We should have known better. From the moment Frank Spaziani sat down and asked reporters not to throw tough questions at him on media day, we should have known. The calendar may have turned, but this year's version of the Boston College Eagles is no different than the last. They just aren't very good.
I'll be honest, I drank some of the Kool-Aid. The goal was to win every game, that's what the players told us at the start of the season. Sounded good to me. While I didn't think Boston College would be contending for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, I expected them to be better than this. Much better.
I pegged this team at 7-5, and I thought that was realistic. Boy, was I wrong.
Needless to say, Boston College isn't on pace for seven wins. They'd have to go 6-1 the rest of the way to make that happen, and they still have Florida State and Notre Dame left on the schedule. It's safe to say that probably won't happen.
The Eagles are 1-4 (0-2 ACC) and hit what former SB Nation Boston contributor Dave Shook succinctly put as "rock bottom" this weekend. Boston College lost to Army -- a team that was 0-4 coming in and lost to Stony Brook, an FCS program, by twenty points two weeks ago. It really doesn't get any worse.
So, to summarize. The Eagles have one win and are dead last in the ACC, they're 5-12 since the start of last season, and are close to securing their second straight season of bowl ineligibility after qualifying for one 12 straight years before that. You don't need to be a scholar to know that the status quo is not working.
What do you do when something isn't working out? You make some changes.
Obviously, one change isn't going to right the ship, but you have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is up top. The school is already looking for a new Director of Athletics, but there's one big change they still need to make.
There's no way around it: Boston College must fire head coach Frank Spaziani.
Spaziani just isn't the right man for the job. Under Spaziani, the Eagles are 21-23 in parts of five seasons. Sure, he had some excuses in the first couple years. There was staff turnover, and the injuries piled up. But this year, the excuse well has dried up. Yes, there have been injuries, but Spaziani has had ample time to recruit and find talented players who can win football games, and he hasn't.
Even watching his demeanor makes you question his ability and impact. For years, the play calling has been suspect. Just watch him on the sideline, too. He's not in the offensive huddle during timeouts. He's not in the defense huddle. He just roams the sideline. What are they paying him for then? Babysitting?
The players deserve blame, too. After all, they're the ones who have to execute the plays, and clearly they haven't been, more so the defense than the offense. You can't fire players, though, and it is the coaches who make the game plan with the stamp of approval from Spaziani. It all comes back to Coach Spaz.
To be clear, firing Spaziani isn't going to right the ship this season. It's one step in a long process of turning the direction of the program around. You still have to devote energy into finding a coach who is the right fit, determining what kind of team you want to be and what players you need, and developing them.
Canning Spaz doesn't solve all the problems, but it kickstarts the timely process.
The longer Boston College waits, the deeper the hole gets. Ticket sales and interest (but most important to the school, ticket sales) are already waning, and it's pretty clear that Spaz doesn't have what it takes to change that. The more losses they pile up with Spaz in control, the harder it is to sell the product.
Yes, the school could hang onto Spaziani for the rest of the year, and that seemed like more of a realistic option at the beginning of the season. However, you tend to burn that bridge when your team allows more than 500 rushing yards to an Army team that had no business beating any team from the ACC.
Boston College just isn't better off with Spaziani, and that should be what prompts change. The longer they wait, the tougher it will be. It's time to end it.