Tuesday, January 06, 2009


As the titanic programs of college football duke it out in the BCS, Boston College, who lost to Vanderbilt and will finish the season unranked, made some headlines. Apparently, BC threatened to fire head coach Jeff Jagodzinski if he took an interview with the Jets for their recently vacant head coaching job.

At first, I was appalled. Head coaches, particularly at the college level, often take interviews for jobs. And this would be no insult to BC. The Jets are an NFL team. That's a step up from any college program. So why threaten a coach like this?

Then I thought more and more about it. Boston College internally recognizes that it's a second-tier football program. Competetive, occasionally making a cameo in the AP Poll, perpetually bowl eligible, but never in the same club as elite programs like Texas, USC, Ohio State, or Virginia Tech, and so on. BC knows this, and they want to change it. They want to be in the BCS every year, win conference titles, even compete for the national championship.

In order to do this, one of the things they need is coaching stability. They need a guy to stay at BC long enough to generate multiple generations of recruits. They want a coach to stay for 8, 10, 15 years; long enough to be thought of simultaneously when one thinks of BC football. The way Joe Paterno = Penn State, Bob Stoops = Oklahoma, Mack Brown = Texas.

If Jagodzinski interviews with the Jets, then he's not this guy. Whether or not he gets the job, if he takes the interview, it's clear he doesn't want to stay at BC. I can't blame him, the NFL is the NFL. But if he's just coaching at BC in order to secure his next job, then BC should move on and go in another direction.

The problem is, not many great coaches would consider BC to be their ultimate career ambition. Perhaps BC's next head coach should be a long-time assistant, or someone from Boston, or perhaps a BC alum. In other words, someone who's happy to be on Chestnut Hill for a long time.

Another interesting little twist. BC Athletic Director Gene DiFilippo (GDF) had been asked by the media if Jags was interviewing for the Jets job. This was over the weekend. GDF denied it. Jags also apparently denied it, assuring GDF that the rumors weren't true. Then it became clear that there was a meeting scheduled between Jags and the Jets. In other words, Jagodzinski lied to the BC Athletic Department. Why? There was an understanding that he wouldn't seek an NFL job for the first 3 years of his deal with BC.

If he lied to his AD, then that's pretty good reason to fire him. If BC wants a coach who will stay for a long time, it's not Jagodzinski, and maybe they should both move on. If so, BC should also lower its standards because very few top coaches want to finish their careers on Chestnut Hill.



The C's were NBA Champions in 07-08, and currently have the best record in the NBA. Last year Pierce, Garnett, and Allen tied for this Award. This year the nominees are:

Rajon Rondo - PG
Paul Pierce - SF
Ray Allen - SG
Kevin Garnett - PF

Tough decision here...

The winner is...

K-G, Kevin Garnett!

Paul Pierce came an extremely close second place in this one, and it was nearly another split decision. However, KG's rebounding and his consistent performances in the playoffs put him half a nose ahead of Pierce.

In the 1 and 1/2 years since Garnett came to the Celtics, they've won 111 games (counting the postseason). It took the C's nearly 4 years to do that pre-KG. In Celtic green he's averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds per game. He's also the spearhead of the most formidable defense in the NBA.

KG's tenure with the Celtics probably won't be very long as he's already 32. However, he'll probably go down in history as a Celtic, and the number 5 just might make a trip up to The Rafters.


Last year there were 9 nominations for this Award. The Pats were undefeated, sent half the team to the Pro Bowl, and set all sorts of team and individual records.

This year, things aren't as glamorous. It's safe to say that the Pats are no longer the NFL's center of attention as they were 365 days ago.

Nevertheless, all things considered, it was a decent season. The Patriots lost last year's MVP in week 1, lost most of their defensive secondary to injury, lost playmakers like Adalius Thomas, Laurence Maroney never got started, the defensive line came in and out with injuries, and so on.

This year the nominees for Patriots Player of the Year are:

Wes Welker - WR
Matt Cassel - QB
Jerod Mayo - LB
Vince Wilfork - DT
Kevin Faulk - RB

The winner is...

Wes Welker!

This is the 2nd time Welker has won this Award.

Welker set an NFL record with 6+ receptions in the first 10 games of the season. When Brady went down, Welker's skills underneath and his slick moves with the ball turned him into Matt Cassel's best friend.

Last year the offense was geared on Brady to Moss over the top. This year, especially early on, the offense was all about chewing up yardage with Welker.

Welker's 112 receptions in 2007 represented 27.8% of the completions thrown by Patriot QBs. His 111 catches in '08 represent 32.7% of completions. In other words, he became a more important part of the offense. Without him, the maturation of Matt Cassel would have been slowed significantly, or stopped altogether.

The Pats didn't make the playoffs, and that sucks. But Wes Welker has caught 223 balls in 2 seasons, and that's amazing. That's why he's the Patriots Player of the Year... again.


This Award goes to a player or team that nobody expected to do well. It goes to someone that people had hardly heard of, but who has since become a hero. In 2001, Tom Brady would have won this Award. Hideki Okajima in 2007 is the perfect example of what this Award is all about.

The nominees:

The Boston Bruins
Rajon Rondo - PG, Boston Celtics
Milan Lucic - LW, Boston Bruins
Justin Masterson - SP/RP, Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester - SP, Boston Red Sox
Matt Cassel - QB, New England Patriots

The winner is...

Matt Cassel!


If you didn't know Cassel was going to win an Award named after a former backup QB who became a star after the #1 QB went down with an injury, you're not very bright.

And as a matter of face, Cassel's 2008 stats are eerily similar to Brady's numbers in 2001. Here's a comparison:

Brady '01:63.96.9181286.5
Cassel '08:63.47.2211189.4

Of course, Brady didn't have Welker and Moss in 2001. Then again, Cassel ran for 270 yards in '08, getting 23 first downs with his feet. Brady rushed for 43 yards in '01, and 7 first downs. Brady's punting average is also 57 yards shorter than Cassel's.

After preseason, Cassel's mere presence on the roster was questioned by many. Now Patriot fans are scratching their hands in an effort to keep him around in 2009. That's the epitome of this Award.