year. Opponents should be much more fearful of playing Georgia Tech over BC.

Brian: I agree that Paul Johnson should give ACC coaches more pause than Frank Spaziani since Johnson brought in a completely new offensive system. But I was still a bit concerned over how down Athlon was on the Spaz hire. Compare Athlon's reaction to their reaction over the hire of Clemson's Dabo Swinney. Swinney - a first time head coach - is seen as a rising star in the eyes of AD Terry Don Phillips, and Athlon wasn't nearly as negative on the hire as they were with Spaz. Maybe this has something to do with Swinney's youth or the success (or lack thereof) of his predecessor. I don't know.

Only time will tell whether the Spaziani hire was good for BC football in the long run. But in the short term, this analysis of BC's Spaz hire gives me some pause. Most rationale Eagles fans will likely give Spaziani a pass this year, but I'm not sure how long we will continue to give Spaz passes if improvement isn't shown. Especially with a fan base that has become quite comfortable with successful football programs the last 10 years.