Steve Addazio seemed destined to be the head coach of the Syracuse Orange football team.
Way back in 2008, No. 44 Rob Konrad put his support behind Addazio, a Connecticut native and former SU assistant coach, to be the next head coach of the program. The job eventually went to Doug Marrone. Steve's son Louie Addazio joined the football team as a walk-on in 2011 and Addazio ended up coaching the Temple Owls.
On December 4, 2012, Addazio took the Boston College Eagles job. On January 6, 2013, Marrone left to take the Buffalo Bills job and Scott Shafer was promoted to head coach soon after.
In the days leading up to the annual game between the Orange and Eagles, I wrote about how the two coaches and their careers would be intrinsically-linked because of the circumstances and rivalry. At the time, Boston College was doing well and Syracuse was...not. Here's what I said:
Scott Shafer faces an uphill climb in 2015, especially if Steve Addazio keeps things moving in the right direction in Boston. Because of the proximity, the rivalry and the what-could-have-been nature of their hirings, the two coaches will be linked until they're both gone from their current posts, one way or another. At that point we'll say Syracuse choose wisely or Syracuse choose poorly.
A year ago, we would have said wisely. In this moment, it's looking rather poorly. This time next year...who knows what the answer will be.
Well, a year later, Shafer is out of a job and Addazio is in the midst of his first losing season with BC.
Is the case closed and Syracuse chose poorly by comparison? Perhaps. Certainly it hasn't been a good year for Addazio either, but at least you can point to specific aspects of BC this season and still find hope for the future. There's a reason the Eagles are favored on the road despite being on a seven-game losing streak and seemingly unable to play offense.
I'm sure there are BC fans tearing their hair out over Addazio, but my guess is that none of them would swap him straight-up for Shafer, and perhaps that's the most damning proof you need.
Maybe there's an alternate universe out there where Doug Marrone left a year earlier, Addazio took over at Syracuse and kept Shafer on as his DC and the two rode off into the sunset with mid-tier bowl games left in their wake. Or maybe it would have been Addazio and not Shafer updating his resume right now. I guess we'll never know (until the Fringe team shows up).
Shafer will coach his final game in the Carrier Dome on Saturday and he will be doing so with Addazio standing across the field. Perhaps there's some kind of poetry in that or maybe I'm just reading way too much into this connection. Either way, Syracuse and Boston College will continue to play football every season. Added to the budding mythology of the rivalry will be the What-If surrounding Shader and Addazio, especially if Shafer can win that final game and muddy the waters just a little more.