Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Headlines: 'Eagles in the NHL' Entry Draft

Brian: Not much BC-related news over the weekend, other than the NHL Entry Draft. Here is the list of Boston College recruits selected:

Chris Kreider: 19th overall pick (Round 1) to New York Rangers
First up, the bad news. Kreider becomes only the 12th Eagle to get drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry draft. Of the Eagles 11 other first-round selections, they averaged only 2.4 years in school, with only Brian Boyle (26th overall to the Kings in the '03 draft) staying in school all 4 years. Hopefully York gets in Kreider's ear early about staying in school and BC can retain his services for more than 1 season. Surprisingly though, the Rangers have one of the youngest rosters in the league, so hopefully that can persuade Kreider to stay in school a bit longer. Flight risk here is pretty high for a first-rounder.

PlayerPickTeamDraft YearYrs at BC
Bill Guerin
5thNew Jersey Devils
Brian Leetch
9thNew York Rangers
Craig Janney
13thBoston Bruins
Chuck Kobasew
14thCalgary Flames
Marty Reasoner
St. Louis Blues
Brooks Orpik
Pittsburgh Penguins
Krys Kolanos
Phoenix Coyotes
Chris Kreider
New York Rangers
Brian Boyle
Los Angeles Kings
Cory Schneider
Vancouver Canucks
Nick Petrecki
San Jose Sharks
Patrick Eaves
Ottawa Senators

Kenny Ryan: 50th overall pick (Round 2) to Toronto
Ryan is a 6'0" 204 pound forward from Franklin Village, Michigan. Aside from having a good Eagles last name, Ryan has been compared to the NHL's Jere Lehtinen. Ryan was previously playing for the U.S. National U-18 Team Development Program, registering 20 goals and 16 assists in 49 games.

Brian Dumoulin: 51st overall pick (Round 2) to Carolina
Dumoulin, a defenseman from Biddeford, Maine, was previously playing for the NH Jr. Monarchs of the ECHL. Dumoulin joins former Eagle Patrick Eaves in the Carolina organization.

Philip Samuelsson: 61st overall pick (Round 2) to Pittsburgh
Samuelsson joins the ever-expanding list of Boston College Eagles congregating in Pittsburgh - Orpik, Scuderi, Lovejoy and Guerin (resigned for another year). The Penguins organization also owns the rights to current Eagles defensemen Carl Sneep. Samuelsson, a defensemen, played for the Chicago Steel of the USHL last season, tallying 22 assists in 54 games.

Patrick Wey: 115th overall pick (Round 4) to Washington
Patrick Wey is a 6'2", 200 defensemen from Pittsburgh, PA. Most recently, Wey was playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL. Wey, Samuelsson and Dumoulin will look to fill the Eagles hole on the blueline left by the departure of Anthony Aiello, Tim Filangeri, and Tim Kunes.

Steven Whitney, Pat Mullane, Brooks Dyroff, Parker Milner, Patrick Alber: Undrafted
The best prospect of this bunch may very well be freshman forward Steve Whitney, according to York:
“I think the class will have an impact and probably the best prospect for us might be Steve Whitney of Wakefield, who didn’t get drafted because of his size (5-foot-7, 160 pounds). But if small kids can show they’re durable over four years it can make a difference.”

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The QB Carousel and the Big Finish

Brian: Exhibit 154A as to why we don't get too emotionally invested in recruiting ...

The big news from Thursday was that Boston College's QB commit in the class of 2010 Joe Boisture decommitted from BC and signed with Michigan State. Apparently word isn't bond.
... The Spartans reportedly have added quarterback Joe Boisture to their 2010 recruiting class. According to Scout.com, Boisture switched his commitment from Boston College to Michigan State, giving head coach Mark Dantonio another solid in-state prospect

Boisture grew up in Saline, Mich., and his grandfather, Dan, coached at Michigan State under Duffy Daugherty.

An ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, Boisture has excellent size (6-foot-6, 200) and polished mechanics."

This decommit comes after the Eagles signed Dave Shinskie and Maryland QB Josh Bordner. The Eagles now have Shinskie, Tuggle, Boek, Flutie, Marscovetra in the mix for 09 and Bordner in 10. Jeff, your thoughts?

Jeff: No offense to Flutie or Marscovetra but you are only even mentioning them to make a mockery of the situation. If you looked at any program any year that did not have a returning starter you could come up with a similar number of recruited QBs.

Brian: Maybe a little bit but I disagree that this situation is like any other year where we haven't named a starting quarterback going into the summer. The coaching staff is certainly taking the approach of throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks in terms of determining the QB of the future. Under Tom O'Brien and even Jags, I felt like the starting QB succession was much more well-defined.

Jeff: I'm not comparing the situation to BC in the last ten years, but other BCS programs who have not have a clear cut QB to replace a graduating or drafted one. USC has had three man races several times in the last few years, for example.

Boisture leaving before he ever came sucks but it is really not a very big deal. You and BCMike are very, very sad I'm sure since you were already planning his 2013 Heisman campaign and booking rooms for the Orange Bowl but the bottom line is that our program has been built on unheralded recruits and will continue to be built on these types of recruits. The Floridas, USCs, and LSUs of the world get big time recruits regularly that don't pan out. They just get enough of them such that if half of those recruits are busts, it's no big deal. The signing of Bordner may have changed things for Boisture but the coaches probably considered his potential reaction and decided to sign another QB anyway. Therefore, I think fans were much higher on Boisture as BC's future than the people in the know ever were.

Brian: There is a huge difference between recruits not panning out - e.g. transferring, getting suspended or kicked off the team - and recruits changing their verbal commitment from one program to another. I'm sorry, but how many 4 or 5* recruits switch their commitment from USC, Texas, Ohio State or Florida? My guess is not many. I don't really care about Joe Boisture specifically (although no hard feelings, wish him well, etc.). I think the larger issue is that a highly rated recruit switched his commitment from Boston College to go to another BCS program. Just when the program seems to be making strides forward in recruiting, this feels to be to be a step backwards.

From everything I read, the coaching staff was open with Boisture about the recruitment of Bordner and Shinskie, but you have to question why we are bringing on more and more quarterback recruits if you have an ESPNU Top 150 recruit locked down. I know Boisture explained that this wasn't a factor in decommitting but this had to have had some effect on the kid.

Jeff: Verbals changing is just the way of the world these days. No big deal. Finally, when do I get to say I told you so?

Brian: For what? Because Joe Boisture didn't pan out? That's a really tough position to take to say a QB recruit won't pan out there, buddy. Forgive me for getting excited for having signed a 4* quarterback that compared himself to Matt Ryan.

Jeff: I said he might not even ever come to the Heights.

Big Finish

Jeff: Earlier this week Eagle in Atlanta mentioned Clemson in a way to be considered an equal with Notre Dame as far as a game that will sell tickets at Alumni. Thoughts?

Brian: Clemson travels well but will never, ever come close to Notre Dame in terms of the number of visiting fans traveling, the premium tickets to the Notre Dame game will go for or the buzz around campus and around Boston.

Brian: Providence College's men's basketball coach Keno Davis announced via Twitter - your favorite - that BC and PC renewed their basketball rivalry for the next 10 years. You like the move?

Jeff: This was actually a good use of Twitter. Celebrities and coaches having Twitter accounts (instead of blogs) I have no problem with.

Brian: I was asking more whether you like the renewal of the Providence series, not for you to bash Twitter. It's a great series and a good move.

Jeff: Oh yeah, good move for sure. North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough went a little higher than expected in this week's NBA Draft (13th overall to the Pacers). Surprised?

Brian: No, not particularly given he was a dominant college player. Still I wonder how his skills will translate in the pros.

Brian: This comes as no surprise to you but Tyrese Rice went undrafted in Thursday's NBA Draft. Will he sign with an NBA team this season?

Jeff: I am guessing that he will at some point but not necessarily make a roster.

Jeff: 6'2", 18 year-old Chris Kreider of Phillips Academy-Andover (Mass.) is a BC men's hockey recruit taken 19th overall by your New York Rangers in this weekend's NHL Entry Draft. You excited?

Brian: Absolutely. I've always been jealous when looking across the Hudson and seeing Gionta and Clemmensen do great things for the Devils organization. I'm glad the Rangers grabbed a BC guy. I just hope York can keep him at school for a couple of years and he doesn't pull a Petrecki.

Brian: The New York Time's Quad blog has Wake Forest coming in at 69 in their preseason countdown. They predict a 6-6 season for the Deacons. Over/under 6 wins for Jim Grobe and Wake Forest?

Jeff: Smart money is on a push but I am actually going to say under since pushing is unmanly. Their out of conference schedule did lighten up slightly by not have Ole Miss again this year but a home tilt against Stanford and a road trip to Annapolis could be losses.

Jeff: Last one, the ACC & SEC blog has ten questions for the ACC in 2009. For BC, they ask "What will it take for BC to make it three straight ACC Championship Game appearances?" Your response?

Brian: Divine intervention.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mail Time: U-S-A, U-S-A!

Behold! A soccer post.

We got this in the mailbox the other day from our good friend Raj ...
From: Raj

Subject: Ummm

How does Charlie Davies not get a shout out on BCI? For a goal in the amazing 3-0 victory over Egypt. Which capped an amazing/lucky string of games to have them in the semifinal of the Confederations Cup against Spain. I'm predicting a 4-1 Spain victory.

Here is our mea culpa. Big DAP to Charlie Davies for not only scoring a sick, first goal in the US's 3-0 win over Egypt, but also for setting up the game-winner against Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinal. Not so sure about that semifinal prediction though, Raj. Oops.

In case you missed Charlie Davies goal and the US's first goal ...

USA 1, Egypt 0

USA 1, Spain 0

Good luck to Davies and the rest of the US Men's National Team as they try to complete their improbable run in the Confederations Cup Sunday against the winner of Brazil / South Africa (in progress).

Toss Up: Offseason Football Musings, Outdoor Hockey and Rice's Draft Stock

Jeff and I tackle some of the offseason storylines and other random thoughts on our minds today in a game of Toss Up.

Toss Up - Which school will win more games in football this season - My old school or my new school?

Jeff: Your new school is going to go 5-2 at home and 2-3 on the road. Northwestern misses Ohio State but still has Penn State and Wisconsin at home with Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa and Illinois on the road. Northwestern is an improving program but I see them winning a few less games this year than last year. Your new school is just happy to go to a bowl. BC meanwhile should win 8 games this year.

Brian: Jeff, you have it all backwards. At the risk of instantly sounding like a homer (trust me, there is literally no Northwestern school spirit in the grad programs here so this isn't the case), Northwestern will win more games than BC this year. One team has a much easier schedule, plays in a weaker conference, and has a returning senior quarterback under center. The other team plays in a better conference, has a tougher schedule and has to play arguably the best program in the conference (Virginia Tech) as opposed to missing the best team in the Big Ten (Ohio State). Northwestern will breeze to a 4-0 record out of conference with wins over Towson, Eastern Michigan, at Syracuse, and Miami (OH). Then in conference, the Cats will beat Minnesota and Indiana at home and Purdue and Illinois on the road. They will likely lose to Penn State at home and Iowa and Michigan State on the road. I would chalk the home Wisconsin game up as a toss up. That gets Northwestern to 8-4 or 9-3 on the year.

While I am ever the BC optimist, I think there is just way too much offseason turmoil to overcome for the Eagles to get to 8 or 9 wins. I would be doing cartwheels if we get to 7-5 or 8-4, but I think that a 5-7 or 6-6 season is more in the cards for Boston College this season. Early prediction for wins? Let's say Northeastern, Kent State, Wake Forest, Central Michigan, at Virginia, at Maryland.

Also, Northwestern's HC Pat Fitzgerald just got a contract extension through 2015. The short-term future in Evanston looks bright. And I would never bet against a QB named Kafka.

Toss Up - How do you like your BC vs. BU hockey games? Inside or outside?

Brian: I like the outdoors game as a novelty game to be held once every few years. But if this becomes a yearly event, I'm not too sold on that idea. I will say that I love the idea of an outdoor game for this season - since we've been calling for this for some time - but remember this likely would be a league game and would count in the final Hockey East standings. What would be cooler in my opinion is to have one of the Beanpot tournaments held outdoors since those games don't count towards the regular season Hockey East crown. Either that, or have the City of Boston host a winter tournament outdoors.

Jeff: Outside for sure. It looks like we are getting something that we wanted. BC is going to play at Fenway Park. The truly sad thing would be though is that now we are going to play this marquee hockey game maybe the football team will make a major bowl and Eagles have a conflict of interest and attendance at both the bowl and the hockey game are hurt as a result. You would consider making the trip to Fenway, right?

Brian: Of course.

Toss Up - 2009 Notre Dame Football - BCS bowl bound or Not?

Brian: Not this year for the Irish. Dr. Saturday nicely lays out the case for the Irish's BCS hopes, and I tend to agree with him. I see the Irish going 8-4 or 9-3 this year and missing out on a BCS at-large berth. With the schedule being as light as it is this year, I don't believe 9-3 gets them in. Quick glance at the schedule makes me think the Irish have 5 automatic wins (Nevada, at Michigan, at Purdue, Washington, Washington State), 2 sure losses (USC and Michigan State) and 5 toss up games, including the Eagles matchup with the Irish. Don't sleep on an improving Stanford team, who nearly knocked off the Irish in South Bend last season. I can see the Irish adding 3 more wins to the regular season win total from a season ago, but +4 in the win column will be too much for Irish fans to ask. The Irish will play in a very good bowl - perhaps the Gator Bowl - but will fall short of the BCS this season.

Jeff: Very very sadly, I have to say right now that ND is going to a BCS bowl this year. ND has such a weak schedule that they could lose to BC and USC and still go to a BCS game. BC has beaten the Irish before in years that they have gone to a BCS bowl. If ND beats BC this year I would say almost with certainty that they will be playing in a BCS Bowl and if BC beats Notre Dame, there is still a decent chance that they go on to a BCS Bowl.

Toss Up - Which do you prefer - Playing rivalry games or cupcakes after bye weeks?

Jeff: I hate BC's schedule as far as where the bye weeks fall this year. We know that we open with Northeastern which is probably a good thing considering the uncertainties that have developed with this team. Then our bye week falls after the Central Michigan game (on October 31) and before the Eagles' trip to Charlottesville. Central Michigan is not a bad team but it is still a game we should win and it is a meaningless out of conference game. Then Virginia is possibly the weakest ACC team we play and they are also a Coastal opponent which is far less important than an Atlantic Division game. I would much prefer at least one of our bye weeks lead up to the Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame or the Virginia Tech games.

Brian: I'm not going to get too worked up about where the bye week falls this season as the college football season only has one bye week for most teams (12 games in a 13 week period). Northwestern doesn't even have the benefit of a bye week this season as they play their 12 regular season games in 12 weeks and end before Thanksgiving.

Going back to 2006, the Eagles have won every game while coming off the bye week. (In 2005, we lost to a nationally ranked Virginia Tech team on a Thursday night after having the previous Saturday off.) I would expect that trend to continue this season with a win at Virginia. If forced to pick though, I would say that I'd rather play a lesser opponent after a bye week rather than a rival or a strong opponent. The Eagles always seem to get up to play teams like Virginia Tech or Notre Dame, and the luxury of having a week off before playing these teams can I think be to the detriment of the team. The team starts to overthink the matchup, etc. In my opinion, I'm happy playing lesser opponents after the bye week instead of a strong opponent.

Last one, Toss Up - Will Rice get drafted tonight?

Brian: Yes. He'll be a mid-to-late second rounder. Even though the draft is heavy on point guard talent this season, Rice is a good enough pure shooter than he will get drafted tonight. The only mark against him is that it's unclear what position he'll play in the pros since he is a bit undersized as a shooting guard. Still, I think a team will take a chance on Rice.

Jeff: I am sticking by my prediction that he will not be drafted but I am hoping that he will or if he goes undrafted that he will be picked up by an NBA team.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Belated Congratulations to the BC Penguins

Brian: This happen while I was on blogcation, but I did want to congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins on capturing the Stanley Cup in seven games over the defending champion Detroit Red Wings. BC alum Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi win their first Cup, while Bill Guerin wins his second cup but first since 1995. Also, Ben Lovejoy - who played a season for the Eagles before transferring to Dartmouth - will also get his name stenciled on the Cup. Penguins-Red Wings Game 7 was also the most watched NHL game in 36 years.

Orpik, Scuderi and Lovejoy join these Eagle alum that have recently hoisted the Cup: Joe Mullen (1989, 1990, 1991), Doug Brown (1997, 1998), Kevin Stevens (1991, 1992), Brian Leetch (1994), Brian Gionta (2003), and Ryan Shannon (2007).

The College Hockey Blog runs through all the Penguin collegians.

Also, a while back I posed the question on our Twitter feed, but with the Cup win, Orpik and Scuderi join some elite company. I can't find any definitive list online, but how many players can say they have won both a Stanley Cup and an NCAA National Championship?

The only ones that I could come up with (with the help of the Twitterati) in recent memory are Neal Broten (Minnesota, NJ Devils), Chris Drury (BU, Colorado Avalanche), and BC's Brian Gionta (NJ Devils). Ryan Shannon was a year too late at BC.


Headlines: What Does the NBA Draft Have In Store for the ACC's Best?

Brian: The 2009 NBA Draft is this Thursday. This Times-Picayune article talks about how the National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough may get passed over by the 14 NBA teams holding lottery picks. This got me thinking about how Tyrese Rice and the rest of the ACC will fare this Thursday. Now Jeff, you have said multiple times on the blog that you don't think Rice will get drafted (I, however, think he will be drafted), but take a look at this year's draft class from the ACC. Tell me whether you think the ACC will have a good NBA draft or a bad one.

Jeff: Will the ACC have a good draft? Probably not really by their standards with the possibility of no players going in the top 10. Wake Forest and North Carolina will likely have good drafts though. The Demon Deacons might have two lottery picks in Jeff Teague and James Johnson and North Carolina should have four players drafted overall. This draft projection has Tyler Hansbrough and Tyrese Rice headed to Utah. You know I like the Spurs, the Jazz and other boring-to-watch-but-fundamentally-sound NBA teams so I would like that to come true, but I will stick to my original prediction that Rice does not get drafted.

Brian: It would be a shame for Hansbrough to fall down the draft board given that he was such a dominant college player (dance moves notwithstanding). However, even if Hansbrough is not a lottery pick, this year's ACC draft class will be much improved from a year ago.

Last season, the ACC didn't have a kid taken until J.J. Hickson (NC State) went with the 19th overall pick to the Cavaliers. In all, only four ACC players were drafted a year ago - Hickson (19), Sean Singletary (42), James Gist (57) and Deron Washington (59).

This season, the conference could double the number of total draftees and put as many as 6 players in the first round. As you mentioned, Wake Forest's Jeff Teague and James Johnson are both possible lottery picks. UNC will see Hansbrough, Lawson, Danny Green, and Wayne Ellington all get drafted. Duke's Gerald Henderson is another possible lottery pick.

In the second round, FSU's Toney Douglas, BC's Tyrese Rice, NC State's Courtney Fells and Miami's Jack McClinton are all possible picks. Even with the return of Maryland's Vasquez and Georgia Tech's Lawal to campus, the ACC draft class is much deeper than it has been the past few years. Even if Hansbrough slips past the lottery picks, the ACC will still have a good draft.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

ACC Football Championship Prime Time and the Big Finish

Brian: ... and I'm back. I never want to see a cardboard box again, and there are still a ton of things to unpack, but of course one of the first things I did was set up my internet connection and catch up on all the Eagles news that I missed ...

We owed you a Big Finish from yesterday. Onward.

The 'Ship is going back to prime time, but will it help attendance?

One bit of ACC conference news that I missed is league's decision to move the Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship back to prime time this season. This year's game will be played in Tampa on December 5, 2009 starting at 8pm. This will be the first time that the game will be played in primetime since the inaugural 2005 Football Championship. Commissioner ...
"We are pleased that the 2009 ACC Football Championship Game will be nationally televised by our partners at ESPN," said Swofford. "Prime-time exposure is always a plus and will be an excellent showcase for our divisional champions to compete for an ACC title and a BCS berth."
Jeff, do you like the move?

Jeff: I love the move. Everyone watching the game at home would rather make a night of it by having some friends over or heading to a bar to catch the game and it gives people more flexibility to get to Tampa this year. If you're driving, maybe you are close enough to leave Saturday morning or leave after work on Friday. If you have to fly, you can catch a flight Friday or Saturday up until mid-afternoon. No matter what time the game is Saturday, Sunday is a travel home day.

Brian: Eagle in Atlanta chimes in on the ACC Football Championship start time. I get what he is saying with the start time not being the issue in regard to attendance but I think he misses the lead.

Heather Dinich made this (great) point when Joe Paterno rekindled talks of Big Ten expansion and the Big Ten commissioner basically threw the ACC Championship Game's attendance figures under the bus. HD went to bat for the conference she blogs for and put the Big Ten commish in his place. She said that while the ACC Football Championship's attendance has lagged behind those figures of the Big XII and SEC's Championship Games, the game still generates over 6 million TV viewers ... viewers that aren't watching Big Ten Football that weekend.

I agree that the matchup is the #1 factor that will drive the ACCCG attendance figure, but what about those 6 million viewers? While ESPN/ABC's move to prime time might improve TV ratings, what if the SEC Championship - which is broadcast by CBS Sports - goes up head-to-head with the ACC Championship in the 8pm timeslot. And where does this move leave the Big XII Championship which is also broadcast by ESPN/ABC?

The ACC already has an inferiorty complex in regards to the SEC. If the ACC and SEC Championships go up against one another, think the ACC will still continue to average 6 million viewers then?

Jeff: Of course not, but that won't happen. People on the East coast are going to tune in to the SEC or ACC Football Championship over the Big XII while people in the middle of the country will do the opposite. Not many people were turning on their TVs at 1:00pm last year and watching straight through the end of the Oklahoma-Missouri game.

Brian: Last question, is this point moot? We certainly have had a tumultuous offseason. Do you expect the Eagles to even sniff an ACC Football Championship appearance?

Jeff: I still give them a chance. At this point we would have to catch some good breaks, but it is still a possibility to be back in Tampa. Also, I'm going whether BC or Clemson are in so it is not a moot point at all for me.

Big Finish

Brian: Did I really just say that HD made a great point above? Well while I was out, she also had this to say about the newest BC Eagle, Dave Shinskie:
Matt (Philadelphia): Is there a team in the Atlantic Division right now who you would say really has no chance of winning it? It seems to be a complete crapshoot.

Heather Dinich: It is anybody’s game, and that’s in both divisions. I thought BC would have the toughest time contending in the Atlantic, but Dave Shinskie could very well be the answer (seriously).

Huh? HD hasn't seen this guy throw a pass and suddenly he is the second-coming of Chris Weinke? Jeff, your thoughts?

Jeff: I kinda agree with her. We knew what Davis gave us and we knew no one else on the roster seemed to be able to beat him out. Shinskie is no guarantee, but you can't pass judgment on him yet as you could with say, Codi Boek, who was switched to fullback last year. We know he's at least good enough to take up a scholarship.

Jeff: The ACC's two final representatives in the College World Series - North Carolina and Virginia - have been bounced from the Series. What's up with that?

Brian: No idea. Certainly a disappointment for the conference after getting a record 7 teams into the field of 64.

Brian: The men's basketball team recently promoted Pat Duquette to associate head coach. You like the move?

Jeff: Uh, sure. Long time assistants deserve some love every once in a while.

Jeff: The city of Boston finally signed off on BC's expansion plan. Your thoughts?

Brian: Given this month's baseball NCAA tournament excitement, I am most happy for the baseball and softball teams getting a legitimate ballpark.

Brian: College Game Balls has his list of twenty offseason questions for ACC football. For BC, he asks "Can Boston College overcome the loss of ACC Defensive Player of the Year Mark Herzlich, departure of Dominique Davis and compete for another Atlantic Division Championship?" Jeff, your response?

Jeff: Losing Dominique Davis is not an issue because we were hoping that someone else would beat him out anyway. The loss of Herzlich, however, may be too great to overcome.

Jeff: Andy Katz reports that BC approached Pitt to play in the men's basketball Jimmy V Classic this December. Pitt declined. BC is also talking to 'Nova to schedule an out of conference bball matchup. Which team would you rather see the men's hoops team schedule - Pitt or Nova?

Brian: Nova ... by a mile. Villanova is a much better fit in terms of the type of school (small, private Catholic school) and there are many more alum in the Philadelphia area than there are in Pittsburgh.

Brian: Last one, early handicapping of the ACC football race have Boston College as +8000 to win the ACC ... worse than even Duke at +6000. That ain't right, is it?

Jeff: 80-1, eh? I would've thought 30-1 would've been legit. How we're worse than Duke though, I cannot explain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Five Good Minutes: Men's Lacrosse Issue

Jeff: We welcome back BCI reader Kevin to talk about his passion - men's lacrosse.

Kevin: Fairfield University, Hartford, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, Yale, Harvard, Holy Cross, Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Brown, Bryant, Providence, Vermont, Boston College ... Which one does not belong?

If you guessed Boston College, you're right! Boston College - in addition to Boston University - is one of the few major New England schools that doesn't have a men's Lacrosse program. In addition to those 13 schools, an additional 14 lie in New York.

Why isn't Boston College one of these teams?

Some say the money, others say lack of previous BC men's lacrosse success. For the money, lacrosse has a great market along the Eastern seaboard, and the sport's popularity is increasing nationwide. I mean if we have a skiing team, then why the hell don't we have a lacrosse team? When is the last time any of you current or former students visited a BC ski meet? No offense to any one in the program, but, it is simply not a high-demand sport.

For the lack of success, BC's men's lacrosse program, which ended in 2002, never won any sort of championship (although I can't seem to find any good info on it). However, this can be pointed to the fact that lacrosse was not as major of a sport as it is now. Since 2002, boy's high school lacrosse participation has increased from over 40,000 players to over 80,000. Clearly, with the increase in interest, a potential BC lacrosse team, with some decent recruiting effort, could make a small impact in the four team ACC.

Oh, and another fun stat. Since 1990, both men's and women's lacrosse participation has increased 528%. Can you say WTF?

Jeff: I feel many people look at the list of varsity sports that BC offers and are quick to jump and say why do we have a skiing team and not lacrosse? Or Brian's favorite, why do we have men's tennis and not lacrosse?

What the average fan seems to not understand is that Title IX does not call for a proportionate number of varsity sports between men and women but it calls for a proportionate number of scholarships, dollars spent, and athletes. It takes several women's sports to balance out a school's football program. Therefore, tennis and skiing teams would be too small to balance out a lacrosse team.

Right now, BC has 16 women's varsity programs to only 13 men's teams. Unfortunately, fielding a varsity men's lacrosse program is complicated.

I do agree that lacrosse is one of, if not the, fastest growing sports in the country. With that said though, where I live in South Carolina, there are no recreation lacrosse teams or high school lacrosse teams in the area and consequently, if you go to Dick's Sporting Goods, there is not a single lacrosse stick or piece of equipment. It is interesting that Duke and UNC have become powerhouses just a little north of here while the sport has not really gotten into South Carolina.

Should BC get a lacrosse program in the future, do you think playing in the ACC and going against Duke, North Carolina and Virginia will help them build and recruit for the program just as the ACC move helped baseball?

Kevin: Well, all signs would point to yes as far as recruiting goes. Not only is there Duke, North Carolina and Virginia but there's also Maryland, our closest ACC neighbor and biggest lacrosse state in the nation. I would say it's pretty much the same as college baseball except for a regional switch because baseball isn't really followed too much in Maryland or any of the northeast. It may take a few years, but playing lacrosse in the ACC has the potential to be incredibly successful.

As for the lack of southern participation, it is starting to pick up in neighboring states (as you said North Carolina is incredibly big on lacrosse). It's also picking up in places as far south as Florida (I know of a few high schools who recently started up programs, so, hopefully it would pick up attention by colleges). It's really only a matter of time before lacrosse can compete with other sports like basketball (I also should note that the NCAA Lacrosse Championship attendance was only passed by the Final Four).

Jeff: Thanks for the info on lacrosse, Kevin. I hope that BC gets a program eventually but I would not count on it too soon. Thanks to Title IX, it's very complicated.

Have something to say? Want to be featured on a future Five Good Minutes? Email us at bcinterruption at gmail dot com.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Going Solo and the Big Finish

Jeff: We couldn't get a deal worked out with GDF to fill-in for Brian so I'm going solo. Maybe next time Brian gets married I can get TK or Wilbon to step in.

The baseball program set one final record this season when Tony Sanchez was drafted #4 overall and became the highest Boston College selection ever in the draft. Congrats to Tony and to the program once again on a great season.

Some people are not terribly excited about Shinskie but I still think he is a great pickup. If he doesn't win the starting job we are no worse than we were and it is more than worth a scholarship to take a chance.

I may never understand how people can become as fanatical about their favorite professional sports teams as people do about their alma mater but it clearly happens, especially in the Yankees-Sox rivalry. That rivalry is losing punch though with the recent dominance by the Boston based side just like the Boston College vs. Notre Dame football rivalry.

Finally, how bad must it suck to be an Orlando Magic fan right now? Make a layup and one more free throw and they'd be up 3-1 in the series. Instead the hated (or loved) Lakers are on the verge of another title. Reminds me of some BC what ifs. The great what if in my opinion being the BC vs. Miami game in 2001 where what was about to be a go ahead score in the final minute for BC against #1 Miami turned into an unusual Brian St. Pierre interception returned by Ed Reed for a victory clinching touchdown.

It still hurts.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spanning the Globe

Jeff: Brian and I very cleverly have stolen the template for our blog and for every post from the popular ESPN show Pardon the Interruption. I am going to venture outside of the PTI format for a moment - but not outside the ESPN family - to steal borrow a segment that Colin Cowherd does on his radio show The Herd called Spanning the Globe. This takes the work of creating content off my shoulders and distributes it to several others as I ask them questions.

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??

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Headlines: Shinskie and More Baseball Talk

Jeff: The big news of the last 36 hours is that QB Dave Shinskie is coming to the Heights and will be in an Eagles uniform this season. Will he be the starter? Who knows. Will he compete for the starting job? Absolutely. As you have probably already read, Shinskie was recruited by BC for the 2003 class but ultimately signed with the Minnesota Twins as a pitcher.

Should you be excited about this commitment? Absolutely. Do we have a Chris Weinke headed to the Heights? I doubt it. But Dave Shinskie could be something far less than a Heisman trophy candidate to still be considered a godsend next season.

Moving to baseball since baseball is still center stage in the NCAA right now we bring back BC alum and editor of the College Baseball Blog to talk about the tournament.

Jeff: Now that some dust has settled, how bad was the abuse of the pitchers in the 25 inning marathon game against Texas?

Brian from tCBB: I think the Austin Wood usage is a massive red flag. I think Belfiore being used for that amount of pitches is also questionable but how do you take a kid out of the game when he is just rolling through the lineup. Belfiore was nearly unhittable too. I still think BC should have won that game somehow and they would be in the CWS right now if they did win that game.

Jeff: With UNC and UVA left representing the ACC, what are the chances an ACC team wins it all?

Brian from tCBB: I think UNC and UVA have a good chance of winning the title. I would put them at a 33 percent chance of winning the tourney right now combined. I have LSU as my favorite still as they are the most balanced team in the tourney. If UNC and UVA keep pitching as well as they have, then they will be a tough out in Omaha.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Headlines: More on Davis

Jeff: We bring in Nick from Towers on the Heights to fill Brian's void.  Nick, the big news out of Chestnut Hill yesterday was that Dominique Davis is going to be transferring because he couldn't hack it academically at BC.  This is not a good thing, but I'm kinda thinking it is not a bad thing either, your thoughts?

Nick: One perspective is that it is a bad thing because our only QB with any game experience is gone and I guess that is a valid point. However, I would have to counter that arguement and say he didn't have much experience and pretty much folded under any kind of pressure situations. (except for the Wake Forest game where most of the credit goes to the defense and Davis was AWFUL for 3 quarters). Davis was unable to run the offense in the ACC championship game nor the Music City bowl against a decent, but not great, Vanderbilt team. Davis' play when he took over for Crane after Crane broke his collar bone made me beg to have Chris back and that is saying something from one of Crane's biggest critics.

Davis was given every opportunity to take the starting quarterback position in spring ball but never took it hold of it. He was the least worst of the 3 QBs in spring ball and that is not a good thing. I really do think Davis leaving is a addition by subtraction situation because he didn't have the internal fortitude to not only work hard on the football field but also in the classroom. I don't want someone like that being the QB of the team I'm rooting for. Another thing this does, is it allows one of the other QBs to learn and grab some game experience because lets face it with the loss (likely for the year) of our two best linebackers and a transition to a brand new coach and system, without Matt Ryan, BC wasn't going to go 10-2 or 11-1 anyway. I am really looking forward to seeing if Tuggle has the ability and heart to earn this QB spot, as he was hyped up to do or if Codi Boek has the toughness and heart to play QB at a division school.

Jeff: Suddenly, Gene does look like a genious for scheduling two sure wins to start the season and you can bet money that both Tuggle and Boek will see action.  But back to Davis, I am a little surprised about the strong stance you are taking on this.  I am not happy that Davis is leaving.  Davis did get us to the ACC Championship Game last year after Chris Crane went down unexpectedly.  I would have loved to see him come back this year and have success.  Whether or not I am happy about this though does not equate to whether or not this is a good or bad thing.  This is NOT a good thing.  There is no way that losing our only QB with any experience is a good thing.  But is it a bad thing?  Probably not.  The fact that Codi Boek went from off the depth chart to competing for the starting position is somewhat of a sign that Davis was not having as good of a spring as we all would've liked and maybe he was a better fit for the Logan offense.  We all heard about how much time he a Logan spent together leading up to the ACCCG and bowl games last year.  So basically, I am going to say this move, from what we know right now, is not a net gain or net loss.  The team will still be lead by defense and a ground game next year.

Nick: The 2007 recruiting class was a transition class from TOB to coach Jags but it isn't really working out. So far 6 out of 18 recruits have either transfered out or failed out (Davis, Bennett, Plue, Magazu, Eason, Johnson). Why do you think the coaching changes are behind this or is it just a bad bunch of recruits?

Jeff: The coaching staff is totally to blame for this.  Jags and the new staff had to make offers without spending as much time with the kids as they probably would've liked and some of the staff was new to the tough academic requirements at Boston College.  They might have pushed in a few recruits that never had a chance to be successful academically at BC which the TOB era would not have done.  With Spaz at the helm now, I do not imagine this trend will continue at all.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Davis Out

Jeff: Shortly after the BC baseball team was the center of every Eagles fan's attention, the football program stole back the spotlight.

It was announced Tuesday that Dominique Davis is leaving BC after being suspended for academic reasons.

This story reminds me of the Jags-Jets interview which stole the spotlight right after BC defeated UNC in Chapel Hill which was and will be forever one of the great upsets of all time for the BC men's hoops program. After this weekend, it is likely that the BC baseball team will hold a spot in the records book for a long long time with their 25 inning loss to Texas in the NCAA tournament but instead of people like me who talk BC sports on a daily basis talking about that accomplishment for the baseball team, I, along with the rest of the BC sports world, am instead talking about Davis leaving BC.

Football is king at BC. Hockey and basketball can be extremely successful in the future but their offseason news will never draw attention like offseason football news does.

I felt bad for the players on the basketball team when their team defeated UNC and the Jags rumors and stories broke almost immediately following. Tonight I feel bad for the baseball team that was praised for a few days, but now will not be talked about again in the broader group of BC fans until maybe next season or maybe even after that. All they can do now is say what if. What if they had beaten Texas and survived to play another weekend.

More on Davis tomorrow.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Headlines: BC Done But Move To ACC Pays Off For BC Baseball

Jeff: BC baseball has been a topic of conversation for us over the last several months, because, well, um, there wasn't much else to talk about. BC is not a baseball school, we all know that. But this weekend we might have finally seen the best thing yet to come from BC moving to the ACC. Thanks to the strength of schedule of playing in the ACC the Eagles recieved an at large bid into the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, the Big East only got their one auto bid. Sure, the Eagles might have won the Big East tournament to get that bid, but that's not something we can count on. The Eagles made as much noise this weekend or more than any other team in the field with their incredible performance against Texas Saturday night that unfortunately ended in a 3-2 loss but even got the attention of the Boston media.

There have been many critics about BC moving to the ACC.

Perhaps the Eagles could've headed to a BCS bowl last year had they still been in the Big East. Maybe the Big East is better in basketball than the ACC now.

That's what we've been hearing even though I am still a strong supporter of the move to the ACC and now we have one story of a team that went from nothing to a team on high school baseball players, and national NCAA baseball fans radars' this season and especially this weekend. None of which would've been possible if they were still in the Big East. Would the team have given Texas all it could handle had they not beaten North Carolina and Miami in the weeks leading up to that game? I doubt it.

Congratulations to the team for a great season. While Brian sits in a city where very few people if anyone knows the first thing about college baseball, I have been happy to show up to work where NCAA baseball is part of the cooler talk and BC has played its way into being part of the conversation this season.