On Monday, D1scourse's Patrick Stevens pointed out that things haven't exactly come easy for the Eagles under Frank Spaziani. In his The Morning After: ACC Week 11 post, Patrick points out that BC is destined to make things interesting under Spaz:
"Take a look at the following set of numbers:
3, 7, 32, 4, 2, 6, 10, 5
No, it's not some sort of complex pattern. Instead, it is the margin of victory in all eight of Boston College's victories over BCS conference teams since Frank Spaziani took over as head coach. That's an average margin of victory of 8.63 points, and that total falls to 5.29 points once the Montel Harris game against N.C. State last year is taken out."
Even though I disagree with the treatment of that 32-point win over N.C. State -- can you really throw out an outlier with such a small sample size (FTRS, can I get a ruling here)? -- Patrick's point still stands. Watching BC football the past year and a half has given me some serious heartburn and is likely taking years off the end of my life.
Perhaps its just not in Spaz's to go for the jugular, or maybe it's a product of going ultra-conservative on offense in the second half with a lead. Whatever it is, the Eagles just aren't putting away games under Spaz.
But how does this 8.63 point average margin of victory compare to previous regimes?
Understanding that there were varying levels of talent and unbalanced schedules, I still thought it would be interesting to compare Spaz's margin of victory over BCS conference teams with the same measure for Tom O'Brien and Jeff Jagodzinski. If you take the final two years of the TOB era (the first two years in the ACC) and Jags two years on the Heights, here is each coach's average margin of victory over BCS teams:
|Coach||Year||BCS Wins||Avg. Margin||Max||Min||Margins of Victory|
|Tom O'Brien||2005||5||10.80||20||3||3, 11, 5, 20, 15|
|Tom O'Brien||2006||5||13.60||22||1||1, 19, 5, 21, 22|
|Jeff Jagodzinski||2007||8||10.13||20||3||10, 20, 14, 13, 4, 3, 14, 3|
|Jeff Jagodzinski||2008||6||8.17||17||3||7, 5, 17, 10, 3, 7|
|Frank Spaziani||2009||5||9.60||32||2||3, 7, 32, 4, 2|
|Frank Spaziani||2010||3||7.00||10||5||6, 10, 5|
I think it's still a little early to judge Spaz's performance with only three wins over BCS teams this season, as BC will get the chance to notch two more wins in the final two weeks of the season against Virginia and Syracuse. But if you compare Spaz's 8.63 average margin of victory, it's actually not that far off from Jags' two-year 9.29 average margin of victory, and Spaz didn't have the services of Matt Ryan. Spaz's 9.60 average margin of victory last season is actually higher than Jagodzinski's 8.17 margin in his second year on the Heights.
O'Brien's yearly average margin of victory is higher than both Spaz and Jags in our first two years in the ACC, and it was even higher in our last few years in the Big East -- though considering programs like Rutgers, Temple and a transition UConn program "BCS" conference teams back then is a bit of a stretch. Not all BCS conference teams are created equal, and the comparisons begin to break down when you go back to the Big East years.
Still, even though it may seem like it, the Eagles' decreasing margin of victory over BCS teams seems to be less a product of Spaz's coaching and more a result of three coaching changes in the last five seasons. That and the rest of the ACC "playing catch up" and improving their football in the time BC has been a member of the conference. Programs like Duke, Maryland, N.C. State have all improved since we joined the conference in 2005 and BC just isn't winning by the same margins the Eagles were when they first joined the conference.
The other thing is it's BC football. Nothing ever really seems to come easy for the Eagles. Regardless of who is the program's coach, we seem destined to always have to sweat it out a bit. That's just our lot in life. Embrace it, I guess.