(An outsider's observations about what is going on at Boston College, AKA The Heights)
You are Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond and you have spent most of the past year and a half evaluating (among other things) the football program at The Heights.
You have watched with interest and no doubt some pleasure as the Steve Addazio coached Eagles came roaring out of the blocks and cruised to seven victories earlier than at any time in the past 10 seasons. You have set a minimum goal of eight wins as the benchmark for Addazio, who is finishing his 6th season at BC and has yet to cross that 8-win barrier. You also know that Addazio is under contract through the 2020 season, which means that this is the year that you could provide some more security if not stability by announcing a contract extension.
On the surface, the season looks good--wins against Miami and at Virginia Tech. But then there have been some nagging things, such as a total meltdown at Purdue and a game that BC had in its grasp until the final few minutes at Florida State.
And Yes, there are seven wins, with the potential to top out at nine, which would be a major breakthrough, especially since the regular season will end on Saturday with a Senior Day game at Alumni Stadium against a Syracuse team which is coming off a 36-3 loss to Notre Dame and may not have its starting QB at full strength. And, winning a bowl game in a place like El Paso, Texas against a middle of the road Pac-12 team or in Annapolis, Md. against an American Athletic Conference team does not seem like climbing Everest. The Sun Bowl and the Military Bowl look like BC's best bowl option right now.
But then again, you look at BC and you also see a team banged up with injuries and when you take a second look at the Eagles schedule, you try and pinpoint their best win, a 45-35 win over Temple (7-4) in Sept?
So on this Thanksgiving Eve, you try and evaluate just where BC football stands right now and whether Steve Addazio is the right choice to take the Eagles to the next level that you have publicly stated as a goal.
What seems clear is that you should keep any contract extension offer in your desk until AFTER the season is over and you know whether you have a 7-5 or 8-4 regular season team or a 9-4, 8-5 or 7-6 overall season.
A 7-6 record would cause the most angst, because then you have to decide to make the move to go in a different direction now or wait one more year.
There are arguments out there stating that if a team can not climb past 7-6 in six six seasons THERE should not be a seventh season.
But you won't have that information until the first of the year, which is well into recruiting season. And if a change is made then BC must deal with the two remaining years on a contract which pays Addazio $2.5 million per year; It also means reconstruction again of a system which seems very close to working.
And that is a big deal since Jarmond's career path is linked to success in football and men's basketball. Progress in either or both sports would be parts of Jarmond's resume when administrative openings occur at other more high profile Power 5 conference schools, particularly in the Midwest.
BC can calm the waters considerably with a win against Syracuse. That would be a victory-barrier breakthrough, no matter what the caliber of the opposition.
If that doesn't happen. If BC loses, you are dealing with a status quo situation which has been part of the BC profile under Addazio in five of his six years--the only exception being a 3-9 meltdown in 2015.
If you are Martin Jarmond it is something to dwell upon as you carve the turkey and wait for the next chapter of BC football to unfold.