Friday, November 14, 2008

Irish Revisited, Seminoles and the Big Finish

Jeff: After Tomahawk Nation asked us a few questions yesterday, BCMike commented that you and I are in the 40% minority of BC fans that do not think that the Notre Dame game is that big of a deal. He and the other 60% of BC fans apparently think that ND is still the most important game of the year every year. Do we need to clarify our stance? Tell BCMike that he is right on although his percentages might be slightly off? Or do we need to remind him and other BC fans that Notre Dame is 1-15 in their last 16 games against teams with a winning record?


Brian: Commenter fight!! Look, first props to BCMike for sticking up for us over at Tomahawk Nation. Maybe we are in the minority, but the Notre Dame game doesn't mean much to me. It's a nice out of conference game and a cool rivalry between the two Catholic schools that play D-I football, but that's it for me. We have bigger games every year - eight to be precise. Case in point: while it was nice to beat up on the Irish last year en route to their 3-9 season, I would trade that win in a heartbeat for a win against Maryland or Florida State last year. Yes, we still would have won the Atlantic and lost to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game ... and 6-2 in conference play vs. 7-1 may seem inconsequential, but it's not. If the Eagles finish 7-1 last year in regular season ACC play, they go to a better bowl. After the Hokies get the Orange Bowl, the Chick-Fil-A bowl would have had to choose between the Eagles and the Cavaliers (and probably take the Matt Ryan-led Eagles over the pinot grigio drinking Wahoos). We win the Chick-Fil-A bowl, pack the Georgia Dome, and improve our travel reputation with the other ACC bowls, etc. Beating the Irish is nice, but isn't in line with the stated goal of this team every year ... winning an ACC championship and the Orange Bowl.

Jeff: There are two factors working here that make the Notre Dame game less significant that it was back in the Big East days. First back in the Big East days, we had NO chance in recent memory of winning the conference until the one lame duck year in 2004 after Miami and Virginia Tech left. Now, BC has a very legitimate chance of going to the ACC Championship Game each year and with the ACCCG comes the chance of playing in a BCS bowl. That is big time. No matter how enjoyable a Notre Dame beatdown can be, it does not compare with a trip to a BCS bowl. Secondly, Notre Dame was terrible last year. If they continue to improve, the game in 2010 will be a much bigger deal than it was this year, but if they continue with their seasons of being unranked, it is hard to get too too excited about Notre Dame.

Having said that, I do not agree completely with you, Brian. I would not take a win over Maryland any year over a win over Notre Dame. Notre Dame is a football rival with us, while Maryland is not. Notre Dame is another private Catholic school with similar academic standards to BC so it creates a great rivalry because many BC students also apply to Notre Dame and vice versa. I don't think too many BC students spent their senior years of high school deciding between BC and Maryland. In my opinion the ND-BC rivalry is not dying, but is falling slightly, and only slightly, from BC's perspective because of the move to the ACC and Notre Dame's lack of recent success.

Brian: Stop right there. You misunderstood my point. It's not that I want to beat Maryland instead of Notre Dame every year. Replace Maryland with any other ACC team name if it betters our chances of going to a more significant bowl game each year. We aren't going to play in better bowls if we leave room for these bowl selection committees to pick teams other than BC. So the more games we can win in conference, the fewer teams can be considered for the same ACC bowls.

Also, in the Big East, BC was competing directly with Notre Dame for bowl selections as Notre Dame could take up a slot in one of the Big East bowls. Now we don't have to worry about Notre Dame when it comes to ACC bowl selection. Since BC is a member of a conference and Notre Dame isn't, I would argue the BC game is more important to the Irish's season than it is to the Eagles. Reason is because Notre Dame's path to a BCS bowl hinges on all 12 of their games ... for the Eagles, we can get to the BCS by taking care of business in conference.

On to the big ACC Atlantic showdown this weekend. Jeff, based on all the back and forth in blogfrica yesterday, do you think the Seminoles are looking past the Eagles?

Jeff: I am not going to say yes, but I will say it wouldn't surprise me. Give me three keys to winning the game.

Brian:

  1. Establish the run. We got away from the run in the second half of the Carolina game and it burned us (in the form of 3 INTs and 21 points). If Logan sticks to the run, the Seminole defense won't be able to drop 7-8 in coverage and pick apart Crane. (Where have the trick plays, end arounds and options been??)
  2. Convert on third downs. BC has been terrible of late on converting on third down opportunities. 3 of 14 against the Irish ... 3 of 18 against the Tigers ...
  3. Game manager Crane shows up and he limits the mistakes. Also, if drives in the red zone stall and we are in field goal range, we need to be able to put points on the board. Doesn't matter if that is converting on 4th down or putting faith in our shaky kicking game. Stalled out drives in the red zone with 0 points will make this game ugly real fast.

What is the biggest mismatch you see between the Eagles and Seminoles tomorrow?

Jeff: Placekicking, without a doubt. Gano is a very, very good kicker for Florida State. Do we even know yet who is going to get the nod for the Eagles?

Brian: No, I don't know who is handling field goals for the Eagles.

[UPDATED] As a result of the on-campus brawl on Wednesday night, Florida State has suspended 5 players for the game tomorrow. Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed, Corey Surrency, Cameron Wade and Richard Goodman will all be suspended for the Boston College game.


Big Finish

Brian: The popular sports website The Big Lead is going with the Eagles ... while your girl, HD, is not. You surprised?

Jeff: HD has been wrong about us more than she has been right. In fact, I'd guess her record for BC games is 3-6. I feel better that she picked against us this week.


Jeff: BC men's hockey tries to rebound from last weekend's sweep when they play tonight at Merrimack. Who ya got?

Brian: Bradford continues his hot streak and lights the lamp and the Eagles rebound against Merrimack 3-1.


Brian: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (a.k.a. Charlotte 49ers) has voted to begin a college football team by 2013. How many years until they join the Big East?

Jeff: 2-4 years. Put them on the UConn plan.

Brian: ... or the South Florida plan.


Brian: The director of the ACC-affiliated Music City Bowl thinks there are too many postseason games. Jeff, your stance?

Jeff: Right now, yes, there are too many bowls. If you are at the point where you might not have enough eligible teams, that is a HUGE problem. But come 2013, at least UNC-Charlotte is one more potential bowl team!


Jeff: Last one, give me two predictions. First, the women's soccer game against Central Connecticut State this afternoon at the Newton Campus in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Second, the big game tomorrow night - Boston College at Florida State.

Brian: First, what are the chances the women's soccer team plays Central Connecticut the same day the men's basketball team tips off against Central Connecticut? I literally know next to nothing about this year's women's soccer team, but I do see that they beat CCSU earlier this year at home 1-0. I will go by that very same score and say the Lady Eagles advance to the next round of the NCAAs.

As for this weekend's football game, back in August I initially predicted a low scoring affair while you thought the it would be quite the opposite. I'm staying with my relatively low-scoring prediction. Eagles get it done on the offensive side of the ball and the Eagles find creative ways to get into the end zone. Eagles 21, Seminoles 19. Yes, that is a touchdown and 4 field goals.


Picks

Brian: Three weeks left ... three games back. I need 3 wins in 3 weeks to force a Pick 5 one-game playoff with Jeff! Sound familiar?

  • Notre Dame at Navy +4
  • Wake Forest at NC State +4
  • California at Oregon State -3.5
  • Indiana at Penn State -35.5
  • Cincinnati -4 at Louisville

Jeff: Oregon State? I think you are hoping they'll win and keep USC out of the Rose Bowl. Jumping on the Penn State bandwagon!

Brian: You bet I'm hoping for Oregon State to go to the Rose Bowl.

Because the Rose Bowl, Pac 10 and Big Ten deserve to take one on the chin every now and again for standing on ceremony and annually squashing any talk of a college football playoff. I'm sure the Rose Bowl will love another 45-14 Penn State beat down of the Beavers. The rooting interest is always chaos.

Jeff: My picks are all road teams this week.

  • North Carolina -3 at Maryland
  • Connecticut -10 at Syracuse
  • Washington State +36.5 at Arizona State
  • Nebraska -6 at Kansas State
  • Boston College +6.5 at Florida State
Jeff: Brian gets to pick his games first since he is trailing so he clearly did not pick the Eagles +6.5 despite predicting an Eagles victory today. On Wednesday though, he gave BC less than a 50% chance of winning the game. Brian is just not quite sure what will happen Saturday night.

Brian: Why do we play the game, Jeff? We play to WIN THE GAME. While I am predicting an Eagles victory today, I am more confident in my five games than I am the Eagles.

Good luck to all the Eagles teams in action this weekend. Get to a game watch to enjoy the Saturday night football game between BC and FSU with your fellow Eagles fan. I will most likely be crossing the Hudson River this time around and watching at the New Jersey game watch. Stop by and say hello. Go Eagles!

22 comments:

BCMike said...

First, thank you for making ND "Timmay". That might have made my day.

Now on to the discussion. Of course we want to win every game we play, they're all important, yada yada yada.

However, assuming that the ACC divisional race isn't decided by an either/or with a loss at the hands of a conference opponent (and instead we win vs. ND), I obviously would rather BC win the ACC division and get a chance to play in the conference championship. That's obviously a no-brainer.

However, if you can tell me that there's one team on our schedule that we can beat in any given year and it would hold no direct impact on our final conference/divisional standings, I take ICCC every time. I'd rather beat the Fake Irish than any other team.

Brian said...

out of conference, no question. the flip side is I'd trade a win against Kent State / URI / UCF for a win against the Irish in a heartbeat. Hell, I might be even convinced to take a win over ND over a win in a bowl game that is not played in Miami.

Brian said...

cripple fight could also represent the exchange between the BC and FSU blog commenter community ... Timmy is wearing garnet and Jimmy Superfan yellow ...

so ...

double entendre.

you're welcome. :)

Go Eagles!

Sebastian said...

Just clarifying: Indiana/Irish Catholic Community College is alright, but Backup College isn't?

BCMike said...

Sorry I didn't make my attempted point clear, Brian...

I didn't mean among OOC opponents only, more that with the lone caveat that one fewer win (or one more loss, whatever) would cost us a chance at playing in the ACC CG, I'd rather drop one to an ACC opponent rather than to lose to ICCC.

Moreover, finishing "high" in the standings and not winning the division or conference, as we all know as BC fans, means nothing. Bowls are going to pass us over for lesser teams with bigger public school fanbases anyway.

BCMike said...

Sebastian, this is a topic you like to comment on. I remember you getting your nose out of joint before on this topic.

It's all in good fun. ICCC/SBCC/Fake Irish/Domer Homers, etc., are just pokes back and forth. As ND isn't going to stop pretending that BC is their little inferior brother any time soon, I see no reason to keep the gloves particularly high.

I have respect for ND as an academic institution and can appreciate the history of the football program...but their fans can go scratch.

Brian said...

bcmike - last year if BC finishes 7-1 in ACC play, we fall no lower than the Gator Bowl and probably go to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Reason for this is because of the "BC Rule" in place now for ACC bowl selection. A team can't be passed over for another team that is more than 1 game better in the final ACC standings. (They put this rule in after we got jobbed with a trip to Boise after finishing with the same record as Atlantic Division champ FSU)

After Virginia Tech, the only team that the Chick-Fil-A Bowl could have picked was UVA, since everyone else was 5-3 or worse.

So while I agree with you that the outcome would have remained the same (read: losing the ACCCG), and sometimes one less ACC loss is inconsequential, last year it would have resulted in a better bowl for BC.

Sebastian said...

Oh, fair enough, I was just checking. I get my own headaches hearing how we should go 12-0 each season, or how a promising start should yield a BCS bowl -- and if not, we should fire the coach. Hell, right now especially is a great time for ND fans to learn how to step back and let a program grow. Or that college football has changed.

BCMike said...

Brian, here in Atlanta the Peach Chicken Bowl bowl rep was on the air, and point blank spelled out that there was zero circumstance in which they would ever choose BC.

I'd like to believe that if we have a great showing and beat a lot of good teams that we'll be rewarded, but I've been a BC die-hard long enough to know that the only way we'll ever get our way into a major bowl is if we force our way in through wins. It will never happen by them selecting us on their own volition, regardless of record...

Jeff said...

BCMike- Which is exactly what Brian said and we have both said before. That is why ACC wins are very important.

Brian said...

apologies if that wasn't more clear. i completely agree that the Peach Bowl will never select us unless they are forced to ... here is how they would be forced to:

"If a second ACC team is not selected to the BCS, then the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta would have the first selection of all available ACC bowl-eligible teams. If the Chick-fil-A Bowl does not take the available Acc team with the best Conference record, it must take a team within one win in the Conference record. It can select a team with a difference of two wins in its Conference record, if that team is ranked more than five spaces higher in the final BCS Standings, than the team available wwith the best ACC record."

Anonymous said...

Guys, the prediction on my side will come whenever the suspensions are handed down.-- TN

Paolo said...

"Lastly, a game note: still no immediate fallout from the Florida State brawl on Wednesday. Shocking."

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3702927

Shocking. We said they'd probably be suspended when the details were sorted out, and they were. Tada.

Brian said...

paolo - updated.

BCMike said...

Paolo--

Myself and many other CFB fans were going on the past actions (or lack thereof) FSU has taken when their players have gotten into trouble.

I mistakenly did not remember the big academic fiasco at the end of the season last year where half the team seemingly had to sit out, and FSU went out of their way to show the NCAA it didn't need any policing, that it could handle it's own in-house. From reading your boards, it sounds like that's exactly why the 'Noles have been super-aggressive with the punishments this year...to keep the NCAA's nose out of your business (wise idea).

Anonymous said...

Mike-- exactly correct about the punishment.

My preview and thoughts on the suspension are here: http://www.tomahawknation.com/2008/11/14/661415/blackout-preview-boston-co

(short version: FSU 27, BC 14)

_TN

BCMike said...

TN--

Vegas had BC as 6.5 point dogs before the 5 suspensions. You now have FSU winning by 13.

I'm curious what you think the score would have been if there was no drama/bad press/suspensions surrounding the team. FSU 56, BC -3?

:)

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I was going to go 37-0 in a huge, breakout statement game. Not kidding. This definitely impacts out team and I would not be blown away if we lost due to foolish play and a lack of focus.

Brian said...

well i'm glad egos and an inflated self-worth were kept in check a little based on today's recent events. ;)

Jeff said...

TN- impressive prediction! You predicted 27-14 and the final was 27-17. Very close!

Oh wait, you thought your beloved 'Noles would win. Sorry, your prediction wasn't close at all.

Tomahawk Nation said...

BC Guys,

credit your team. You dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and were extremely opportunistic in pass coverage. Crane played out of his mind. Eating my crow-- TN.

Eagle in Brighton said...

TN: Can't fault you (or BCMike) for standing up for your teams.

Excellent game for the Eagles. Need to stay focused on WF though...