Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BC football’s second half: Hope or nope?

Over the previous weekend, the BC blogosphere got talking about what lies in store for the Eagles in their last six games. The schedule is undoubtedly not that difficult for a team worth a damn, but, as we know, BC has made very little come easily this season. I’ve gotta know, in each game, what are BC’s realistic chances and why?

Maryland, 10/23
The Terps haven’t won a road game since September 27th…and by that I mean 2008. They’re about as weak of a 4-2 team as I can see. BC seems to be finding itself defensively, which bodes poorly for Maryland’s offense. Maryland’s defense isn’t so bad, but Clemson beat the crap out of them after having only put up 213 yards of total offense. This game might prove that it’s possible to beat a team without having an offense. Realistic expectation: Leans BC

Clemson, 10/30
The Tigers, much like the Eagles, aren’t the team everyone thought they were going to be this year. Our defense played admirably against Clemson in Death Valley last year in what were certainly not ideal circumstances. Dabo Swinney, however, appears to have BC’s number – those were better Clemson (and BC) teams, however. This game is tough to judge. Realistic expectation: Toss-up

Wake Forest, 11/6
Wake Forest has made a habit of getting absolutely, completely, and unequivocally destroyed by opposing offenses. They’ve given up 30 or more four times, and 50 or more twice. The Deacs aren’t a good passing offense and will likely make Chase Rettig’s life easier. My concern here is that Wake usually plays BC tough. Dating back to 2003, each game in this series has been decided by 10 points or less.  There’s no telling how this one could go on the road, but the Eagles should have reasonable odds in this game. Realistic expectation: Toss-up, possible slight lean to BC

Duke, 11/13
Duke is horrible, no two ways around it. They’re the only team in the ACC that can say without any question that they’re worse than we are. The Blue Devils haven’t beaten an FBS opponent yet this season; even BC can say they’ve done that. Duke QB Sean Renfree gives away picks like there’s no freaking tomorrow. Of all of them, even Maryland (which is merely leaning in BC’s direction), this is one game that I’m fairly sure that BC will win, short of another cataclysmically horrible performance. Realistic expectation: Likely BC

Virginia, 11/20
Earlier in the season, it looked like the Wahoos didn’t have much, but dammit, they had their defense. Nope, now they don’t even have that. QB Marc Verica’s stat line reads like an homage to Dave Shinskie, chock full of mediocrity and a discernable lack of progress. Oh, and he’s also been sacked more times this season than in the last two combined. Senior Day shouldn’t be a bad one. Realistic expectation: Leans BC

Syracuse, 11/27
Too bad the guys on the team weren’t around to experience the biggest WTF loss in TOB’s illustrious career on the Heights when Syracuse gave BC an atomic wedgie in 2004, keeping us out of the Fiesta Bowl. That’d probably provide adequate motivation for the Eagles to win, but alas, not to be. Anyway, Syracuse looks OK, not great by any stretch; not an automatic loss or win. For me, this seems like a hard game to read. Realistic expectation: Toss-up

Overall conclusions: Boston College's schedule is very light. It is possible for BC to win at least three of the remaining games, provided the defense continues playing well from the Florida State game and the offense doesn't continue to regress. With Rettig playing, I don't think that's going to be much of a problem -- the only guy I worry about is the one in the booth upstairs calling the plays.

I think we have to have some measure of skepticism about what BC will do to close out the year, given how they practically sleepwalked through the first half. There is reason to believe, however, that there are more wins on the horizon for the Eagles, thanks largely to the schedule makers and a potentially rejuvenated defense. That last part is a huge key, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph: the BC defense has to be able to duplicate their FSU efforts more than once throughout the rest of the season for these expectations to hold up. One game doesn't make a trend, but it wasn't the first time BC's defense looked good this season. Nevertheless, given the Eagles' offensive problems, it's going to be largely on their shoulders to keep the team in the game. If they step, BC will probably be favored in most of their remaining games.

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