A stream of random consciousness several days after BC’s 35-3 blowout win over Florida State (thank you Tropical Storm Phillipe!) completing Steve Addazio’s ascension from the dead, with a point (Louisville), a line (Virginia) and a trend (FSU). The Eagles now sit at 5-4 and unless complete catastrophe strikes are on their way to a bowl game.
So let’s cut right to chase and ask whether this should once and for all put an end to the discussion around Steve Addazio’s future in Chestnut Hill.
A year ago after the Clemson game I said it should be over. A few weeks ago, I certainly didn’t think much differently. Now where am I? Not quite all in yet, but getting closer.
I am not ready to put a win total around whether I believe he should stay or go from my own perspective. As I said in that article last year, it is far more about the trajectory of the program and whether that trajectory matches what me or you as the individual fan, believes is the right one for BC football, not just over a three game window, but in the long term.
That question isn’t easy and in next Sunday’s Musing (let’s hope it doesn’t dribble again into Monday), I will tackle the question of “What Should BC Football Be?”, but suffice to say, each of us has our own viewpoint on where this program should be in college football’s pecking order.
The things that most stick out though in this stretch are:
- The staff never lost the locker room. There have been times earlier in the year and last year as well, when there were questions whether it was all going to fall apart. They had always seemingly struggled offensively, but the defense had some real abominations and it appeared was one good gust of wind away from crumbling, but that hasn’t happened.
Addazio has stuck by his guys and as you would hope Boston College players would do, they in turn, stuck by him.
He has remained generally positive, particularly with his team and had that faith, the belief in the unseen, that the script would flip.
Look at the mess Florida State finds itself in right now? According to ESPN, in the Friday night game, the Noles played 32 four or five star recruits, while BC played 2. Addazio has connected and stayed connected with his players and they play for him, something I am sure Jimbo Fisher would like to be able to say as well.
- The team is playing above its talent level. It’s easy to argue that recruiting rankings are subjective and that when a blue blood program shows interest, that player’s ranking rises, but still, the game Friday was a talent mismatch, that BC not only won but won going away.
I don’t care at all that Florida State was without Deondre Francois. Francois Mitterand should have been able to play QB and won the game based on the talent disparity alone.
No, the Eagles haven’t been perfect, but they are playing with a confidence and a chemistry that overcame the talent gap and then some.
- This team doesn’t beat itself. Folks, EVERYTHING in the game Friday night went BC’s way. Every break, every measurement, every ..well everything. Statistically, BC had a solid edge, but they certainly weren’t as dominant offensively as they had been vs Louisville and Virginia, but didn’t need to be.
But most importantly, they don’t beat themselves. That alone, suggests a well coached football team (I know..I said it).
BC is plus 6 in turnover margin over the past two games. Plus 7 in the three game win streak and has only lost the turnover battle twice (Wake and ND) all season. It is very likely without being minus 4 vs the Deacons, BC wins that game as well.
The Eagles are also #2 in the country in fewest yards penalized, at 30.7 yards per game. They committed just 1 penalty for 10 yards vs FSU, while the Noles had 7 for 71 yards. Florida State had at least two penalties that kept BC drives going and turned into points that were critical to the outcome. BC just isn’t giving away those get out of jail free cards.
- The Dazzler has let go and let God. There is simply a different approach to how the Eagles are going about this now. An aggressiveness offensively without losing the “pound the rock” mentality, that has instilled confidence in his team.
I honestly believe he saw the writing on the wall and knew that if he didn’t try to change something (the timeworn definition of insanity), things weren’t likely to change.
Some other thoughts
- BC won with Anthony Brown completing just 6 of 20 passes for 54 yards. I was talking with my friend at halftime and asked if he knew what Brown had for yards and he didn’t. Well AB had 46 at the half and gained 8 total yards via the air against Florida State and BC pulled away.
- That made the rushing totals, which weren’t massive, all the more impressive. BC didn’t even try to hide what was coming, but like Christmas in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, it came just the same.
- The youth that has been discussed is now a much more experienced youth. Whether it be the play of center Ben Petrula (what a dilemma a year from now when Jon Baker is healthy), or John Lamot (10 tackles and playing like a heat seeking missile), Kobay White, Anthony Brown or AJ Dillon, all with three more years of eligibility.
- The secondary was fantastic. Yes, the defensive line, even missing Harold Landry (seriously, they beat FSU without him), pressured James Blackman, but there simply were not a lot of open Nole receivers. The Eagle secondary was stride for stride all evening.
Pro BC or Negative Opponent?
The one thing holding me back from proclaiming this a complete success is figuring out whether this success is more BC or more on the opposition. It is never just one without the other although Steve Addazio and the Eagles can only control their side of the field, but where does the line get drawn?
Over the past three games, BC has beaten a Louisville team that although then went and beat Florida State, has lost 3 of their last 4 and doesn’t own a win over an FBS team with a winning record.
They also beat Virginia, who has just one win over an FBS team with a winning record and Hoo by their own admission weren’t quite as good as the numbers showed.
Then we come to Florida State and we’ve dissected that pretty good on the site in here over the past few days.
In two of those three games, the fit for the BC defense was there. Immobile QBs and weak offensive lines who play right into BC’s strengths. In the Louisville game, well although the offense was a revelation that day, the Cardinals have now given up an average of 43.3 points to FBS teams with winning records.
Without a doubt, BC has been responsible for some of the swoon these teams find themselves in now and as Bill Parcells said, “you are what your record says you are”...or at least in college football, what it says you are against your peers.
Maybe the division is overrated, maybe the Eagles are better than expected.
If the pattern follows, it is likely that BC goes 2-1 to close it out, beating NC State (immobile QB and solid history of beating NC State even when they appear better on paper), beating Connecticut and losing at Syracuse (the flip side of NC State).
I just wish I could quantify it better, that’s the tech in me...but at this point, I am just going to enjoy it.
A week ago, the question was asked as to what the masses thought about Steve Addazio’s future after BC buried UVA. It only seems right to keep the finger on the pulse and ask again.
Last week 10% of you were all in after the win over the Cavaliers, with 17% more ready to join the Dazzler bandwagon if the Eagles knocked off FSU. 32% said at least a bowl game would be needed to get them to back Coach Addazio, while 23% said only if BC won out would they want him back.
18% said that no matter how it all ended, enough was enough.
What about now?
Where are you with Steve Addazio after Florida State?
This poll is closed
I’m on board for another year right now
I still need that bowl game locked up to be sold
Seven regular season wins does it for me
Dude has to win out to keep me happy
I told you once, I’ll tell you again, he’s still gotta go