After a season in which they finished 3-9 and went winless in their own conference, with one win over an FBS-level team, finishing 127th overall out of 128 teams in the FBS, despite having a top-ranked defense, it was widely recognized that changes were coming for the Eagles. The status quo was unsustainable in developing a culture where winning now is imminent.
As part of an offseason reconstruction, Addazio set to fix his offense. Now it appears he has both the quarterback and the coordinator to do so.
When spring practice opens up, the Boston College offense will go about installing a new system with new players. Patrick Towles, a fifth year transfer from Kentucky, will presumably be calling signals for the Eagles as a stop-gap measure to allow the team to transition to a new style of offense. That offense will be implemented in part by the new offensive coordinator, Scot Loeffler.
Loeffler is far from the perfect coordinator. A simple Twitter search of BC Interruption will show just how Hokies fans feel about him, and it's not positive. There are scattered impressions of respect, but for the most part, Virginia Tech fans were glad to see him leave, and are pretty happy he landed at a rival institution. Like when we talked about how Miami fans felt about Al Golden, there's a solid chance this hire doesn't work out, and if it doesn't, it'll potentially take Steve Addazio with it.
But for now, Loeffler is the right hire at the right time. Boston College absolutely needed to do something different this offseason, and it appears he's the man that's going to bring in the change. At Virginia Tech, Loeffler ran more of a spread type offense utilizing more passing downs. Between Michael Brewer and Brendan Motley, Virginia Tech attempted 144 passes on first down last year, with another 116 on second down. In contrast, Boston College attempted 74 passing attempts on first down and 63 on second down.
Loeffler had no problem calling passing plays inside an opponent's red zone, either. Brewer and Motley threw 26 touchdown passes inside the other team's 20 yard line, attempting 60 passes. They threw for 227 yards on that same field position. Those are numbers unimaginable last year at BC.
There are some warts to the hire. Loeffler is criticized for sticking to his guns a little bit too much and being stubborn with a game plan. When his game plan worked, Virginia Tech scored 51 points on Purdue, 43 on Duke, and 55 on Tulsa in the Indepedence Bowl. The year prior, the Hokies scored 35 points against the eventual national champion Ohio State Buckeyes. When it doesn't work, they score only 13 points against Pittsburgh and six the year prior against Miami.
But, as Mike McDaniel from Inside the ACC points out, you take the good with the bad. This is a no-brainer for Boston College, an offense that was beleaguered and under duress for the entire season. At the end of the year, it was understood there would be changes at the end of the year, and if nothing else, Addazio is indicating his willingness to change and adapt based on what's happening around him.
In terms of recruiting, Loeffler and Addazio put together recruiting classes that provided the upper class for Matt Rhule at Temple this year. The players recruited by the Addazio regime in 2011 and 2012 provided Temple with the firepower it needed to win 10 games in the AAC this year. Remember that Temple was in the MAC when Addazio took over, playing with players recruited to play in that conference. In his second year, they took a MAC team and transitioned into the American, a much tougher league. They took a step back, but ultimately, the players recruited during his time formed the core of last year's success. It's hard to argue with the fact that Scot Loeffler played a role in that.
That's what fans should understand about the hire. For all of the criticism about Addazio in 2015, they asked for a change. Scot Loeffler, from his shotgun/pistol formation to his jet sweeps, represents that change, and while he's not perfect, he's the right guy at the right time. The Eagles needed a guy with a reputation for being serviceable, and they got one. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. But BC is recognizing the need to change and adapt. It's maybe not an abandonment of the hopes for those guys coming into the program, but it's an admission that, for the time being, there needs to be a new approach. And that's exactly what they're getting.