Colorado State hired Steve Addazio not long after Boston College recently fired him. While the hire is logical for one of the Mountain West’s more consistent programs, the Rams could have done better.
I am a huge fan of Addazio and the energy he coaches with, but his body of work leaves much to be desired. In seven years at Boston College, he compiled a 44-44 record. Before that, he coached Temple to a 13-11 record in two years.
This track record shows a level of success at a school that many regarded as a laughingstock in Temple, and a Boston College, a program struggling in the ACC. Yet there seems to be a caveat to this.
At Boston College, Addazio’s teams had a lot of potential but never seemed to meet expectations. For instance, in 2013, with Heisman finalist and 2,000-yard rusher, Andre Williams in the backfield, Addazio managed to go…7-6 with a blowout loss in the Independence Bowl. This was Addazio’s first year, but this started a trend.
In 2015 he had arguably one of the best defenses of the decade, allowing 15.2 points per game, and holding a Notre Dame-team with playoff hopes to only 19 points at Fenway.
However, multiple quarterback injuries slowed the offense, and his Eagles went 3-9. His offense only scored 10 points per game against FBS competition. They had seriously bad luck with injuries, the 2015’s elite defense deserved more.
2018 might have pushed Addazio to the edge. It seemed early on that Boston College had figured everything out, with Anthony Brown finally giving the Eagles a respectable passing game to complement AJ Dillon.
They jumped out to a 3-0 start and a #23 ranking, only to lose to Purdue the next week in a game where they looked lifeless. They had another chance to right the ship, as they leaped to #17 in the polls after winning 4 of their next five to get to 7-2.
They controlled their own destiny in the ACC Atlantic division; instead, they lost three straight to end the year. While a loss to Clemson angered few, losses to Florida State and Syracuse did in a year that seemed to be one of destiny for the Eagles.
Defenders of Addazio might point to his short body of work at Temple, but with context it’s less impressive. He went 9-4 with a New Mexico Bowl victory in his first year – mostly due to a solid core of players from Al Golden’s tenure. The next year, the Owls regressed to 4-7 in a weakened Big East and Addazio bolted to Boston College.
Addazio is not a bad coach, not by a long shot. I am just not sure he is what Colorado State needs. Colorado State has the potential to compete with Boise State for conference titles. They showed this in 2014 when they went 10-3 and went to the Las Vegas Bowl.
They need a coach who can take them to this next level. Colorado State should be just fine, in the long run, consistently going to bowls and exceeding .500. However, a fan base that expects more from their program will grow restless if that becomes the expectation. Colorado State regressed mightily during the Mike Bobo era, but that should not have impeded them in their coaching search this off-season.