Two coaches and programs inextricably linked through personnel moves of the last five years are now coming full circle in the national media. ESPN’s Heather Dinich had this today
It’s a game of musical chairs in the ACC, and there are two new coaches trying to stay off the hot seat: NC State’s Tom O’Brien and Boston College coach Frank Spaziani, who are currently a combined 3-7 with no wins against FBS opponents and trail in the Atlantic Division standings.
O’Brien, in his fifth season at NC State, is 27-28 heading into Saturday’s game against Central Michigan, and during his overall career, he is 27-42 (34 percent) against ACC opponents. He only has winning records against three ACC schools: Duke, Virginia and North Carolina. He has had one bowl win in two postseason appearances at NC State. An unusually high number of injuries to key players has played a part in NC State’s troubles, but the recruiting hasn’t helped offset that with depth.
Spaziani is currently 17-15 in his third season with the Eagles. He inherited significant recruiting problems, especially at quarterback, and staff turnover has been a legitimate problem, as there have been three different head coaches in a span of five years. Spaziani is still looking for his first bowl win, but this year, just getting to the postseason seems to be an unreachable task.
Both coaches and programs have their excuses, but both also know this is a business and the bottom-line number is wins. So far for Spaziani and O’Brien — two coaches and friends who used to roam the sideline together at BC — it’s not adding up.
One of the most influential and respected independent bloggers in the ACC is ‘Eagle in Atlanta’. Saturday’s loss to Wake Forest was enough to send Eagle overboard and he has now officially had enough. Good for other school for not accepting losing to the Weak Florist as much as we seem to accept!! FWIW, Tom O’Brien is now 2-3 vs Wake while at NC State when compared to Frank Spaziani’s 2-1 record vs the Demon Deacons. You can see Eagle’s comments and by clicking here.
I’ve held off on calling for Spaz’s job for a variety of reasons. No longer. He needs to go. What’s the point in keeping him? What are we building towards? What is he bringing to the table? The excuse makers can say BC’s young or has a tough schedule or has had some bad luck with injuries, but none of that holds up to any scrutiny. We were beat by a young team with a sophomore QB from a private school that takes academics seriously. If Spaz is going 0-3 against Duke, Northwestern and Wake Forest at home, why are we even playing BCS-level football?
For the 19th time in his tenure, BC has failed to score 20 or more points. Are we still blaming his guy Gary Tranquill for that? Or how about Kevin Rogers, who he ran off?
….He wasn’t given the job in 2006 for a reason and shouldn’t have been given the job in 2009. Given his track record with football, I don’t trust Gene Defilippo to handle this well, so maybe it is time others in the BC community take control of this situation.
What is particularly interesting is the parallel between what is happening at Boston College in Spaz’s third season (this year) and what happened at NC State in Tom O’Brien’s third season (in 2009).
Eagle makes the comment “If Spaz is going 0-3 against Duke, Northwestern and Wake Forest at home, why are we even playing BCS-level football?”. And, I don’t disagree with Eagle at all. Worth noting is that during Tom O’Brien’s third year at the helm in Raleigh the Wolfpack similarly lost to Wake Forest, was embarrassed at home to Duke in a 21 point loss on Homecoming, and lost to Boston College by 32 points.
At that time in 2009 most NC State fans (including SFN) were still preaching patience and offering optimistic support for our coaches and our program because we were banking on the production and results that O’Brien and Spaziani created together during a decade of stewardship at Boston College. But, where we are in October of 2011, one can’t help but wonder if these two men are much better in tandem than being apart.
In light of the crap that the most patient fan base in the country takes from the media, I always find it very insightful for the public to see the way other fan bases deal with similar issues. Good luck to Boston College in their quest for a new coach…and, good luck attracting a top coach in light of the way they’ve treated their last three coaches relative to the results those coaches have delivered.