Monday, June 30, 2008

Headlines: Brooks Orpik on the Move?

Brian: Tip of the hat to BC Interruption hockey expert Christian for passing this link along. Looks like BC alum Brooks Orpik has rejected a multiyear deal (at approximately $3 million a year) from the Pittsburgh Penguins and will test the free agent waters this offseason. Rumors on ESPN Insider state that the Buffalo Sabres might make a move to acquire Orpik, which would reunite him with his brother, Sabres prospect and fellow BC alumni Andrew Orpik.

From ESPN Insider:
Come Home to Buffalo

The Sabres have plenty of room under the salary cap and with a physical defenseman atop their wish list, they might make a run at Penguins D Brooks Orpik, according to The Buffalo News.

Orpik grew up nearby in East Amherst, N.Y.

"Buffalo is a place he'd definitely want to come," Andrew Orpik, Brooks' brother and a Sabres prospect, told The News. "He grew up here, and he's got a special bond with the place."

The paper said the Sabres have about $39.4M committed to players so far and the NHL salary cap is now $56.7M.

Headlines: ESPN's Early Bowl Projections

Brian: Over at it's never too early to discuss college football and bowl predictions (we applaud this mentality). Today we break down the ridiculously early bowl projections of Mark Schlabach. Here are the predictions from an ACC perspective:
  • Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. West Virginia
  • Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama
  • Gator Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame
  • Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State vs. Michigan
  • Gaylor Hotels Music City Bowl: Miami vs. South Carolina
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl: North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
  • Emerald Bowl: Boston College vs. California
  • Roady's Humanitarian Bowl: Maryland vs. Boise State
Golfing come December? Tom O'Brien and the 'Pack, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Duke.

What, if anything, can we glean from these early projections, keeping in mind Schlabach gazed into his crystal ball and correctly slotted Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl last year? (Note: Ivan Maisel's predictions for BC a year ago ... not so much. Maisel had BC staying home in December last year. Oops. Let it be know Maisel will not be posting his mileage on the warrior board today.)

Jeff: I think Mark Schlabach is right on the money here or at least close as far as predicting where BC will play. Let's say BC goes 8-4 (4-4) which I think is a conservative estimate. 8-4 puts BC in the conversation for every bowl from the Champs Sports Bowl down to the Humanitarian Bowl. Orlando is going to take FSU or Miami over us regardless of record because of proximity and ability to sell tickets. Meanwhile, the Meineke Car Care Bowl is going to take a team from North Carolina for the same reasons. That leaves BC in the conversation for the bowl games in Nashville, San Francisco, and Boise. Going to Nashville would be nice but even though Miami does not travel well either, Miami is still "the U" and I wouldn't be surprised if BC drops to San Francisco.

Brian: Remember Jeff that in order for those bowls to take Florida State or Miami over us, they'll have to be within a game of us in the ACC standings. I am sort of impartial to these bowl projections at the moment. The bowl selection process has left me cold. At this point, anything but Boise would be nice. So, assuming Schlabach is right, will you make the trip out to San Francisco again (like we did in 2003)? And what Pac 10 teams would you love to see fall to this bowl with BC?

Jeff: The last time that BC played in San Francisco they played Colorado State and we made the trek out there. If BC plays a Pac-10 team of course I'd be there. My order of preference of Pac-10 teams to play would be UCLA, Oregon, USC (should be #1 but we know we're playing them in a few years), California, Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State and Arizona.

Brian: I like your list of Pac 10 teams. If the Eagles do fall to the San Francisco bowl part of me just wants to see a cupcake Pac 10 team so we can extend our bowl winning streak to 9 games and help out the national perception of ACC football.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Measure of Success Next Season? and the Big Finish

Brian: Fox Sports' Rich Cirminiello is particularly high on BC football next season. A breath of fresh air from all the naysayers out there with their early 2008 season previews. Rich says that getting to 8 wins and extending our bowl winning streak to nine will be considered a success this season. Should the bar be set higher or lower, or is Rich right on the money?

Jeff: It is nice to read about someone singing the praises of Jags and Crane and several other BC players. However, I would not say Rich is right on the money on his analysis. He must not follow the ACC too closely because he lists Georgia Tech, who is not even in our division and might be rebuilding this year, as one of our key games. Then he says that repeating 11 wins is very possible. I love the optimism but if I were writing for, I would never write that.

As far as setting the bar at 8 wins to be considered successful, I am going to say that is too high. I am going to predict that the Eagles win 8 or 9 games next year but I am not going to say that any less would be unsuccessful. I think success should be considered .500 in ACC play or better. If we run the table on the 4 out of conference games, we still get to 8 wins, but if the team has a let down against Central Florida or loses to Notre Dame, I am not going to say they had a bad season.

Brian: I am going to say 8 wins is the right bar to consider next season a success. I think that even if we get tripped up in an out of conference game, that we should easily go one game better than .500 in ACC play.

Jeff: It's Friday so we go to the Big Finish. This KSK post sheds light on the guys at Pro Football Reference who have crunched the numbers and determined that Joey Harrington is statistically the worst quarterback in the history of the league. How long can the Falcons possibly go before Matt Ryan starts?

Brian: 8 games. If Ryan isn't starting halfway through the Falcons season, I will be shocked.

Brian: Gene DeFilippo announced last Saturday night that BC will commission a life-size statue of Doug Flutie outside of Alumni Stadium. The statue will be unveiled at one of the 8 home games this fall. So should it be 5'10" (Doug's real height) or should we round up?

Jeff: They've gotta give him the 6 foot version. He's done playing, no one's gonna notice. He's a legend now that will live on well past Doug's days of attending basketball games or practicing with the women's hoops team.Brian: The statue is long overdue. Doug and the "55 Flood Tip" put BC and BC athletics on the map.

Jeff: In the previously mentioned Fox Sports article, they have Brandon Robinson as the favorite for handing both the punt and kick returning duties. Good move?

Brian: As long as he doesn't fair catch the ball as much as Jamie Silva, great move. Although we are a BCS team, can't we get a BCS kick returner? (With no disrespect to B. Rob and his WR skills)

Brian: Last one, I caught Steve Carrell's latest movie Get Smart last weekend and was surprised to see a cameo by none other than Boston College alum Bill Romanowski. Good career move for the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker?

Jeff: Great move, what else does he have left? His image is tarnished by steroids so he might as well take the chance to cash a check whenever possible.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Time: Anevski, Bell, and the CWS

Happy Time, Eagles!

Happy Birthday Boston College football OG Tom Anevski. #67 spent four years on the Heights from 2004-2007 mainly as a backup offensive lineman (first for Josh Beekman and then for Cliff Ramsey). Anevski saw his most action during his junior year, where he played in all 13 games. A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Anevski was invited to Cincinnati Bengals minicamp on May 2 of this year.

Happy Anniversary Troy Bell. On this day 5 years ago, you were drafted in the first round, 16th overall to the Boston Celtics in the 2003 NBA Draft. Bell unfortunately didn’t get to play for the home Boston crowd, however, as he was traded on draft day to the Memphis Grizzlies along with Dahntay Jones for Kendrick Perkins and Marcus Banks. Troy Bell played in a total of 6 games for the Grizzlies in 2003-2004. He was briefly picked up by the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets the following season but never saw any playing time. Bell was last spotted playing for the Angelico Biella team of the Italian Serie A league for the 2007-2008 season.

Happy Trails to yet another College World Series. The CWS concluded last night with the Cinderella Fresno State Bulldogs knocking off the Georgia Bulldogs 6-1. Why this is particularly noteworthy for Boston College and ACC fans, you ask? The ACC failed yet again to bring home a National championship in baseball. The ACC CWS title drought now stands at 53 years and counting (Wake Forest won the title for the conference last in 1955). The failure to take home a title for the conference is compounded by the fact that the ACC received six invites to the field of 64 this year. Not to mention 4 of the 6 teams as #1 seeds in the tournament – Miami, Florida State, UNC and NC State. Ouch.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Toss Up: A Ridiculously, Ridiculously Premature Look at 5 Key Games for BC's Opponents

Brian: Today we play a game of Toss Up as we consider 5 intriguing football matchups for this coming football season. These games don't feature Boston College, however, they will be telling of the types of teams the Eagles will face in 2008. We picked games that happen prior to BC playing one or both of the teams in each of these games.

Tip of the hat to the Clemson website Sporting Gnomes for this gem - the 2008 ACC mini helmet schedule.

Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 7 Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Brian: Has North Carolina football arrived again under second year coach Butch Davis? That is the question. This is a statement game for the ACC as Notre Dame should come into Chapel Hill with a record of 5-0 or 4-1 (the Irish have a weak, front-loaded schedule; meanwhile the Heels have a tough first stretch of games but could finish up 4-0). If the Tar Heels can knock off the Irish, this will go a long way towards righting the national perception of ACC football. I predict the Heels will be 3-2 or 2-3 going into this game so this UNC really needs this game to keep bowl hopes alive. I'm taking Notre Dame though in a close one.

Jeff: Did you mean the Irish will be 0-5 or 1-4 heading into this game? You think they will beat Michigan and Purdue at home and Michigan State on the road? The Big Ten might be down still but not that far down. But, back to the game in question, I am going with Notre Dame as well. UNC certainly has a good chance of winning this one especially because it is a home game for them, but I just can't predict them winning a big nationally covered game yet. Give them another year or two.

Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 1 Clemson vs. Alabama (Georgia Dome)

Jeff: Well, just to not disappoint you or ATLeagle, I am going with Clemson here. Clemson and its fans have been to Atlanta and the Georgia Dome many times recently while Alabama has not been to Atlanta to play in the SEC championship in a long time. Also, Clemson was a good team last year that should be a very good team this year while Alabama stunk last year so they have a long way to go.

Brian: Jeff, let me remind you of how Clemson's last trip to the Georgia Dome went ... oh, that's right. yet another overtime, let down loss for Tommy's Tigers and the ACC. There are questions about Alabama next season and looks like their defense will be pretty spotty next year (another LB was dismissed from the team yesterday). I'm torn on this one and will reluctantly go with Clemson, although it wouldn't surprise me if the great, white ACC hope goes down in Week 1.

Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 4 Wake Forest @ Florida State

Brian: Outside of Clemson, this game will likely determine who will step up in the Atlantic Division race. This game is in late September and is the first ACC matchup for both teams. We see these teams in consecutive weeks in late November. Florida State will still be reeling from last year's suspensions when Wake Forest comes to town and I think Wake's offensive experience will be the deciding factor in this game. Wake wins by 7 in Doak Campbell.

Jeff: Gotta take FSU at home. Wake has a chance but I expect both teams to be about 5-3 in conference so I'll give the 'Noles the edge since they're playing at home.

Brian: Jeff, at least 20 Florida State players will still be suspended for the Deacon-Seminole game. Even in Tallahassee, I think you have to give the edge to a healthy Riley Skinner and Wake Forest.

Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 1 Georgia Tech vs. Jacksonville State

Jeff: Former LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux plays for Jacksonville State which will bring a lot of attention to this game, but still does not give Jax St a chance in this game. Perrilloux's finest moment will remain his start for LSU in the SEC championship game last season where they came back to beat Tennessee which then allowed them to move up in the BCS ranking and play in the national championship game.

Brian: Perrilloux won't have the weapons to pull this game out, however, this is a warm up game for Georgia Tech and the new Paul Johnson-led offense. I also am taking Georgia Tech in this game, but I think it will be closer than most people think.

Last one, Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 7 Clemson @ Wake Forest (Thursday night)

Brian: Another heavyweight Atlantic division game that has all sorts of implications on the divisional race. Wake will have revenge in mind as they got smacked around last year in Death Valley 44-10. If Wake can get past Florida State in week 3, and Clemson can overcome the week 1 Crimson Tide hurdle, both teams could be undefeated heading into this matchup. I am going to go out on a limb here and say Wake Forest eeks out a win at home and ruins any Clemson national title run hopes.

Jeff: This game has Clemson letdown written all over it. Between this game and there trip to Chestnut Hill, their national title hopes and ACC title hopes will be ruined. I disagree though that Wake might be undefeated heading into this game primarily because of that earlier date at FSU.

Brian: Because of the Florida State suspensions, Wake will get past the Seminoles and will be 4-0 heading into their matchup with the Tigers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Headlines: NHL Entry Draft and Other Hockey News

Brian: We start with a college hockey story in June, Jeff's favorite topic. The NHL Entry draft was this past weekend in Ottawa and saw 1 Boston College Eagle and 2 Eagle recruits get drafted by pro teams.

  • Jimmy Hayes - Toronto Maple Leafs (2nd round, 60th overall)
  • Cam Atkinson - Columbus Blue Jackets (6th round, 157th overall)
  • Ben Smith - Chicago Blackhawks (6th round, 169th overall)
Not a bad weekend for these Eagles. What was surprising from this past weekend's draft was the absence of players from US colleges. Only 4 players were taken in the first round, a year after the NCAAs had 11 drafted in the first round. The second round picked up a little where 9 NCAA players were picked in rounds 2-7. Do you think this will be a recurring theme in future NHL drafts where less and less college hockey players will be drafted into the NHL in favor of junior league and European players, or is this simply a down year for talented collegiate hockey players?

Jeff: First, can I get a benchmark average. Is 3 Eagles being drafted a good year for us?

Brian: Well last year only Benn Ferriero was drafted in round 7 (196th overall) to the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2001, when we last won the National title, probably our most talented class in the last 10 years, we had 4 Eagles drafted - Chuck Kobasew to Calgary in round 1 (14th overall), Matti Kaltiainen drafted by the Bruins and Ben Eaves by the Penguins in round 4, and Andrew Alberts (6th round, 179th overall) to the Bruins.

Jeff: Ok sounds like a comparable draft class to years prior for the Eagles. But as for that trend to European players, NEWS FLASH... hockey is DYING in the United States. Popularity of the sport at the professional level has a direct correlation to involvement at the junior hockey level which develops future NHL stars.

Brian: Not sure if hockey is dying but I do think the recurring theme is that the NHL teams are drafting kids right out of high school, the under 18 National team, and the junior leagues. Kids are also probably more prone to jumping from college to the pros before their four years are up now more than ever, a trend we are also seeing more and more of in college basketball.

Brian: The Boston College hockey team will also visit the White House on Tuesday and meet the president to commemorate this year's National Championship. Jeff, what's the closest you've ever come to meeting the President of the United States?

Jeff: I've been to Washington, DC. That would be the closest I've been. In other words, not close at all, and that is perfectly fine with me. What about you?

Brian: I came within a tiebreaking vote of being elected the National president of a certain service organization while in college. If elected, one of the perks was delivering a year-end report to the President in March. So fairly close, but I'm also fine with not having met the President.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Poll Results: Best Away Football Game To Attend

Here are the poll results from our side bar poll - the best away football game to attend this season. Our readers have spoken and overwhelmingly think that the November 15 date with the Seminoles is the best road game to attend this fall.
  1. Nov 15 @ Florida State - 32 votes (58%)
  2. Oct 04 @ NC State - 12 votes (21%)
  3. Nov 22 @ Wake Forest - 5 votes (9%)
  4. Oct 25 @ UNC - 3 votes (5%)
  5. Aug 30 @ Kent State - 3 votes (5%)

BC's last trip to Doak Campbell Stadium two years ago was a 24-19 win behind a DeJuan Tribble pick 6 and some ironman play by Matt Ryan. Ryan played on a bum foot and ankle and still managed to complete 16 of 26 for 262 yards.

Not sure if the BC Interruption crew will make it to Tallahassee this fall, but we will definitely be making the trip to Raleigh for the October 4 game vs. NC State. We'll report on the road for a few of the home games as well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Settle Down Boston and the Big Finish

Jeff and I pulled a reverse summer Friday but nevertheless ...

Brian: In his column yesterday towards the end of the article, Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy suggests that the Red Sox will be playing in the World Series again and the Patriots celebration parade figures to be on February 3, 2009. Honestly, Boston, can we tone down the chest thumping just a little? I mean, BC has it tough enough getting any respect in the ACC. Last thing we want is to be lumped in with this insufferable lot, right?

Jeff: Boston does need to tone down the chest thumping a little. The Red Sox still have a lot of baseball to play and the Patriots are going to be worse next year than they were this year as they continue to get older. And for those of you who have forgotten, the Patriots lost the Super Bowl last year. Nationally though, BC is absolutely lumped in with the Boston pro teams and people think Boston wins enough that I doubt any impartial fans around the country will start pulling for BC if BC makes a decent run in football or basketball next year because they've just seen enough of the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox.

Brian: Red Sox / Celtic / Patriot Nation isn't doing us any favors. I mean, we already get picked for bowls 2-3 spots lower than we should annually. We don't need to be lumped into the bragging, chest thumping crowd. We won't win any friends in ACC land this way.

Jeff: NY Times previews our first ACC opponent Georgia Tech in at #73 . So far, the NYT's blog has previewed Kent State #99 , NC State #80, and Central Florida at #79 - totalling 4 of our 12 opponents this year. Not including Rhode Island (I-AA), there are 7 opponents left to preview. How many of the remaining 7 will be previewed before BC?

Brian: I would expect North Carolina, Maryland and Notre Dame to be previewed before BC so I'm going to say 3. I don't expect to be previewed before Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State or Wake Forest. But if they put us ahead of Notre Dame, I wouldn't be surprised about that either. Mainstream media pandering to god's gift to college football? Never!

Brian: Boston College is filing their institutional master plan with Boston City Hall that claims we will house all undergrads on campus within the next 10 years. Yet neighbors are still complaining? What gives?

Jeff: It's un-f-ing-believable and those neighbors are just going to complain for the sake of complaining no matter what BC does which is quite unfortunate.

Brian: Not sure what is more sad, the neighbors of the fact that we kowtow to most all of their demands.

Jeff: Last one, off topic, the Yankees have won 7 in a row and are 3.5 back of Tampa Bay for the wild card and 5 back of Boston for the AL East division lead. They'll make the playoffs again, right?

Brian: They gotta have the pitching which right now they don't. This weekend should be promising though as the Reds come to town. Believe it or not, Tampa Bay has arrived. We'll see if the Rays can make it last through the dog days of summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Time: Big East Raid and Russert

Get Happy Eagles!

A bye week for BC Birthdays. So we move right into dispensing the other happys.

A Happy Anniversary to Virginia Tech and a not so Happy Anniversary to Syracuse. On this day five years ago, ACC presidents decided to defer a vote that would have expanded the Atlantic Coast Conference to 12 teams, poaching Miami, Boston College and Syracuse from the Big East. The last minute change of direction was largely due to Virginia Tech's desire to join the ACC and political pressure from then-Virginia Governor Mark Warner. That year, both Miami and Virginia Tech received the requisite 7 votes from ACC presidents and BC and Syracuse were left out in the cold. Being one short of the number of teams needed for a lucrative football conference championship, BC had to wait a year later before being admitted to the conference.

Oh, what could have been for both Syracuse and BC! Syracuse has gone 7-28 (2-19 Big East) in the three seasons since BC jumped for the ACC, including a 1-10 season in 2005 and a 2-10 season last year. Meanwhile BC has held its own in three years of ACC football. Can you imagine if Syracuse was invited to the ACC instead of Virginia Tech? We might be looking at 2 ACC titles in the last three years. Think about it. A guy can dream, right?

A melancholy Happy Trails to Tim Russert. Hundreds attended his funeral yesterday in Washington. Tim was a great friend to the Boston College community and he'll be missed. We leave you with two of our favorite Tim Russert BC plugs.

"That’s all for today. We’ll be back next week. If it’s Sunday, it’s MEET THE PRESS. How about those Boston College Eagles? Matty Ryan for the Heisman trophy."

Louis Hinnant: Tim, isn't wealth in America important?
Tim Russert: Indeed, ... it's all about the benjamins baby! /fist pound

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Five Good Minutes: A Young Fan's Perspective

Today we welcome to the blog possibly our youngest reader and Eagles fan, Sean. Sean keeps us old guys in check with a young, fresh perspective on the state of BC athletics.

Jeff: Sean, thanks for joining us today. First, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Sean: I became a Boston College fan in 2006 when my brother became a student there. Since then, I've been a loyal fan and have watched, followed, or listened to whatever BC game I could. I am also a die-hard Philly sports fan who hopes to see the day the Phillies, Flyers, Eagles or Sixers take home a championship.

Brian: Growing up in South Jersey a New York sports fan, I feel your pain. Philadelphia has been hurting for a championship for years.

Brian: Since you are relatively new to following BC maybe you have a different perspective than us. What do you expect out of our football and basketball team on a yearly basis? .500 seasons? Conference championships? Top ten nationally?

Sean: In sports other than hockey, we must have low expectations. In terms of the basketball team, Al Skinner has simply not established the recruiting base we need to compete with ACC powers such as Duke and North Carolina. We must hope than Al can continue to pull "diamonds out of the rough," players major powers overlooked like Dudley, Rice, Bell, Smith and Williams. We can’t expect to compete with Duke and UNC on a yearly basis. We can use the fact that most of our players stay all four years to our advantage, trying to build team chemistry and make an occasional run in the tournament (2001, 2006).

Football is similar but we have a broader and better recruiting base and we have good coaches who can take mediocre recruits like Ryan, Callender, Silva and Dunbar and turn them into players that can compete with major conference and even national powers such as Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. Overall, we can hope for good seasons and the occasional highly nationally ranked run, but we must remember we are not a major recruiting power who can automatically recycle Top-10 recruits.

Jeff: Other than the Virginia Tech and Clemson games last year, what are your other favorite games you've watched as a BC fan?

Sean: The best games I've ever watched other than those are the ice hockey National Championship game versus Notre Dame, another win in football over Notre Dame, and the home basketball game against North Carolina where Rice dropped 46. I was amazed about what he did in that first half even though we lost.

Brian: What do you think BC should do differently, if anything, to promote higher attendance for games?

Sean: We need better attendance for all our sports. What students need to realize that there are alumni and huge fans like me who are long drives away from Conte and would do anything to get to a basketball game but can't. And there are students who live two minutes from Conte but can't muster up the strength to go to the games! They need to realize that they must go on behalf of Superfans spread out all over the country. So you don't like basketball, hockey or football. Still go! It's fun to go, meet new people, hang out with friends and just have a good time. Take pride in your school and show spirit!

Jeff: Were you disappointed when Tom O'Brien jumped ship and took the NC State job?

Sean: In the beginning, yes, because he may have been the definition of quality (not quantity) and "average", but he was an established coach who seemed to squeeze 8 or 9 wins out of every BC team. However, I don't think Matt Ryan would have developed as much as he did under Tom O'Brien. Matt Ryan needed an established NFL Coach like Jags to help him mature as a future NFL QB. Jagodzinski and Ryan were the perfect match, because Jags encouraged Ryan to use his great football IQ, and Jags gave Ryan the freedom to call his own plays, which Ryan had the intelligence to do. Overall, I feel Coach Jags is the better guy for the BC Job. Lets just see how good a recruiter Jagodzinski is before we make a final judgment.

Brian: Who will win more games over the next ten years: Boston College or NC State?

Sean: BC will because Tom O’Brien needs to take an NC State program that is down and he needs to take them from the top. He also needs to establish a stronger recruiting base down South than he did while he was at BC. On the other hand, Coach Jags inherited BC when they had a Top 3 NFL Draft QB, and he got a team that was poised to have its best season in 67 years. BC was at the top when Jags came in, so I think BC will win more games over the span of 10 years than North Carolina State.

Jeff: Looking to next season, make a prediction: will Clemson finally get over the hump and beat BC this year?

Sean: I feel we match up well with Clemson. Our strength will be run defense. Their strength will be the run game. I think BC Clemson will be a close, but with a whipped-up Alumni, a smothering run defense, and a Clemson team that just can't finish the job against us, I think BC pulls out a late victory on a Sid-Vicius field goal and the Eagles beat Clemson for the fourth straight time.

Brian: Last one, reviews are certainly mixed as to what will happen to Boston College football in 2008. Your thoughts on the 2008 Eagles performance?

Sean: When I think about what the BC football record is going to be next year, I'm stuck between 8-4 and 10-2. 10-2 is a little bit of a stretch but because we have somewhat of a weak schedule, I think there's an outside shot. Ultimately, I think BC football will be 9-3 this year with losses to Wake Forest, Maryland, and North Carolina.

Brian: We can only hope you are right about the 9-3 record in 2008. Thanks for joining us Sean.

Have something to say? Want to be featured on a future Five Good Minutes? Email us.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Headlines: The Importance of Special Teams

Brian: Jeff, while on the plane to Denver I caught an old Minnesota v. Wisconsin college football game on ESPN U during the day on Friday. I needed to get my middle of the summer college football fix. I was amazed at what I saw and vaguely remember hearing about this game. Let me set the stage.

The then 22nd ranked Gophers led 34-24 with only 3:27 to play in the 4th quarter. Wisconsin marched back and drew within 3 points with 1:17 to play. Then the Badger onside kick bounced off a Gopher and was batted all the way down the field but luckily Minnesota recovers on the 11 yard line. After 3 unsuccessful tries to get the first down, Minnesota is forced to punt with approximately :37 left on the clock, which sets up this play.

You had to feel for the Gophers as that year - 2005 - was the last year Minnesota football was somewhat relevant (the Gophers limped to a 1-11 finish last season). The look on Laurence Maroney's face says it all. But this game got me thinking about the upcoming BC football season and the importance of special teams play. Even though you and I are ever the BC optimists, how much is a lack of experience on special teams, especially in the punt game, going to hurt us next year?

Jeff: If I made two statements:

  1. BC's offense will gain fewer total yards than they did last year with Matt Ryan and
  2. BC's offense will find the end zone fewer times than then did last year

I think at least 95% of fans and analysts would agree with me. But, we still need to find ways to score next year and one way we can do that without gaining a ton of yards, is to win the field position battle. We agree that our defense is going to be real strong next year but that does not mean they will never give up a first down or a point. Our punting game will play a huge role in how we fare in the field position battle. Net punts of 40 yards vs net punts of 30 yards will make a huge difference. Then when we are receiving punts we need to call fair catch only when necessary and get some pressure on their punter regularly. If we can win the field position battle we will have plenty of possessions that start at about our 40 and BC doesn't need a top quarterback to score from there.

Brian: Watching Minnesota fall apart towards the end of that game made me realize that you can straight up lose football games with poor punting and special teams. I hope that we can fill the void left by our punter Johnny Ayers, but there is no one currently on the roster to handle the punting duties.

Jeff: Most people take for granted when the punting unit steps on the field that the other team will now gain possession of the ball 40 yards away. If BC can find someone fairly reliable to fill the void left by Ayers, that would be great. But the other impact player on special teams is the place kicker. Last year if it was 4th and 7 from the 25, we went for it. BC needs someone who can put it through the uprights from there. Our offense is going to have to get points 3 at a time a little more often than they did last year. If BC can be at least slightly above average on special teams this year they can win a bunch of games.

Brian: The hope in the kicking game lies with either Bennett or the true freshman Quigley. Aponavicius was a good story but it's high time BC gets a BCS conference-calibre kicker. 12 of 18 for field goals and 46 of 50 for PATs last year, including special teams disasters that by my estimation cost us an ACC title won't come close to cutting it next year.

Tim Russert Remembered

Brian: Caught the end of this segment of NBC's Today Show this morning getting ready for work. Luke Russert (BC '08) talks about the loss of his father, Tim Russert. Boston College has lost a great member of our community. Sad, terrible news from this past weekend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Russerts.

Jeff: Tim Russert spoke at our graduation in 2004 and recently visited one of our hospitalized friends who is battling cancer. This was very sad news for BCI and the friends of BCI when we heard on Friday.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Big Finish 6-13-08

Jeff: Brian decided to go to Denver this weekend rather than a few months back when the Eagles were playing for a National Championship there so we bring in Andy to fill in for him. And since Andy has watched every second of Celtic playoff basketball, we start with the NBA, how in the world did the Celtics come back and beat the mighty Kobe led Lakers last night after being down 25 points?

Andy: All season the Celtics have had the ability to score quickly, but last night it was their defense (and the Lakers collapse on offense) that changed the game. The Lakers turned the ball over and took bad shots while making Eddie House and James Posey look like an all stars. Paul Pierce has been great defensively throughout the playoffs, but last night he took it to another level and outplayed Kobe in key stretches of the second half on both ends of the floor.

Jeff: And to stick with pro sports for a second, what is more likely to happen, Tiger missing the cut today or Tiger winning the US Open on Sunday after he finished the first round at +1?

Andy: I never bet against Tiger. Even par at the US Open is usually a pretty good score. So, for Tiger to be four strokes off the lead after the first round isn't concerning. My two concerns for Tiger's chances of winning this years Open: 1.) His knee problems become a reason for poor play. 2.) Phil outplays everyone at his local Torrey Pines.

Andy: Jeff, SI put together this little list of the top 10 BC athletes of all time. Anyone surprises in your opinion?

Jeff: Yes, if it were a list of best players at their position I could see Matt Ryan being #6, but as just an athlete, no. An athlete is someone you can stick anywhere on the field. I didn't want Matt anywhere other than under center. I also thought Jared Dudley deserved to make it if Craig Smith was #5.

Jeff: Since the College World Series is the only college sport going on right now, over/under 20 years before BC makes it to Omaha?

Andy: I'll take the under. This last year wasn't great, but past teams have given hope that BC could contend on a national level. The talent is already at BC. Three players were selected in this year's MLB draft. Hopefully, playing in the ACC will bring in some top recruits.

Jeff: Hopefully playing in the ACC helps recruiting of all sports. Only time will tell.

Thanks Andy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Time: Skinner, Sportsmanship and ACC Football Perception

Happy time!

No BC birthdays of significance today, but another Thursday will be here before we get to this one, so Happy Birthday to BC men's hoops coach Al Skinner (June 16). Skinner is the all-time winningest men's hoops coach (and highest paid) in Boston College history. We hope that for Al's birthday he can return the Eagles to a respectable finish in ACC basketball next season. If you end up getting Skinner a birthday present, be sure not to shop at Eastern Clothing of Watertown. I'm told he owns every suit they sell.

Happy Anniversary to BC receiving the "feel-good" ACC Sportsmanship School of the Year Award. On this day one year ago, Boston College was declared the overall winner of the award for the 2006-2007 seasons having won the award for 8 of the 25 ACC-sanctioned sports. Those sports? Football, volleyball, women's basketball, men and women's swimming and diving, softball, men's tennis, and men's outdoor track & field. The award is given to teams that exhibit a high degree of character and sportsmanship and is determined by a vote of players and coaches. Nice partying gift since we didn't come away with any ACC championships last year?

Happy Trails to the poor national perception of ACC football? Southern Pigskin ran this article that lists the non-traditional out-of-conference ACC matchups that the conference needs to win to right the sinking ship that is the football conference's national perception. No BC games on the list which is somewhat curious, although they may save face with labeling these "non-traditional" matchups. That is, if you consider Notre Dame v. Boston College football a tradition. The rest of our out-of-conference schedule remains relatively weak - Rhode Island, Kent State and Central Florida.

While I agree it's important to win these early season out-of-conference games, I still maintain that the most important thing for ACC football is to win our bowl matchups. Maybe if the conference helped us get the best teams in the best bowl games (read: BC to the Peach Bowl last year, not sending BC to Boise a few years ago) instead of pandering to the whims of television and bowl committees, the ACC would have a better record in non-BCS bowl games?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Over/Under: 2008 Football Team Rankings

Today we preview the 2008 college football season by taking a look back at last season's year end team rankings in a little game of over/under.

1. Over/under #106 best rushing offense

Brian: Over. Over. Over. This is year #1 of the true Steve Logan style offense. Year 0 was a modified Logan offense that took away many of the set QB running plays. With Crane being more mobile than Ryan, those plays are now on the table, and I expect Logan and Jags to utilize these quite a bit to keep ACC defenses off-balance with a healthy mix of run and pass.

Jeff: This is an easy one. Not too much room to move down but plenty of opportunity to move up. The team, including the quarterback will rush a lot more this season. Over.

2. Over/under #6 best ACC turnover margin

Jeff: This one is a little tougher to call but it's also over and let me tell you why. First, the defense is going to force as many if not more turnovers because the opposing offense is going to spend more time with the ball this year. Secondly, the offense is going to take far less chances now that Matt Ryan is not at the helm. And, hopefully the first pass of the season this year will not be a pick 6 as Ryan's first pass was against Wake last year.

Brian: I'm going to say way over. Like you said Jeff, I expect the offense to take less chances and have a more controlled, balance attack that should limit the turnovers on offense. We have some holes to fill on the offensive line in year 2 of the zone blocking scheme but I expect the pass protection to be a bit better. On defense, we return one of the stronger units in the country and our strength with the front seven should provide ample opportunity for the secondary to have their fair share of ball hawking.

3. Over/under #2 best rushing defense

Brian: I am going to push here. Surprised? I am predicting we will again be the 2nd best rushing defense in the country. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the #1 and #2 best rushing defenses in the country come out of the ACC. Why? Because NO ONE is going to rush the ball in the ACC. We will have one of the best defensive units in the country, and across the conference defenses will be very strong up front. The only reason I'm not going to go over is because we get Georgia Tech and Paul Johnson's new spread offense in week 2. They have major questions at quarterback and I think they'll run the ball early and often. I wouldn't be surprised if they rack up 150-200+ yards in the game with little to no passing game. The other games we should own the ground game, and our ACC opponents will try to burn us over the top given our weaker secondary.

Jeff: You are no wrong here. Under, under, under. It is just obvious that when you are #2 in the nation you are probably going down from there. Despite the fact that our defense will be as good or better this year, the offense will not eat as much time off the clock, and more importantly, opposing teams won't have the attitude that they need to outscore the Eagles. When opposing teams are playing from behind they run the ball less and throw more as you know. And the last reason is that our passing defense was a weakness that was exploited last year. The defense will be slightly more balanced this year and therefore teams will rush more.

I hate to keep pumping Clemson but don't forget about the Spiller/Davis combo which will once again be hyped as perhaps the best backfield in the nation.

Brian: Don't lie, Jeff. You don't hate plugging Clemson.

4. Over/under #19 best total defense

Jeff: This is a tough call. I'd be happy with a push but I will be optimistic and go over because I think we'll be a part of some lower scoring games this season and no high scoring shootouts like the Maryland game was last year.

Brian: I'm going to be confident and say over. I expect the Eagles to flirt with the top 25 rankings throughout the year, and we are stronger on the defensive side of the ball. We finished #3 in the ACC in this category behind Virginia Tech and Clemson – and both teams will have to overcome significant losses on defense due to graduation. I wouldn't be surprised if we finish #1 in the ACC at year's end.

5. Over/under #3 best ACC scoring offense

Brian: I'm going to have to go under here. If I peer into my crystal ball, I see Cullen Harper and the Clemson Tigers having a more potent offense than BC. Drew Weatherford and the Seminoles having a better offensive output on the season. Add to that list Virginia Tech and Wake Forest too potentially. We have too much inexperience at the QB position and RB that I can't possible go over. The only reasons I would even think of going over are our strength at receiving corps. Still, I see us finishing in the top half of the ACC in this category.

Jeff: The Jags/Logan era will bring us higher scoring teams that TOB and I will expect our offense to be in the top half of the ACC as long as they are there. This year, however, will be their most difficult and I am going under. I'd be happy if we can finish #6.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Headlines: ACC Championships Post Expansion Scorecard

Brian: I stumbled upon an article on a Virginia Tech blog Tech SideLines that listed out all the VTech ACC Championships won post expansion. I was surprised to see that our fellow ACC interloper has already won 8 ACC championships across all sports. This got me thinking about how well BC has done in the ACC hardware department. Using some back of the envelope math and powered by the ACC website, check this out. What does this tell you? Think Gene is earning his pay?

1. Virginia53614
2. North Carolina45413
3. Florida State43411
3. Duke54211
5. Virginia Tech0448
6. NC State1304
6. Georgia Tech2204
8. Clemson1023
8. Miami2013
10. Wake Forest0202
10. Maryland1012
12. Boston College0011

Granted ice hockey isn't on here and we've won 2 of 3 Hockey East titles over this same span. Sailing isn't an ACC sport either. Sports included are cross-country, field hockey, soccer, football, swimming & diving, track & field, basketball, wrestling, golf, tennis, rowing, lacrosse, softball and baseball.

Jeff: Brian, I know you are disappointed with the reality you just discovered, but do not go starting a campaign against GDF. BC doesn't even compete in as many sports as these big state schools do. For example, we don't have varsity men's lacrosse where Virginia does. Also, as you pointed out, ice hockey is not an ACC sport. And finally, we have only been in the league 3 years.

Now why haven't we won a track and field title? Can you even tell me where the track and field team practices? No? I didn't think you could. How about wrestling? Oh wait, that is another sport we don't have. Now think about our golf team and tell me what recruit is going to come to BC versus going to Clemson or one of the Florida schools where they can play and practice outdoors all year round. Or maybe they'll go to Wake Forest where Arnold Palmer went to school. My point is that BC has focused on the major sports which is fine with me and they don't have the facilities to compete in Track and Field, nor the climate to compete in some other outdoor sports. BC will improve in these areas but we should never expect to be up there with UVA, FSU, or these other large schools. We need to try and compete with the likes of Wake Forest and Duke. Even Georgia Tech has a huge advantage over us because their swim team competes where the Olympics were held.

Brian: I'm not going to start a "Fire GDF" campaign over these numbers but this is still pretty pathetic. And don't give me the small, private school excuse. We're last in that group of schools as well - Duke, Wake, Miami and BC. We compete in more varsity sports (31) than any of these other schools. Virginia Tech has been in the league a year longer than us and they have 8 ACC titles.

And if you're going to give me the "quality over quantity" argument and say that we are only focused on the major sports, how is that working out for us? Sure, we have competed for championships in basketball and football since joining, and came within a bucket and a special teams disaster away from winning both, but still 0 championships. Also, your golf argument applies to the one sport BC has won an ACC championship in - soccer. I could use the same argument. Who wants to play soccer up north in the cold when you could play at National Champion Wake Forest or Duke?

Jeff: The golf up north argument is very different than the soccer argument. When was the last time you really didn't want to go run 5 miles just because its only 50 degrees out? Meanwhile, playing golf in 50 degree weather or below is not at all appealing. Also, once you get snow on the ground you can basically still do your entire off-season workout routine for soccer but not for golf.

Then aside from football and basketball, Wake Forest is dominant in golf, Duke is dominant in lacrosse, Miami I believe is pretty darn good in track and field, and BC dominates ice hockey. I agree that these numbers need to improve, but if you threw in hockey, BC is doing ok.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Titletown USA Bad for BC? and the Big Finish

Jeff: The Celtics won Game 1 of the NBA finals last night which gets them one game closer to a championship. If the Celtics pull it off, Boston will then have won a title in all 3 major pro sports in the last four years. Is this bad for Boston College because it further solidifies Boston being a pro sports town or would you say it is what it is?

Brian: It is what it is. I actually think labeling Boston as a pro sports town is an excuse for lackluster BC fan support. If you are Boston College athletics supporter, you will continue to support BC even if the pro sports teams in your city are winning championships. Plus if I put my CSOM economics degree to use for a minute here, its not like the Boston teams that are winning championships are substitute goods for BC athletics:

The Celtics might win the NBA title this year while we all know what happened on the hardwood for BC hoops this year (tied for last in the ACC).

BC football certainly isn't winning championships -- our trophy case filled with Champs Sports, Meineke Car Care, MPC Computers and Continental Tire trophies hardly qualifies -- while the Patriots just completed the greatest regular season in NFL history.

BC baseball stinks up the joint in the talent-rich ACC and isn't really worth talking about.

And the reverse situation can be found in hockey - BC hockey has been great while the Bruins have had mediocre to downright awful seasons the past four years.

Jeff: Colin Cowherd of ESPN radio hit the nail on the head when talking about how the NHL went from a mainstream sport to falling off the map. He said the problem was that the NHL listened to their die hard fans. Die hard fans (like you and I are for Boston College) are going to support teams through good and bad times, travel to away games, etc. It's the other fans than BC needs to do a better job with or Conte will never be full against teams that are not national powerhouses and tickets will always be available in the parking lot when BC plays anyone other than Notre Dame and Florida State in football.

Brian: Yeah but most BC alumni move away from the Boston area after graduation and others (myself included) could care less about Boston pro sports teams. Even downright despise them.

Jeff: No, the average BC supporter lives in the Boston area and also cheers for the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots. If it's a nice fall weekend and you have tickets to both the BC-Georgia Tech game and the Patriots-Chiefs game and you need to get some work done around the house, you are going to skip the BC-GT game and go to the Patriots game as an average fan. But let's say somewhere down the line the Patriots suck, the decision might be different. So the bottom line is the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox success can only hurt BC athletics.

Brian: With the economy the way it is these days, I doubt many fans are going to find themselves in this position.

Big Finish

Brian: Jeff, Steve Bartowski thinks Matt Ryan could be the next ... Steve Bartowski. Is this a compliment?

Jeff: It is a good thing that in the article he says that he thinks that Matt will be the Falcons franchise quarterback for the next 10 years. Being Steve Bartowski, however, is not particularly high praise.

Jeff: The Sports Guy took yet another cheap shot at Boston College in his June 5 NBA Finals preview. Do you still read this guy?

Brian: If I was a rabid NBA fan and obsessed with the Celtics then I would. I just can't read any more of his gushing about Boston pro sports. I mean, once you reach a certain level of national popularity and you write for a major, national sports news outlet, shouldn't you tone down the homerism ... just a little?

Brian: Start time for the Georgia Tech home opener has been set for noon (get your tailgating in early). You surprised?

Jeff: No surprise at all there. BC and Georgia Tech both have big questions to be answered this year so I'm sure ESPN and ABC have what they will consider better games to televise.

Jeff: Last one, does Big Brown get it done tomorrow?

Brian: With only 10 horses running and current odds at 2-5, I would say it's a pretty safe bet. If I was playing oddsmakers, I'd go as high as 75% that we have the next Triple Crown winner on Saturday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Time: Tranghese Retires and Pens Fall to Detroit

Get happy, Eagles!

No BC birthdays of note today, so we jump right into the fond(?) farewells...

Happy Trails Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese. Tranghese will announce his retirement later today after 19 years at the helm of the Big East. There is certainly no love lost between Tranghese and Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College. Tranghese was instrumental in both the formation of the Big East conference in 1979 and the realignment in 2003. While the basketball conference remains strong, I still have doubts over the long-term viability of an 8-team football conference. And reading the article from the Boston Globe, Tranghese states there are no plans to add a 9th team to the football conference.

Also a Happy Trails to Eagles in the NHL Rob Scuderi and Brooks Orpik. Your 2007-2008 season is over as the Pittsburgh Penguins were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in last night's game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The future's bright though for Pittsburgh as they have a very young, talented team.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Five More Good Minutes: Eagle in Atlanta

We welcome back to the blog Bill Maloney (BC '98), the Eagle in Atlanta, for five more good minutes. Read part 1 of our interview with Bill.

Jeff: You've been an Eagles fan a little longer than us. What is the best BC sporting event you have ever attended?

ATL_Eagle: Another tough question. There are many that could make the cut, but I have to go with the Clemson game from last season.

I was on the air with the ZBC guys that day told them how at ease I was. The reason I wasn’t doing my normal gameday pacing was because I thought we’d lose. I had given up hope of the ACC Championship and was just going to enjoy the game. When halftime rolled around and we were hanging around despite not playing well, I started to get my hopes up. You know how it ended. Being in a hostile environment and seeing BC win the game to send us to that elusive next level was a great experience and will probably be my ultimate game until we win an ACC championship or a New Year’s Day Bowl.

Yep, some of us had a REALLY good time at the Clemson game.

Brian: The Clemson game was a great game. Eagles fans have been treated to some instant classics over the past few years. But it wasn't always like this. During your time on the Heights you witnessed some mediocre to downright ugly football seasons. Thinking back to your time as an undergrad, did you ever think the Eagles would enjoy the success that they have had on the gridiron in the 2000s?

ATL_Eagle: Bear with me for a moment as I take you down memory lane and provide a few boring details on my life. I applied to BC in the fall of 1993. I got my acceptance around the time of the Notre Dame game and that spring I also got to see my new school beat No. 1 North Carolina in basketball. I was set. Little did I know that would be one of the peaks in BC sports. While I was at BC I witnessed the full meltdown of the football program via Henning's mismanagement and the gambling scandal, the three worst years of the Jerry York era as he rebuilt the hockey team and the destruction of the basketball program due to Jim O'Brien's pissing match with the admissions office. Yet amidst the mess there were moments of hope. Henning won a bowl game and actually brought in some decent talent. Jim O’Brien – who I couldn’t stand as a coach – made two tournaments. York got us into the Frozen Four by my senior year. I never doubted that BC could be back in the mix (ever to excel and all that jazz). College sports don’t lend themselves to parity like the pros, but there have been enough cases in my lifetime as a fan (Northwestern and Kansas State football, seeing a program like Gonzaga become a perennial power in basketball) to feel confident that BC can always compete. If we can rebuild after the stuff that went on in the ‘90s we can overcome anything in the future.

Brian: Switching to basketball, who's to blame for last season's uninspired performance? Skinner, GDF, or the team for mailing in the second half of the season?

ATL_Eagle: In my season grades I put most of the blame on Skinner. There were a few issues that came together for a big disappointment. He didn't have another talented piece in the Senior class to bridge between the Dudley and Rice eras. He also didn't have a talented Soph. That was the major issue.

I also think he could have and should have made some adjustments during the ACC losing skid. Would it have made a difference? I don't know. We were very young...

Finally, I think Skinner needs to make a major change in his defensive coaching. We've been a poor defensive team for far too long.

I think Skinner is a very good coach and I think we'll improve. But I also feel we are still a year away from being a tourney team again.

Jeff: Last one, who finishes the season with a better conference win percentage next year - men's hoops or football?

ATL_Eagle: I am not sure yet but at this point I think it will be football. I think we’ll go 4-4 or better in the ACC this year. So that means hoops would have to get to at least .500 in ACC play. Can they? Sure, but I am not putting money on it.

Brian: I'm not holding my breath on basketball either and agree football will go 4-4 or better. Thanks for joining us Bill.

The Eagle in Atlanta blogs about all things Boston College athletics. His blog, is very popular with BC students and alum and has been going strong since December 2004.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Headlines: ACC Atlantic - Strength and Parity or Mediocrity?

Brian: Jeff, if Clemson finally lives up the preseason hype and does win the ACC Atlantic division crown this season, that will mark the 4th different team to represent the Atlantic in the ACC championship in as many years (Florida State, Wake, BC and Clemson). But what would that mean for BCs side of the conference? Does that mean that there is plenty of parody and the Atlantic is strong relative to the Coastal? Or does it simply further the national perception that ACC football is mediocre without one team separating themself from the rest of the pack as a perennial national title game threat?

Jeff: As far as national perception I think having the preseason favorite win the conference is always good. It always seems that when another team comes from the preseason middle-of-the-pack to win the conference hurts national perception. So therefore, Clemson winning the ACC this year has its positives. As far as which side of the conference is stronger? I can't imagine anyone making the argument that the Coastal division is stronger with UNC and Duke dragging down the relative strength of that side in the first three years. The Atlantic is 2-1 so far in the ACC championship game, and the Atlantic division is 6 games over .500 in regularly season interdivision games.

Brian: I will agree that having the conference preseason favorite go wire-to-wire helps the conference, but I think its more than that. I also think having the same preseason favorite year over year is the factor that really helps improve the conference's national perception. Look at the other BCS conferences. Preseason you always expect Ohio State/Michigan to top the Big 10, Oklahoma/Texas in the Big XII, and USC in the Pac-10. This is the first season that Florida State isn't projected to win the ACC Atlantic which I think isn't a great trend for the ACC. The conference needs someone to emerge as a perennial conference champ and title threat from the Atlantic. I also agree that the Atlantic is much stronger relative to the Coastal in football. This most likely ends up hurting the conference's national perception as the Atlantic teams beat each other up and Virginia Tech coasts by against the Coastal division teams.

Jeff: It would be nice to play Duke every year. That's like scheduling another MAC team.

Brian: If the ACC Atlantic is that much stronger than the Coastal, is it time to consider realigning the conferences? Say along geographic lines?

Jeff: No, the Atlantic is not that much stronger than the Coastal. The Coastal's problem is Duke. Take Duke out of the equation and the sides are evenly matched or perhaps the Coastal is even the better side.

Geographic lines would leave BC with Maryland, Virginia, Va Tech, and 2 of the North Carolina schools. So basically swapping FSU and Clemson for Virginia and Va Tech. I wouldn't have a problem with such a realignment but I don't expect it to ever happen. BC stills needs to get on a plane for every away game.