It's been, what, 36 hours and change. The initial, self-fulfilling fury of Steve Addazio being revealed as Brad Bates' head coach selection has somewhat subsided. We've now met Addy, and we've seen his excitement come through the media train he's been sent out around.
Let's talk about three things.
Why BC Fans Were Pissed At the Announcement
BC Fans were pissed at the announcement because the leaks, sources, bloggers, media and rumors pointed to grandiose, sexy things like Bob Diaco and Al Golden. It's become clear that Golden really may be willing to stay with his Miami ship, and Diaco has been subject to other speculation. Whether you believe the rumor that Diaco tanked his interview (the current spin from the inside), didn't want the job and was using BC for more money at ND or that Bates had his mind made up and never gave him a chance, he's not our coach and no one else's, yet, either.
We had talked ourselves into it, that this was the big hire for BC. We were going to screw a rival. We were big time. And then we got the head coach at Temple, who was oft chided at by one of the biggest national bloggers (slash Gators fan) in all the land for his time at Florida. His two year record at Temple was far from overwhelming and, in a pile of dirt in the face, he had the BC assistants who had scurried from the S.S. Spazoo.
We sent Santa our wishlist, saw a present wrapped in Mom and Dad's closet, and then didn't get our Red Ryder BB gun. And we threw a tantrum without thinking about where we stood.
Reflection Has Made It Better
Most didn't like the Ryan Day baggage that Addazio brought with him - after all, it's a bit of a joke in the BC blogosphere, most of it out of love, aimed at ATL's premature report a few years ago. Other than that, the reaction has been turning. His press conference yesterday was solid, and when you get into the numbers of his time at Temple (and their odd scheduling through conference changes), everything is not surface. He is going to change a few things about BC's last 15 years of football:
- We are going to rely on more than BC to recruit - the system and Addazio himself will be factors that get kids in, and kids who may not have considered BC before. This won't all be about developing 2/3 stars and selling BC to "Guys who could be BC guys".
- The defense is going to be aggressive, not in deep back mode. As was pointed out on Deadspin, we had six sacks all year - when there were more than 500 times that teams recorded seven or more in a game. I'm not upset about this change at all.
Whatever happened with the MAC guys, Diaco or Golden, that's passed. People will dwell, because that's what message boards are for, but there seems to be at least a mindset now of, "You won the press. Great. Now go win some football games." Because that's what this is about.
We Would Have Shot Our Eye Out
This is the important part of where I've come to after that reflection. BC football is in a bad place. Like, really bad. Spaz's mismanagement on the field, dismissal of seniors who could offer leadership and pushing around of staff (respect his privacy) really put us down in a hole. Anything is better. No. Seriously. Anything.
If we got what we wanted, though, the reality of the situation may not have been immediately clear. There would be premature talk of what would happen and what we expected in the near future. It was already happening in the boards and community - Think of the guys Golden could bring with him from Miami! Diaco could be recruiting from the sidelines of the national championship! - and we would have lost sight of where we are right now.
The expectations for Addazio are in line with what is realistic and actually can happen. BC will get better under him, and probably noticeably against the record even next season - while we aren't sure how scheduling, the capsule or divisions will change next year, the addition of Syracuse in the place of what likely would have been UNC ain't too shabby. We wouldn't be out of place to think that a few pieces and coaching could get BC to .500 and a bowl. That's a positive direction from where we are. Keep that in mind.
I know that many have said that Bates is now tied to this hire in his legacy, but I will tell you, that would have been true no matter who he hired. If we get back to where we were in the beginning of the decade, that is success for now and probably the next few seasons. If Bates made the big hire who could only achieve the same thing? THEN I'd be pissed.
This is an arbitrage move that would make the Tampa Bay Rays proud.
If our results are going to initially be the same - I don't think even Belichik could take next year's talent to the National Championship - it isn't a good investment to buy the shiny thing at this price point right now. If it failed, we'd be saying he wasted our money on a long, expensive contract for results that were available cheaper.
We're being unfair to Bates now, but we would have been even more unfair to Golden or Diaco if they failed - and while they are sexy hires, they are still unproven. Golden is under .500. Diaco hasn't been a head coach. It very well could have backfired.
Football season is nine months away. We'll be watching quotes from Chase Rettig and tracking his whereabouts, and determine if and how he fits into Addy's schemes. We'll see if Ryan Day is a different Ryan Day than the one who was here under Spaz.
But the only thing we can do? Wait until the fall and see how he does on the field.