Waiting for WTF
BC fans are all too familiar with the phenomenon known as the WTF Loss. For the unfamiliar, this is the name given to the game (at least one every year) that BC has absolutely no business losing, but does anyway. Over the last 3 years of Tom O'Brien's tenure at The Heights, the following, in my opinion, could be considered WTF losses:
Wake Forest 32, BC 28; 8-30-03, Chestnut Hill
Syracuse 39, BC 13; 10-18-03, Syracuse
Wake Forest 17, BC 14; 9-25-04, Winston-Salem
Pitt 20, BC 17; 10-16-04, Pittsburgh
Syracuse 43, BC 17; 11-27-04, Chestnut Hill
North Carolina 16, BC 14; 11-5-05, Chapel Hill
Many are predicting that Saturday's game against NC State will be this year's WTF game. Is their concern valid?? To help, let's look at a few trends shared by many of BC's recent WTF losses.
1. WTF losses usually fall late in the year.
While this is not a foolproof method of prediction, most of BC's WTF losses have taken place in mid-October or later. The only outliers are the two Wake Forest games, both of which occured before BC was an ACC team. The theory goes that, as late-season losses tend to be more costly than those in the early season, the likelihood of these losses thus increases.
2. WTF losses are just as likely to occur at home and on the road, and are just as likely to involve a few key turns of the game costing BC a win as they are a total and utter meltdown.
3. WTF losses usually come against a team that, while inferior to BC, is still decent.
This is the most important thing, in my opinion, to keep in mind when looking forward to NC State. While three of the WTF losses have come to teams that finished with losing records, most agree that those teams (Wake Forest in 2003 and 2004, North Carolina in 2005) were better than their records indicated. The other WTF games came against a pair of 6-6 Syracuse teams in 2003 and 2004, and 8-4 Pitt in 2004. NC State, if its showings against Akron and Southern Mississippi are any indication, is not in the class of these teams. While BC may struggle against the MAC teams of the world, it always pulls out victory in the end.
When looking for this year's WTF loss, one might look in the direction of Wake Forest or Maryland (or, before last week, BYU). Heading into Saturday, however, I am cautiously optimistic about NC State.