Back in the Mix
Well, it's time to get back into the mix after a long weekend in Ohio catching the NFL Hall of Fame Game.
Very nice article in today's Washington Post talking about BC's efforts to settle in to the ACC. The whole thing is worth reading, but I loved this quote from Ryan Glasper:
"We are Boston College; we have athletes like any other school in the country," Glasper said. "We respect our opponents, but in the meantime, we want to earn respect. You don't have to like me, but you will respect me."If only our illustrious coaching staff had the same passion to earn respect for the football program, rather than sleepwalking through another 8-win season with little in the way of wins over meainingful opposition.
Glasper will be missed this season, but sophomore Paul Anderson seems ready to have a big season in his relief. As good as Glasper is, Anderson will need to seriously step up his game to keep the defense running at full speed--but the kid seems to have the right attitude. August 31st can't come soon enough.
Another guy who could be in for a huge season is junior linebacker JoLonn Dunbar, who was surprisingly voted defensive captain by his teammates on Monday. The fact that Dunbar was named captain over proven starters Jamie Silva and Brian Toal can only speak good things about the defense's chemistry. With Dunbar stepping into Ray Henderson's role as the "quarterback of the defense", he's another guy FHMAM is expecting huge things from this season. What the linebacking corps loses in leadership and experience with the departure of Henderson and Ricky Brown, it gains in raw athleticism with Dunbar and Tyronne Pruitt. Hopefully, this will improve the unit's capability against the short passing and outside running games favored by many ACC teams.
Also coming out of the Dunbar article, it appears that Kevin Sheridan has won the competition for the starting center role. FHMAM would still like to see Gosder Cherilus moved to LT, where his athleticism and size would be a tremendous asset not only for BC but also for Cherilus' future draft status, which in turn would help recruiting. Marten is an excellent LG but it remains to be seen whether he has the quickness and footwork neccesary to play LT against ACC-caliber opposition.
Out of Tallahassee comes word that BC is in talks with Florida State and the ACC to replace Miami as FSU's Labor Day opener for the 2007 season. While debate has raged on the BC message boards as to whether or not this would be a favorable arrangment for the Eagles, FHMAM has to come down in favor of it. The game would be a night home opener, played in front of a national TV audience (with no competing games) in an absolutely rocking Alumni Stadium. While the team won't get the weather advantage it might have gained by playing FSU in late November, there's no guarantee that the game would be played that late anyway; besides, a BC team loaded with senior experience could be able to come out early and blow FSU off the line. All in all, any move that raises the program's national profile needs to be made. Gene DeFilippo needs to make this happen.
Nice article in yesterday's Herald on Matt Ryan's ascension to the unchallenged starting role. This kid needs to have a big, breakout year if BC is to succeed, and he's got the right attitude. Hopefully Wizard of Incompetence Dana Bible won't be able to impede his development. Ryan has the tools to be a future day 1 or possibly even Round 1 draft pick, but it all starts this year. If he can lead BC to a 10-win regular season (which has to be the very minimum goal for the program this year), he will start attracting NFL and Heisman attention heading into his senior year.
Sunday's Herald had a piece about Ryan Ohliger meeting with a sports psychiatrist in an attempt to improve his consistency. Hopefully it or something will work, but if not, TOB has to be willing to hand the kicking duties over to Billy Flutie, who by all accounts has an impressive leg. Ohliger's problems are not physical--he has the leg, he just has never had the mindset neccesary to kick at this level. Hopefully he will get his shit straightened out over the summer, but luckily with blue-chip kicker Billy Bennett set to arrive in 2007 the placekicking duties shouldn't be an issue after 2006. Incidentally, with the staff's failure to recruit anyone at quarterback over the last few years, Flutie will need to be a jack of all trades this season--pushing Ohliger for the starting kicking job while at the same time backing up Johnny Ayers at punter and serving as emergency QB behind Ryan and Chris Crane. In 2007, Flutie can redshirt (hopefully alongside Matt Simms), with Bennett taking over the kicking duties and Ross Applegate coming off a redshirt of his own to serve as #3 QB.
Frustrated with GDF?? Here's your chance to tell him what's on your mind. The chat will be held at 4 PM on August 15th; while there's little doubt that questions will be pre-screened and only softball flull questions will be actually be publically answered, there's still hope that GDF will at least see the dissention among the ranks and possibly, hopefully, change his way of thinking. The fact that single-game tickets for all home games recently went on general sale is not a good sign, folks. It's time to ratchet up the pressure on GDF and get some changes and some excitement into this program.
Some bad news from the ice as highly-touted Toronto forward Corey Trivino, who had been considering BC, has reportedly committed to BU. To quote Maverick65 on the EagleAction message board, "With a last name like that, he'll be a popular young man on the golf course in late March and early April." In happier non-football recruiting news about guys named "Corey", small forward Corey Raji--brother of football DT B.J.--has signed to play hoops for the Eagles.
Finally, on a happier note, congrats to the newest members of BC's Varsity Hall of Fame: Cal Bouchard, Bill Curley, Stephen Boyd, Pete Mitchell, David Emma, Erin Magee, Mark Mcgehearty, and Sean McGehearty. Incidentally, my NCAA 2007 dynasty team just won the 2010-11 National Championship under the leadership of a QB from Canton, Ohio named Steve Boyd. Weird.
Check back tonight for FHMAM's ACC Preview and Bowl projections. Let's just say it could be a Holy War in Jacksonville next January.