Sunday, November 30, 2008

Preliminary Blogpoll: Week 13

Mailed in from an undisclosed location on I-95 for your approval.

Comments/suggestions welcome.

1 Alabama (12-0) --
2 Texas (11-1) --
3 Florida (11-1) --
4 Oklahoma (11-1) --
5 Southern Cal (10-1) --
6 Texas Tech (11-1) 1
7 Utah (12-0) 1
8 Penn State (11-1) 2
9 Boise State (12-0) 1
10 Ohio State (10-2) 3
11 Georgia Tech (9-3) 3
12 Cincinnati (10-2) 5
13 Ball State (12-0) 3
14 TCU (10-2) 4
15 Oklahoma State (9-3) 4
16 Georgia (9-3) 7
17 Boston College (9-3) 2
18 Missouri (9-3) 6
19 Michigan State (9-3) 4
20 Oregon (9-3) --
21 Pittsburgh (8-3) 5
22 Mississippi (8-4) 4
23 Florida State (8-4) 2
24 Virginia Tech (8-4) 2
25 Brigham Young (10-2) 1

Dropped Out: Oregon State (#15), West Virginia (#22), Northwestern (#25).

Welcome! Pittsburgh (#21), Mississippi (#22), Virginia Tech (#24)

Waiting Room: Oregon State, West Virginia, Northwestern, Iowa, Tulsa

Congratulations Eagles! ACC Atlantic Division Champs

I'm back from the 24 hour whirlwind tour of Chestnut Hill. Jeff is still on the road back to South Carolina. I think he has another 36 hours left on his drive ...

Congratulations to Coach Jags and the Eagles for knocking off Maryland and making it to our second straight ACC Championship Game. While being on campus to witness the win firsthand was a great feeling, I keep telling myself that this win means nothing. The next one is the most important W!

We'll have more thoughts and analysis tomorrow.

Go Eagles, and see you in Tampa on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Title on the Line and the Big Finish

Brian: We move to the huge game this weekend as Boston College (8-3, 4-3 ACC) hosts the Maryland Terrapins (7-4, 4-3) for the ACC Atlantic Division title. A trip to Tampa is on the line for the Eagles as they face Maryland playmakers Chris Turner, Da'Rel Scott and Darrius Heyward-Bey.

QB Chris Turner asks "Do the Eagles have large talons?"

Jeff: There are still plenty of tickets left for the game on Saturday. If you are looking for a ticket just call the ticket office or go online. If you want to get better seats than what the ticket office has left and are willing to pay slightly more than face value, go to the ticket marketplace on where there are over 200 blocks of seats available for sale. If you have tickets but are unable to make it this Saturday and know someone who wants them, it’s not too late to send your tickets to them. BC offers a you the ability as a season ticket holder to transfer your tickets to someone else via email for only $3.00. I am surprised that as many tickets are available for this game as there are, but I guess that’s what happens when the game is played Thanksgiving weekend during a recession. I recall the Syracuse game in 2004 being well attended so hopefully on Saturday everyone who does have a ticket will attend.

Brian: If Jeff can drive 2,028 miles for this game, we are hoping for a packed Alumni Stadium on Saturday.

Jeff: Brian, give me your keys to winning this game.

Brian: First, we need to stop the run. Maryland is averaging 186.3 total yards on the ground in its 7 wins, compared to 79 yards in their four losses. The 79 yards per game average includes when the Hokie defense just straight up embarrassed the Terrapins rushing attack with a net -12 yard performance. We want to force Chris Turner to beat us with our arm. (There’s a reason BC is leading the nation in interceptions).

Next, again we have to take care of business on third down. In the Eagles three losses, we are 15 of 49 (.234) on third down, including an abysmal 2 of 17 in the Clemson game. The Eagles third down conversion percentage is a little higher in wins – 45 of 112 (.287) – but that includes our games against Florida State, Virginia Tech and NC State where we converted on 50% (or better) of our third downs.

Finally, not to completely state the obvious, but we have to limit our mistakes, both on offense and special teams. Davis's two fumbles and the blocked punt led to 21 Deacon points last week. I don’t think we’ll be able to survive another performance like that where we give the Terrapins double digits on offense and/or special teams.

Florida State DT Everette Brown absolutely blew up the Maryland offensive line last week in the Seminoles 37-3 rout of the Terrapins, finishing with 3.5 sacks. Are you expecting our workhorses Raji/Brace to enjoy similar success this weekend?

Jeff: FSU played well last weekend and Maryland just did not show up so Ron and Raji will have success but not quite as much.

Brian: BC is 4-3 in day games while Maryland is 7-0. Flipside is BC is 4-0 in night games and Maryland is 0-4. Advantage Terrapins?

Jeff: It will be daylight at kickoff but will be dark soon afterwards. Maybe Maryland scores first and the Eagles control the game afterwards?

Brian: ACC ranked teams are 0 for 5 the last two weeks, with Maryland, Miami, North and Carolina falling last weekend, and Florida State and North Carolina the week before. Why will this week be different for the Eagles (and what about the Jackets and Seminoles)?

Jeff: ACC ranked teams are 0 for their last 5 and Maryland is 5-0 against ranked teams. I hope those streaks both end no later than 7:00pm Saturday. FSU and GT are both significant underdogs but the Yellow Jackets have a legitimate chance.

Big Finish

Brian: I’ll be attending tonight’s Preseason NIT semifinal tonight between BC and the No. 9 ranked Purdue Boilermakers. Jeff, what do you expect to see from the Eagles tonight?

Jeff: A much better performance than at St Louis Saturday.

Jeff: BC men's basketball is a 8.5 point dog tonight at MSG. You like those odds?

Brian: To be honest, not really. I'm hoping that the Eagles can keep it closer than that though.

Brian: Add Maryland to the list of teams that is refusing to play in this year’s inaugural Eagle Bank Bowl. Jeff, who’s going to end up in Washington D.C. against (your) Navy Midshipmen?

Jeff: UVA if they win Saturday otherwise NC State if they win.

Jeff: Over/under 2 touchdowns for Dominique Davis on Saturday.

Brian: Rushing TDs under. Passing TDs under. Total TDs push.

Jeff: So Davis will rush for one and throw for one. I'm happy with that.

Brian: Last one, predictions for this game. HD will be on campus for the first time this year to see if the Eagles can win the Atlantic. She thinks they can and is predicting a 17-14 win. Back in the preseason, we both predicted Eagles victories, although we weren’t counting on being without the services of Chris Crane. Make a prediction, who wins on Saturday?

Jeff: Dominique Davis will look much better after a week of practice with the first team and the Eagles will win. However, the game will be in question into the fourth quarter.


Brian: One week left. This is what I said last week ...

I want to go on record and say I LOVE my picks this week and fully expect to go 5-0. Translation: I'm probably looking at a 1-4 week ...
Result: I went 1-4 and fell a game further back of Jeff. So this week, I'm predicting I'll go 1-4 (see what I did there?). There's a reason we don't do this for - you know - actual money.

  • West Virginia -3.5 @ Pittsburgh
  • Georgia Tech +8.5 @ Georgia
  • Miami @ NC State +2
  • Virginia +8.5 @ Virginia Tech
  • North Carolina -8 @ Duke
  • Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest -4
  • Maryland @ Boston College -7
  • Syracuse +22 @ Cincinnati
  • Auburn +14 @ Alabama
  • South Carolina @ Clemson -1

See you on campus this weekend! Go Eagles!

Weekly Hockey Primer: News and Notes

11/21/2008 - BC 2, UMass 0. The Eagles responded to a lackluster weekend split two weekends ago, beating UMass at home 2-0 behind power play goals from freshmen Cam Atkinson and Paul Carey. Muse has not looked sharp early on this season, but did turn around 27 shots to record his first shutout of the season.

11/22/2008 - UMass 4, BC 3 (OT). Those are the breaks in college hockey. The Minutemen scored with 41 seconds to play in OT to record a win over the Eagles last Saturday, 4-3. BC goals from freshman Jimmy Hayes, Kyle Kucharski and Benn Ferriero.

Road Wins. Hard to come by this year, eh? Might just be the sign of a young team. BC is 1-3-1 on the road this year with the one win coming in overtime at Merrimack. At home, BC is 6-1 (of course, with the lone loss being the Notre Dame game I attended). The good news? The Eagles next game is at home against Harvard on Friday (4:00pm). The bad? After that, the Eagles hit the road for the holiday break, playing only one home game in their next seven games, including trips to Dartmouth and BU, two exhibitions against New Brunswick over New Year's weekend, and a weekend trip to Burlington the following weekend.

Sophomore Slump? John Muse's save percentage this year has dipped below .900 (.894) and his GAA has crept up above 3 (3.04). This a year removed from the freshman's stellar performance - .921 save percentage, 2.20 GAA, and a National Championship. Hmm.

Weekly / CBS Sports Poll. The Eagles (7-4-1) rank 5th in this week's / CBS Sports Poll. With the weekend split of UMass, the Eagles fall behind Northeastern (9-2-2) in this week's poll as the top Hockey East team. The Huskies are ranked No. 4 this week. Boston University (7-4-0) drops from 2 to 8 after getting swept by Vermont last weekend. Vermont #13 (8-6-0), New Hampshire #15 (5-5-3) and Massachusetts #17 (6-4-1) round out the Top 20.

Inside College Hockey has the Eagles ranked #7 this week, while the College Hockey Blog has the Eagles ranked #5.

Holiday Ticket Sale. The Athletics Department is offering $5 and $10 tickets for most single-game tickets for Men's Hockey and Men's Basketball games. The sale runs from Friday, November 28 through Sunday, November 30 on

APB on Eagles in the NHL. Vancouver's starting goaltender Roberto Luongo will be out with a groin strain and evaluated on a week-to-week basis. As a result, the Canucks have called up Cory Schneider from Manitoba to serve as Curtis Sanford's backup. If Sanford rests a game, it will be Schneider's first professional start in net.

Speaking of starting goaltenders going down with injury, Scott Clemmensen is vying to become the New Jersey Devils' No. 1 goaltender while starter Martin Brodeur is out.

Finally, a Gerbe sighting. (Thanks to Christian for the links).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Final Blogpoll: Week 12

Changes and Rationalization

7-4 Nebraska has been dropped from our ballot this week (thanks, BCMike). The best team they have beat is a 9-2 Western Michigan team way back on August 30. Replacing Nebraska is 9-3 Northwestern, a team that beat an 8-4 Iowa team on the road, but curiously lost to 3-7 Indiana. We moved Northwestern down to #25 as Michigan State beat them soundly back in

We jumped Georgia Tech back up the poll to No. 14 after their Thursday night home beatdown of Miami (FL). This knocked Oregon State and Ball State down a bit, even after wins, but that's just one of the quirks of averaging out the two ballots.

Again, we are sticking with Texas as our No. 2 this week over Florida and Oklahoma. The reasons have been covered in blogfrica ad nauseum, so here are just a few highlights:

Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field by double digits back in October. Texas's lone loss was on the last play of the game on the road in Lubbock. On the last play of a grueling four game stretch of games that included playing the No. 1, 11, 6 and 7th ranked teams in the country. Both losses are better than Florida's loss at home to Ole Miss.

Texas had a tougher Big XII North schedule - @ Colorado, @ Kansas, and Missouri, compared to Oklahoma's North schedule of Kansas, @ Kansas State and Nebraska. Texas has the #1 ranked strength of schedule, while Oklahoma's strength of schedule is 6th best (Florida's SOS is #4 in the country).

Some Sooner lobbyists point to Oklahoma's non-conference schedule as being stronger than Texas's non-conference slate. Not so fast my friend. The combined record of Texas's non-conference opponents is 22-22, while the combined record for the Sooners out of conference opponents is 19-25, including a winless Chattanooga and winless Washington.

In our eyes, this debate has already been answered on the field. It's not a circular argument. Each team has 1 loss, one team played a tougher schedule statistically, and one team BEAT THE OTHER by 10 points in a stadium that seats half Sooner fans and half Longhorns fans. If you don't like it, take it to the comments section.

1Alabama (11-0)--
2Texas (10-1) 1
3Florida (10-1) 1
4Oklahoma (10-1) 1
5Southern Cal (9-1) 1
6Penn State (11-1) 1
7Texas Tech (10-1) 5
8Utah (12-0)--
9Georgia (9-2) 1
10Boise State (11-0) 2
11Oklahoma State (9-2) 2
12Missouri (9-2) 1
13Ohio State (10-2) 2
14Georgia Tech (8-3) 2
15Oregon State (8-3) 2
16Ball State (11-0) 2
17Cincinnati (9-2) 2
18TCU (10-2) 3
19Boston College (8-3) 4
20Oregon (8-3) 6
21Florida State (8-3) 5
22West Virginia (7-3) 4
23Michigan State (9-3) 6
24Brigham Young (10-2) 6
25Northwestern (9-3) 1

Dropped Out: Pittsburgh (#20), North Carolina (#22), LSU (#24), Miami (Florida) (#25).

Welcome! Oregon (#20), Florida State (#21), West Virginia (#22), Northwestern (#25)

Waiting Room: Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Mississippi, Pittsburgh, Clemson (for Jeff)

ACC Power Rankings: Week 13

Week 13

First the ACC title game contenders ...
  1. Georgia Tech (8-3, 5-3)
  2. Boston College (8-3, 4-3)
  3. Florida State (8-3, 5-3)
  4. Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3)

Then the rest ...

  1. NC State (5-6, 3-4)
  2. Clemson (6-5, 4-4)
  3. Maryland (7-4, 4-3 ACC) - beatdown recipient #1
  4. North Carolina (7-4, 3-4) - beatdown recipient #2
  5. Miami (7-4, 4-3) - beatdown recipient #3
  6. Wake Forest (6-5, 4-4)
  7. Virginia (5-6, 3-4)
  8. Duke (4-7, 1-6)


NC State is king of Carolina! They have now dispatched East Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and North Carolina, and Coach Tom O'Brien claims they are the best football team in the state.
"What it speaks to is that we're the best football program in the state, without question." -- North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien, to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The NC State blog StateFansNation, for one, is officially on the TOB bandwagon. A Wolfpack W this week against Miami and NC State is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2005. Which is kinda funny because NC State was in the exact same position as they were last year, with a bowl trip on the line, and then this happened.

I, for one, am glad we played the Wolfpack back in October.

Clemson moves up this week as well, because as Jeff puts it, "Who wants to play Clemson? Nobody."

With an ACC Championship game appearance on the line, Maryland, North Carolina and Miami all lost in glorious fashion.

This Week

ACC: Virginia at Virginia Tech ... Miami (FL) at NC State ... North Carolina at Duke ... Maryland at Boston College ...

ACC vs. SEC: Georgia Tech at Georgia ... South Carolina at Clemson ... Florida at Florida State ... Vanderbilt at Wake Forest

Season-Ending Rooting Guide

One of the things Jeff and I disagree on is the need for a college football playoff. I am firmly in the college football playoff camp while Jeff thinks the BCS does its job in elevating the #1 and #2 best teams to play for the National Championship. Here are our college football rooting guides for the last two weeks of the regular season and the bowls.

Brian's Rooting Guide (Mass Destruction, BCS Chaos Edition)

Brian: I will always root for chaos (unless BC is involved). Here is my rooting guide for the rest of the season - chaos edition.

The worst possible thing I can think of for the BCS is to have a #1 vs. #2 match from the same conference (worth noting that if the conference champion isn't either #1 or #2, a third team from that conference would play in a BCS game). Now it would be easy to find a scenario where #1 vs. #2 happens to be from the Big XII (Oklahoma loses Bedlam, Texas Tech romps Missouri (again) in the Big XII Title Game, Florida loses to the Seminoles and squeaks by Bama in the SEC Championship, Texas Tech and Texas play for the National Championship), so I'm going to get even crazier ... and look towards a different conference:

Texas vs. Texas A&M: Texas A&M
Texas is caught looking, filibustering for votes to get the Longhorns into the Big XII Championship in what seems to be an inevitable three-way tie atop the Big XII South ... and Texas A&M pulls off a monumental upset on Thanksgiving (somehow, not really sure how), the likes of Stanford-USC and Appalachian State-Michigan. Maybe even bigger!

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State wins, hell, in dramatic Harrell-to-Crabtree style for kicks. The Cowboys are a good team and the game is in Stillwater.

Texas Tech vs. Baylor: Texas Tech
Texas Tech beats Baylor easily, and as a result of Oklahoma loss, heads to the Big XII Championship as the Big XII South representative.

Florida vs. Florida State: Florida
The Gators demolish Bobby Bowden's Seminoles, garnering some first place votes in both polls and giving the Gators a boost to #2 in the BCS Standings (with the OU and Texas losses).

Alabama vs. Auburn: Alabama
The Tide rolls and blows out The Plainsmen. It's not even close. Sets up a #1 vs. #2 matchup in the SEC Championship.

USC vs. Notre Dame and @ UCLA: USC
Southern Cal wins out, but not in impressive, "USC vs. the rest of the Pac-10" style. They gain on Texas and Oklahoma in the BCS but fall below Texas Tech (the Big XII Champion), good for #4 in the BCS standings.

SEC Championship - Alabama vs. Florida: Florida
The Gators wins in OT by a field goal, 24-21, coming back from a 10 point, fourth quarter deficit. Doubt creeps into voters' minds as to who the best team really is. Florida is propelled to #1 in the final BCS standings, but with Alabama's respectable showing, holds onto the #2 spot over fellow 1-loss Southern Cal, 1-loss Texas Tech and undefeated Utah (who's in the clubhouse at 12-0).

Final BCS Standings:
  1. Florida (12-1)
  2. Alabama (12-1)
  3. Texas Tech (12-1)
  4. Southern Cal (11-1)
  5. Utah (12-0)
  6. Texas (10-2)
  7. Oklahoma (10-2)
#1 Florida plays #2 Alabama in the BCS National Championship. It's an SEC Championship rematch(!), nearly a month to the day of the SEC Championship in Atlanta. Alabama wins the rematch. /heads explode

(HT: mgoblog)

And, for good measure, Oregon State wins the Civil War, heads to the Rose Bowl to play Penn State. A rematch of their 45-14 loss back in September. This time, it's even worse. 59-0 and the second half ratings for the Rose Bowl dip below Game 2 of the Phillies-Rays World Series.

Texas Tech and Texas represent the Big XII conference, locking Oklahoma out of the BCS after throttling Texas Tech a few weeks ago 65-21. Texas Tech goes to the Sugar Bowl and destroys the mid majors only hope Utah, while Texas gets blown out by BCS at-large Southern Cal in the Fiesta Bowl (Heisman Trophy winners don't get it done after they've won the trophy, after all).

  • Rose Bowl: Penn State 59 - Oregon State 0
  • Fiesta Bowl: Southern Cal 77 - Texas 0
  • Sugar Bowl: Texas Tech 59 - Utah 3
  • Orange Bowl: Boston College 21 - Cincinnati 7
  • National Championship: Alabama 24 - Florida 21

Jeff's Rooting Guide (Pro BCS Tranquility Edition)

/queue whale sounds CD

Jeff: To clarify, I am not against a playoff, but I do think that the BCS gets ragged on more than it deserves. BCS is better than no BCS where the #1 and #2 would not play in a bowl unless they happened to come from the Big Ten and Pac 10 or some other conferences that play each other in bowl games.

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State: Oklahoma
First, I need Oklahoma to beat Oklahoma State this weekend but not badly. Texas will head to Big XII Title game and beat Missouri.

Oregon vs. Oregon State: Oregon State
For my edition of the Rose Bowl to pan out, Oregon State needs to defeat Oregon this weekend in the Civil War.

West Virginia @ Pittsburgh, vs. South Florida: West Virginia
Two Mountaineer wins plus Syracuse following up their upset of Notre Dame with an upset over Cincinnati in the Bearcats Big East regular season finale sends West Virginia to the Orange Bowl.

Boston College vs. Maryland, @ ACC Championship Game vs a Tech: Boston College
Then I need BC to win Saturday vs. Maryland and win the ACC Championship Game.

SEC Championship - Alabama vs. Florida: Alabama
Finally, I need Alabama to beat Florida unlike what everyone else is predicting.

Here's what I want to see for the BCS Bowls ...
  • Rose Bowl: Penn State 45 - Oregon State 7
  • Fiesta Bowl: USC 85 - Utah 3
  • Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Florida in a good game
  • Orange Bowl: Boston College victory over West Virginia
  • National Championship: Texas vs. Alabama in a good game
But here's what I'm rooting for this weekend ...
  • Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: Virginia
  • Georgia Tech vs. Georgia: Georgia Tech
  • Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt: Wake Forest
  • Florida State vs. Florida: Seminoles keeping it close against the Gators
  • Clemson vs. South Carolina: Clemson
  • (and of course) Boston College vs. Maryland: Boston College

Brian: I agree with your rooting guide this weekend, except for Virginia Tech. I'm rooting for the Hokies to win and for an ACC Championship Game rematch. I know, I know ... you have to beat the best (IMO Georgia Tech) to be the best, but the Hokies offense is downright terrible, and it would be sweet to win the ACC against the team that knocked off arguably the Eagles best team since 1984/1940?
  • Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech
  • Georgia Tech vs. Georgia: Georgia Tech
  • Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt: Wake Forest
  • Florida State vs. Florida: Florida State
  • Clemson vs. South Carolina: Clemson, and although it pains me to root for Clemson, this would be the ACC sending 9 teams to bowl games, better than any other BCS conference
  • Boston College vs. Maryland: Boston College
Plus it doesn't hurt to root for Florida State to win against the Gators. Root for all ACC teams over SEC teams this year. Expose the SEC for what it is this year - a disappointment and overrated (this year)?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Headlines: Davis, Herzlich Earn All-ACC Honors

Jeff: Brian, Dominique Davis scored the winning touchdown and threw the passes that allowed Boston College to take the lead late at Wake Forest on Saturday. But are you surprised that he was honored by the ACC this week considering his numbers were so lacking entering that final drive?

Brian: Not at all. Davis won Rookie of the Week honors. How many rookies come out of nowhere in Week 12 of the college football season and engineer a game-winning drive in a game with ACC Championship implications written all over it? BC Interruption DAP to Dominique Davis for the honor.

Herzlich also won ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 9 tackle, two interception and one TD performance.

However, the ACC Specialist of the week went to Graham Gano (3 for 3 on FG attempts in a FSU romp over Maryland). As Gano's field goals didn't have any bearing on the final outcome of that game, and Steve Aponavicius' 3 field goals did, did Apona get jobbed?

Jeff: Big big props to Aponavicius for going 3 for 3 on his FG attempts, but no he did not get jobbed here. Gano's FGs did not matter but he has been great all season and Aponovicius's long was only 32 yards. Gano's long was 48.

Brian: Want to point out that I ... ahem ... predicted 3 field goals for Aponavicius in last Saturday's game. He is now a perfect 7 for 7 on the road and 5 for 5 in his last two games, hitting field goals when they count. Apparently the pressure is off for Steve on the road? Is he finally turning the corner, or is he simply better on the road?

Jeff: In the last two games, Aponavicius is 5 for 5. BUT the distances of the five FGs are 19 and 30 (Florida State) and 30, 30, and 32 (Wake Forest). This evidence is inconclusive as to whether or not his confidence is back or not. The bottom line though is that Jags is going for it on fourth down until we get in range for a 35 yarder or less.

Headlines: BC-Maryland Set For 3:30

Yep, 3:30 kickoff on ABC or ESPN2 for the Atlantic Division crown. See you on campus.

Rest of the ACC Turkey Day weekend lineup after the jump.

Miami at NC State, Raycom, Noon
Georgia Tech at Georgia, CBS, Noon
South Carolina at Clemson, ESPN2, Noon
Virginia at Virginia Tech, ESPN, Noon
Florida at Florida State, ABC (ESPN2*), 3:30 pm
Maryland at Boston College, ABC (ESPN2*), 3:30 pm
North Carolina at Duke, ESPNU, 3:30 pm
Vanderbilt at Wake Forest, ESPNU, 7 pm

While Jeff and I will be on campus Saturday, ESPN's College Gameday will not. They are goin' Bedlam. No Atlantic Division title game, no Commonweath Cup, no Border War and no Civil War. Only what feels like the 12th consecutive week Gameday visits a Big XII campus ...

Headlines: BC Sneaks Past Wake

Jeff: Brian, what a game yesterday. Early on I thought something similar to my 31-6 prediction was going to become a reality because BC's defense was outstanding and the offense was moving the ball well on the ground. Then suddenly Crane goes down and things changed a little. I still felt good at halftime with BC leading by 9 and the team getting the ball first in the second half but Dominique Davis fumbled on the opening play which was scooped up and taken in for a Wake touchdown. From that point on the offense did not move the ball at all and Wake took a 21-16 lead after a blocked punt. Then out of nowhere, when we needed it most, Dominique Davis has some long completions on third downs which led to the game winning TD. Talk me through your range of emotions yesterday and those texts you sent me saying our season was over.

Brian: I believe our text messages went like this which began at about the start of the fourth quarter. I said something to the effect of "We are effed without Crane, man." ... "Effed!!!"

You calmed me down with a "Stop it. There is time. Don't give up on me."

To which I replied, "We have no offense dude." and "Time to focus on hockey season." Just letting you know what I (and every other Eagle fan) was thinking after Wake pulled ahead 21-16. You had your doubts too, questioning the playcalling and asking if Logan had other plans on December 6. I wasn't the only one that had moments there when I doubted the outcome of the game. Also, I'd like to go on record and say I take back anything I ever said bad about Chris Crane. Crane got us to 8-3 and in position to win our first conference title. Here's to wishing him a speedy recovery.

Enough can't be said about this team for sticking it out and putting together this W. Dominique Davis looked absolutely shell-shocked when he was thrust into the game in the second quarter. He did settle down in the second half, finishing the game with 13-of-23 passing for 103 yards. The passes weren't necessarily crisp, but he gave the receivers an opportunity to catch a few more passes than he made (a few drops here and there, two in a row from Jarvis late in the game). Have to give it up to Davis, Gunnell on the huge catch on 3rd down, Robinson with two catches that kept drives alive, and Davis punching it in on the goalline.

It was certainly an emotional rollercoaster throughout the game. The game watch atmosphere in NYC was awesome though, and we couldn't believe that the Eagles pulled out that game.

How about the job the defense put together on Saturday? McLaughlin and Herzlich were all over the place. Is the BC defense THAT good, or did the Wake Forest offense just stink up the joint?

Jeff: The BC defense is very good. Very good. But Wake hardly has a great offense this year. In any game the offense doesn't turn the ball over, we can potentially shut a team out. We certainly won't shut out a team with a good/great offense but we could shut out several ACC teams without the offense and/or special teams setting up opponent scores.

Brian: We move on to our opponent on Saturday - the Maryland Terrapins. While Maryland has been officially eliminated from earning a trip to Tampa with their 37-3 waxing at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles, a win against BC will give the Terrapins a share of the Atlantic Division crown. Will Friedgen be able to motivate his team to play their best football on Saturday?

Jeff: I'd say absolutely. Maryland is 5-0 this year against ranked teams and BC is #21 in the BCS this week (interestingly behind Florida State and ahead of Georgia Tech). At the beginning of this season I doubt that Maryland was thinking Tampa or Bust so they are still playing for a better bowl appearance and just to win every game. We have never known exactly what Maryland team will show up week to week and this weekend will be no different.

Brian: Jags and Logan will have Davis ready. As you mentioned, Jeff, Maryland seems to play up or down to its competition, and this game should be no different. We need to put this game in perspective though. It's easy to call this a WTF loss if we lose to Maryland in our home season-finale (e.g. 2004), but really, with the injury to Crane we are playing with house money. No one outside of Chestnut Hill expected this program to be 8-3 with the chance to return to the conference Championship. Tons of credit has to go to Jags, Logan and the team for getting us in a position to win our second consecutive Division title.

Jeff: In the Coastal, it will be Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech headed to Tampa depending on the outcome of the Virginia Tech-Virginia game Saturday. Interestingly enough, the ACC Championship Game will definitely be a rematch of an ACC regular season game and Georgia Tech won both of its matchups while Virginia Tech lost to both BC and FSU on the road. Who do you think will represent the Coastal? I still think Georgia Tech is the best team and has a slightly better than 50% chance of heading to Tampa.

Brian: I agree that Georgia Tech is the better team this season, however they are behind the 8-ball in the conference with their early 20-17 loss to the Hokies back in September. As for the Virginia Tech-Virginia game, I like Virginia's chances, however, I'm not sure they will be able to run the ball effectively against the Hokies defense, similar to the Maryland-Virginia Tech game a few weeks ago (2nd best rush defense in the ACC behind BC). It's a home game for the Hokies so I give the slidge edge to Virginia Tech on Saturday, although it's going to be a pillow fight! The 109th ranked team in total offense (Virginia Tech) vs. the 102nd ranked total offense (Virginia).

Jeff: Lastly, the Boston College men's basketball team lost to St. Louis Saturday. I'm thinking all football but a little disappointed that the team couldn't keep their record unblemished before heading to MSG this week but before you get too down on the loss, keep in mind that Rick Majerus is building a nice program there and it is not as bad of a loss as it may have initally seemed.

Brian: When you shoot .333 from the floor, and 3 of 16 behind the arc, you aren't going to win many ball games. Hats off to Corey Raji for leading the way with 22 points, 7 rebounds in a solid effort. I'm mostly disappointed that we lost to a team with a mascot looking like this. Seriously, what the hell is a Billiken?

Quickly (sticking with football) ... With the win over Wake, the Eagles jumped to No. 20 in the AP poll / No. 21 in the Coaches Poll ... Mark Herzlich gets a Week 13 helmet sticker from HD ... Billy Flutie is your second string QB this weekend for the Maryland game (there ya go, Andy) ... Hell hath frozen over: both ESPN experts projected BC to make the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against LSU this week ... BC up to #2 in HD's latest Power Rankings ... Same for Gobbler Country ... the Raleigh News & Observer handicaps the ACC football awards ... (and because it's always fun to kick the Fake Irish when they are down) Doc Saturday explores Notre Dame's latest woes ...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Preliminary Blogpoll: Week 12

We're still trying to process exactly what happened yesterday. In the meantime, here is our preliminary ballot. Thoughts/comments welcome.

Extracurriculars will be published along with our final ballot on Wednesday.

1 Alabama (11-0) --
2 Texas (10-1) 1
3 Florida (10-1) 1
4 Oklahoma (10-1) 1
5 Southern Cal (9-1) 1
6 Penn State (11-1) 1
7 Texas Tech (10-1) 5
8 Utah (12-0) --
9 Georgia (9-2) 1
10 Boise State (11-0) 2
11 Oklahoma State (9-2) 2
12 Missouri (9-2) 1
13 Ohio State (10-2) 2
14 Oregon State (8-3) 1
15 Ball State (11-0) 1
16 Cincinnati (9-2) 3
17 TCU (10-2) 4
18 Georgia Tech (8-3) 2
19 Boston College (8-3) 4
20 Oregon (8-3) 6
21 Florida State (8-3) 5
22 West Virginia (7-3) 4
23 Nebraska (7-4) 3
24 Brigham Young (10-2) 6
25 Michigan State (9-3) 8

Dropped Out: Pittsburgh (#20), North Carolina (#22), LSU (#24), Miami (Florida) (#25).