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

Far-Too-Early 2012 ACC Power Rankings (March 19)

Mike Glennon and NC State May Have the Right Pieces for a Surprise ACC Title Run

Spring practices are under way, and with that comes another installment of our early power rankings for the entirety of the ACC. Taken into account are the known variables — which will inherently change several times between now and kickoff weekend. This will be revised monthly throughout the offseason.

1. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 1): Running game be damned, FSU will still sport an explosive attack in 2012 behind quarterback E.J. Manuel. To boot, they’ve got nine starters returning from a defense that allowed just 15 points per game last season. With a manageable schedule, it’s tough to bet against the Seminoles as (at least) BCS contenders.

2. Clemson Tigers (LW: 2): If any team could get in Florida State’s way, however, it would be Atlantic Division foe the Clemson Tigers. Already explosive on offense, the Tigers brought in former Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables to fix the unit’s terrible fundamentals. Should he succeed, this team becomes one of the nation’s most frightening.

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 3): The 2012 edition of the Hokies may lean on their defense even more so than normal. With standout rusher David Wilson declaring for the draft, the offense becomes a one-man show guided by versatile quarterback Logan Thomas. He’ll need the defensive assist as they develop the weapons around him early in the year.

4. NC State Wolfpack (LW: 4): Hype is growing for Mike Glennon and the ‘Pack, and rightfully so. The team is up against a very manageable slate in 2012, and a slew of returning starters on both ends. If any receiver effectively replaces T.J. Graham, opposing defenses will be in for a rude awakening come fall. Continue reading

ACC 2012 Spring Practice Expectations: Boston College

Montel Harris's Health Is One Of Many Concerns For Boston College This Spring

As spring practices get under way, we’ll be previewing what needs to happen for the teams and players of the ACC, culminating with notes on all 14 spring games.

Today’s featured team: Boston College Eagles

For the Eagles, spring practice promises to be an intensive struggle to break old habits on offense, along with learning how to get along without defensive standout Luke Kuechly. For those unfamiliar, Boston College’s offensive attack was downright putrid last year. The team finished 100th overall in the FBS in passing yardage, averaging just 167.8 per game. They were 82nd in rushing yards, with 130.9 per game. And worst of all, the team finished 112th overall in scoring, at just 18.2 per game. Lucky for them, they’re experimenting with a new offensive coordinator for 2012, Doug Martin. Now, Martin was definitely instrumental in improving production in New Mexico State‘s passing game last season, with the Aggies finished 26th in the FBS in passing yards per game. But will he have the same effect on BC? And was his effect on New Mexico State really as great as the yardage figure advertises? While passing yardage went up, scoring was still poor (just 24.5 points per game) and the team only won four games. Now, the Eagles probably have better athletes than the Aggies, but they’re also facing better competition. Martin may be a great offensive coordinator, but he’ll have to prove himself against ACC competition to prove it. Continue reading

Far-Too-Early 2012 ACC Power Rankings (February 7)

Can Jimbo Fisher and Florida State Translate a National Signing Day Victory Into an ACC Title?

With National Signing Day behind us, we take our first look at how the ACC‘s teams appear to stack up heading into the 2012 season. Taken into account are returning starters, 2012 schedule and instant freshman contributors from the recent recruiting class. This will be revised monthly throughout the offseason.

1. Florida State Seminoles (2011 record: 9-4): For a team that appeared awfully talented in 2011, the ‘Noles look even more dangerous in 2012. Quarterback EJ Manuel is healthy and understands this squad has something to prove, while what’s arguably the nation’s top recruiting class may get some opportunities on both sides of the ball should they be needed. While defense was dominant last year, FSU’s offense may be just as noteworthy.

2. Clemson Tigers (2011 record: 10-4): Despite losing defensive end Andre Branch, the Tigers return their three biggest offensive weapons — Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Andre Ellington. That alone should put the Tigers in contention to finish right where they did in 2011; the ACC title game. It’ll be up to their defense, though, to pick up the slack if they want to get past FSU in the Atlantic division.

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (2011 record: 11-3): Continuing to fight off their elite-opponent demons, the Hokies may struggle against their improved conference-mates in 2012. However, with quarterback Logan Thomas back (and likely improved), it’s hard to see how this team can’t ride him and what should be another strong defense to at least nine wins on the year.

4. NC State Wolfpack (2011 record: 8-5): While questions may loom about the receiving corps and running game, senior QB Mike Glennon and an experienced offensive line should be enough to project big things for the ‘Pack. If the defense can generate the type of pressure they managed to late in 2011, look out.

5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2011 record: 8-5): Returning most of their starters, including quarterback Tevin Washington, the triple-option should be as good as ever for the Yellow Jackets offense in 2011. Of course they won’t be as flashy or exciting as some of the teams above them here, remember that this team can (and will) put a flurry of points on the board. Defense be damned. Continue reading

2011 ACC Season Recap: Boston College Eagles

Luke Kuechly Was One of Boston College's Only Bright Spots During the 2011 Season

Team: Boston College Eagles

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

Postseason: N/A

Top Offensive Performer: Chase Rettig, QB

Top Defensive Performer: Luke Kuechly, LB

Under head coach Frank Spaziani, the Eagles have fallen from conference title-contender to league also-ran rather swiftly. Going back to their Big East days, BC had made 12 straight bowl games, which counted among the best streaks in the country. Since 2009 though (Spaziani’s first year), there’s been a sinking feeling amongst Eagles fans to coincide with their decreasing offensive proficiency. And the 2011 season was no different. Boston College’s offense was among the worst in the nation, averaging less than 300 yards per game and only 18.2 points per contest (112th among FBS teams). Their leading rusher, Rolandon Finch, had just 705 yards, while lead receiver Colin Larmond caught just 34 passes for 528 yards. Top offensive performer Chase Rettig was similarly unimpressive in comparison to his ACC peers, ranking 10th in pass efficiency while throwing for just 1,954 yards and 12 touchdowns. Worst of all, the team only topped 20 points three times in 12 tries. Continue reading