In advance of this week’s matchup with Boston College, The Otter Room caught up with Bill Maloney from atleagle.com for his insights on the current state of the Boston College football program and his thoughts on Saturday’s game.
OR: Through the first two games, what has impressed you most about BC and what had been a disappointment thus far?
BM: We barely got by NIU and got walloped at home vs Wake. Can I say nothing really impressed me? Our walk-on kicker/soccer play can boom kickoffs…so there’s that.
The biggest disappointment has been the offensive ineptitude. Addazio made a big deal of going uptempo and this was supposed to be a step forward, yet BC still can’t score like an uptempo team.
OR: Steve Addazio has taken BC to bowl games in three of his first four years, but hasn’t tallied a winning ACC record and has a losing overall record. How pleased are BC fans with his coaching tenure and what is his job security like?
BM: I think the casual fans are checked out and the diehards are done with him. I don’t think he has much job security. BC hired a new AD this Spring and new ADs love to put in their own guys, especially in the big time sports. Addazio could make that decision that much easier if he doesn’t have a winning season this year.
OR: Ten years ago, you could argue Boston College had one of the more consistent football programs in the country. They might not have always been contending for a national championship, but they consistently won 8-9 games per year. Things have fallen off a bit since, what has been some of the overarching causes for the slip?
BM: This is an oversimplification, but hiring the wrongs guys (Notre Dame has gone through this too). At BC, the expectations are relatively low. The model for success established by guys like Coughlin and O’Brien still exists (focus on OL, recruit the three star Catholic School kids who can get past admissions, redshirt as much as you can). But when you change coaches frequently and hire questionable replacements, you lead to dips in talent, system breakdowns and lack of development.
Putting aside the unique tale of Jeff Jagodzinski, and most BC fans knew that Frank Spaziani was a bad hire. The Addazio hire wasn’t as bad, but it was certainly questionable. And so far the pre-hire criticisms have been on target. He can recruit, but is a questionable game manager/offensive mind and will never be a special coach.
OR: In recent years, BC seems to boast great defenses, but struggles offensively. Is that the result of recruiting one side better than the other or has it been coaching issues?
BM: Coaching. Addazio has had three OCs in five years, arguably five different offenses and eight starting QBs. He has not managed things well since his first OC Ryan Day left for the NFL.
OR: How is the ND-BC game perceived from a BC standpoint? Is it the number one rivalry and what kind of atmosphere do you expect Saturday?
BM: I actually think the rivalry is less important to BC fans now. I think playing less often has been a factor. Clemson’s rise and Florida State’s return to the top has given BC fans annual opponents to get excited about. I also think that Notre Dame’s decline is a factor. It is always excited to beat an undefeated team or a team with a bunch of stars. And as even though Brian Kelly is unlikeable, I don’t think BC fans relish the chance to shut him up like they did with Holtz or Weis.
OR: No matter the records, BC always play Notre Dame tough – how do you see Saturday’s game playing out and what is your final prediction?
BM: I am not optimistic. I don’t want to predict a BC loss, but this hasn’t been a good start. I think the game will be low-scoring and the losing coach will be on the hottest of hot seats.
Notre Dame will visit Boston College Saturday at 3:30 EST on ESPN. Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Todd McShay will be on the call.