Showing posts with label Boston College. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boston College. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So long Jags, we hardly knew ye...

Jeff Jagodzinski has been fired for interviewing with the New York Jets.

Shockingly, no outside candidates are beating down Eagle AD Gene DeFillippo's door for an interview. It appears that the new BC football boss will likely be OC Steve Logan, DC Frank Spaziani or OL coach Jack Bicknell Jr. Don't be surprised to see Spaz leave if Logan gets the job, or vice versa. And if Bicknell gets tabbed, Spaz and Logan may both pack up and leave.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Strange things are afoot at Boston College

Jeff Jagodzinski to be fired if he interviews with the New York Jets?

I have no idea what Jags' contract allows and doesn't allow, but there are ways to handle situations quietly and without ultimatums, and then there's the BC way. I don't know how Jags and BC come back from the brink, and the Eagles can ill afford to have a second straight messy coaching departure.

Tom O'Brien's move to Raleigh two years ago makes a hell of a lot more sense now, doesn't it?

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Music City Dear God This Is A Game the ACC Must Not Lose Bowl Preview

BOSTON COLLEGE (9-4) vs. VANDERBILT (6-6)
Wednesday, 12/31/08, 3:30pm ET - LP Field, Nashville, TN
Series record: Boston College leads 2-0; the Eagles won the last meeting 19-6 in 1963
What may or may not happen: This is really all you need to know - Boston College ranks sixth nationally in total defense; the Commodores rank 118th in the nation in total offense. For the Eagles to lose, they would need to turn the ball over 5+ times, Vandy would have to play a clean offensive game, and special teams would have to totally and completely go the 'Dores way. It's not impossible, and you never know what a team's mindset will be after four weeks off and not being thrilled with their bowl destination. The Eagles dropped all the way to the ACC's 5th bowl slot after getting drilled by Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game (a game in which BC QB Dominique Davis was a special kind of horrid - here's hoping that performance was an awful fluke); Vandy dropped six of their last seven games, yet still earned the first bowl bid since 1982 - and it's 4 miles from their campus. Still, it can't be ignored that this is a defacto home game for the Commodores. Boston College 24, Vanderbilt 10

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mission: Extremely Possible

Tomorrow's assignment, which I have chosen to accept:

--Awake at the crack of 8am

--Much coffee

--Avoid ESPN GameDay, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN-nanobot-in-my-brain like the plague

--Bid the beloved wife farewell as her eyes (justifiably) roll through the back of her skull like a malfunctioning slot machine as I explain the day's endeavor

--Leisurely drive to the Raymond James Stadium metroplex (a trip of approximately 30 minutes on weekends, or 4.63 millenia on weekdays)

--Park in some kindly second-generation Cuban immigrant's (or some douchebaggy fifth-generation redneck's) front yard for $5, several blocks from the stadium

--Immerse myself in all that is the ACC Fanfest. And then get beer. Lots.

--Deface any likeness of Chris Fowler I find within 12 parsecs of the stadium

--Attempt to acquire an upper-level sideline ticket for under $10, or lower-level sideline ticket for $25 max, whichever comes first

--Snag a lower-level sideline ticket for $5 fifteen minutes before kickoff, from a desperate and smarmy scalper with a promise that he'll wash and wax my car during the game

--Sit in the upper level anyway because I need my space

--Hand count the actual attendance from my lofty perch and compare with the ACC/KGB's "official report"

--Enjoy said game

--Halftime = nap time!

--Take pics of said game

--Avoid the post-game concert like it's Chernobyl '86

--Make it home in one piece so I can bore you to tears with my game recap, or forget to post an update altogether

--Pass out

This post will self-destruct in...alright, you get it, let's not beat the theme to death here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boston College Preview



2008 Schedule
Aug. 30Kent State (in Cleveland, OH)
Sept. 6GEORGIA TECH
Sept. 20UCF
Sept. 27RHODE ISLAND
Oct. 4@N.C. State
Oct. 18VIRGINIA TECH
Oct. 25@North Carolina
Nov. 1CLEMSON
Nov. 8NOTRE DAME
Nov. 15@Florida State
Nov. 22@Wake Forest
Nov. 29MARYLAND

2007 Results: 11-3 overall, 6-2 ACC (1st Atlantic Division); beat Michigan State 24-21 in the Champs Sports Bowl

Offense: Gone are quarterback Matt Ryan and running backs Andre Callender and LV Whitworth - along with 99.3% of last year's passing and rushing yardage. That's correct, 99.3%...not to mention the incalculable intangibles Ryan and Callender brought to the field on every play. That's a bit of a problem. Stepping into Ryan's fairly ginormous shoes is senior Chris Crane, who probably would've benefited from a little more field time last season (he threw just 4 passes in all of 2007). On the plus side, Crane does have one start in his career, a mostly error-free outing vs. Buffalo in 2006. Of greater concern, running back is even less experienced, with true freshman Josh Haden expected to shoulder much of the load as the Eagles will likely field three-receiver sets most of the time. And receiver is where the Eagles are mercifully stocked; Rich Gunnell and Brandon Robinson (1,740 yards and 12 TDs combined last year) are back, along with future NFL-er Ryan Purvis at TE (54 catches in '07). Three starters are gone from last year's so-so OL, but things should click a little better in year two of the Jeff Jagodzinski/Steve Logan system. Still, the combination of inexperience at QB and RB, along with the unproven OL means that a dip in production - and an increase in mistakes - on this side of the ball is a near certainty in 2008.

Defense: The defense appears a little sturdier heading into 2008, anchored by a front seven that should be among the best in the ACC. The return of tackle BJ Raji (missed 2007 due to academics) should offset the losses of linemen Nick Larkin and Brady Smith. All of the linebackers have starting experience as well, and the return of the feisty Brian Toal (missed 2007 due to injury) should kick the LB corps up a notch this season. The secondary is another matter. The losses of free safety Jamie Silva and CB DeJuan Tribble to the private sector leaves the defensive backfield devoid of proven leadership and playmakers, as SS Paul Anderson is the only returning full-time starter. Nonetheless, the BC defense is the unit that will carry this team early in the year and perhaps beyond that.

Special Teams: Kicker Steve Aponavicius is back for his final season in Chestnut Hill, but is limited by range (just 50% on field goal attempts over 30yds last year, and he didn't attempt any over 50yds). The punt return game took a major hit with the losses of Tribble and Silva. KRs Jeff Smith (injured most of last season) and Brandon Robinson are back. No info on who will take over punting duties from the recently graduated Johnny Ayers.

Coaching: For a guy who merely went 11-3 in his first season as a head coach at any level, Jeff Jagodzinski has gotten a ridiculously minuscule amount of publicity and notice. Sure, it helped that he inherited a loaded team and a once-in-a-generation QB, but taking the Eagles to #2 in the polls in November and to the conference championship game couldn't even garner Jags the ACC Coach of the Year honor (Al Groh of all people nabbed that title). Whatever he may become as a head coach in the long term, he sure as hell handled the less-than-smooth transition from the O'Brien Era brilliantly and he surrounded himself with excellent assistants in OC Steve Logan and DC Frank Spaziani. I'm more interested in seeing whether he can take recruiting to another level at BC and how he handles the gauntlet that the Atlantic Division is becoming.

Odds & Ends: BC's 30-9 overall record and 16-8 ACC mark since joining the league in 2005 are both the second best in the conference over those three seasons....the Eagles have lost to every Atlantic Division rival at least once since joining the ACC except Clemson; BC has beaten the Tigers three straight times by seven total points (and twice in overtime)....last year's 28-14 win over Miami was BC's first over the 'Canes since the 1984 Hail Flutie classic

Schedule Analysis: Very manageable....at first. The first five games are broken up by two bye weeks and the TOB-Bowl at N.C. State looks to be the toughest of the early contests. Having those two bye weeks early in the season is probably a good thing for the inexperienced offense, but things get awfully grueling over the last seven weeks - each of those seven opponents is expected to go bowling this season. The last three games may be the most trying stretch of all - road trips to Tallahassee and Winston-Salem, then home with Maryland. If the Eagles haven't locked up a bowl bid by game nine, they're in some trouble. For the first time in a while, there are no Thursday-nighters for BC this season. Duke, Miami, and Virginia are absent from this year's slate.
Projected Wins: Kent State, Georgia Tech, UCF, Rhode Island, Notre Dame
Projected Losses: @North Carolina, Clemson, @Florida State
Toss-Ups: @N.C. State, Virginia Tech, @Wake Forest, Maryland

Primo Eagle Blogs: Eagle in Atlanta, BC Interruption, Heights and Lows

Heartwarming You-Tubery:

Also seen in "Greatest Moments in Florida State Football History"

Preview Disclaimer

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Very Quick Champs Sports Bowl Preview

BOSTON COLLEGE (10-3) vs. MICHIGAN STATE (7-5) - Dec. 28, 2007, 5pm ET (ESPN)
Simply put, this is a must-win game for both BC and the ACC. Despite rising to #2 in the polls entering November, the Eagles were largely considered a very good team that had fattened up on a soft non-conference slate. Subsequent losses to average Florida State and Maryland teams seemed to justify that perception, although the Eagles gained a huge measure of respect with a gut check win at Clemson in their penultimate game of the regular season, a win that clinched a spot in the ACC Championship Game.

A respectable loss to Virgina Tech in said title game invariably sent BC hurtling down to fourth in the ACC bowl selection sweepstakes. Their reward for another ten-win season is a date with the Michigan State Spartans, who managed to finish 7th in a terribly weak Big 10 this year and are now without a half-dozen players due to those cumbersome academics. I've railed on the Big 10 quite a bit this year, so for the ACC to gain any sense of respect heading into the offseason, the Eagles must win this afternoon. That said, the Spartans' five defeats this season all came by a touchdown or less, so don't look for a runaway BC victory.

Boston College 31, Michigan State 21

Friday, November 30, 2007

ACC Championship Game Preview: Out of Town Version

I just arrived here in Fort Walton Beach for a family engagement this weekend. After eight not-so-lovely hours on the road, I'm beat. Needless to say, this will be brief.

The Hokies have steadily improved since their loss to the Eagles on Oct. 26. BC has regressed a tad since that victory in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech 31, Boston College 24.

Good night.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hurricane Nole

After what was left of Hurricane Noel dumped a load of wind and rain on Beantown for the Florida State-Boston College matchup on Saturday, FSU and the body snatcher of QB Drew Weatherford stormed BC for a 27-17 win, ending the Eagles' run for a national championship and likely sinking Matt Ryan's Heisman hopes.

In his return as starting QB, the previously much maligned Weatherford has completed 70% of his passes for 693 yards, 4 TDs, and no INTs in the last two weeks. Better numbers than that Ryan chap over that time frame, no? And a better record too.

Forgive me, but I am a partisan tonight. My alma mater just defeated the #2 team on the road, and celebrations are in order. 'Til tomorrow...


Like, the most ass-kickingest quarterback ever

Friday, October 26, 2007

Epic

National championship teams - and Heisman Trophy winners - do this sort of thing when the chips are down:


(Hat tip to Eagle in Atlanta for finding the YouTube clip)

In the rain, on the road, on Thursday night, shut-out for 55 minutes...and Matt Ryan and the Eagles pull it off. Move over Doug Flutie. Move over Ohio State...?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lest I Forget...

BOSTON COLLEGE 38 - WAKE FOREST 28
It certainly appears that Jeff Jagodzinski knows what he's doing, and that any apparent college-game rust has an effective cure-all called Matt Ryan. Let the Phillip Rivers comparisons begin (and the ABC guys calling the game wasted no opportunity in doing so), but for the Eagles' sake, let's hope Ryan can have a bit more overall success in the W-L department.

Wake, meanwhile, acquitted themselves nicely, churning out some decent offensive production if we ignore the fact that running the football is a part of most team's gameplans. In a league that is so incredibly quarterback deficient, it's amazing that the Demon Deacons can just plug in anyone on short notice and have him smoothly and cleanly throw the ball around (see: Skinner, Riley; and now Hodges, Justin).

GEORGIA TECH 33 - NOTRE DAME 3
The Pride of the ACC so far, the Yellow Jackets dropped the hammer on the Domers despite a somewhat clunky passing game (11 of 23, 121 yards) from UFC wannabe Taylor Bennett. All that is needed for the Jackets to win the league is for the running game - led by Tashard Choice and the powerful OL - to grind out 175+ yards per game, have Bennett dink-and-dunk and chuck it for 200 yards per contest, and make sure that Jon Tenuta's defense continues to screw with the minds of all those mediocre ACC QBs ("Matty Ice" Ryan aside). Just don't let The Chan get in the way.

MIAMI 31 - MARSHALL 3
You know big-time Hurricane football is back when the Orange Bowl is proudly half-full for a game against a non-Florida State, Virginia Tech, or Florida squad. 39,000+ saw Miami quietly control the game, scoring one touchdown per quarter and picking off Marshall QBs four times. Sure, Kirby Freeman was unimpressive (9 of 21, 86 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), and he'll probably get abused like a fresh inmate at Oz next Saturday at Oklahoma, but for one week Miami football looks to be back on track.

CLEMSON 24 - FLORIDA STATE 18
Meh. I've rarely seen such a bipolar game as this one, and since the manic/happy side was delivered by FSU in the 2nd half, you can't help but leave this game thinking that the Noles - while still appearing to be a year or two away from prominence - will have a more encouraging future. Like many seasons prior, Clemson started this game HOT HOT HOT and then just sorta deflated in the third and fourth quarters, much like they've done over the second half of many a season under Tommy Bowden.

And for God's sake Tiger fans...act like you've been there before. Charging the field after hanging on against a #19 Florida State squad is almost as pathetic as the Noles' "offensive line" in the first half. FSU hasn't been rushing-the-field-worthy since about 2003.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Boston College Preview



2007 Schedule

2006 Results: 10-3 overall, 5-3 ACC (T2nd Atlantic Division); beat Navy 25-24 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl

Offense: Senior QB Matt Ryan returns, along with tandem tailbacks LV Whitworth and Andre Callender, WR Kevin Challenger (well, maybe, as he was MIA in the spring for curious reasons), and 3 out of 5 offensive linemen. New OC Steve Logan looks to be a decent fit for those who like the run-first approach that BC has long been known for. The major kink in this overall unit is the offensive line....OL coach-of-a-few-months Jim Turner departed over "creative differences" in April, and Jack Bicknell Jr was brought in shortly thereafter. On top of that, a new zone blocking scheme is being implemented. It's tough not to envision Matt Ryan frequently scrambling for dear life and a bunch of tackles-for-loss on poor Messrs. Whitworth and Callender this fall.

Defense: Eight starters return (we're not including LB Brian Toal, as it appears that he's going to sit out the season due to nagging shoulder problems), including the entire defensive line. Despite the loss of Toal, the LB unit should still among the best in Eagle history due to the depth and experience of the returnees. CB DeJuan Tribble anchors the secondary. Last year's defense allowed just a paltry 15.7 points per game, a school record.

Special teams: K Steve "Sid Vicious" Aponavicius is back, and on scholarship to...ummmm...boot. P Johnny Ayers return for his 15th season (actually 4th, but I swear he was punting for the Eagles back in that '93 upset of Notre Dame), while Jeff Smith and DeJuan Tribble are both back to handle kick and punt returns, respectively.

Coaching: Out- Tom O'Brien, just the winningest coach in school history, champion of 7 straight bowls, but never a conference champ and a big-time keister-clencher at least once per season if you believe much of the Eagle fanbase. In- Jeff Jagodzinski, O'Brien's OC from 1997-98 and then NFL'ing it for the last 8 seasons, but with nary a head coaching gig anywhere before. More importantly (to BC fans), he presents a complete 180-turn personality-wise from the stern O'Brien. Still, it's the major uncertainty regarding Jags' return to the college game, and how his style will mesh with the existing talent, that makes the Eagles such a mystery this season, on top of all the question marks and unknowns elsewhere in the Atlantic Division. In perhaps the most important move of the brief Jags Era, DC Frank Spaziani was convinced to remain in Beantown.

For What It's Worth: That Bicknell name should sound familiar; Jack Sr was BC's head coach from 1981-1990 and helped make Doug Flutie a household name.....the Eagles renew their "Vatican Bowl" rivalry with Notre Dame this year, and BC owns a 4-game winning streak over the Irish.....BC was second in the nation last year with a +15 turnover margin.....Jagodzinksi's two year stint as OC (1997-98) in Chestnut Hill yielded the 2nd and 4th most productive offenses of O'Brien's 10-year reign.

Schedule Analysis: A very interesting, and potentially lethal, trio of games kick off the year - the opener at home with Wake Forest, the I can't friggin wait to see this return of Tom O'Brien with his Wolfpack in week 2, followed by a trip to Atlanta to face the Jackets in the third week. The midsection out-of-conference slate provides a breather (yes, even the Irish, who should be hovering in the .500-zone this year). But those last five games are brutal....three road contests against Virginia Tech, Clemson and Maryland, mixed in with Florida State and Miami at home. Sorry fellas, no Duke or UNC to cruelly bludgeon this year.
Projected Wins- Army, UMass, Bowling Green, @Notre Dame
Projected Losses- @Georgia Tech, @Virginia Tech
Toss-Ups- Wake Forest, N.C. State, Florida State, @Clemson, @Maryland, Miami....and yes, I realize that I'm saying half the schedule is too close too call

For More Opinionated, Yet Delightful, Eagle Insight: Eagle in Atlanta, For Here Men Are Men

Blast-From-The-Past, Feel-Good YouTube:

This one never gets old

Preview Disclaimer

Saturday, December 30, 2006

No, I Am Not Deliberately Neglecting Boston College...

...in case you're wondering.

The naming of Jeff Jagodzinski as head coach occurred during my two-week hiatus away from All Things Blog, and then I had this pesky work thing this morning that prevented me from posting a Meineke Bowl preview.

As far as that Meineke Bowl goes, what a great way to bridge two eras. Extending that bowl win streak is more important than many think, as it gives BC their first 10-win season in 22 years, and the last-minute nature of the win will produce a high that could be carried over into the spring.

Now, about Coach "Jags"....color me absolutely neutral regarding the hire. The guy certainly has a more infectious personality than "TOB" and that will likely be a strong asset on the recruiting trail. Still, this is Jags' first head coaching gig, and he's been out of the college game for 8 seasons. Let's just say that there's going to be a learning curve. That said, if he can produce 9-3 type seasons year in and year out, and with a bit more flair than Tom O'Brien displayed, then all will be well in Chestnut Hill.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

ACC Coaching Carousel Update

Well, it looks as if one open job has now been filled in ACC-ville......which unexpectedly has opened up another spot.

In a bit of a surprising move, all signs point to Boston College coach Tom O'Brien accepting the vacant head coaching position at Atlantic Division foe N.C. State, where he will get an annual chance to stick it to Eagle fans and show that 9-3 and mid-level bowls ain't all that bad.

Predictably, the two most prominent BC bloggers are in high spirits, albeit to varying degrees:

>>>Good Night Tom, and Good Luck
>>>F*** Off Tom!

Which now leads us to the newly available head coaching spot in Chestnut Hill. Since no official announcement has been made on O'Brien's departure, and with other head coaching spots open nationally, I'm not going to delve into the Eagles' opening just yet since many of the potential candidates could be snapped up by the time their official search gets underway. However, I will say that there is a great potential for disaster if BC doesn't hit a home run with this hire...unlike NC State, UNC and to a lesser extent Miami, whose programs are in relative shambles, the Eagles program is in it's best shape since the Doug Flutie days. The new Wolfpack, Tar Heel and Cane skippers could go 8-4 the next two years and would be lauded. That is certainly not the case for the next BC skipper. The Eagles are in a precarious spot; they have driven off - and make no mistake about it, O'Brien was driven out by the fan base - the winningest coach in school history, to a division rival no less. Going 8-4/9-3 every year, and winning 6 straight bowls wasn't good enough for BC, who clearly are at a disadvantage recruiting-wise and facility-wise from most of the other ACC programs. All of that is going to give every candidate for the job a bit of pause.

The Miami head coaching vacancy is apparently not generating the buzz Queen Shalala and Court Jester Dee were expecting. Steve Spurrier and Greg Schiano said no thanks in nearly record time. Texas Tech's Mike Leach, a curious possibility, interviewed in Coral Gables a few days ago. Hurricane DC Randy Shannon interviewed yesterday. Leach, while certainly a fall-back candidate, would not be an out-of-the ordinary hire for Miami (i.e. not "splashy" at the time). They plucked unheralded Jimmy Johnson from Oklahoma State in 1985, and no-name Dennis Erickson from Washington State in 1989. The Canes got a few rings out of those fellas. Still, Leach is a quirky dude, and perhaps a risky choice for Miami.

Last and probably least, the Florida State vacancy at offensive coordinator has been reliably linked at various times to the following: Norm Chow, Jimbo Fisher, Larry Fedora, Steve Logan (former ECU head coach and now an OC in NFL-Europe), Chris Hatcher (head coach at Div. II Valdosta State), George Henshaw (FSU OC from '79-'82, now with the New Orleans Saints), and Frank Cignetti (recently axed as UNC's OC, was much more successful as OC at Fresno State before). Insight from folks in the know say that Fisher is the guy if he can't land a head coaching gig somewhere, with Steve Logan climbing up the charts. Chow is considered an outside shot as he is clearly going after a fairly prominent head coaching job, while Hatcher and Cignetti are the fall-back guys if all of the other candidates decline.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Random Thoughts: Boston College 31 - Central Michigan 24

  • Matt Ryan looked sharp and precise, but attempted a surprising 48 passes
  • A concern in the preseason, the Eagle receiving corps looks pretty solid now with Tony Gonzalez and the very coolly named Kevin Challenger
  • BC's paltry 2.7 yards per rush indicates a few problems with the OL, and more importantly the lack of an explosive running back (just as I said here; wheee, I'm so smart!)
  • The final score itself is not so much cause for alarm as is the auto-pilot mentality BC went into early in the fourth quarter. That'll bite them in the arse if they're in a similar situation against teams like Wake Forest and Virginia
  • Eight days and counting til Clemson comes to town. The Eagles may want to raise the intensity level by a notch or two for that one. Just a thought