Death. Taxes. 7-6 records for Boston College.
It’s been the norm around Chesnut Hill for years now. Believe it or not, it is already the middle of year five for Eagles head coach Steve Addazio, who has a penchant for 7-6 records and perpetually being a year away from taking the next step in the Atlantic Division.
You read that right. Not competitive in the conference, just in the Atlantic Division.
But before we step into the weeds, let’s evaluate where we’re at in 2017 with Boston College.
Entering Week Seven, the Eagles had scored only 98 points all season. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a mere 16.3 points per game, which was good for one of the worst offenses in the Power 5. The Eagles were 2-4 at that point in the season, which included wins over Northern Illinois and Central Michigan, and losses to Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Virginia Tech.
Since then, something has clicked with the offense…and when I say something, I mean everything.
The Eagles ran for 364 yards in a 45-42 road upset of Louisville, and followed that performance up with a balanced attack in their 41-10 win at Virginia, where Anthony Brown passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns through the air, while the backfield combined to rush for 237 yards and another score.
Boston College has scored 86 points in their last two games (86 points!!!!), which nearly equals their total output over their previous six games of 98 points, as I mentioned above.
And now, as we approach Week Nine of the college football season, the Eagles are sitting at 4-4 overall, with a 2-3 record in conference play. Their 2-3 conference record is good for a three-way tie for fourth place in the Atlantic Division, a clear notch below this year’s heavy weights in the division: Clemson and NC State. The Eagles have home games against Florida State, #14 NC State, and Connecticut before going on the road to Syracuse to finish out the year. With how BC has played the last couple of weeks, it is not inconceivable that they win two of those games (at the very least) to reach bowl eligibility and an opportunity for ANOTHER 7-6 campaign.
Good for you, BC, good for you.
We can stop settling for mediocrity now.
Back in March, Boston College hired Martin Jarmond as their new athletic director, replacing Brad Bates, the man who hired Steve Addazio. The 37-year-old Jarmond was previously Ohio State’s deputy director of athletics, and is the youngest athletic director of any school in the Power 5 conferences. According to the Boston Globe, Jarmond has earned a reputation for being a strong fund-raiser, aiding in raising over $120 million for a $200 million athletic complex construction project as Ohio State’s chief advancement officer. Jarmond served in that role prior to being promoted to second-in-command to Gene Smith.
As Eagles fans know by now, all of the information on Jarmond is completely relevant. One of the complaints from the fan base in the past is the inability to lure top coaches due to lack of adequate football facilities. The Eagles simply couldn’t compete with some of the top schools in the ACC when it came to recruiting, due not only to their lack of adequate facilities, but also due to their underwhelming location for college football in the Northeast United States.
Boston College can’t do much about where they are located, but they can improve their facilities and continue to upgrade the athletic complexes to lure recruits and top coaches not only in football, but in other sports as well. Departing athletic director Brad Bates began this process in early 2016, announcing a $200 million investment by the school in upgrading intramural sports, club fields, and other aspects of athletics at Boston College, which included a new indoor practice facility for the football program. The practice facility is still in the process of being completed, and when the project is finished, it will end the run of Boston College being one of only two schools in the ACC to be without a permanent indoor practice facility for football.
With new facilities come heightened expectations for Boston College. The donors, many of which are die-hard Boston College football fans, were no longer interested in settling for mediocrity with their athletic complex, especially for football, and put hard-earned money towards ensuring the Eagles would be competitive with other schools in the ACC when it came to their various sports programs.
Now comes the difficult part for new athletic director Martin Jarmond. If the Eagles go 7-6 again on the football field, he should absolutely make a change to reinvigorate the Boston College football program. An offensively-minded head coach should be a top priority to run the new regime at Boston College. There are plenty of big names who could come free later this fall, from UCF’s Scott Frost to potentially Auburn’s Gus Malzahn (depending on how Auburn finishes their season). Jarmond would be remiss if he didn’t at least make a phone call to those coaches, who would undoubtedly be chased by much more enticing schools than Boston College.
What seems more likely as an outside observer, is that Boston College could look across the college football landscape for a young offensive coordinator who is ready to make the jump and run their own ship as a first-time head coach. A couple of names to watch within the ACC include Virginia Tech’s Brad Cornelsen and Clemson’s Tony Elliott, who are both highly regarded for their leadership and offensive prowess from a game planning perspective.
However, if Jarmond decides that he wants to hire a head coach with experience instead, perhaps he attempts to woo Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who Jarmond aided in hiring at Ohio State prior to his departure. Wilson was previously the head coach at Indiana, where he presided over the Big Ten’s top offense in the 2015 season. Wilson is intelligent, a great game planner, and a motivator with plenty of experience both as an offensive coordinator and a head coach. He would certainly be a name to watch should Boston College make a change.
2017 has been a time of transition at BC. There’s a new athletic director, new facilities, but a struggling football program once again. While the last two weeks have presented an uptick in level of play on the field, the fan base must be level-headed with their assessment of their team and realize that the Eagles are, at best, a 7-6 team with Steve Addazio running the show.
The fans should not want their school to be mediocre any longer, and neither should new athletic director Martin Jarmond.
That’s why the time is now to make a change in Chesnut Hill.