First, let's check in with the man synonymous with BC Sports blogging, Eagle in Atlanta from atleagle.com. ATL, no one has a better sense of the pulse of the BC alumni Superfans than you. How many fewer victories in '09 do you think the average fan is now expecting compared to after we lost to Vanderbilt in Nashville and Jags was still our coach? Would you dare say the average fan isn't even expecting to be bowl eligible?
ATL: As we know there are three types of BC fans.
1. The diehards like us who follow everything.
2. The semi casual fans who know about Herzy and the Jags shuffle but might not realize all that has happened injury wise or with the QBs.
3. The bandwagon folks who pay attention when we are on TV or play Notre Dame.
I think group 1 wants a bowl game but will give Spaz a pass if we win 5 games, show improvement and recruit well. I think three wins or less will cause problems.
I think group 2 give Spaz a huge pass and don't expect a bowl game.
I think group 3 will wonder what happened and jump off the bandwagon if we struggle.
I've said in general, Spaz will get a pass on this season (I am not giving him one though). But he'll have to rebound quickly next year if he expects continued support from the general fanbase. Remember Henning was only given three seasons and Jack Bicknell Sr., who accomplished a lot was shown the door. Although we are considered passive fans, I don't know how much losing BC will actually tolerate.
Jeff: How high were expectations before all the bad news started rolling in? 9 or 10 wins?
ATL: Before Herzy and Mclaughlin went down, I expected 8-4 plus a bowl. Now I am hoping for 7-5 or 6-6 plus a bowl.
Jeff: There is a big difference between hoping and expecting. Let's go to another man in Atlanta and talk about the big news of signing another QB earlier this week.
BCMike, as one of the biggest prowlers of the BC blogs and message boards and avid BC fan, how excited are you about the news of our latest recruit, David Shinskie?
BCMike: How "excited" am I? Not very to be honest. I'm still very excited about Joe Boisture coming in next year, but am I excited about four plus years of Chris Weinke comparisons? Here's the thing, if the guy is 30 and leading the team four years from now, that's fine by me; as long as we're winning. But in my mind, Joe Boisture was going to be leading this team, which means you have a 30 year old guy in the college locker room with nothing to do but hold a clipboard. To me, you're asking for a little trouble there. While many BC fans are excited to have some "maturity" as an option at QB this year (and somehow forget that Boek isn't exactly 18), there's something to be said with connecting with your teammates. It could work out well in the end, but I think there's at LEAST a 50% chance it ends poorly...and that's why I'm not exactly "excited".
Jeff: Thanks for bringing me back to reality. Maybe when Brian gets back you and him can arrange a time where you can write some fan mail to Joe Boisture. Maybe he redshirts. Maybe he doesn't live up to the hype. Maybe he doesn't even come to BC. It's just too early to tell with recruits like him in my opinion.
But now let's move away from football, and go to Brian Foley from the thecollegebaseballblog.com. Brian, what are the early expectations for next years team? Can the team make the tournament again?
TCBB: I would expect BC to at least make the ACC Tournament next year as the pitching should be better. They lose number 1 man JB McDonald but bring in some quality arms. I think the rotation next season will see Dean as the number 1, Dennhardt as the number 2, and Leonard/Del Colle as the three. It is still early. I think Kevin Moran has to be the closer next year or in the starting rotation over Dennhardt as he is the second best pitcher on next year's squad.
Jeff: Thanks, Brian. I am hoping that the Eagles make the ACC Tournament again and given the strength of the ACC that likely would mean an NCAA berth as well. We'll see how they handle higher expectations.
Lastly, we turn to resident hockey expert Christian to check in on how the BCers in the NHL are doing. With one game left in the Stanley Cup Finals, talk about the BC alums playing in that series.
Christian: With the hockey season just one game from being in the record books, your team may already have been eliminated from the playoffs (if they even made it that far). So who does that lead you to root for? Clearly if you're a BC alum, you have to go with the Penguins. They have four former players vying for Cup, while BC is unrepresented on the Red Wings. Bill Guerin, Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi, and though he was only on a BC squad for a year (he later transferred to Dartmouth), Ben Lovejoy. How can you not side for the Penguins with a lineup like that? If the Pens wind up winning the cup, Scuderi and Orpik will join the ranks of players who have won both the NHL Stanley Cup and an NCAA Championship. In recent memory, Brian Gionta (Devils) and Ryan Shannon (Ducks) are two others that achieved this feat.
Jeff: Now talking about the entire season, what BC alum did the most for his career in the NHL this season?
Christian: I think I'm going to point at two players, both of which I mentioned previously, and both at different ends of the spectrum as far as their career goes. Bill Guerrin's 17 year career started playing for some strong devils teams in the early 90's and resulted in him hoisting the cup with them in 94. Now, in the twilight of his career, he's back on an NHL powerhouse and he's playing much better. Perhaps its just that he's playing with better players, or maybe he's just reinvigorated now that he's on a Cup-contending team, but since his late-season trade to the Penguins from the miserable Islanders, he stepped up his scoring a bit and currently has 15 points in the playoffs, which is 3rd best on the team, with only Malkin and Crosby unsurprisingly scoring more. If the Penguins manage to win the Cup this year, it'll be a great way for Guerin to finish out his NHL career.
As for my second player, I'm going to go with another Penguin, Rob Scuderi. While it's hard to quantify the success of a defensemen since they are usually much more valuable than just their point output, Scuderi did significantly boost his point total and +/- rating this year, leading the team with a +23. He also leads and did lead the team in blocked shots during both the regular season and currently in the playoffs. But aside from the stats, I feel he really made a name for himself this season, and especially in the playoffs. Time after time while watching the Penguins this postseason, all I heard about was how great Scuderi and linemate Hal Gill have been playing, shutting down opposing teams' offense. After watching the game 6 on Tuesday, you can see just how great he really is. It hasn't yet made YouTube, but if you go to the 3:00 mark on this video, you can see what I'm talking about. Win or lose in the Finals, to me, Scuderi seems to have definitely made a name for himself this year.
Jeff: I am surprised you didn't mention a certain backup goalkeeper for the Devils but that might also show how little I follow the NHL.
Please check back Friday for the Big Finish. Who will fill in for Brian?????? Will GDF return my phone calls??