Spaziani: The fight continues

So how do you handle the last month of the season?

Call Bobby Valentine?

Make each game a season and try to play with dignity?

These are the questions that Frank Spaziani must ponder as the Boston College football team absorbed another loss on Saturday.

Spaziani’s attitude was the same as it has been throughout the season. Keep forging ahead as you look  for a solution.

“No battle has ever been won by a pessimistic general,” said Spaziani in his weekly conference call with the media on Sunday afternoon as the Eagles begin to prepare for Maryland next week. “There is still football to be played. We are trying to figure out how to correct some things.  There’s never an end to trying to find a solution.”

Spaziani said he has looked at the tapes of the 31-17 loss to Tech ” We’ re still playing hard. We’re still making critical critical errors. That usually bodes for losses. It’s wearing on everybody.”

And like most of the previous 6 defeats, there was an “it’s always something” minute in the Eagles loss which dropped them to 1-6 for the season and puts them one-game away from elimination from post season football for the second straight season.

This moment came in the fourth quarter on Saturday when the Eagles finally showed signs of life after falling behind 31-3 in a truly horrendous start.

But when BC QB Chase Rettig and the offense came up with a pair of touchdowns the Tech margin had shrunk to 31-17.When the defense finally came up with a stop, Tech was forced to punt and BC had the ball near mid-field with more than 9 minutes left.

Plenty of time.


BC was called for a roughing the punter penalty. First down GTech.And then touchdown GTech which sealed the Yellow Jacket victory.

The numbers were truly frightening.

Third down conversions: BC 1-9 Georgia Tech 13-20

Total yards: BC 296, Georgia Tech 563

Time of possession: BC 16:15. Georgia Tech 43-37.

That’s just bad, losing football.

You could argue the “what if’s” about that mistake, just as you could go through each game the Eagles have lost.

It is a pointless argument.

Yes, the  Eagles played hard until the end.

But in the end they lost.

Yes, they showed character?

But in the end they lost.

All of which means that  Spaziani’s fate as the Eagles’ coach is almost certainly sealed. New BC Director of Athletics Brad Bates saw most of the game in person before hopping on a private jet at halftime to attend the Eagles’  home opener against Northeastern for the NCCA champion men’s hockey team.

The second part of Bates’ day was better than the first as the Eagles’ posted a 3-0 victory over Northeastern.

What he does regarding Spaziani’s fate is almost certainly no longer in doubt. When he will make his move is the only  question.

Bates will be in his new office at BC on Monday morning.

The task at hand will be to keep the football ship floating for five more games.  The arguments over making a change before the regular-season finale at North Carolina State on November 24th come down to one simple question: What is the best way  for BC to get through the rest of the regular season?

The players, as they have all season, will absorb their latest disappointment, and then look to their next game against Maryland on Saturday.

The carrot to keep their attention, of course, is post season play.

For all the stuff that swirls around them regarding the fate of Spaziani, a basic element remains. Players like to play. Plain and simple.

BC has five games remaining. The  promise of a playing a sixth game also is still alive. And  while you can argue that there is no way that is going to happen, why not use it as a motivational tool until it is no longer available to use?

It’s the only thing left for the Eagles.

“Our kids have responded well,” said Spaziani. “We have to find a solution. The talent, I think, is there.”

A year ago, BC was in the same spot, with a 1-6 record with a game against Maryland coming up. The Eagles beat the Terps and finished the season with two wins in their last three games, including a season ending victory at Miami.

This season the sense of urgency is much more intense because Spaziani’s job is clearly in jeopardy. “We will see how this plays  out’, ‘ said Spaziani.


The injuries to the much depleted defensive line. Defensive tackle Jaryd Rudolph left the Georgia Tech game in the first quarter with an injury and Spaziani said on Sunday that his status for the Maryland game has yet to be determined.


© 2012 – 2014, Mark. All rights reserved.

  53 comments for “Spaziani: The fight continues

  1. Bill
    October 22, 2012 at 11:33 am

    So while seemingly the catch-all argument in here is “Do YOU have a better way to motivate these players than promise of the postseason” from Blauds, I really have a hard time accepting that as more of a motivational starting point than “I’ll give you guys some of my cookies and milk if you play well next week.”

  2. Bill
    October 22, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I’d like to know, and I ask this seriously because I was not a D1 football player nor was I good friends with anyone to ask them myself, if the very very outside chance at an absolute bottom feeder bowl that will likely infringe on their Christmas break with an inconvenient travel destination with little-to-no fan support coming at it is “motivating” to players.

    Schools that are routinely on the national map enduring a down year often turn these types of bowl invitations down, presumably for the reasons above.

    I understand its a payday and all that so its motivating for the powers that be, but is Johnny Backup LB really going to give extra effort for a coach we know he dislikes because he thinks he can play in the White Castle Belly Bomber bowl in flyover country on December 23rd against the 5th best MAC team?

    • Mark
      October 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      good question. But I think that any bowl that this group of players can get to will be appreciated

  3. BCAlum2000
    October 22, 2012 at 9:48 am

    BWHAHAHAHA, you gotta love this effin clown:

    It was almost like a perfect storm,” Spaziani said. “There was a lot being thrown at them. Again, not making excuses for them, but they’re having a difficult time handling it.

    Making excuses for them? What about you, you damn clown?! Why dont you stop making excuses for yourself? There is a lot being thrown at them huh? Well isnt it your job and your coaches job to prepare them for that?

    This damn plague cant be gotten rid of soon enough.

  4. DCash
    October 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Two quick questions Mark:

    1) What do you have against paragraphs?
    2) Why do you think there are 6 games left?

  5. SectionT
    October 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Agree with IB. These games were lost in February.

  6. innocentbystander
    October 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    “We have to find a solution. The talent, I think, is there.”

    With all due respect Frank Spaziani, the talent is not there. It is not there, because you Frank Spaziani, were functionally incapable of recruiting it. Your recruiting classes (including this horrible one for 2013) are virtually made up almost enitrely of 2-star recruits that should be playing for UNH, not a BCS level Boston College.

    Mark, with all due respect to you, he needs to go. Terminate Spaz immediately. Tomorrow morning is Brad Bates’ first day on the job, and the first order of business is to remove Frank Spaniani from his post. Gone-zo. Promote Doug Martin temporarily (just for 6 weeks) to finish the season. If Bates cannot do that (because the BOT refuses to pay for TWO head coaches since Spaziani is under contract for another 3 years) then Brad Bates should never have taken the job as Athletic Director.

    He needs to go now because a new coach can step in right now and tell these future recruits (all the 2-stars) that their scholarship offers might be revoked. We can’t win with these kids. Can’t. Be. Done. The 2-star players on the field were pushed up and down the field all day long yesterday. To ask them to play against ACC teams is just asking much too much.

    If you are going to play football at the BCS level, you need to recruit BCS level athletes for your football team. Spaziani has been the HC for 3.5 years and has never done that. Time to go.

  7. Dennis
    October 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The late, great Tim Russert said the election boiled down to one thing in 2000, “Florida, Florida, Florida”. In college football, it all boils down to one thing..”Recruiting, Recruiting, Recruitng.” Spaz, as the CEO of the football program, failed miserably in 4 years of running the show in the most important aspect of college coaching. As has been discussed, his recruitng has been horrible and it has reached its lowest point now. His entire recruiting portfolio is there for the world to see.

    You can put together a great game plan but if you can’t execute it, then it is meaningless. You can’t ask a kid who runs a 4.7 40 to keep up with an opponent who runs a 4.4 40 on a go route. The opponents will find your weaknesses and expose them. That is what is happening to the defense this year. The kids say it interviews..”There was nothing surprising in the game plan, we saw it all week in practice and on film, we just couldn’t stop it”. That means, we can’t match up to the opponent. The proof is that the defense cannot get off the field. They don;t match up to other FBS schools and are exposed. When your defense can’t stop the other teams offense and the time of possesion is in favor of the opponent by a 3-1 margin, that doesn’t allow your offense to do much. Against GT the O was on the field for 16 minutes. They scored 17 points. GT had the ball for 44 minutes and scored 37 points. Those numbers are telling in that the mismatches in talent are the reason for this pattern to occur week after week.

    All of that goes back to one thing, recruiting. If you can’t recruit, you can’t win. Spaz has proven he can’t recruit, so he can’t win. As for letting him go, I would do it tomorrow. The iinterim coach will take over and preach an us aganist them mantra and take the last 6 games as 1 at a time. Interim coaches generally don;t do all that well after an inital splash so I would not expect much in the W/L area, but it would send a message that a new day has dawn and BC Athletics will be fixed.

  8. BCAlum2000
    October 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I love your constantly harping on “well what would you do to keep them motivated?”. Who the hell cares!!!!! This entire program is a complete and utter disgrace. You really think “motivation” is their issue? Here is the damn issue, they are a terribly coached team full of mostly terrible players who have no place playing in DI let alone a BCS conference. Do you watch the games? Seriously?! These guys are awful. Top to bottom. Even the offense stinks. They could only muster 17 points (3 at the half) and less than 300 yards total offense against a defense that was nearly as bad as theirs. You want a good example of motivation? How about the GT defense in the wake of the sacking of Al Groh? Did they look motivated to you or are you admitting the BC offense is just that bad? Even if that useless check stealer Spaz isnt canned immediately, McGovern should be run out of town. Has a team ever gone from the #1 rush defense to dead last in the span of just two years? Motivation? Who the hell cares about motivation. They are 1-6 with their sole win being against a DIAA team. They have 3 DI wins over the past two years. Motivation?! Are you frickin kidding me?

  9. TheMan
    October 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Mark, I do think things are so bad that to motivate these kids now you have to give them an out– Spaz resigns or a new coach put in , in either case if presented rightly basically says: look, you guys are better than the record shows, it’s a new season, clean slate right here. Reinstate the suspended kids, say to ignore all the negativity of the season’s start.
    I don’t like Spaz, count me among one of those who gave him benefit of the doubt for years who now regret it. But I’m trying to appreciate your POV here mark, and still, after the last three games, I still don’t see why it is better to keep him around anymore.

    • Mark
      October 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Anything is possible because nothing is working.

  10. Doug Funee
    October 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    The best way to motivation this team is to fire spaz and bring someone else in who actually can motivate them because spaz obviously can’t. And I would say that to Spaz’s face in fact you can tell him Doug Funee said it, he will know who I am.

  11. The Nexus
    October 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    BC football: Let’s try to stay bowl eligible through October!


    Yes Blauds, I would say this to his face as well.

    • Mark
      October 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      OK. Fair enough. Stay bowl eligible through October is a little weak though. Why take away the chance to win the lottery from your speech, which means bowl eligible.

  12. The Nexus
    October 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    “The carrot to keep their attention, of course, is post season play.”


    They could play St. Brigita’s of the blind 5 times and wouldn’t make a bowl.

    • The Nexus
      October 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      In all seriousness, the carrot is you’re auditioning for the next coach.

      • Mark
        October 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm

        So you tell them not to think about winning, but just work on your individual games right?

    • Mark
      October 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      So Let me get this straight. You’re the BC coach and you walk into the locker room this week and tell them they have no chance of winning five games in a row? Right.

      • The Nexus
        October 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

        First of all, coach speak it’s one game at a time.

        Second of all, it would be more effective than Spaz’s speeches that got him told to stop by captains last year.

        • Mark
          October 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

          OK. One game at a time, which you don’t think they can win?

          • The Nexus
            October 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

            Considering Spaz hasn’t beat a D1 team in 11 months, it’s fair to say odds are he couldn’t beat any of them.

            They have zero shot vs. ND. Sure their O sucks, but newsflash BC’s D is worse. One of Spaz’s biggest faults is the destruction of OLine U -the OL is an absolute disgrace.

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

            Give it up on the negative. How do you keep these guys going for the next five games besides telling them they are a disgrace

          • The Nexus
            October 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

            You asked what game can’t they win. I said ND, also Kelly is a dbag (not necessarily a bad thing) he’s not going to stop running it up on Spaz after BC owned them throughout TOBias & Jags.

            I said what motivation the kids should have above. Every play they’re on the field for is an audition for the next coach. It’s the best evidence he’ll have for 2013. That doesn’t mean playing selfishly at all.

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm

            you really believe that? Wow. You actually think a new coach is going to use what he saw on tape from a team that had nothing to play for as a judgement of talent rather than what he sees during workouts, spring practice and summer practice? Wow.

          • The Nexus
            October 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

            Blauds, seeing as you never break news and we tell you shit that’s announced a week later this might be a fruitless effort but…

            At the hockey game there were multiple big donors commenting on an altercation in the locker room, have you heard anything?

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm

            you have such a nice bedside manner. Have a nice night.

          • The Nexus
            October 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm

            When you stare up at that Spaz picture above your desk, do you ever sit back and think how impressive the job he has done is?

            It takes some serious talent to completely torpedo one of the most consistent programs in a mere 3 years and get a contract extension out of it

  13. Alex A
    October 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    16 minutes time of possession! U can usually get 20 min by accident. BC football is not even ranked in top 100.

  14. asapakeem
    October 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Northwestern is where and what BC should be . We need a young hungry coach. We need energy. Fire Spaz now.

  15. CAG
    October 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    It’s almost unfathomable how far Spaziani has let this program fall. I wasn’t sure it was possible.

  16. Dennis
    October 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    He needs to go…now. The chances of BC ripping off 5 wins is about as plausible as winning a $1M scratch ticket. They have only won 3 games v FBS level teams in the last 2 seasons. They are a big Goose egg in FBS wins this year. Although the schedule, with the exception of ND is there for the taking in most seasons, this is not most seasons. This defense is horrific and when you get into shootouts, usually you lose.

    This team, especially the defense has quit. They have no use for Spaz., they are gassed by the middle of the second quarter and as such they can’t keep the game close. The game plan for the oppositon is real easy…run and grind it out against BC. They will waer down, sooner rather than most teams and once they are down, they cannot come back.

    Spaz is just in the way at this point. Cut him loose, appoint Barry Gallup the interim HC for the balance of the season (thanks for that tip Mosi) and start the search now by looking at the NFL coaching candidates. You can vette them now and if that route does not seem like a logical path then turn your attention to the college ranks once the season ends in November. The currentr staff will have a 2 month heads up to look for work elsewhere and the team can pull together for whatever pride is left for the last 6 games of the season. Make ND their bowl game and try to play for the seniors against Va Tech. This season cannot end fast enough. They need a recruiter who can put together a good 2 deep. This is a 4 year project. If it works, it will be a great stepping stone for a young agressive HC. We’ll see but as now constituted, the football team is a joke. Spaz, collect the last 2 years of your contract and join GDF, the biggest fraud in college athletics, in retirement.

    • Mark
      October 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      So let me get this straight. If you were coaching BC this week you would tell the team it has as much of a chance of winning five games as winning a 1M dollar scratch ticket. Like your motivation techniques.

      • CAG
        October 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

        I don’t like the scratch ticket motivation. I like the playing an NFL team every week motivation.

        • Mark
          October 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

          Ok. But seriously–if you can do that-how do you motivate this team right now?

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm

            It’s the responsibility of the person who gets paid handsomely to figure out how to best motivate the players he has discouraged time and time again, not me.

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm

            No. What a cop out. You know what is wrong. Tell me how to make things better

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

            That’s not a cop out. How do you make things better? Cut out the cancer. Spaz. Players will be motivated by change.

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

            And before you waste my time with CONTINUITY IS KEY, answer me this: how could firing spaz now make things WORSE?

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm

            Not the issue. Tell me how any coach–spaz. lombardi, you, motivate this team right now. You have all the answers what’s wrong and how they suck. But now you are in the locker room and you have to tell them something before they play maryland, what do you tell them–that they suck and they are a disgrace and they can’t beat the sisters of the poor

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

            Are you effing kidding me? Especially with your “access” to the program you are blind enough to not see how much the players hate Spaz? Spaz is absolutely the issue.

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm

            Have you heard some of Spaz’s “motivational” speeches? Because I have. They were so motivational that players last year had to tell him to stop giving them.

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

            Do you know how to answer a direct question. I said how would YOU motivate them.

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm

            Do you know how to answer a direction question. I said how could firing spaz now make things WORSE?

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

            You are a true jersey guy–a block head. I said let’s move on-spaz is gone. That’s not the issue. Now you have to motivate the team. How do you do it?

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

            It couldn’t.

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

            ANSWER THE QUESTION. I answered yours. I would fire spaz to motivate the team.

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

            And I would fire spaz now. Not later. That’s how I would motivate them. ANSWER MY QUESTION

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

            As Doug Funee said below, “The best way to motivation this team is to fire spaz and bring someone else in who actually can motivate them because spaz obviously can’t.”

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm

            Thank you. See, was that hard? Seems like we seem to be on the same page. That’s how you motivate the team.

          • Mark
            October 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm

            Probably always was. It was just a matter of timing.

          • CAG
            October 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm

            Also, for formatting sake, next time we have a little discussion could you please just sign in to EagleOutsider? It would make things a lot easier to read. Thanks.

      • Dennis
        October 21, 2012 at 2:13 am

        I am a realist. i deal in reality, not rah rah bullshit. This team will not win 5 of their last 6 games. They have tuned out their coach, what he says is of no relevance at this point.

        • Mark
          October 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

          Anything is possible. Clearly, not much is working.

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