The 2013 Boston College Eagles football season is technically not over, and soon, there will be a bowl game for the blogs to dissect piece by piece (this one game has to last us until the spring game somehow). Still, a bad loss will hover over all of our heads for the next several weeks.
Yesterday, with just seconds remaining in the game, Boston College’s dreams of an 8-4 regular season were shattered and they were forced to settle for 7-5 as the Syracuse Orange prevailed. In the face of such a bitter defeat, we need to take a moment to re-establish perspective.
On November 25, 2012, Frank Spaziani was relieved of his duties as head football coach by Brad Bates. On December 4, one year ago on Wednesday, the school hired Steve Addazio to take over. At the time, Eagles fans felt the full range of emotion: wonder, excitement, disappointment, despair, and fear of the unknown amongst them. Boston College had finished 2-10, their worst season since 1978 when they went 0-11, and the prospect of a long and perilous rebuild seemed daunting. Many wondered if Addazio was the man for the job, and indeed that is a question we will not be able to answer for several years yet.
A day before Spaziani was fired, the Eagles ended their regular season with a non-competitive road loss. Hope did not exist. The team was at its lowest point during the lifetimes of many younger Eagles fans. When your program is an expansive pile of rubble, where do you even start cleaning up?
When Addazio came here, his task was easier said than done: rebuild the Eagles. It would not be hard to improve upon a two-win season, but how much higher could they go?
Today, even after a bad loss to Syracuse, the season is not over. There will almost certainly be a bowl game, there will be a winning season, and even in spite of the dreadful 2012 season, there will be some good recruits joining the team next year. Boston College has taken almost exactly the same roster as last year and jumped from two wins to seven, with a possibility for eight. In every sense that counts, this season has been a success for Boston College and there is no reasonable way to argue otherwise.
Is the rebuild over already? Of course not. Are the coaches and players impervious to blame because the Eagles had a winning season? Again, no. There is still work to be done this season, and future seasons will present both their own challenges and rewards. Based on realistic expectations for this year, however, Boston College has done what it set out to do in order to restore some pride and respectability. That was not taken away at the Carrier Dome yesterday, and it’s important to remember that.