Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mt. Rushmore: Tom O'Brien

We continue our profile of Boston College sports greats to arrive at our BC athletics make-believe Mt. Rushmore...

NOTE: While reading the below, please refrain from throwing rotten vegetables at your computer screen. They may stain your monitor. We are simply providing an equal opportunity to explain the candidacy of great BC sports figures ... Let us proceed.

Name: Tom O'Brien
Born: October 1948
Sport: Football
BC Era: 1997-2006

Current Standings: Tom O'Brien is currently tied for 9th place with 8% of the vote. Only ahead of Art Donovan (3%), Mike Mottau (3%), and Al Skinner (6%). Tied with the Write-In vote, which is presumably the Brian Gionta-David Emma love child or something.

Why He's In
  • Boston College's all-time winningest football coach, compiling a 75-45 (.625) record over 10 sesaons on the Heights
  • Won 8 or more games for six consecutive seasons for the first time in BC football history, and won 7 or more games for eight consecutive seasons
  • Cleaned up the mess of the three years of the Dan Henning era (16-19-1 record over 3 years and a sports betting gambling scandal) and turned BC football into a very successful college football program in the 2000s
  • After his team got pasted by Colorado in the 1999 Insight.com Bowl, rattled off 6 straight wins in mid-level bowl games and compiled the nation's best active bowl winning streak (6 ... would go to 8 before this year's Music City Bowl) ... the biggest of those wins coming in the 2001 Music City Bowl against a ranked Georgia team
  • His 2002 team would go to South Bend and upset the then-undefeated, fourth ranked Irish 14-7
  • The 2004 squad went 4-2 in the Big East and won a share of the Big East championship (not withstanding the fact that it was a very, very lame four-way tie and we backed into said four-way tie)
  • His program won the American Football Coaches' Association's 2004 Academic Achievement Award graduating 100% of his players, as well as maintaining one of the nation's highest graduation rates throughout his 10 seasons as coach
  • 2005's team was the first since 1984 to be ranked in the top 25 in at least one of the two major polls from start to finish
  • 2005 Eagles led the ACC in total offense (387.8 ypg) and in rushing defense (90.8 ypg)
  • His candidacy is strengthened now that the program has been Jagodzinski'd?

Maybe Not?
  • Unceremoniously parted ways with the program in December 2006 before our bowl game against his alma mater and split for a divisional rival
  • Prone to the Tom O'Brien patented WTF loss, particularly when BCS bowl berths or a spot in a Conference Championship game were at stake ... Syracuse 2004, North Carolina 2005, NC State 2006, Miami 2006 ...
  • Check out the BC football media guides from 2006, 2005 and 2004 ... dude is never smiling! I mean, I'm sure he's a nice person and all, but was he ever having any fun?
  • Associated with Dana Bible offenses, a.k.a. let's see how many consecutive downs we can run the ball on the opponent's 1 yard line

Use the space below to either support the Disciplinarian's candidacy or ... (more like) tear it down.


Erik said...

Who cares if you recruit Matt Ryan, when you bury him on the depth chart behind a donkey that loved to fumble shot gun snaps, pick it up and scramble back 25 yards, try to throw it away but fumble it back further, and allow the defense to scoop it up and return for a TD.

Brian said...


mmb1980 said...

Just for the record, Jags was actually the OC when they ran Cloud up the middle 4 times in a row from the ND 1 yard line in 98. That said, Bible was still a terrible OC - and probably was guilty of that same crime one or twice.

TOB doesn't get my vote for Rushmore, but I don't have the same vitriol for him that others do. I'm disappointed about the manner in which he left (though in retrospect, perhaps it could have been worse), but I remain grateful for what he accomplished in his 10 years on the Heights. It was probably about time for BC and TOB to part ways anyhow - that relationship had pretty much run its course.

DougBushBC said...

If we looked at old TOBby up to maybe 2004 or so, maybe he would get a consideration, but the final disasterous years, the WTB Losses, the terrible sideline appearance (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1eOJ2UaSvo) such as staring at his feet while getting slaughtered, or picking grass half the game, and basically the fact that he let the program underachieve for the last few seasons has ruined most of our opinions of him.

No one vote for him!