(An outsiders musings about what is happening at Boston College, aka The Heights)
Steve Addazio has been here before. The Boston College coach gave an impassioned speech before his first game at The Heights in 2013 when he urged the Eagles to fly past Villanova in their opening game of the season.
They responded with a 24-14 win
He made another speech a year ago in Dublin, when the Eagles, coming off a numbing 3-9 season, opened against Georgia Tech--and came up short in a 17-14 loss.
In the past, Addazio could use excuses--too young,, too shallow, not talented enough, not quick enough. Not quite there.
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The BC team which opens the season at Northern Illinois on Friday night will be his team. They are his recruits. Five years into his tenure, Addazio used the spring and summer to state his case. He had youth, he had experience, he had talent and depth at the skill positions.
He had talent with a marquee player in All American defensive lineman Harold Landry. He had players ready for break out seasons. The plan that he has maintained he has had for the past five years was ready to start paying dividends.
Oh, there were still are some questions which must be answered, such as who will be the starting QB on Friday-veteran Darius Wade , who has already earned his degree at BC, but still has two years of eligibility remaining or redshirt freshman Anthony Brown.
Addazio knows who is going to start, so does the team---the best guess is that it will be Brown--but at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Addazio said there would be no announcement.
"There is no competitive advantage for me in any way, shape or form to show everything we want to do, why we want to do it,'' said Addazio in announcing that he would have no announcement about the starting QB. ""But it's great to have two quality guys in the room.
Whomever is the QB, the challenge remains the same. After five seasons of building, rebuilding, BC and Steve Addazio have come to a junction in the road of re-establishing BC as a competitive ACC program.
This is the season the Eagles must make their move. And this week is the time they need to start.
BC's first three games are Northern Illinois, Wake Forest and Notre Dame. All are winnable. Using an inexperienced QB--if Brown is the choice--complicates the procedure against Northern Illinois. The Huskies dropped out of the top tier of the MAC last season for the first time in seven years, but winning in DeKalb will be a difficult task.
But here's why beating Northern Illinois is crucial. Win that game and beating Wake Forest becomes easier, because some of the pressure is off and Wake is still a second tier ACC team like the Eagles. BC should beat Wake Forest at Alumni Stadium. That would be 2-0 going into the game against a Notre Dame team that is coming off a 4-8 season and will be coming off a tough game against a very good Georgia team. That could mean a 3-0 start going into a game at Clemson, which is all that Addazio could ask of his team.
But if BC loses to Northern Illinois, then the same uncertainty that surrounded the Eagles in the past will remain. There will be more pressure to beat Wake. Losing then becomes a possibility. If that happens, losing to Notre Dame, which would mean an 0-3 start becomes a harsh reality. If that happens, the outcome of the remainder of the regular season becomes very questionable, as does Addazio's future at BC.
BC has to win this game. It is not that much of a stretch to say it is the most important game of Addazio's career at BC.
""Time to start the 2017 season,'' said Addazio. ""We're excited about it.''
Can't wait to see what happens.[/membership]