Monday, October 31, 2011

Movember Fight Against Cancer

I want to take a break from sports for a minute to talk about a cause which I will be supporting through the month of November.  "Movember" is an effort to raise money for prostate cancer navigation and research by collecting pledges for each day a man grows his mustache in the month of November.  Cancer research is an important cause for many people because few, if any of us, have not felt the effects of the disease when it hits someone close to us.  Cancer has effected my life over the past few years as two members of my family have been stricken with it.  First, my cousin contracted stomach cancer as a teen, and is now fully recovered.  Second, my grandfather has contracted multiple types of cancer over the past several years, and is currently still battling. 

For as long as anyone can remember, my grandfather has had one of the best mustaches in the world, which is why Movember immediately called to me when I saw it online.  For me, the object of Movember is to show support for my grandfather by emulating him while raising money for a good cause.  My goal for this month is to raise $1,000 for cancer research and to get a good laugh out of my grandpa when I show up for Thanksgiving.

Without a doubt, that is the best mustache I have ever seen, and decades later he's still rocking an awesome 'stache with his patented hat.  Some days you just realize that there's no way to be as manly as your grandpa...After looking at these pictures, my generation is definitely soft.

If you would like to join Movember, you can create your own team here.  If you would like to join Team Reer or support Team Reer, please click here to donate or to sign up.  Our team page is still a work in process, but check back frequently for daily picture updates.  If we get enough team members, we will hold a team event night either on campus or in the Chestnut Hill area.  Because I believe in the traditions of Boston College, I have asked and received specific assurances from Movember that no donations will be used to support research which conflicts with the strong ethical standards of the Catholic Church.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important cause, and let's have some fun beating cancer!

BC Basketball Preview Part I: Returning Players

Given how this year's football season has gone for BC, I'm pretty excited to kick off coverage of the basketball team. This coverage comes with a disclaimer, however, that I'll just put out there right at the start: this team is not going to be good this year. At times, in fact, they'll likely look downright awful—that's what you get when you lose your entire starting lineup (and most of your bench) to graduation or the draft.

On the other hand, watching a team "grow up" as a unit is one of the central joys of following a college basketball program. Who will emerge as a star (see: Reggie Jackson)? Who will wilt under the pressure (see: Josh Southern)? These things, and not the team's W-L loss record, will be what BC basketball fans should be looking for out of this season.

Because of this, I'm going to eschew a normal game-by-game preview and instead give brief previews of what we can expect from each member of the team this year. We'll start today with the (very few) returning players and then move on to the newbies.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ice Jam Recap

BC Athletics was nice enough to allow Around the Res amazing access to Ice Jam this year, and so we have the opportunity to recap the event with some great pictures from our new resident photographer, Andrew Rota.  Enjoy!

Right when we walked into Conte, we were met by this amazing group of undergrads, Donahue's Disciples.  I had never seen these guys in action before, but after chatting with them for about five minutes, it seemed like they were having a lot of fun promoting the basketball program.  Anytime a student group has this much fun, I know that they'll stick together and succeed.  It actually makes me a little jealous that I'm still not an undergrad and therefore can't apply to join their ranks (but then again, I don't have to live on upper).  Hopefully these guys can help BC basketball attendance return to its 2006 form.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ice Jam Tonight

Ice Jam hits campus tonight at 7:30.  At least two guys from Around the Res will be there, and we hope to have a pretty detailed recap and pictures up sometime tomorrow morning.  See everyone there?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Head Coach Power Rankings!

Here are the new head coach power rankings.  This list just keeps getting better each week.  The top ten is slowly becoming more stable, and we only have two new additions to the group of ten this week.  Overall, I'd say that I would be comfortable with anyone in our top seven, which given the lack of openings in major BCS conferences, means we will probably get someone good.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Post-Weekend Thoughts

A few thoughts as we head into a new week...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ice Jam Keeps Getting Better

Fresh off the news that Steve Levy will be hosting Ice Jam, the Athletic Department is announcing that there will be a student costume competition at Ice Jam, with $1,000 in cash going to the winner.  I noticed last night as I was walking around campus that there were already a ton of fliers up promoting the costume contest.  I also ran into a group of about 20 undergrads that I know and I took an informal poll about how they felt about the contest.  Suffice to say that they were STOKED and already discussing ideas for costumes. 

I know the blogging community has been down on the Athletic Department recently, but let's give some credit where it's due.  This is shaping up to be a fantastic event with a ton of student support.  If you told me just two years ago that BC would have a successful "Midnight Madness" type of event, I would have laughed.  This is only possible because of the hard work and creativity of the Athletic Department, and because of the excitement that Steve Donahue brings to the basketball program.  This would not have been possible under Al Skinner.

I can't wait for the 27th...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Steve Levy to Host Ice Jam

BC Athletics has announced that Steve Levy will host Ice Jam this year.  Although not as recognizable as Bob Costas, Levy is still a surprise given his status at ESPN. 

Excellent hire by the athletic department.  Zero complaints here and I can't wait to attend.

No word on any surprise performers, but there is definitely a growing sentiment on campus that Vanilla Ice should come back for a sequel.

Mailbag Time!!!

Announcing this week's mailbag!  This week's mailbag addresses everything from Lebron James to Father Leahy.  Read up SuperFans...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Podcast from Last Night's Radio Program

If you have nothing to do today, check out the podcast from WZBC last night.  Special thanks to Steve and Nate for inviting me on the show.  We ended up talking about so much more than just sports and the blog but it was definitely a blast to be part of the radio show banter.  I'm always surprised at how difficult radio is and these guys always do a great job.  Also, it turns out that I have an AWFUL radio voice, which I'm pretty sure they knew before they invited me on. 

New Coach Power Rankings: Bye Week Edition

To say that this was not a good week for the coaches on our power rankings would be like saying that this has not been a good season for Spaz.  I was really optimistic about this group last week, but I've completely rearranged things, working in some of the outstanding suggestions from the comments section.  Frankly, this list gets more exciting each week, and at this point I think if we can get just one person from the top ten, we should definitely make the change.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Around the Res Hits Airwaves Tonight (Corrected)

Around the Res hits the airwaves tonight on WZBC at 8:00pm. I'm told that the AM transmitter for WZBC is no longer working, so that we will be on BC cable, broadcasting live online here and recording a podcast for those who don't feel like listening to AM at 8pm.  So if you're an undergrad, be sure to turn on your TV while studying, and if you're in the real world, we'll try to have the podcast up and running tomorrow morning sometime so that at least you have something to do at work. 

In terms of content, we're going to preview the new head coach power rankings, which will be available in print tomorrow morning, and possibly discuss the upcoming Virginia Tech game.  If you have any preferences for what we discuss, feel free to leave suggestions below. 

Why California is Becoming a BC Pipeline

With news that yet another BC basketball recruit is coming to BC, Joe Rahon, I wanted to take a few minutes to examine some possible reasons for why California is becoming a hotbed of recruiting for BC athletics.  As of today, the core of our basketball team, and some prominent members of the BC football team, including Chase Rettig, are Californians. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

More Head Coaching Ideas

I wanted to chime in with a few thoughts I had on BC’s presumptive coaching search.  Mike has done a good quick-and-dirty on some of the possible candidates out there and ranked them according to likelihood they will be hired.  Additionally we’ve received a bit of real solid feedback in the comments.  As per usual, I will bring little to the table, but will tear down suggestions put forward by others.

With regard to former Tennessee Head Coach Phil Fulmer and missionary-in-waiting at Georgia, Mark Richt, I’d be very surprised if BC gave either of them a serious look.  Both coaches have great records of success in the best league in college football.  Fulmer won a National Championship and Richt has won a pair of SEC Championships.  Under Fulmer, the Vols were one of the elite teams in country.  Richt turned a stagnant Bulldogs team into a perennial contender for the SEC East.  Despite their success, these two are doomed by their very serious shortcomings in player discipline.  I'm not sure which is greater, the number of players they graduated or the number of players who spent time in the clink while playing for them.  Player misconduct under these two has been wonderfully documented by the venerable college football blog EDSBS.  For now, suffice it to say that under Fulmer UT had a series of 20 arrests in a 16 month period from 2004 to 2005.  Under Richt at least 9 UGA players were arrested from during the 2010 off-season.  I’d say that’s enough to rule out Richt and Fulmer.

Another pipe dream that was tossed out in the comments is Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn.  Malzahn is arguably the hottest head coaching prospect in the NCAA.  He flew up the ranks as a High School Coach in Arkansas and was the offensive architect behind last year’s National Championship team. Like anyone else I’d be elated if BC hired Malzahn, but I just don’t see how it happens. According to Wikipedia, he’s making in the neighborhood of $1.3 million as a coordinator.  From the most recent data I can find (2009) Spaz was making around $1 million a year.  I’d be impressed, but really surprised, if BC was willing to shell out enough dough to make him an offer he’d seriously consider. To be honest I don’t know what that would be. One would think somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 – 2.5 million would be sufficient.  Odds Gene, Father Leahy, etc. commit that kind cash to the Head Coach?  We’ll save that for another post, but it doesn’t seem likely to me.  Another point of skepticism is whether Malzahn would even consider taking the head coaching job on the Heights.   He seemingly has a very bright future in front of him.  The guy turned down the Vandy job last year, and while I think the BC job is certainly more attractive, I get the feeling Malzahn will hold out for a top-tier position.

Next I have a question about one of the candidates Mike discussed in his second installment of the New Head Coach Power Rankings.  Number 7 on the list was Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo.  My question is how does the triple option offense Niumatalolo runs affect his chances at getting hired as the next BC Head Coach?  Would Gene and the other decision makers be willing to bring in a guy who runs the option?  Are they worried about the impact running the ball all day every Saturday would have on attendance?  I personally find Paul Johnson’s offense fascinating and beautiful to watch.  I do wonder what affect it has on casual fans.  On the other hand, when a team runs it as well as Georgia Tech has this year I don’t imagine they have a problem drawing fans.  Also one would think the triple option would be a great fit for BC.  Traditionally, BC has very strong and physical defenses and really good Offensive Lines.  No problem recruiting there.  Why not employ an offense that relies on the positions we recruit well?  I wonder what impact hiring a guy like Niumatalolo would have on our program.  Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Lastly, I have to take a minute to indulge my very unrealistic fantasy.  I realize there’s very little chance that the powers that be would display the fortitude required to take a chance on a guy like Mike Leach right now.  I do however take issue with the opinion that the pending ESPN law suit is of any significant consequence.  The real reason the guys up on College Road and down in the Yawkey Center won’t take a serious look at the former Texas Tech Head Coach is their cautious approach to athletic hires.  This isn’t a criticism of the Athletic Department or the Administration.  In fact, one could very well call this cautious approach prudence.  The point here is that regardless of how little evidence there may be that Leach did anything wrong, there’s a perception that he’s a risky hire.  I think this is enough to scare the BC Brass back to their room in Bapst.  So yeah, I realize this isn’t going to happen, but just for a minute imagine if it did.   

Think about having Mike Leach as the Eagles Head Coach.  Think about a pirate swinging his sword on the heights.  Imagine for a second the Air Raid Offense - long bombs launched through the Boston sky.  The anticipation as each pass hangs in the air.  The disappointment when it’s picked off and the sheer joy when it falls into a receiver’s hands.  Think of lightening fast drives. Think of the 5 wide sets - THE 5 WIDE SETS.  Picture Leach giving out Christmas Hams.  Think of him going at it with the Boston Media.  Imagine him mixing it up with other teams in the ACC, giving the Eagles an exciting face for the program.  Imagine once again having the feeling that no matter how far down the Eagles may be, there’s always hope for a comeback.  It would be awesome.  Thank you for indulging me.  I needed that.  However delusional it may be, it’s a welcome relief to the reality of this football season.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Can Robert Kraft Save BC Football?

In one of his previous posts, Mike C. reminded me that Robert Kraft is an associate member of BC's board of trustees.  Over the past few days, I've been thinking about how this could effect BC football, and I've come to the scary conclusion that in some scenarios, Mr. Kraft is the only one who can save BC football from another year or two of Spaz-ball.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Luke Kuechly Link

Luke Kuechly made the ESPN mid-season All-American team.  Unsurprisingly, LK was the only Eagle on the list, but this does continue to bolster BC's image of Linebacker U. 

Updated New Coach Power Rankings

New week, new power rankings.  Last week we only did our power rankings out through five coaches, mainly because it was very cumbersome to do that much research.  As each coach makes his first appearance in the power rankings, I am trying to put together a spark-noted profile.  This week, we expand our power rankings out to the top ten.  Have new suggestions?  Have a pet cat out there that screams BC football?  Leave your suggestions in the comments...

100K Hits!

We recently passed our first major milestone here at Around the Res, clearing the 100K hit mark on Friday.  Not too bad for a blog that started in late December and shut itself down for the summer...We would like to say "thank you" to all our dedicated readers.  We know that our content is not as regular as some of the other BC blogs, but we really appreciate people sticking with us.  We would also like to thank the BC blogging community, which has been both welcoming and extremely helpful from Day 1.

Blogging has been an excellent way for us to continue to be an active part of the BC community, and we have taken the opportunity to interact with other BC alumns and players while continuing to keep in touch with each other as we start careers and graduate schools in different cities.

We hope you continue to read our blog, to comment on posts, and to join us on twitter going forward.  Thank you so much for your time and support.

Mike R.
Mike C.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BC Athletic Department Not Getting It

So I leave town for a few days and it seems like the whole BC world is in turmoil.  The Clemson-BC game was generally not competitive, and it looked like we were playing not to win, but rather to not get embarrassed.  Additionally, GDF has had a few controversial tweets/comments about ESPN, the ACC, and the fans at Alumni.  This all leads me to a conclusion that I've been slowly coming to all season long; namely that the BC Athletic Department is just not getting it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Coach Power Rankings

I'm basically taking it as a foregone conclusion that Spaz will be fired at the end of the season.  There is the slight chance that the athletic department is a little slow on the uptake on this front, so I'm going to go ahead and start the coaching search for them.  This way, when the ax does finally fall, I will have a handy document to slip Father Leahy when I see him walking from his office to St. Mary's.

And so, our first new head coach power rankings...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Better Things to Watch at Alumni Than Spaz-ball

The state of the BC football team is so bad that I can no longer say that they play football.  Instead, I'm going to start referring to it as Spaz-ball.  Anyway, here are ten things we can do at Alumni that would be more entertaining than Spaz-ball.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Game Recap

After my angry rant about Spaz, this will be a much more rational game recap.  There were some positives during Saturday's game, but then again we were playing a pretty weak Wake Forrest team and we lost by 8.  My mother probably put it best when she said that "it doesn't look like either team is playing to a college level." 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fire Spaz

This picture pretty much says it all.  Drowned football program?  Call in an expert...

Remember when we thought that this would be the easy part of our schedule?  BC had yet another poor outing today, losing to Wake Forrest 27-19, in a game that really didn't seem as close as the score would indicate.  This is a Wake Forrest team who has already dropped a game to Syracuse, even if it did manage to win against O'Brien's hapless Wolfpack.  I will talk about what I saw from the game tomorrow, but right now I want to address something much more important; pride.