This week, the ACC announced it's All- Conference teams. Not surprisingly, Luke Kuechly was a unanimous selection for the All- ACC First Team Defense. The first of what is sure to be many more accolades as the college football season comes to a close. Luke certainly deserves this credit and after his snub as a finalist for the Bednarik Award, for the nation's top defensive player, it is good to see Luke get recognition for his outstanding play on the field.
It occurred to me then, that the All- ACC team could be a different light to view the shortcomings of Frank Spaziani's stint as head coach. Looking into the archives of the ACC's website, I discovered another trend that points to Spaz's inability as a head coach at this level: the number of Boston College players selected as All- ACC players.
2005- 7 Eagles named All- ACC selections, either first or second team or honorable mention
The high water mark for BC players as All- ACC selections was, not surprisingly, 2007, Jagodzinski's first year and the first year we made it to the ACC Championship with Matt Ryan. In 2008, there is not a huge drop off in All- ACC selections for BC. In Spaz's first year as head coach, the number of BC players included on the lists drops to 7, which still is not bad and is actually in line with what Tom O'Brien was able to produce in his two years as an ACC coach at BC. However, the sharp drop off begins in Spaz's second year as head coach, the year that I think many people began to realize that Spaz was not the person that was going to lead BC to the next level or produce championship winning teams. Just four BC players were All- ACC selections in 2010 including Luke, Montel Harris, and Anthony Castonzo.
Which brings us to this year, 2011, where just one lone BC player was named an All- ACC selection. Now many people could make the argument that if he had been healthy and had played, that Montel would have been a shoe-in for the All- ACC team. This of course is very true. In 2009, Montel was second team All- ACC and in 2010 was a unanimous first team selection. However, even if you include a healthy Montel in this year's All- ACC team, that is still only two BC players included on those lists, which is unacceptable when you consider that even Tom O'Brien was able to put seven players on All- ACC teams.
What this downward trend says to me is that BC football players are not being put into a position where they can successfully compete against our ACC competition. Even looking at the ACC teams we beat this season, NC State had seven All- ACC selections and Maryland and Miami each had two. Again, these are each teams that BC beat this season, and yet they are producing more All- ACC talent than BC. Furthermore, our players are not being developed to a point where they can succeed, they are not being put into a position to succeed by our coaching staff. Over the past six years, Boston College players have been mainstays on the All- ACC teams. Some of those players have been standouts such as Matt Ryan, Mathias Kiwanuka, Montel Harris, and Mark Herzlich. But those past ACC teams have also included names like Purvis, Chellenger, Beekman, Claiborne, Blackmon and Callendar, each excellent players in their own right, but also players who were coached into a position where they could stand out among all the football players in the ACC. Spaz has brought BC football to a position where just one player, who would be a standout on any team, is able to stand out among all ACC players. This is just another example to show that Coach Spaziani is not the future of BC football.