The 5Dimes 2012 college football win totals for Boston College is 5.5 wins, with the over returning a healthy +150 and the under costing a chalky -190. In going 4-8 last year BC broke a streak of 12 straight seasons with bowl appearances. Can the Eagles get back to bowl eligibility and cash a healthy return for over backers?
Chase Rettig is a better quarterback than most people are giving him credit for. Last season the offense was a disaster as they came in near the bottom of the league in nearly every major meaningful category (BC hasn’t topped 28 pts against an FBS team in over 2 seasons).
Last year there were some mitigating circumstances with the offensive coaching staff, and early injuries to workhorse RB Montel Harris and promising WR Ifeanyi Momah made their offense one dimensional and easy for opposing defenses to prepare for.
In fact, BC was 2nd in the entire BCS with 55 starts lost to injury in ‘11. BC returns 10 starters this season on the offensive end, and coupled with a substantial upgrade at Offensive Coordinator this offense has the ability to catch people off guard early. New OC Doug Martin has a good track record and is known somewhat as a QB guru who should be able to bring Rettig some confidence and get some guys open downfield.
Look for BC to become more reliant on the passing game and the development of downfield options to extend the field. I expect to see some value on team total overs in the first month of the season as BC should be much more explosive and will be using their offensive talent in ways that the inexperienced defenses they face early haven’t seen.
I also like the way that this team finished the season. Last year went to hell in a handbasket quickly but the team kept fighting and wound up finishing the season on a 3-2 “run” (4-1 ats over that span). A team showing that kind of fight always catches my attention because it tells me that they liked each other as well as their coaches.
My questions for this BC squad start right at the top with HC Frank Spaziani. His status as a coach on the hot seat is well-earned as he has backed up consistently questionable gameday coaching moves with staff instability (4 OC’s within a 13 month span from ‘11-’12), mediocre recruiting and declining attendance. He is very capable as a DC and has shown the kind of loyalty to the program that they have obviously been looking for, but in each of his 3 seasons the team has won fewer games than the year before.
Though they do return 17 starters (tied for tops in the ACC), Spaziani hasn’t really recruited all that well and I wonder how deep this squad really is. Luke Kuechly was an absolute tackling monster in the middle for the defense, and his early departure removes the safety valve for the front 7. The linebackers remain the strength here but if the front 4 struggle to get pressure (only 11 sacks last year) then this league full of experienced QB’s will have a lot of success finding space against this secondary.
09/01 MIAMI -2.5 (54%)
09/08 MAINE -17 (95%)
09/15 at Northwestern +2.5 (46%)
09/29 CLEMSON +10.5 (21%)
10/06 at Army +4 (38%)
10/13 at Florida St +24.5 (0%)
10/20 at Georgia Tech +11.5 (19%)
10/27 MARYLAND -2.5 (54%)
11/03 at Wake Forest +8 (26%)
11/10 NOTRE DAME +5.5 (35%)
11/17 VIRGINIA TECH +10 (23%)
11/24 at NC State +13.5 (17%)
Though my final number shows an advantage of under a game against the Vegas total, the heavy juice precludes me from making a play. I actually feel that BC has a decent shot to start well provided they take advantage of a manageable September schedule that sees them face retooling Miami and Northwestern teams (UM and NW combined = 19 returning starters; BC = 17 returning starters) as well as an FCS team.
My concern is that players don’t play games in a vacuum and are often susceptible to the swirling winds that surround a coach under fire. If BC struggles against a tough middle stretch (Clemson, @ Army, @FSU, @GT) they could quit on a lame duck coach even when the schedule gets a bit easier.
I have 6 games where the Eagles are unlikely winners (7+ point dogs) yet only one game where they are likely winners, so for BC to eclipse this total they need to win all their relative coin flip games or steal some of the less likely ones.
I like Frank Spaziani, but I feel the collapse of this program is somewhat of a karmic realignment after the way they handled the Jeff Jagodzinski situation 4 years ago.
Though this team is likely a little better overall than last year’s group the drastic turnaround needed to save the Spaz appears unlikely. BC deserves a new direction for their football program and I think it’s likely they will get it for 2013.
Anyone else think BC struggles again this year and Spaziani gets the axe?