Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BC basketball thru 11: A comparison

The Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team is sitting at 9-2, having won six in a row following their loss to Wisconsin in Orlando.  The Eagles are getting votes in the AP poll and some “bracketologists” have slotted BC into the newly-expanded field of 68 at this early juncture.  But we’re at just that, an early juncture.  I decided to look at previous years and figure out where we are now compared to then, and how those seasons turned out.

Boston College Through 11 Games
Best win(s) in 11 games
Texas A&M & Maryland
Michigan & Miami
22-12, NCAA 1st
Maryland & Michigan State
21-12, NCAA 2nd
Oklahoma State
28-8, NCAA S16
25-5, NCAA 2nd

As you can see, there are recent years where the Eagles didn’t start as strongly as this year but finished that way, while other seasons saw a strong start and a bad finish (2007-2008 stands out, where the Eagles blasted through their OOC schedule only to lose a total of thirteen conference games). 

This is mostly the same personnel as last season, however, so let’s take this season and last side by side.  Boston College’s two best wins so far this year are the #25 team in the country on a neutral court and a team on the road which beat the crap out of them in Boston last season.  In 2009-2010, BC’s best wins to this point were an overrated Michigan team on the road and the last-place Miami Hurricanes.  While we don’t know how this season will end, I am reasonably assured in saying that there’s reason for optimism that this year can be different.  Despite the fact that the Eagles already have their annual Ivy League loss, their resume to this point looks a lot better than it had last season through this stage.  With the #15 strength of schedule (as of Monday evening – dropped 11 spots from Sunday after playing Bryant), the Eagles have faced mainly competitive opponents and have done well against them for the most part.

Last year, it was becoming clear fairly early that the season was going to be a rollercoaster ride, but it was not until the 14th game of the year that we would learn what a disaster it would be.  Through 11 games, BC is doing well in 2010-2011, but there are many potential pitfalls ahead.  On the flip side, there are many potential triumphs.  Everything we’ve seen so far indicates that these Eagles will be better than last year’s, and that they just might be able to rack up some real accomplishments if the wheels don’t fall off like in 2008.

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