It is year five for Steve Addazio at Boston College More than enough time to establish a footprint, a direction and certainly a trend that would suggest that the master plan that Addazio brought with him when he arrived at The Heights in 2013 is working.
But the Boston College team that began fall practice this week can hardly be called established. Yes, it is coming off a rebound from the 3--9 flameout of 2015, in which the Eagles went winless in ACC competition.
Yes, it is riding the crest of a small wave of success which ended last season with a three-game winning streak, a 7-6 record and a 36-30 win over Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl.
But look a little closer and you will see the victories came against UConn, Wake Forest and Maryland, hardly a blue blood collection of teams. The six losses included four defeats against Florida State, Clemson, Louisviile and Virginia Tech by an average of 44.5 points per game. Those same teams are on the Eagles schedule this season, as is Notre Dame and a tricky season opener at Northern Illinois.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Contractually, Addazio appears safe--he is signed at BC through the 2020 season. But there is a new athletic director in Martin Jarmond, who was hired to replace Brad Bates. Jarmond came to BC from Ohio State. His task is to fix what is broken, and that includes not only football, men's and women's basketball, but a shrinking fan base which has diminished funds and turned BC into the worst of all possible categories--irrelevancy.
Small wonder, Addazio is listed in the coaciing "hot seat'' category in many pre-season projections. Clearly, Addazio's future could very well be decided by what happens during the next four months.
Addazio, as he should, sees sunnier days ahead. He talks about a defense that will determine the success of the season and is led by All America lineman Harold Landry. He talks about an offense that is full of potential, and has a potential star in redshirt freshman QB Anthony Brown. But Brown must win the job from Darius Wade who hasn't played very much in two seasons. There is chatter about the potential of freshman runniing back A.J. Dillon, who decommitted from Michigan to come to BC. There is a sense of pride about next year's recruiting class, which is ranked by many scouting services in the Top 25 in the country, which is new territory for BC.
But there are a lot of "ifs'' in those plans. Opening with a pair of untested QBs and a freshman RB AT Northern Illinois hardly guarantees the season will start with a W. And then, there are games against Notre Dame and at Clemson in the first month of the season.
Ir would seem BC needs to come into October with at least 3 wins (from Northern Illinois,Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Clemson and Central Michigan) to give the Eagles enough of a boost to get to the six wins necessary for bowl eligibility. Winning six games would seem to be the absolute minimum BC must produce for Addazio to feel secure that he will be back the next season.
In five seasons at BC, Addazio is 37-38. But most of those wins have come against under .500 and FCS teams. The Eagles will need more than a win one, lose one pattern, they will need a quality win against a quality team.
Whether that happens is hardly a mortal lock. And just how much patience Jarmond will have with a football team that actually was once a perennial Atlantic Division contender in the ACC 10 years ago, remains to be seen.[/membership]