Should Boston College Be Content With Consistent Seven Win Seasons?
It has become a running joke amongst Boston College fans, Steve Addazio and his seven win plateau. In his seven years on the Heights, Addazio has won seven games exactly 5 times and failed to reach it once in the disastrous 2015 campaign and possibly again this year. Earlier today, in response to SBNation's BC Interruption post calling for Addazio's firing, ACC/ESPN personalities Eric MacLain and Anish Shroff both jumped on Twitter to defend Addazio and more astonishingly claim that BC fans should be thrilled to have a consistent seven win program.
Is seven wins a season necessarily a bad thing? No, it's an above .500 winning percentage, and gets a program to bowl season which is huge for player development and recruiting. But there are a few factors to consider when assessing this standard. First are the opponents that Addazio's teams have beaten while at Boston College. During his time at the Heights, his record has been 21-34 in the ACC, a 38% winning percentage in conference. And the number shoots down 24-42 against Power 5 opponents a 36% winning percentage. He has beat one Top 25 team in his career at BC. If you are only managing to beat MAC, FCS and struggling ACC programs, while getting blown out by better programs, well those seven wins kind of ring hollow for those who follow the program.
It's not just seven wins that fans find frustrating it's the blown opportunities to make that leap. The past two seasons have been a historically down year for the ACC, as it has been Clemson at the top and just about everyone else hovering in the middle and bottom. BC should have been able to distinguish themselves and jumped to 8 or 9 wins, like Syracuse did last year, but they have not been able to do that. And that is rightfully frustrating.
Addazio should get credit for building culture and a program filled with players that have bought in and want to be here. He has been able to pull some diamonds out of the rough and build them up to star talent. Last year Boston College sent multiple players on both the offense and defense to the NFL, they had talent everywhere and how many wins did that team get? 7.
Reading the tweets from today, it is unclear if Arnish or Eric recall that pre-Frank Spaziani the Eagles had a series of coaches that could win more than seven games consistently. Jeff Jadodzinski, Tom O'Brien, Tom Coughlin, and Jack Bicknell all had 8-9-10 win seasons during their time in Chestnut Hill. BC has had a history of winning, even if the college landscape has changed I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that they could get back to that level. And they have beaten historically good teams under almost every coach look at Texas (1976), Alabama (1983), Miami (1984), Notre Dame (1993) and Virginia Tech (2007).
This post is not meant to be a referendum on Steve Addazio or his time at Boston College, that is for another time and place. It is simply to dispute the ESPN personalities who claim that seven wins should be a reason for celebration for the Boston College faithful. Over the past six seasons, the Eagles have plateaued at seven wins and have had plenty of opportunities to make that next step but have failed to do so for one reason or another. There is a feeling of stagnation as the team seemingly takes one step forward in one area, and back in another which has led to a feeling of malaise and frustration amongst donors and fans.
Boston College has historically had programs in the Top 25, and should strive to get back to that level, and nothing less than that should be acceptable for the coaching staff, administration, players and fans. The Eagles may not be a program that ever gets to the College Football Playoff, but they should be able to grow and have better years than 7-5. and Boston College fans have ever right to demand this.