This morning, I happened across an article by Rant Sports, entitled “Will New AD Fire Boston College Coach?” Some of it was correct, though some was a bit askew, so as an experienced Boston College blogger, I shall take the liberty of setting the folks straight.
The author’s first suggestion, that Frank Spaziani’s future as Boston College’s head football coach is in doubt with the hiring of Brad Bates, is accurate.
His second, that Spaz’s tenure has had its “ups and downs,” is mostly correct, though it needs more specificity. When Spaziani was defensive coordinator, there were perhaps people that did not care for elements of his scheme (and still don’t), but he had far more fans and was close to universally liked. It was not until he became head coach that he started losing them. The ups were all as defensive coordinator, and the downs were all as head coach. A factoid I would have added is that BC has lost more games every year under this coach.
The author is correct that Brad Bates “tempered” the Fire Spaz talk for now. This blog has respected Bates’ right to do so, as he has probably not even watched this team play. Despite the fact that he is now hearing about how bad things are getting, he cannot make a personnel move without at least seeing it for himself (which he will in Tallahassee tomorrow — no pressure, Frank).
This entire situation is a perfect example of how much college football has changed. It used to be that a head coach would have at least four years to have success and some were given even more time, but the Eagle’s [sic] head coach has been on the hot seat for the past couple of years.
There is a reason why that is, and it can be answered after the final paragraph of the article, which stated this:
The entire state of college football now is about immediate gratification. New coaches are expected to win as soon as they walk in the door, but it rarely works out that way. It takes time to build a program, but it appears that time isn’t on coach Spaziani’s side.
This is not an accurate read on the situation. The author may assume that Spaziani came to BC to rebuild the program, which is not the case. Whatever he thought, the fact is Spaziani inherited a program that was winning on average about 8-10 games per year, contending in its conference, and going to and winning bowl games. Even if BC closes the season 4-3, they will spend their second-straight bowl season at home. This drop-off has happened entirely under Spaziani’s watch.
The premise of this statement is false because this is not about “instant gratification” or “he’s not getting enough time” or anything like that. Spaziani was a “continuity” hire — in other words, he was expected to keep the team more or less at the same level of achievement, which was a decent-to-good team that regularly made bowl appearances. BC is now losing games to teams like Army, which was definitely not the case before he took over.
The factoid I would have added earlier, “BC has lost more games every year under this coach,” is perhaps something the author of this piece discounts when he starts lamenting that a coach has to win “as they walk in the door.” Spaz’s predecessor did, and that was his base expectation when he was hired in 2009. The program is in undeniable decline, and for that reason, he must go.