ACC 2012 Season Preview: Boston College Eagles

If Boston College Hopes to Win in 2012, QB Chase Rettig and the Offense Will Have to Show Vast Improvement in a New System

Team: Boston College Eagles

2011 W-L: 4-8 (3-5)

Head Coach: Frank Spaziani (20-19; three seasons)

Returning Starters: 17 (10 Offense, 7 Defense)

After 13 years of successful football, rife with postseason berths, Boston College missed a bowl game in 2011. They posted a losing record for the first time since 1997, and experienced their fourth consecutive decline in overall wins from the year before. Of course, for any program, this usually means you’re in a free fall, and it’s time for the coach to be shown the door.

Yet up in Chestnut Hill, athletic director Gene DeFillippo decided that head coach Frank Spaziani and his mustache will get one more go-around to try and right the ship. Even with 17 starters returning this season though, can he do so successfully?

In 2011, the Eagles’ offense was absolutely abysmal. They finished 100th in the country in passing yards, 82nd in rushing yards and a ghastly 112th in scoring, with just 18.2 points put up per game. Quarterback Chase Rettig was largely unimpressive, the receivers were non-factors and the running game just never quite got going without the school’s career rushing leader Montel Harris (lost early in the season to injury). To fix this, Spaziani changed direction on offense, bringing in offensive mastermind Doug Martin. Continue reading

The ACC’s Tobacco Road Favoritism

Has Tobacco Road Favoritism Been Detrimental to the ACC? Clemson (and Florida State) Would Say Yes

Last September, the ACC’s addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh was met with a collective “meh” from the league’s football schools. But despite the seemingly lackluster performances of the conference’s new members, their joining was generally interpreted as a sign that the ACC was stable and strong. While the Big East and the Big 12 were facing threats to their very existence, the ACC’s place was secure. It was a conference that people wanted to join, not one threatened by exodus.

Less than a year later, a fresh round of rumors would have us believe that the conference’s collapse is imminent. The football-first schools are supposedly on their way to the Big 12, setting the scene for four power conferences which would line up nicely with the impending four-team playoff. The Big Ten and the SEC might pick up some of the detritus, leaving the league’s weaker schools to fend for themselves.

The culprit is Tobacco Road, or at least the idea of Tobacco Road. The Big 12’s loss of Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and especially Texas A&M was driven by resentment at Texas’ dominance of the league. In a similar way, some ACC schools, especially Clemson and Florida State, begrudge the conference’s domination by the four North Carolina schools, especially Duke and UNC.

It’s no secret that Tobacco Road’s influence in ACC decision-making is disproportionate to the Carolina schools’ numbers. The ACC is a basketball-first conference, after all, and with flagship programs like Duke and North Carolina, numbers three and four on the all-time wins list, it’s understandable that their voices would be louder. ACC football has been an afterthought for most of the conference’s history, apart from brief national runs by Maryland in the 1950s and Clemson in the 1980s, and Florida State’s roughshod run over all competition during the 1990s. 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