The team's 2-10 overall mark was the worst since 1978 and its 1-7 finish in the ACC placed the Eagles firmly in the Atlantic Division's cellar. Spaziani was uncerimoniously let go at the end of the season, setting the stage for former Temple head man Steve Addazio to take over the reins.
OFFENSE: New offensive coordinator Ryan Day returns to Chestnut Hill after serving as offensive coordinator for Addazio at Temple in 2012. He is familiar with the program, as he was wide receivers coach at BC from 2007-11.
Quarterback Chase Rettig passed for over 3,000 yards in 2012 as a junior and with plenty of returning talent at the skill positions, Boston College should be alright on the offensive side of the ball. The team returns its top four ball carriers, including tailbacks Andre Williams (599 yards) and Rolandan Finch (436 yards).
The team's top four receivers are also back in the fold, highlighted by All- ACC First-Team selection Alex Amidon. The 5-foot-11 senior wideout had a superior 2012, finishing with 78 receptions, for 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns. A much bigger target resides on the other side in the form of 6-4, 228-pound senior WR Jonathan Coleman (33 receptions, 499 yards, four TDs). The offensive line returns three starters from last year, led by junior guard Bobby Vardaro (6-5, 312), who was a Freshman All-American in 2011.
Rettig's leadership should be instrumental in what Addazio wants to accomplish in year one.
"He's been great. He's done a great job with it. He's really one of the guys, but yet he'll challenge them. And he's held himself accountable. I really believe it's not about Chase. I really believe that it's sincere with this guy that it's about the team. I think that our seniors really want to win for Boston College and want our team to have success as opposed to it has to be great for me, it's my senior year. I'm not saying - everyone has a little of that in them - I see it as a guy who's done a great job of wanting to have success for his team. So I'm really happy with that, and I like it."
DEFENSE: Despite outstanding individual performances in 2012, the Eagles struggled defensively, yielding over 200 yards per game both on the ground and through the air.
The team must find a way to replace tackling machine Nick Clancy (145 tackles) in the linebacking corps, but returning talent like senior LBs Steele Divitto (92 tackles) and Kevin Pierre-Louis (85 tackles) should be able to assuage the loss.
New defensive coordinator Don Brown brings an attacking defensive mindset to Chestnut Hill and that should help players like rush end Kasim Edebali (59 tackles) and cornerback Sean Sylvia ( 86 tackles) continue to develop. A key along the defensive line could be the healthy return of senior tackle Kaleb Ramsey (6-3, 290), who showed great promise in 2010 (39 tackles, 7.5 TFL), but has played sparingly the last two years due to injuries.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Placekicker Nate Freese didn't have a whole lot of opportunities in 2012, but he was a solid 18-of-20 in field goal tries, with a long of 45 yards. He was a perfect 24-of-24 in PATs and will provide Addazio with some level of comfort in pressure situations. Punter Gerald Levano has moved on, leaving the punting duties to sophomore Alex Howell, who played sparingly last year, as a holder on occasion.
OUTLOOK: Addazio will be given time to turn the program around, after back-to- back losing seasons. Just how long remains to be seen, as the football community in Chestnut Hill demands success. The non-conference slate is a mixed bag, with home dates against FCS foe Villanova and Army and road trips to USC and New Mexico State. The team has a chance to exceed last year's win total just in games played outside of the ACC. The conference slate is daunting to say the least. The team will play Wake Forest, Florida State, Virginia Tech and NC State at home, while traveling to Clemson, North Carolina, Maryland and Syracuse.
Boston College should have little trouble doubling its win total from 2012 and if the ball bounces their way every now and then, reaching the .500 mark isn't out of the realm of possibility. If the Eagles can accomplish that, Addazio will definitely breathe new life into a program that seems to be standing still.
"This is my dream job and I have spent my coaching life at a lot of great places," Addazio said in his introductory press conference last December. "I'm here for the long haul and I'm here to win championships. Win championships with class and honor, developing young men on and off the football field. I want to develop men that are going to leave BC one day to go make a difference in this world in a positive way."