Boston College’s loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes earlier this week was a tough blow for a team that seemed to be trending in the right direction. After winning five of their last six, with a loss by only 4 to the N.C. State Wolfpack after losing Anthony Brown, BC looked ready to make the next step. But what we saw in the Bronx was a perfect storm of all the questions fans have had about Steve Addazio for the past five years.
For the first half of the game we saw much of the same strong physical offense that BC had exemplified the past half of season. But starting with the end of the half, the bad Addazio reared his ugly head. He lost track of the time, and rushed his kicking team onto the field, costing BC 3 points to end the half. And then the second half offense looked like the scared conservative coach we all have known. The game ended with BC getting the ball with a minute left, inexplicably running the ball with no time outs, and then looking completely lost. It was not a good look in arguably a program shifting game for Steve Addazio.
Which raises the question, can Steve Addazio ever get over the 7 win hump. I contend that this may be his ceiling given how you look at the schedule and how he has historically done against certain types of teams. Of course there are the FCS and MAC-rifices which BC has done fine against.
1. The Powerhouses: Addazio has one win against a ranked opponent in five years. One. There is no reason to believe this is going to change. He kept it sort of close against Clemson and N.C. State this year, but got housed by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This is a pattern every year. Looking ahead, just using the past five years it’s hard to imagine BC going on and beating a team like Clemson next year.
2. Toss Up Games: BC is going to basically be close to even with a bunch of teams on their schedule that they could win or loss. In most cases BC goes 50/50 in those games. This year they beat Louisville and Syracuse but dropped games to Wake Forest and Iowa. Last year it was basically the same, he won against Maryland and N.C. State but lost to Syracuse and Georgia Tech. He has not shown that he has been able to take a majority of these games yet. Looking ahead Purdue is a scary toss up game that might be a tough one for Addazio.
3. The WTF Games: Every year or two BC is going to lose a game or two that they should win. You can look back and find these during Steve Addazio’s tenure at Boston College. They have the losses against Colorado State, Syracuse last year (they weren’t a bowl team). Every time BC goes out against an ACC team, there is that dread it might happen again. Temple strikes me as a WTF game next year.
Given these three types of games, let’s look ahead to 2018. There is going to be Clemson, Louisville had a killer recruiting class but admittedly lost Lamar Jackson, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Purdue, Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and even Temple. True, this could be the most talented team Steve Addazio has had since arriving at the Heights, but could you see BC losing five of those games listed above? It certainly seems a possibility.
Given his struggles on the field and in game coaching during tight matchups Addazio has to show us that he is capable of winning more than seven games in a season. Right now he hasn’t given many fans the confidence that they he can take a next step. 2018 will be a put up or shut up year for the Head Dude In Charge.