Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Ever Mailbag

Welcome to our first ever mailbag.  This week we talk about the BC football helmets, GDF, Jerry York, and Tito.  Like what you see?  Start sending in your mailbag questions to aroundtheres@gmail.com!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Belated UMass Recap

BC notched its first win of the season Saturday by absolutely dominating UMass.  The BC defense scored 14 points, and allowed just three.  The offense looked okay, and the special teams had its usual in-game fart by letting up a return for a touchdown.  This is also a UMass team which scraped by URI and Holy Cross, so excuse me if I'm not doing cartwheels and back-flips in the recap.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Morning Ramblings

Tomorrow we play UMass.  Either we get our first win of the season or we kiss all remaining sense of decency and self-respect good bye.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

GDF Job Security an Issue?

With the turmoil surrounding the football program right now, some fans have been suggesting that GDF's job either is at risk or should be at risk.  I disagree on both accounts.  Not only is GDF's job as secure as ever, but he has done a remarkable job overall at growing the athletic department since his hiring.  Instead of focusing on GDF's performance as an athletic director, most BC fans instead focus on their disagreement with his overall philosophy, namely an intense insistence on steadfast loyalty to Boston College.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Morning Ramblings

It's Wednesday morning.  Get over this day and you're more than half way through the week.  In the meantime, here's a blog post to keep you occupied at work...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pros and Cons of ACC Expansion

With the recent additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC (and with UConn and Rutgers waiting in the wings) I thought I'd write up a quick and dirty list of a number of factors looked at from a BC perspective, each with its pro and con side. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, so feel free to suggest others in the comments.

Geography

Pro: More schools located near BC. This will be beneficial not only for the teams that now don't have to travel as far, but should (theoretically, anyway) make it easier for fans to travel to some away games as well. Plus, while the ACC will likely always be dominated politically by the influence of the Carolina schools, at least the decision-making will be slightly more balanced from a geographical perspective.

Con: No real cons here from a BC perspective.

Competition

Pro: In recent years the ACC has seemingly been on the downturn in terms of the overall quality of its teams. While the new additions likely won't change much where football is concerned (although Pitt has fielded a few decent teams in the past), the basketball product will certainly be enhanced, and many are theorizing we may see the ACC tourney move to Madison Square Garden if the Big East dissolves.

Con: BC will likely fall further down the ranks of the conference, at least in basketball. Playing regularly against Pitt and Syracuse, in addition to other powerhouses like Duke and UNC, will obviously improve fan attendance and interest in the basketball team (and, as an offshoot, media coverage), but from a pure wins and losses standpoint this will hurt BC in the short run (although their strength of schedule numbers will be improved).

Mailbag Posts

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but I'm going to start an Around the Res mailbag.  Feel free to e-mail your questions, comments, and concerns to aroundtheres@gmail.com.  We'll see what the response is and go from there.  Also, your e-mails don't necessarily have to be about BC sports in order to debut on this blog.  Any interesting comments/questions about tv shows, pop culture, or professional sports leagues will be entertained.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dear UConn

Dear UConn,

I hear that you are desperate to join Boston College in the ACC.  The past 48 hours must have been very difficult for you.  You've gone from the comfort of a terrible conference in which you lucked into a BCS bowl game to de facto free agency status faster than you can say John Rowland.  Syracuse and Pitt stabbed you in the back so hard you have whiplash, and now you want your former Big East brethren to throw you a life raft.

Why we would want to form a four-team pod with you, 'Cuse, and Pitt is beyond me because we hated playing you guys so much the first time around that we left the conference for the likes of FSU and Georgia Tech.  And when we finally did leave you (let's face it, our relationship wasn't working out), you acted like a jealous teenage girl, hauling us into court with a frivolous lawsuit.  Your last head coach hated you so much that he would rather rebuild Maryland, a perennial ACC bottom-dweller, than try to go to another BCS bowl with you.  But we're willing to overlook that, and the fact that you have a paltry 58 ranking in U.S. News, and the fact that you accept more students than you deny, and the fact that our endowment crushes yours, AND the fact that your basketball program is full of cheaters, AND the fact that you were originally an agriculture school if you do one simple thing...

Dig up Richard Blumenthal from the floor of the U.S. Senate and bring him to BC.  There, in St. Mary's chapel and in front of the entire Jesuit community, he may grovel for forgiveness at the feet of Father Leahy, who may choose to forgive him for wasting BC students' tuition dollars.  He will be given the honor of kissing Father Leahy's ring.  Dress code will be sackcloth.  This will also be taped and aired on rerun 24/7 on BCTV.

Once he returns to the U.S. Senate, baby Baldwin will be allowed to follow him around creepily for the next year, so as to remind everyone of the disastrous consequences of suing BC for political points.  This includes the floor of the U.S. Senate.  Imagine him trying to make a serious policy speech on C-Span with the inflatable baby Baldwin three inches behind him...

Also, we're trading you Spaz for your kicker straight up.  Deal with it.

Additional Recap Notes

Because one recap isn't enough...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

BC Goes Down

The big news of the day is not that BC lost to Duke, but that Syracuse and Pitt applied to the ACC.  We'll have more on that later, because this is going to be a major development for ACC Athletics.  I really think this increases our long-shot chances of scooping up Texas and Texas Tech, but more on that later...

BC lost to Duke in a really bad way today.  We missed a field goal and an extra point, but Duke was clearly the better team today, no question about it.  It was an incredibly ugly overall performance;  minimal protection from the offensive line, no pressure from the defensive line, Rettig was inaccurate, and our linebackers were good but a little sloppy at times.  These are all things we've discussed before, so I'm not going to go through them again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Afternoon Ramblings and Prediction

Okay, BC has not been good this year, but we can shoot to the top of the conference with a win tomorrow against lowly Duke.  Conversely, a loss here will turn BC fans into a shade of Brian Kelly.  I don't know that I have that much emotionally invested in this game, which is a really odd feeling for me.  I just feel like I haven't gotten over the past two weeks of heartbreak yet.  That will probably change by the opening kickoff, but right now I'm really curious to see what happens tomorrow.  Will this be the start of something "unexpected" or will Spaz throw in the yellow towel?  It's pretty bad when the most interesting story line of the game is the status of your head coach.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Best Alternative Option

We previously discussed that one of the factors in BC making a change at the HC position would be the likely available alternatives.  To help further that discussion, we're bringing in our resident college football expert, Mike C., into the discussion to talk about which coaches would be on BC's radar if they decide to change things up.  Mike, give me realistic candidates who we could be interested in should we make a change.  You're allowed to speculate on coaches you expect to be fired as well (*cough* Mark Ritch *cough*)...

Afternoon Link

It's not often that you get a piece of quality reporting out there about BC athletics.  This article pretty much explains how I feel about BC football right now.  Unfortunately, BC students are forgetting how amazing this football program was just a few short years ago.  Consider the fact that there are no undergraduates on campus who witnessed the 2007 season and that only the current seniors remember a coach other than Spaz.  If we're trying to build an avid student and alumni fan base, we're really close to losing an entire "generation" (or four years) of BC alumni who will look back on their undergraduate days remembering a good, or at least quality, football program.  That's a scary thought...

One of the things this article didn't say is that Luke Kuechly is still playing special teams...

MAD

...as in Mutually Assured Destruction

Everyone is weighing in on the rumor that Rogers was fired and did not take a voluntary LOA.  From what I've heard, this rumor has legs to it given what Spaz and the Athletic Department are saying.  We really won't know much more until we hear from Rogers himself.  That being said, I have a hard time making sense of this for two reasons.  First, it undermines Spaz's job security.  As I noted on Tuesday, I really thought that the Rogers' contract was one of the big chips Spaz still had on the table.  Forcing Rogers out not only removes that chip from Spaz, but also calls into serious question his ability to evaluate personnel.  First, he hires GT, and puts up with that ridiculousness for two years, and then follows that up by hiring an OC who lasts exactly two games.  That does not look good for mustache.

Secondly, I think this really calls into question GDFs job security.  Let me start by saying that I think GDF is a good athletic director and that BC likely couldn't find a better replacement if they let him go.  His job security previous to this appeared to be air-tight.  From the little I know about Father Leahy and the administration, my guess would be that they care about the athletic department as much as it reflects on the school.  In other words, as long as the department is financially stable and reflects well on the school (no NCAA violations, etc.), there will be no changes.  Lying to cover up a firing does not reflect well on the school, and if that's what happened here, I could see the administration potentially making a change.

While it looks like the reports of Rogers being fired are true, I really have to wonder what the thinking behind that type of move would be, because it could cost Spaz and GDF their jobs.  It just makes so little sense that I have to imagine that there will be more details coming out in the next few days.  Possibly some athletic department leaks on concrete reasons Rogers was let go?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Impact of Rogers LOA

The news of new offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers taking an indefinite leave of absence not only took many Eagle's fans by surprise, but prompted feelings of outright despair regarding a season which is going horribly wrong.  The good news is that interim OC Dave Brock is a very capable coach, as he managed the remarkable Kansas State offense under Josh Freeman.  Brock is a coach who understands the offensive system, and has had concrete success in pass-happy offenses.  If anything, this could bode well for the passing game, possibly with a few more throws towards the TEs.  I do wonder how Brock's promotion will effect Ryan Day, who has now been passed over for promotion twice, despite being an up-and-coming coach.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Offense Recap

Last night's game was horrible.  Horrible to watch, horrible to write about, horrible to talk about on the air.  A loss like this to a Conference USA program is a real indictment of where we are as a program right now, and I'm beginning to seriously doubt whether Spaz is going to make it through the year with his job.  I don't think we lose our next game to Duke, but the idea that this team is going to make a bowl game is frankly laughable.  Say we're somehow able to pull this thing together and rip off our next three games against Duke, UMASS, and Wake; is this team capable of winning even two games from the Clemson, Va. Tech, Maryland, FSU, NC. State stretch?  Even if they are, that probably means the team needs to win the final two against ND and Miami to guarantee a bowl trip.  I just don't see that happening...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Game Day Notes

A few quick notes as we head into the second game of the year...

  • Around the Res is officially hitting the airwaves tonight on WZBC!!!  Be sure to tune in for the half-time broadcast to hear updates and analysis from your favorite BC blogger...
  • ESPN Boston is currently running a video clip talking about BC's rebuilding project.  How many years can the athletic department sell this rebuilding line to the media and have them lap it up?  Apparently three.  Of course, it's an easy story for a network that seems to want to do little legwork in Chestnut Hill.  Considering how close BC is to ESPN headquarters you would think that we could get some better coverage though.
  • One of the story lines to watch tonight will be who Rettig starts looking for now that Momah is out.  My guess is that Colin Larmond Jr. has a bigger presence than what we saw last week, but Bobby Swigert is looking a lot better than he did at this point last year. 
  • It looks like BC will be officially breaking in the new helmets tonight...
  • ESPN Boston is also reporting about how amped up the UCF fan base is for tonight.  Combine a highly excited team, with talent, an amped up fan base, and a "rebuilding" team which is known to start games off slow and what do you get?
  • Prediction for today's game? Sure...UCF 30 BC 17

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Steven Daniels Plans to Stick With BC

LB recruit Steven Daniels, who committed to BC last year, appears to have renewed his commitment to BC after spending a year at the Worcester Academy for academic purposes.  Daniels, a four star recruit, probably received a fair amount of interest from other programs, but looks to add to BC's strong stable of LBs.  If LK leaves for the draft this year, look for Daniels to step in for him.  Although some have tried to compare the two LBs because of their similar Ohio roots, coaches have maintained that the two players have very different styles of play.  Daniels is particularly noted for his strength against the run, which is something BC could really use right now.  Fortunately, this puts BC back in the Top 50 in the Rivals recruiting rankings, smack at number 50.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Afternoon Musings

I've decided to make a Tuesday afternoon article out of some of the thoughts I've had this weekend.  None of them are long enough for a separate article so they're going to have to live together.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Momah Out for the Year

The bad lucks keeps piling up for BC, as the Boston Herald is reporting that WR Ifeanyi Momah has suffered a knee injury that will end his season. Hopefully, because only one game has been played, the NCAA will grant Momah an extra year of eligibility, but as far as BC's chances this is just another hurdle to overcome in what is increasingly looking like one of "those" seasons where everything that can go wrong, does.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Albright Makes Cowboys, Herzlich Makes Giants

As expected, Mark Herzlich made the final cuts and is now a member of the New York Giants.  Meanwhile, Alex Albright has now officially made the Dallas Cowboys, meaning that the two will likely meet at least twice this year in NFC East action. Definitely the best news on a terrible day for BC football.

Game Recap (Defense)

It was not a good day for the BC defense.  The offense could have scored 20+ points today against a Big Ten opponent had Freese nailed two missed field goals, but it wouldn't have made a difference.  The defense was not good today, and I don't see any easy solution to the most pressing problems.  This could be the year that the BC defense finally falls flat.

Game Recap (Offense)

I hate doing recaps right after we lose a game, and this one was particularly hard to take.  I really felt like we should have won this one going in, but I never felt like we had a chance after Northwestern scored its first touchdown.  Things are never as bad as they seem to be right after a loss, but this is a very flawed football team, and I think we're in for a rocky season if we don't get things straightened out in the trenches.  Starting with the offense...

It's D-Day for Herzlich

I'll keep this short and to the point but today NFL teams must cut down to 53 players by 6pm. One of the most intriguing situations is Mark Herzlich's with the Giants. From all accounts, it seems Herzlich should make the roster, especially after their last game,  but being an undrafted free agent nothing is guaranteed. Helping his cause is that the Giants just placed fellow LB Clint Sintim on the IR thereby seeming to indicate another LB will be making the roster in his spot.

Mark seems upbeat about the whole situation and if he doesn't make the active roster, I'm positive the Giants will hope he clears waivers and lands on their practice squad. No matter what happens, the guys here at ATR are pulling for him and hope the best.

P.S. On an almost serious note, if he makes the Giants how soon until we see a movie/book on this? I'll set the O/U on 5 years. 







Thursday, September 1, 2011

2011 Preview: Recievers

Note: Unfortunately due to delays the defensive preview will appear in the week between games 1 and 2.

The departures of two wide receivers over the summer have led to some depth concerns at the wideout position as Rogers likes to use a lot of 3-WR sets, so much so that for the first time in memory, the BC depth chart officially has 3 starting WR. The three wide receiver layout allows BC to start a bigger receiver, a deep threat type and a slot type. The big receiver position starts with Momah and will be backed up by Johnathan Coleman. While Momah possesses great size for a WR (6'6" 230 pounds), he has fringe speed and explosiveness for ACC level football. Compounding the problem, he doesn't use his body to his full advantage and still seems to have problems getting the defensive back on his back and shielding him from the ball. Furthermore, over the course of his career he has had problems with his hands dropping a good number of catchable balls (however, this did seem to get better towards the end of last season). Coleman again brings good size to the position (6'4" 210) but unlike Momah, he is also very athletic. However, he came to BC very raw and his redshirt freshman season last year still displayed a lot of rawness in his ability to run routes. He showed enough to me last year that he could be a major wildcard this year in the offense.

Bobby Swigert is the starter at the slot receiver position which will allow him to get the most out of his skills (reading defenses, quick cuts, good hands) and hide the weaknesses (below average straight line speed). Swigert had a great true freshman year and should be able to build on that into a great career in a more passing oriented offense. Donte Elliot and Spiffy Evans provide depth at this position but look for Spaz to try to keep Evans redshirt on if the rest of the receivers don't get injured. Furthermore, look for Amidon to lineup in the slot a fair amount when Swigert takes a breather.

The last wide receiver position is left for the deep threat. The starter is Colin Larmond Jr. who is coming off an ACL injury that occurred in training camp last season. His return is a huge boost to the receiving corp as he is the most talented receiver BC has had in a long time. He possesses good height and size (6'2" 205) and NFL speed. During his sophomore season, he demonstrated an ability to get behind ACC defensive backs as well as cut off deep routes and challenge the middle third of the field. The one thing that held him back his sophomore season ( the accuracy of Dave Shinskie) has been rectified and if Larmond is healthy, look for him to have a monster season and provide a huge boost for the offense. Alex Amidon is listed as his backup (but as mentioned earlier he should see significant time in the slot as well) who possesses good speed and showed some ability in his freshman season to get open in the deeper portion of the field. However, he played his freshman season at a very light weight and often struggled with jams at the line. He's currently 5'11" 185 so this could pose a problem again this season against bigger outside corners.

The tight end position is well stocked both depth wise and talent wise. The starter Chris Pantale (6'6" 250) is the prototype combo TE and has loads of athletic ability and has shown flashes in his first two years of being both a dominant blocker at the line of scrimmage and a solid pass catching threat. He should present another weapon for Rettig and should be able to exploit both the seams down the middle of the field as well as rolling into the flat. Lars Anderson (6'3" 235) is listed as his backup, but my thought and from observations from spring game is that he will act more as a true pass catcher who could be used in interesting ways such as lining up as either and H-back, a true fullback, or even split out wide. While not on the depth chart, look for Jarrod Darmstatter to get some playing time throughout the season.