Spaziani’s Last Go-Round?
By Matthew Osborne
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Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani is squarely on the hot seat in Chestnut Hill.
Since leaving the Big East to join the ACC in 2005, Boston College has quietly been one of the most successful football programs in its new conference.
In seven years of ACC play, the Eagles have averaged over eight wins per season and have failed to produce a winning record in just one season (2011). Those seven seasons included back-to-back ACC Atlantic titles in 2007 and 2008.
While the program has more than held its own in its new conference, the Eagles appear to be one of the league’s teams that are heading in the wrong direction.
Boston College’s win total has steadily regressed in each of the past four seasons; the last three of which came under current head coach Frank Spaziani.
As Spaziani prepares for his fourth full season as the man in charge in Chestnut Hill, the tension in the Boston College coaching office is palpable to say the least. Spaziani is as squarely on the hot seat as any head coach in the country, and it will undoubtedly take marked improvement from last season’s four wins in order for him to retain his job for a fifth year.
Unfortunately for Spaziani, who has been at Boston College since 1997, the Eagles will have their work cut out for them if they hope to manufacture a surprisingly successful 2012 campaign.
Although the Eagles are set to return an impressive 17 starters from last season, Boston College will be going up against arguably the toughest schedule in the ACC this fall. Boston College’s four non-conference games include contests at Northwestern, at Army and against Notre Dame. In addition, the Eagles square up against Miami (FL), Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in cross-divisional ACC play.
New offensive coordinator Doug Martin will face the task of maximizing the potential of an Eagle offense that will return 10 starters from last season. Martin, who is widely considered to be one of the top quarterback mentors in the nation, comes to Chestnut Hill from New Mexico State, where the Aggies finished 25th in the FBS in passing offense last season.
Martin’s primary responsibility will be improving the play of incumbent quarterback Chase Rettig. A two-year starter, Rettig has completed less than 53% percent of his career passes for the Eagles, and has thrown as many interceptions as he has touchdowns (18).
While 10 returning starters is usually a good indication that significant improvement is on the horizon, the Eagles have been downright abysmal on offense in recent seasons. The Eagles have not scored more than 25 points per game since the 2007 season, including a paltry 18.2 points per game effort last fall.
Outstanding defense has been a staple of the Boston College defense over the past decade, but that effort will become more difficult without the presence of All-American LB Luke Kuechly. The ninth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Kuechly led the FBS in tackles in each of his final two seasons at Boston College.
The Eagles will be relatively experienced on defense, but the loss of their star will likely be tough to overcome.
For Spaziani, winning games is the bottom line. If he wins games, he will likely be the coach of Boston College in 2013. Contrarily, an inability to win games will almost certainly result in his firing.
The Eagles have a plethora of returning players, but very few of those players have proven to be consistent ACC-caliber performers. Moreover, the schedule has set up the Eagles with a rather difficult road to a bowl game.
This Boston College team is a tough one to get a solid prediction on, but it appears that this might be the final season in which we see Frank Spaziani on the sideline in Chestnut Hill.