Northwestern vs. Boston College Preview Q&A with Major Onions

We Preview Saturday’s Boston College/Northwestern Game with B1G Blog, Major Onions

Always trying to expand our reach here at Atlantic Coast Convos, we made some new friends over at Major Onions, which focuses on Chicago sports, the Big Ten and the SEC. And given this weekend’s B1G/ACC battle between Northwestern and Boston College, I decided to have a Q&A with them on Saturday’s matchup. Editor-in-chief Keegan Goudie was great enough to answer some questions below (thanks, Keegan!), and be sure to head over there to see my thoughts on the game as well.

Which BC player most concerns you on Saturday?

Major Onions: Chase Rettig will obviously have all the pressure on him coming into the game. The big question will be whether that pressure remains during gameplay. Boston College has good size on the O-line, and the key will be making sure Rettig is comfortable in the pocket. The unit is led by left tackle Emmett Cleary (6-foot-7, 313 pounds), whom ironically I had the ‘pleasure’ of guarding my senior year football season (my back still isn’t the same). If Cleary and the rest of the Eagle’s O-line has a solid outing, Rettig will have plenty of time to tear up a weak Northwestern secondary.

After two games, it looks like Northwestern has a quarterback controversy on its hands. Any preference who comes out victorious?

MO: As Pat Fitzgerald said, “having two quarterbacks is a good problem to have”. From a program perspective, you have to call BS on a dual-QB system in the long-term. I think Pat Fitzgerald should be weary on making a harsh decision too early, but I think Trevor Siemian is making a statement for the starting job. His unforeseen ability to exceed in clutch and late moments of games is something you can’t teach. Those are what you look for in a program quarterback. His numbers aren’t overwhelming, but I don’t see why Fitzgerald doesn’t make him the BMOC at Northwestern.

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ACC Football Chat: Conference Realignment Rumors — Florida State, Clemson, Big 12, etc.

Is There Any Validity to the Big 12-ACC Expansion Rumors? And Who Do We Think the ACC Should Target Next?

In our weekly chats, Mike and I discuss different topics pertaining to ACC football and then post the conversation up here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.

This week’s topic: Everyone’s favorite — conference realignment!

John: So conference realignment — people are starting to mutter about Florida State and Clemson potentially leaving the ACC for the Big 12. I call bull. Your thoughts?

Mike: I agree. No matter what anyone says, conferences are still based heavily on geography. That’s why I’ve always said that Notre Dame belongs in the Big Ten. The SEC for Clemson and FSU could make sense.

J: Well speaking of geography, do schools really care about it anymore? I mean, Syracuse & Boston College are still a bit out of place in the ACC. And Boise State‘s in the Big East.

M: Same with West Virginia going to the Big 12.

J: Agreed. So are we now agreeing that money’s most important? And if so, how much of it would it take for FSU and Clemson to leave sure shots at a BCS game and regional rivalries for a tougher road and slightly more money in the Big 12?

M: I don’t know. Longer distances between games means more jet lag and tougher matches, which could result in more losses, etc. And less time to study (hahaha). The money would have to be pretty good.

J: Yeah. And I’m unsure if the amount of money a league focused on that states of Texas and Oklahoma would get by adding the state of Florida and South Carolina’s second-most popular teams would definitely make the TV deal THAT much larger than what the ACC will have with Boston, New York, Washington, Charlotte, Raleigh, Pittsburgh and Atlanta all under its umbrella. Continue reading

ACC Football Chat: About Arkansas Firing Bobby Petrino

Former Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino Messed Up. Is He the Only College Coach With Some Baggage, Though?

In our weekly chats, Mike and I discuss different topics pertaining to ACC football and then post the conversation up here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.

This week’s topic: The Bobby Petrino scandal and subsequent firing at Arkansas

John: First off, what do u think of Bobby Petrino’s decision to be fired, rather than dealing with penalties from Arkansas? Dumb move on his part?

Mike: He chose to be fired. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

I can see why the school wanted to take action. His conduct reflected poorly on the school. But the Razorbacks are a solid team, and choosing to be fired just makes him look like more of a quitter, especially after the way he left the Atlanta Falcons. And the team was good enough that they probably couldve survived a game or two without him

J: … And don’t forget how he left Louisville, too. So what impact does this have on Arkansas? Footnote, or differencemaker?

M: He’s not a bad coach. If he misses a few cupcake games, no big deal, but not coming back at all will cause them to underperform.

J: If Doug Marrone had done the same, what would ur stance be?

M: Probably the same. Screwing around on your wife isn’t illegal, and he shouldn’t lose his job for it, even if the girl was a subordinate (unless his contract specifically forbids it). However, he’s a public figure, and his conduct makes his employer look bad, so a suspension is warranted. I’d say the same about Marrone, or anyone, really. Continue reading

Women in Sports: Female Kicker at Virginia Tech? (And a Discussion on Women in College Football)

Will We See Women Like Lauren Luttrell On a FBS Team in the Near Future?

Last week, ESPN told the story of Lauren Luttrell, a Virginia Tech freshman looking to parlay her high school football success as a placekicker to an opportunity with the Hokies. While Luttrell’s journey ultimately ended short of making the team, she’s also not the first female to give it a go at the FBS level. Which got us thinking more about women in college football overall…

Today’s post features fellow Syracuse grad (full disclosure: and my girlfriend) Kendra Brogden, and her opinion on whether or not D-1 football is for everyone, if we’ll ever see a full-time female kicker in the FBS and more.

John: We’ll start off with the big question – should women be playing college football, specifically at the FBS level?

Kendra: In my opinion, if a woman can play a male-dominated sport at a competitive level, I see no reason why she should not be playing on these teams. That said, there should not be any special allowances or “handicaps” available for females that want to play the sport. If they can play a strong role on the team, they should be practicing with the team and playing on the field.

J: Do you think it’ll ever happen? And what are the factors preventing it (if any)?

K: Per the aforementioned ESPN article, there are currently more than 700 females playing football at the high school level. So what happens to these athletes once they graduate and attend colleges? I would be interested to know the statistics around how many of these high school athletes try out for their college teams – my thought would be that the percentage is low and probably the reason that it has not happened yet. Nonetheless, I predict that there will be a female player in the FBS in the next 10 years, most likely at the kicker position, in my opinion. Continue reading

ACC Football Chat: Can College Sports Get Attention In Pro Sports Cities?

Why Do College Teams Struggle To Gain Attention In Large Markets? (PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Borkowski)

Always looking to expand our content around here, we’ve started up a new weekly feature. Mike and I will be discussing different topics pertaining to ACC football and then posting up the conversation here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.

This week’s topic: Can college sports get attention in pro sports cities?

John: As we sort of discussed last week, i believe that college teams can succeed in pro sports towns, specifically citing Los Angeles and Miami. But I know you have a differing opinion…

Mike: Not necessarily. It really depends on the town. You go to a place like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago; pro sports are the attraction. I think it really depends on the culture of the town.

Go down south, even if there are pro teams in a city, if there’s a major college nearby, that college will receive a lot of press.

J: Well Chicago brings up an interesting point — what about the University of Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame?

M: As far as I know, Northwestern may be in the Big Ten, but it’s not a major player. The Illini and ND get press no doubt, but you know the Bear, Bulls, etc. are the main show.

J: Fair — but what about L.A., then? The Lakers and Dodgers are insititutions — huge attractions for the city. Yet, UCLA and USC reign.

Are we seeing a case of college teams that existed before pro teams taking precedent, but for older pro sports cities (like NY, Boston, Philly), the college teams struggle to really gain any share of voice with the sports media? Continue reading

ACC Football Chat: What’s Wrong With Boston College Athletics (Specifically Football)?

Who’s to Blame for the Decline of Boston College Sports?

Always looking to expand our content around here, we’ve started up a new weekly feature. Mike and I will be discussing different topics pertaining to ACC football and then posting up the conversation here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.

This week’s topic: What’s Wrong With Boston College Athletics?

John: Okay, opening it up — what’s the issue with the Boston College athletic department right now? (we’ll get to football later)

Mike: Gotta say, I’m excited about the hockey team right now.

John: And the rest of the department?

Mike: Football and basketball have definitely left something to be desired…

John: I’d agree, but I’m outside for the most part. Comparing the basketball and football teams now to four years ago, what’s wrong? Feel free to expand as much as needed.

Mike: As far as football goes, they’ve gone from a potential top-10 team to an ACC cellar-dweller. Basketball is a different story. BC’s never really been a basketball school, but they did have some solid seasons in the early 2000s. They got a new coach before last season (which was LONG overdue), so I can understand them having to adapt to a new system, but 9-22 is BAD.

John: Not at all up to Syracuse (basketball) standards, obviously. Given the state of things for both sports — now and historically — would you say the period from ’97-’08 was the fluke, or is this the fluke? Continue reading

ACC Football Chat: What’s the Conference’s Best Rivalry?

The Debate for the ACC's Best Rivalry Isn't All That Clear-Cut, As Our Bloggers Discover

Always looking to expand our content around here, we’re starting up a new weekly feature today. Going forward, Mike and I will be discussing different topics pertaining to ACC football and then posting up the conversation here. Disagree with us? By all means, share your thoughts below. Happy to continue to the debate.

This week’s topic: Determining the ACC’s Best Football Rivalry

John: So what’s the best rivalry in the ACC?

My top nominees are skewed toward the in-state grudge matches. So, I’d start with Virginia-Virginia Tech for the Commonwealth Cup (trophies are a bonus in my book) and Miami-Florida State, which was one of the biggest drivers for the first round of ACC expansion to begin with. FSU-Miami probably gets the early nod out of these two due to it usually meaning a lot more than the Commonwealth Cup ever has. Mike, your thoughts?

Mike: In-state grudge matches are always fun. Outside of the ACC, we have Michigan-Michigan State, Texas-Texas A&M and the like. The ACC is no different, and I agree with you that FSU-Miami is definitely the biggest, mainly due to the success of the two programs over a long period of time, as well as several bowl games to decide national championships played between the two.

Some of the smaller ones are interesting as well. Since Boston College has joined the conference, they’ve developed rivalries with Clemson, VPI and NC State — but that was a bit off-topic. Sorry.

On the topic of in-state rivalries though, I also think North Carolina-NC State is interesting. Considering you grew up a fan of UNC basketball, how does the UNC-Duke rivalry translate to football? Continue reading