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After winning 11 games in 2007, the Eagles have watched their win total decrease over the past four seasons. That trend reached a lowpoint in 2011 when Boston College managed just four victories on the year. However, if you examine their schedule, you’ll see that the Eagles had opportunities to improve that mark. A 20-19 defeat to Duke, a 16-14 defeat to Notre Dame, and a 24-17 loss at the hands of Northwestern are all games the Eagles could have easily won. Instead, they fell short and it led to their first losing season in 12 years.
Entering 2012, just about every preseason magazine has ranked Boston College as the worst team in the ACC. In a lot of ways, that’s an unfair statement. The Eagles have talent. Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis is poised for a breakout 2012 campaign and Roland Finch has the talent to become a 1000 yard rusher this season as well. But, they lack playmakers. Just by scanning the two-deep, BC doesn’t have an Everett Dawkins at defensive end or a Kyle Fuller at cornerback. They have quality players but they lack a true superstar, especially at quarterback.
Chase Rettig improved in 2011 but it wasn’t enough to get Boston College over the hump. His 112.38 passing efficiency was good for 10th best in the conference. That will need to increase in 2012 or the Eagles could be looking at an even worse season than the one they endured a year ago.
Why They Should Be Higher
In all honesty, Boston College has more depth than Duke, Maryland, and maybe even Wake Forest. They produce more NFL talent, especially on the offensive line, than those teams as well. But, whether or not BC can get over that four win hump will be up to Rettig at quarterback and the returning pieces on defense. If those units can come together this season, I can maybe see the Eagles getting to six wins.
Why They Should be Lower
The Boston College defensive line could be one of the worst statistical groups in the country this season. Talented end Max Holloway was poised for a breakout final year but he chose to enter the NFL draft a year early, leaving a void that will be tough to fill. Holloway led the Eagles in sacks in 2011 although he only recorded 2.5 total. With no true playmaker on offense and no Holloway or Luke Kuechly returning on defense, there’s a lot of holes and tackles to fill. If nobody steps up, this could be a season for forget for Boston College.
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The schedule (linked here) don’t offer the Eagles many breaks. The week one game against Miami will be crucial to starting this season off right and building some confidence for a still relatively young squad. The Hurricanes aren’t great this year and are going into their last season of being bowl eligible for awhile. Since it’s in Chestnutt Hill, I could see Boston College pulling off an upset here.
The out of conference eschedule is manageable but I don’t see the Eagles winning more than two of those games. Maine should be a victory and I think BC should be good enough to travel to Army and escape with a win. But, the games against Northwestern (away) and Notre Dame (home) will be losses.
The ACC slate isn’t much easier with BC having to play not only Clemson and Florida State from their own Atlantic Division but Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Miami from the Coastal. That’s not an easy road.
2012 Prediction: 4-8
Without much firepower, I just don’t see the Eagles going to a bowl game in December. Unless Rettig steps up and can become an ACC caliber quarterback, I think the Eagles are going to be in for another down year. Which leads to the question of whether or not Frank Spaziani will stick around for one more season. That is a question that the Eagles faithful will have to answer at the end of November.
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