In the grand scheme of things, it was just a blip on the screen, noticed by almost no one. But in terms of direction and promotion for a football program which needs both, it was a very positive move.
Boston College announced its 2013 football schedule on Monday. The Eagles will play Villanova in the opening game on Labor Day weekend.
No big deal right? Well, yes. But six weeks ago, the opening game was not Villanova, it was Stony Brook.
Again, this shouldn’t be a stop-the-presses moment. But it was for a couple of reasons.
First, of all Stony Brook was a bad fit for the Eagles from the minute it was scheduled a few years ago as a replacement for Hofstra, which had dropped football.
Playing Stony Brook was a lose-lose situation for BC, an FCS school, which meant BC was expected to win. But Stony Brook was also a program looking to build up its football profile. And it should be noted that a year ago Stony Brook beat an Army team which beat BC.
Playing football for BC on Labor Day weekend has always been an iffy situation for the Eagles, which has a very fragile fan base. Playing a team with no profile (locally) such as Stony Brook on Saturday in what will be new football coach Steve Addazio’s first game at The Heights was a stuff sell.
On a good weather, last weekend of the summer setting, drawing fans to the Heights to see Southern California would have been tough, much less Stony Brook.
BC athletic director Brad Bates and Addazio recognized that. Calls were made. The game with Stony Brook disappeared. Throwing Villanova into the equation is not a block buster move. But Villanova has name recognition for BC from the Big East days. The Wildcats have been a perennial FCS contender.
The Eagles will follow the Villanova game with a Friday night ACC opener against Wake Forest on Sept. 6th, which will give the Eagles an extra day to get ready for the trip to USC on Sept. 14th.
All good stuff.
Give Bates credit for this one. He took very little and made the most out of it. It is entirely possible, if not probable that BC can start the Addazio era with a 2-0 record.
The Eagles also could start with an 0-2 record, which could be 0-3 with a loss to USC, which will be followed by a bye week before a home game with FSU. The pessimists in the world could easily project that to a 0-for September beginning.
But enough of that gloom and doom stuff. Spring football is weeks away from starting and BC and its new coaching staff will be either working under the bubble (it has been repaired after another mid-winter collapse) or working out on Shea Field or some other spot.
Instead of 2-10, BC is 0-0, with competition and an attitude that better things will be happening. It is the way it should be.
And while there are no guarantees in anything, the small change in scheduling was a positive first step.
Bates has spent the past six months evaluating and tinkering with an athletic program which needed an overhaul.
He changed football coaches when he fired Frank Spaziani and he hired Addazio. He will do more things in the next few months.
Whether all of it or any of it works has yet to be determined. The football team will also be overhauled.
Changes on the roster and in the style of attack are coming. Again, there are no sure-fire answers, but it will be different.© Copyright 2013 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy