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Weekly Kickoff: Seven-Win Steve is Gone. Say Hello to Six-Win Jeff.

I’m rooting for him to break the cycle

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Boston College Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The similarities are striking in their first few years.

Steve Addazio came into the Boston College program and immediately got them to 7 wins. We didn’t know it at the time, but he would never take them further than that. His team did drop to 3-9 early in his tenure, but he was able to right the ship quickly and got the Eagles right back to 7 wins the very next year. There even came a point where 8 wins looked like a possibility, but a canceled bowl game stopped it from happening.

Jeff Hafley came into the Boston College program and immediately got them to 6 wins. We didn’t know it at the time, but he would never take them further than that. His team did drop to 3-9 early in his tenure, but he was able to right the ship quickly and got the Eagles right back to 6 wins the very next year. There even came a point where 8 wins looked like a possibility, but canceled bowl games stopped it from happening.

Of course, we still have to wait until Sunday until we even know where BC will be bowling this year, nevermind whether Jeff Hafley will set a personal best this season by taking the Eagles to 7 wins. And Hafley likely won’t be fired this offseason, so he’ll get another shot next season at least to reach a higher ceiling. But look at the 2024 schedule compared to this year’s schedule and you’ll start to have some doubts.

That is about where the similarities end, though. Steve Addazio’s teams had a style of play that was tough in the trenches and struggled through the air. Jeff Hafley’s teams have had a mix of both, usually depending who is at quarterback and if they have Zay Flowers to throw to. Hafley’s recruiting, at least by the metrics we have, has been better than Addazio’s. And by all accounts, Jeff Hafley seems like a much kinder man than Steve Addazio ever was.

But at the end of the day, what matters is wins and losses. Through four seasons, Hafley has yet to prove he can take BC to the next level in any consistent way. Instead of improving on the consistency that Steve Addazio brought to the program, Hafley has turned them into an inconsistent mess. Which team will show up this week? The one that went on a 5-game win streak, soundly beat Syracuse and Georgia Tech, and even took FSU down to the wire? Or will it be the team that lost to NIU, almost lost to Holy Cross, and got thumped by Louisville, Virginia Tech, Pitt, and Miami? We never know with these guys.

I truly am rooting for Hafley and his staff to pull it together and get BC back on the right track. I’ve wanted him to succeed from day 1 and I’ve even been unjustifiably optimistic at times, defending him in the face of some ugly losses. But after the 3-9 debacle last season and the inconsistent mess of this season, the honeymoon is well over. After being at the helm for four seasons, it’s time to put it together. With a long break before the bowl game, maybe we can start there.