(An outsiders musings from Boston College, aka The Heights)
The call came from another Jersey Guy on Friday night, with a simple, one-word question: Hartford?
Sadly, I knew the answer, without further explanation.
Boston College, of the Atlantic Coast Conference, had stumbled again at Conte Forum on Friday night, dropping a 65-63 decision to Hartford, of the America East Conference in men’s basketball.
That would be 3-8 Hartford, a team so bad that one opposing coach, when talking about BC’s upcoming game with the Hawks said, “If they (BC) lose(s) to Hartford, (BC Coach) Jim Christian should resign.”
Well, BC lost, Christian is still the coach and the mystery at BC continues.
The issue is: not that they aren’t any good, but what is a program, which is losing as much support as it has games over the past few years, going to do about it?
The immediate answer is nothing.
It is December and unless there is a major scandal or you feel you have a program that can compete for something with the right leadership, it makes no sense to change coaches in mid (or early) season, although there was some early chatter that former BC player Howard Eisley (now an assistant coach with the New York Knicks) could emerge as a possible replacement.
Neither case applies to BC.
But just as clearly, there seems little reason to believe the Eagles will win any time soon (meaning the rest of this season). The Eagles will enter the ACC portion of their season in a few weeks carrying with them an 0-18 conference losing streak dating back to the spring of 2015.
For that accomplishment, Christian, now in his third season at BC, was rewarded with a one year contract EXTENSION by BC athletic director Brad Bates.
The Eagles began this season with a stunning loss to Nicholls State, a Southland Conference bottom feeder. They entered Friday’s game against Hartford with a 4-4 record, but had no real quality wins. Now they have finished a week in which an ACC team lost a game to a team from the Ivy (Harvard) and America East.
Which begs another question: When, against whom, will the Eagles get their next victory?
On Monday, the Eagles travel to Madison Square Garden to face Auburn of the SEC, which looks like another loss since the Tigers are already in first place in the SEC East. After that, BC jumps into the Metro Atlantic (Fairfield) and Northeast (Sacred Heart). Both of those game can now only be called “toss ups”. A final pre-Christmas game against old Big East rival Providence looks like another loss before the ACC season starts with a home game against Syracuse and road games at Wake Forest and Duke.
See any wins coming, based on what we’ve seen thus far?
The bottom line for BC right now looks like a total of six wins for the season and another 0-18 ACC record. Add to that the dwindling attendance which is barely going above the 2,000 total in announced crowds and is probably half of that in actual people in the stands.
If there is a silver lining in this, it is that the basketball team’s problems are making the football team’s 6-6 record look down right promising, especially if the Eagles can get past Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl. A bowl match up between two of the worst bowl eligible teams in the ACC and Big Ten.
For the glass is half filled folks at BC, there could be some cause for hope if there was a master plan evident on how to fix things.
There is not. At least none that anyone has seen. Bates’ status as the athletic director remains in limbo as he moves into the final year of a five year contract in which there hasn’t been a murmur of talk about extending.
Football coach Steve Addazio and the football team ended a year long winless streak in the ACC with two wins this season, but still have posted a 2-14 conference record in the past two years. Addazio still has four years remaining at $2.6 million, courtesy of an extension awarded him after posting 7-6 records in his first two seasons at The Heights.
The Eagles did not beat a team with a winning record this season.
Factor in the overwhelming sense of apathy which exists surrounding the revenue producing programs and you have the worst of all situations: bad programs where nobody cares.
Tis the season to be jolly?
Not at The Heights.