Brian: What. just. happened? I can't believe we let that team with a sorry ass offense beat us. For the second straight year, we let a team with an offense ranked higher than 100 nationally win a BCS conference. Ugh. How could we let this thing get away from us? The defense - after looking dominant in our last three must-wins - came out flat. Gassed.
Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
Jeff: BC was hardly ever in this game it seemed as we watched it live. Watching the replay Sunday the first half could've turned out a lot differently if Gunnell doesn't have that fumble and Tyrod Taylor doesn't make two plays with his legs on third downs with his legs.
Brian: I didn't get the chance to watch the game back but it seemed like on Taylor's first two touchdown runs the Eagles defense was "oh so close" to catching him and dropping him for a loss. If those plays go a little differently, who knows if the outcome might have been different.
Brian: They say approximately 20,000 fans witnessed this game. Maybe it didn't count? If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to see it, did it really happen?
Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable
Jeff: Unfortunately its official. We accepted a bid to the Music City Bowl.
Brian: Nice consolation prize!
Brian: Eff. !!??!@!?
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion
Jeff: As you mentioned and everyone saw on TV there were plenty of empty seats yet I still got yelled at by old men behind me for stading during a few seemingly big plays. Eff them too.
Brian: The "down in front" crowd knows no bounds.
Jeff: We saved a lot of money by not having to plan a trip to Miami.
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out
Brian: Good point. And I guess we will be the odds-on favorite to win the Music City Bowl and extend our bowl winning streak to nine. We seem to like to play bowl games that are de facto road games for the Eagles (Boise State, North Carolina, Vanderbilt).
Jeff: I was in attendance for the Clemson loss and the ACC Championship Game loss. I can't go to Nashville and witness a game I expect us to win just in case we don't.
Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable
Brian: Your BC football attendance record this season (2-2) is depressing enough.
Brian: At least we beat Boston University in hockey on National television Saturday night, right? ... Right? OK, well, we took care of business against a 1-5 Massachusetts men's basketball team at the Mullins Center? What?! We needed overtime??
Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions
Brian: OK, we let this one get away. Look on the bright side, right? We were playing with house money after Crane went down in the Wake Forest game. It wasn't realistic to expect a redshirt freshman QB, making his first start on the road to go out there and win this game for the Eagles. The Eagles are young. This will be an invaluable experience for our underclassmen. Davis will learn from this start. Montel Harris and Josh Haden got a ton of experience in the backfield this year. Sure, we lose Brace and Raji on defense, but we should be able to replace them and continue to be stout against the run. The future is bright and the Eagles have a ton of upside. If Jags could get us to the Championship Game with our young offense, we can continue to expect great things in the coming years.
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward
Jeff: Brace and Raji are our biggest pieces to replace next season but we saw the defense do pretty well without Raji last season and they are not as big of a piece to replace as replacing Matt Ryan was this year. There is every reason to be optimistic about next year and the years following. We might not go to the ACCCG every year but we will certainly compete for the division crown annually. Are other teams in the division improving? NC State, FSU, Clemson? Sure, but they know that the road to the championship game goes through Chestnut Hill.