Members of the SBNation family of blogs are helping us preview the 2012 season. Today, Brian Favat from BC Interruption talks Boston College.
Last year the Eagles missed the postseason for the first time in 13 seasons. This year they go on the road to three other ACC Atlantic contenders (Florida State, Wake Forest, NC State), draw Miami, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech from the Coastal and meet Notre Dame and Northwestern in nonconference games.
2011 Record: 4-8
2011 Bowl: N/A
2012 Bowl Projections:
Orlando Bowl History
1982 Tangerine Bowl vs. Auburn, 33-26
2007 Champs Sports Bowl vs. Michigan St., 24-21
Describe the 2011 season in two words.
What looks like the toughest game this season and why?
Gotta think that Boston College's October 13 game at Florida State will be the toughest game given a) the opponent and b) its tricky place on this season's slate of games. BC's trip to Tallahassee is sandwiched between road games against two option offenses (Army and Georgia Tech), giving the team little time to shift gears and prepare for FSU. The remaining marquee opponents on this year's schedule -- Clemson, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame -- all visit Chestnut Hill this fall.
Florida State was bitten by the injury bug more than most last season and if you believe the preseason hype, the Seminoles are back, baby. With a manageable schedule, this may finally be the year that FSU lives up to its preseason billing.
Best case/worst case scenario for the postseason.
Second question is the easier of the two. Worst case scenario is no postseason with only a few wins on the year.
Best case scenario this team is probably looking at 7-8 wins. In a normal year, with an 8-4 record, Boston College is probably looking at a spot in the Music City / Belk Bowl. But with North Carolina banned from this year's postseason and Miami's postseason status up in the air, there's an opportunity for BC to outkick its coverage come ACC bowl selection. If Miami and North Carolina both get to 6+ wins but are bowl ineligible and the conference again sends two to the BCS, the Eagles may sneak into the Russell Athletic Bowl or Sun Bowl with the ACC's 3-4 spot.
Despite a rough schedule in 2012, do the Eagles need to go bowling for Frank Spaziani to keep his job?
For the most part, yes. There are probably a few fringe scenarios where BC goes 5-7 but pulls an upset in a game they don't have much business winning -- Florida State, Clemson or Virginia Tech -- that keeps Spaziani around for another season.
The key will be to get out to a fast start. Spaz's teams have struggled during the first half of the season (4-2 with two non-competitive losses in 2009, 2-4 in 2010 and 1-5 in 2011 over each season's first six games). Another early season rough patch and not only BC won't be bowling, the program will also be in the market for a new head coach.
Who is the more likely heir apparent to the “You Know, That Really Great Linebacker From BC” crown: Steele Divitto or Kevin Pierre-Louis?
It terms of filling Kuechly's actual shoes, it is neither Divitto nor Pierre-Louis. Sophomore Sean Duggan, who went to Kuechly's St. Xavier HS in Cincinnati, is most likely to take over for Kuechly at the MLB spot.
As for the heir apparent, I think that title is WLB Kevin Pierre-Louis' to lose. KPL has finished second in tackles behind Kuechly in each of his first two seasons on the Heights. Look to him to replace some, but not all, of the production lost from Kuechly's departure.
Based on name alone though, you have to go with Divitto. Kid's name is Steele.
Two Questions In The Other Direction
The ACC and Big East have or will have quite a number of membership changes over the next few years. Is conference realignment something that the bowl selection committee pays attention to?
Quite a bit. For one, realignment affects the slate that's available to us (though we won't know exactly where any of the new teams will slot in a new conference until a full season plays out). In the short term, the new teams mean new relationships to build and new locations to scout. We skirt this a little with the ACC, as the newest entries are Big East transfers. Still, it requires a bit of education internally and externally as our landscape changes.
The ACC has won each of the last two meetings with the Big East, and 8 of the last 10 bowls. Is this the year that the Big East takes it, or does the ACC make it a three-peat?
The interesting wrinkle for me is that neither of our previous two ACC opponents are eligible in 2012, since West Virginia has since moved to the Big 12 and Notre Dame cannot be selected for the next two seasons. So we're guaranteed to see a new Big East team in 2012, which opens up a number of possibilities. There's also the number of ACC vs. Big East regular season games that will impact our selection committee's decision in December. The ACC is 20-18 against the Big East in regular season and bowl games since 2007, so the only thing that seems certain is that we'll have a close game going into the fourth quarter, which is what you hope for when you make these conference matchups.
Thanks to Brian and BC Interruption for helping out.
Big East Previews
- Syracuse with Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
- USF with Voodoo Five