An uncensored, politically incorrect, and uninhibited look at Boston College athletics by an angry drunk with a keyboard
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Meineke Charlotte Muffler Tire Continental Bowl Prediction
Sitting in a public library in Asheville, NC right now so no time for a full preview, but I think BC is fired up for this one and the Eagles will roll. Navy's triple option will cause BC a few problems early but our LBs have the speed to shut it down and the defense will adjust by the end of the first quarter. Prediction: BC 45, Navy 14.
Not that they really mean a lot, but it was nice to see ESPN's 2-sport rankings (based on the Sagarin ratings) place BC as the #6 school in the country for combined football and basketball. Pulling in behind Texas, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, BC is the top ACC school as well as the top private school in the ratings, just ahead of Notre Dame at #7 (and after the two Catholic schools there is a huge drop-off before the next private institution, USC at #28). Not bad.
Also, a little birdie told me today that Ole Miss assistant head coach/OL coach Art Kehoe is among the leading candidates for the offensive coordinator job at FSU. Kehoe spent 25 years coaching (and 2 years playing) at Miami, and as such will be very familiar not only with the 'Noles but also with several of their ACC rivals, including BC. Without knowing a lot about the guy, it seems like a good hire based on his pedigree. Obviously this is not official yet.
It is unbelievably exciting to have a coach who genuinely wants to be at BC and who views the unique things that make BC what it is as selling points rather than excuses. The Herald's Steve Buckley has a great column in Thursday's issue talking about exactly this. Jags wants to make BC football fun again--for the players, coaches, and the fans.
I can't wait for September. And I guarantee you this--come our home opener, not a single person will still be on Shea Field by kickoff time. That's what happens when your football team is actually fun to watch--even more fun than slamming Busch Lights in the parking lot.
Greensville, NC radio is apparently reporting that former East Carolina HC and Berlin Thunder QBs coach and current Rhein Fire OC Steve Logan has been brought on board to run BC's offense. No confirmation yet obviously.
Some info on Logan, who also previously held assistant jobs at Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, and Colorado:
One more thought--it can't hurt our chances of getting the next blue-chip black QB recruit when you can point to an OC who has successfully put two black QBs (Jeff Blake, David Garrard) into the NFL from a mid-major program.
I'm cautiously optimistic about this. I will say that 2 weeks ago I would've liked this hire a lot, and my less than total enthusiasm about it now is not a result of me souring on Jags but rather the fact that I got carried away and fired up for Whipple.
The 3 main things that worry me with Jags are the lack of success of the Packers' offense this year, his relative lack of college experience, and the fact that most of the college experience he does have was as an offensive assistant under TOB.
That said, I do think he has tremendous positives as well. He did do a pretty good job with BC's offense during his time in Chestnut Hill, and he seems to have the right type of personality for the job. Building a strong staff will be essential for him, due to his lack of experience in the college game. He will also need a good recruiting coordinator; Notre Dame WR coach Rob Ianello is a name that has been repeatedly tossed around for this job. Jags' NFL ties will also help in recruiting, although it still would've been nice to have a guy who could pull out a Super Bowl ring on the recruiting trail.
There's also still the possibility that Richmond head coach Dave Clawson will come on board as the new OC. Also, it seems likely at this point that Spaz will stay on board as will most of the defensive staff, which is another move that has both positives and negatives.
At the end of the day, I don't think this is the ideal hire but I think it's a good hire. I'm certainly willing to give Jags a shot. And hell, TOB is gone--we should all be happy.
Complete silence out of all sides today--general consensus seems to be that Whipple is the guy (although Jagodzinski and Jay Norvell are names that have picked up some momentum over the last few days) but the silence is deafening. Hopefully this is the calm before the storm and we'll get an announcement by early next week.
Vega is reporting that Whipple is all but a done deal and the Steelers QB coach is already looking at recruiting lists and beginning to make decisions on assistants. I've heard other places that the deal will be announced by early next week, and possibly as early as tomorrow. We can only hope this is true.
Reports are that goalie John Muse of Falmouth, MA and Noble & Greenough School has committed to BC. He is considered capable of stepping in next year but is expected to spend a year in the USHL if Corey Schneider returns for his senior year. Muse is a butterfly-style goalie who has put up excellent stats for Noble and is considered a very good shot-stopper with excellent positioning. This will be a huge sigh of relief for Eagles fans who have been anxious over the team's previous failure to secure a blue-chip goaltender recruit for the post-Corey era. Although Muse's lack of other elite-level offers (his other offers came from Harvard, UMass, and Princeton) is somewhat worrying, those who have seen him have nothing but positive things to say and he seems very capable of getting the job done at the Heights, although a year in the USHL will certainly help his development.
''I told someone earlier in the week that it definitely was not going to be a 10-9 game,'' Whipple said. The coach went on to say that he thought ''45 [points] would be enough to get it done.'' He did not smile when he said that. Think about it: It's one thing to say that your team needs 45 points to win. It's quite another to have confidence in your team's ability to score 45.
That's only one reason Marcum should be a little nervous this morning. Whipple took a team that was 2-9 last season and turned it into the best group in the country. In only one year. He tinkered with his quarterback, got a 100-meter champion from Florida [Jimmy Moore] to play receiver, and recruited a few other players. But he basically took the core from a last-place team and produced 12 wins. He is also an offensive nut. He instructed his team to begin the game with an outrageous five-receiver flood set called, ''Chattanooga.'' He promised the players that they would run that play to begin the game, regardless of starting position. He said he did it to ''break up the tension'' on the sideline.
Then there is Whipple's play-calling. He likes to go for it on fourth down, even if he can feel the shadow of his own end zone. Against Lehigh, the Minutemen went for it on fourth and 1 from their own 28. They made it. Yesterday, Whipple was about to go for an onside kick late in the second quarter and his team up 17 points. Georgia Southern coach Paul Johnson noticed this and put his hands team on the field. Whipple was in their heads early. They couldn't make halftime adjustments because what exactly were they going to adjust to? Big-time programs pay attention to people like Whipple. Don't be surprised in a couple weeks when his name pops up as someone's coaching candidate for 1999.
Whipple's players were thanking him yesterday. He was the one who told them to get over their low expectations and think about a title. He wasn't always nice when he said it either. He once got on Shipp during a road trip because he was not wearing a tie. He is a man of details and discipline. The players learned to absorb those qualities. Yesterday they practiced them.
The Globe confirmed today, from a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report, that GDF met with Mark Whipple yesterday in Pittsburgh. Wouldn't have minded him flying into town to take in the hoops win over Maryland, but I'll take it. I think this is our man, folks--especially as Bill Cowher has endorsed him for the job. Rivals is reporting (subscription required) that GDF will meet with Jim Fassel this week and that Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski could also come into play. Nonetheless, I believe and hope that Whipple will be an Eagle by next week.
Rivals is also reporting that BC is still very much in the running for DE Ernest Owesu, but that we are likely out of the picture for Jamar Jackson.
Nice recap articles in the Herald and Globe on last night's hoops win over Maryland; also a great Herald article on Tyrese Rice's role in BC's flex offense.
Finally, a pair of new blogs covering BC basketball have come to my attention: Angry Eagle and BC Hoop-la. Both look great so far, so check 'em out. Like Eagle in Atlanta, these blogs appear to be dedicated to responsible and intelligent journalism and reasoned analysis the likes of which you will definitely not find here.
Finally, on the hockey recruiting front, Hockey East Blog is reporting that BC has added Paul Carey, a 6'1/185 winger out of Salisbury Prep to its 2008 class.
With an official announcement still yet to arrive, most signs are still pointing to Mark Whipple as BC's next head coach. GDF was in Pittsburgh today interviewing Whipple, whom the Steelers have given BC permission to talk to. The other leading candidate for the job appears to be Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe, but nonetheless I will be surprised if Whipple is not the guy.
Things also seem to be holding steady on the recruiting front, with Arthur Ray Jr. remaining the only recruit to have de-committed since TOB's departure. OT Nathan Richman and, surprisingly, WR Dominic Magazu have emphatically re-iterated their commitment to BC, while RB Devon Ramsay and OG Nick Schepis are remaining committed to BC while keeping their options open.
Mixed results for the hockey team this weekend as they closed out the semester with a split against UMass. The Eagles fell 2-1 on Friday night in Amherst despite dominating play but rebounded with a 5-2 win last night in Conte behind two goals from Brian Boyle, who is returning to a more natural position in front of the goal on the Eagles' power play, as detailed in an article in today's Globe. The team is now done for the semester and will next take the ice on Jan. 5th at Northeastern.
The basketball team also opened up ACC play tonight, notching a very impressive performance in a 72-63 win over Maryland at Conte Forum.
Hockey Eagles head to Amherst tonight to take on UMass to take on the Minutemen, with the rematch tomorrow night at Conte. The teams are coming in seemingly headed in different directions, with BC coming off a key 1-0 win at Agganis Arena with the Minutemen trying to rebound from a bad 3-0 loss at Merrimack. UMass always will get up to play the Eagles but BC should take the sweep in this one. Look for Brian Boyle and Brett Motherwell to step it up and take charge of their leadership roles on this team this weekend; I'm looking for a couple of big games from both guys. Prediction: BC 3, UMass 1 (Friday); BC 5, UMass 0 (Saturday)
The one downside to TOB's departure from the Heights is the effect it will have on this year's recruiting class. I'll try to keep track on this blog of our 2007 recruits and their reactions to the coaching change. As of what I've heard so far:
-OGArthur Ray Jr. has de-committed from BC and is shopping around. He seemed to be wavering from his commitment recently even before TOB's departure. I think it is unlikely that he will return to BC; most likely he will end up at a lower-to-mid-level Big Ten program such as Illinois or Michigan State
-K Billy Bennett and WR Corey Gatewood have both strongly re-affirmed their commitments to BC and publically urged other recruits to come for the school, not the former coaching staff. We cannot thank either of these guys enough for their efforts
-BC's 2 most recent commits, TE Lars Anderson and DE Jeff Rieskamp are both taking a "wait and see" attitude. Both indicate that they will still likely come to BC but will explore other options as well. Anderson in particular is a risk, as NC State was one of the finalists for his services before his initial commitment to BC. My gut tells me that BC will hang on to both guys, but it isn't a sure thing
-CB Michael Peterson has said that BC is still the most likely candidate for his services, but that he will consider offers from South Florida, Vanderbilt, and a potential offer from Georgia Tech. Depending on who the new head coach is, BC should be able to beat out the Bulls and Commodores, but a GT offer could become a problem unless BC first hires a new coach and secures a re-commitment
-LB Will Thompson has been in contact with other schools and will take a visit to UConn, but seems to still strongly favor BC. He also made a point of saying that he will not follow TOB to NC State. My read is that he still wants to come to BC but is keeping his options open in case BC goes in a direction he doesn't like with the coaching hire. The fact that his only scheduled visit to UConn is interesting, as Huskies coach Randy Edsall has been rumored by some to be among BC's top choices; look for Edsall to try to make a personal connection with Thompson during that visit, rather than neccesarily trying to sell him on UConn as a school
-RB Devon Ramsay is now listed as a "soft verbal" on Rivals. I don't think this is much to be worried about; I think he, Thompson, and Peterson will all quickly re-affirm their commitments to BC as long as the new coach isn't someone like Bob Davie
-WR Dominic Magazu has had no public change in his status, but my feeling is that he is as good as gone. He is from Charlotte and his dad, Panthers tight ends coach Dave, is a former TOB assistant. Look for him to follow TOB to Raleigh
A couple of body blows to BC's coaching search today as Navy head coach Paul Johnson issued a statement today re-affirming his commitment to Annapolis, and ESPN is now reporting that Randy Shannon will be promoted to the head coaching job at Miami.
With those two names off the board, BC still has a wealth of candidates to choose from. As long as it's not Bob Davie or Randy Edsall, we will be fine.
1. Mark Whipple 2. David Cutcliffe 3. Jim Fassel 4. Steve Kragthorpe 5. Bud Foster
I woke up this morning and everything was just better. Food tastes better, the air is cleaner, birds are chirping, supermodels clad only in hooker boots (one maroon, one gold) and cowboy hats with an angry chicken logo on the front are sponge-bathing me and hand feeding me.
As always, ATL Eagle was on the scene within a few hours of the announcement drawing up a list of potential replacements. Not much I can add there, other than that in addition to the guys he named I would also keep an eye on South Florida HC Jim Leavitt and Baltimore Ravens DC Rex Ryan.
As for my shortlist right now?? I honestly don't know. I'll give a shot at a top 5--but keep in mind this is open to change with little or no warning:
1. Mark Whipple 2. David Cutcliffe 3. Paul Johnson 4. Jim Fassel 5. Randy Shannon
Jim Grobe would be #1 at this list and Norm Chow would be close to the top, but I don't think either guy is a realistic proposition.
In all honesty, I'd be absolutely elated with any of those 5 guys, as well as others who just missed my shortlist including Steve Kraglethorpe, Rex Ryan, Bud Foster, Jimbo Fisher, and probably another half-dozen guys I'm forgetting.
The only outside guy that I absolutely do NOT want is Bob Davie. This would be an absolute disaster of a hire, but luckily I don't see it happening--GDF is not going to go out and hire a guy that TOB repeatedly beat like a drum. Another guy whose name has been tossed around that does nothing for me is Harvard HC Tim Murphy, but I don't see that one happening either.
My thoughts on TOB as a head coach are well-documented on this site, so I won't bore you by going over them again here. Suffice it to say that I am very glad he is gone.
That said, my feelings on him as a coach had never extended to my opinion of him as a human being. That was, until I heard a rumor on the EagleAction board that the BC players heard about the news the same way we did--on the Internet and on TV. I started a thread on EagleInsider relaying the rumor but re-iterating my sincere hope that it was not true.
Then about an hour ago, I received the following message on Facebook:
I'm (redacted) on the Eagle Insider board. My account is messed up such that I can't post anything, all I can do is read. You started a thread about one of the football players finding out and calling the rest of the team. That just so happened to be my roommate. He just found out by accident. He was watching NECN on TV and it showed "O'brien going to NCState" on the scroll thing at the bottem. He freaked out and started calling people. So, yes, it is true that the team was not told. The only way they found out was because my roommate happened to be watching TV.
That pretty much says it all. Utterly classless and inexcusable.
Whatever my opinion of him as a coach, until tonight I had always had a high opinion of TOB as a person. But even if we go 0-12 for the next 20 years, we are better off without him. Good riddance.
I want a guy that believes the sky is the limit for BC and is not afraid to take on these southern schools and go General Sherman on them. Beat them up, beat them down, kick them in the junk, throw them to the curb and bring in the next victim.
If you read interviews with guys who played in the NFL in the 80s and early 90s they all say that the team they hated to play more than any other was Buddy Ryan's Eagles. Reason being that we had the toughest, hardest-hitting defense in the league and every offensive player in the NFL knew that every time they went up against the Birds, they would get the shit kicked out of them. They might win the game, but they would have to fucking pay for it with blood.
That is what I want for BC. I want these soft southerners to DREAD coming to the Heights. I want a defense that terrifies and brutalizes the opposition. I want a 46 defense with Silva next year and then Mulrooney as the down safety. I want BC to play with an ATTITUDE. Sometimes you'll play a better team and they'll win. That is understandable. But I NEVER want to see BC just give away a game as happens 2-3 times every year under TOB. We won't win every game, but if we lose we must make the other team EARN it. Leave them/send them home battered, bruised, and bloody. There will always be teams in the country with better athletes than we have. But I never again want to see a BC team out-hearted.
When was the last time a BC team played its heart out and lost anyway?? Maybe FSU aside from the 2 Pick 6s, but that's about it. If we play with balls and with heart and lose anyway to a superior team, I will still be proud.
But I want every opposing team to know that if they play us, they can count on getting their asses kicked physically and they can count on BC coming balls out on every snap.
It's up to our new coach to instill that attitude. And it's up to GDF to bring in a man who can instill it.
Hearing from multiple places now that TOB is in the final stages of contract negotiations with NC State. ATLEagle surmises that a TOB-coached NC State team would beat BC every year because he'd actually get fired up for the game just as he's managed to get fired up for Notre Dame and bowl games here, and while that is a possibility you could also look at it from the perspective that the Atlantic Division championship would then be a 5-team race because no TOB-led team will ever win a division or conference championship.
Amidst the soul-crushing fury surrounding our damnation to Charlotte, I neglected to mention the hockey team's 1-0 win over Eurabia Tech. Always great to take out Comm Ave's trash.
In other news, Friday's BC-BU game at Conte has been rescheduled for Jan. 24. Word is that the game will start over from the beginning; if this is the case then Terriers D Eric Gryba would presumably be eligible to take part. Although given his performance on Saturday, that may not be such a bad thing for the Eagles. There is also the troubling possibility that Brandon Yip will have recovered from his injury by then.
It's always a tough game for me, but it'll still be fun, because I'll know a lot of people in Charlotte and a lot of guys that I went to school with, so it'll be a nice time to go. The bowl game is okay, but I wouldn't be real excited to play them in a regular season series, but as a reward for the football team to now play in a bowl game, a one-time thing is ok.
I know it was pretty well-locked down to Orlando, Nashville, or Charlotte. I think the situation is better for the team in Charlotte because they get to spend Christmas at home, not in a hotel. If we had played the 29th then we would have traveled the 25th.
This team did everything it had to on the field. We had a great season; a nine-win season. We played eight bowl teams, and were 6-2 against bowl teams; we beat two conference champions and beat two ten-win football teams, so our team had a great season. One thing that we want to accomplish for these seniors is to win the 10th game, it didn't matter, we'd go anywhere to win this 10th game, and so if it's Charlotte, than it's Charlotte.
BC should decline the Tire Bowl bid. If all the ACC cares about is money then force them to lose the bowl's payout. See if they fuck with us again.
But I don't want to let our pussy of a head coach off the hook--we fucking KNEW all season that this would happen unless we took care of business on the field, and we still come out flat for a make-or-break game against Wake Forest and we still lose two absolutely inexcusable games to horrible NC State and Miami teams.
This is a horrible bowl in a shithole city against a mediocre team that we play all the time anyway. Where exactly is the fucking appeal in this?? Give me ONE good reason why I should go to this game even if I lived in Charlotte let alone travel to go see it.
TOB couldn't be happier with this situation. You think he actually WANTS to play a bowl game against a real team that would put his precious bowl win streak in jeopardy?? Not only does he get a virtually guaranteed win, but he'll also get another game with no BC turnout to point to to justify HIS failure to take us to a good bowl game.
There is absolutely ZERO excuse for this asshole to still be our coach and there is absolutely ZERO excuse for us to be going to this shithole bowl. If GDF had any balls at all he would decline the invitation but we all know that isn't happening so I guess maybe I'll get out of bed to watch the game and maybe I won't. Fuck this bullshit.
Meet Wake Forest University--your 2006 ACC Champions.
A perennial doormat, a school with every excuse that TOB and his band of ass-kissers use to justify the Hen's continued employment despite his complete and utter FAILURE to improve the program at all during the last 5 years, has won the ACC and will play in the Orange Bowl on January 4.
Wake Forest's fans will be spending New Year's on South Beach.
Wake Forest's fans will get the chance of a lifetime to see their team play in a BCS game.
Wake Forest's fans have a great chance to see their team WIN a BCS game, given that the opponent will likely be either Louisville or Rutgers.
Every day that passes with TOB's continued employment at BC is an assault on BC's loyal and hardcore fans. The man has absolutely no loyalty to the school and publically bashes his own team's fans in an attempt to justify his own FAILURES. He has taken our program NOWHERE in the last 5 years and will take us NOWHERE in the next 5, 10, 15, however long his miserable tenure continues at BC.
TOB must be fired. NOW. Get rid of him and Bible, let Spaziani coach the bowl game, then open up the pocketbooks and bring in a REAL coach. Jim Grobe himself would be great, but if not him, then someone who can do for us what Grobe has done for Wake Forest.
TWBallgame9 on the EagleInsider board had a great quote yesterday:
Support for BC is not conditional. Support for the head coach is conditional on his performance. Unconditional support for the head coach is conditional support for the school.
Well I'm here in Jacksonville, and it's fucking crazy here. The town is full of BC fans, pumped that Tom O'Brien finally got us over the hump and we're ready to stomp the shit out of the Yellowjackets and head to the Rose Bowl....
Well, no, I'm not. Once again, with the path to the ACC Championship Game paved clear for us, TOB shits the bed with inexcusable losses to horrible NC State and Miami teams; even the Wake Forest loss, despite the fact that the Deacons are a legitimately very good team this year, might not have happened had the coaching staff shown any sort of creativity and innovation whatsoever.
With that said, we as BC fans should all be pulling hard for the Deacs today. Any excuse you can make for TOB's performance, Wake Forest has it at least as bad. Let's look at some of the excuses typically used by the syncophants for TOB's failure to take BC to the next level:
Small school?? BC's undergraduate enrollment is about twice Wake's.
Private, religious school?? Wake is a Baptist university, hence their nickname.
Stringent academics?? BC was 34th nationally in the latest US News and World Report rankings; Wake was 30th (and Notre Dame was 20th and Michigan 24th and USC 27th, but I digress).
Small fanbase?? Wake's is smaller. Not only do they have a far smaller enrollment and alumni base as detailed above, but BC as the only legitimate D1A program in New England draws on a decent number of subway alums to help make up its fanbase; Wake, on the other hand, has virtually none, having to compete with two huge state schools an hour up the road for the interest of the non-affiliated fan.
No local talent to draw from?? Sure, there's a lot more talent in North Carolina than there is in New England, but BC's only local competition is UConn; Wake, on the other hand, has to compete 2 traditional ACC powers plus a strong mid-major program (East Carolina) in-state, not to mention 4 ACC and 4 SEC schools in neighboring states (and West Virginia, Louisville, and the Alabama and northern Florida schools a reasonable drive from North Carolina). BC is in the position of being able to pick and choose just about any New England recruit it wants, whereas Wake has to fight with the likes of Clemson, Tennessee, and Georgia for its top in-state talent. Overall, despite the talent gap, I'd take BC's situation with local talent over Wake's.
No history and tradition of success?? BC is regarded nationally as a solid, if not elite program; while BC fans know the bowl streak is a smoke-and-mirrors act, it still impresses the uninitiated. BC is also responsible for one of the two most legendary plays in the history of college football. Wake, on the other hand, has been second only to Duke as the ACC's doormat until very recently.
Insistence on running a clean program?? I don't profess to know what goes on behind the scenes at Wake, but I'd be shocked if Jim Grobe is running a "dirty" program.
As you can see, with every game that Jim Grobe wins at Wake Forest, the TOB Excuse of the Day begins to ring more and more hollow.
GO DEACS, and with that said I give you a preview of BC's upcoming bowl game:
Tonight's BC-BU game was called off after about 11 minutes of play due to excessive fog on the ice. It will be rescheduled, but that's not the point. This is absolutely inexcusable and humiliating (on national TV!!), and heads need to roll as a result of this. It's not as if there was no warning, either--the same thing happened at last year's preseason exhibition game, and no steps were taken to ensure that it would not happen again. Sure enough, it smacks us in the ass on national TV and in our biggest home game of the year. Lovely.
This is just another glaring example of the complete neglect shown for the hockey program, traditionally BC's most successful athletic program, by the athletic department under Gene DeFilippo. They screwed the players, the fans, everyone. What about fans who came in from out of town to see a pair of BC-BU games and won't be able to make the reschedule date?? Will BC refund their tickets?? Doubtful.
I'll tell you something else, too--I GUARANTEE that the game will be rescheduled for a date during the Christmas break, when no students will be in the building.
It's 4:20 pm (which may be appealing to some of my readers), faceoff for tonights BC-BU game at Conte is in less than 4 hours and I am still seriously entertaining the notion of jumping in my car, flooring it to the airport, and getting on a last-minute flight to Boston to show up just in time for faceoff. That's how big this weekend is.
BC's hockey team has struggled so far this year, most recently dropping a tough 6-3 contest at home to UNH. BU also does not come into the weekend firing on full cylinders, having disappointingly tied UMass 2-2 at home on Tuesday after an unconvincing 2-1 home win over Yale last Saturday. Both teams are struggling somewhat early in the season, but both certainly have the talent to bounce back and make a long postseason run.
Throw all that out the window, because none of it matters tonight and tomorrow night. This is BC-BU, and emotions and physical play will always be the theme of the day. It is one of American sports' greatest rivalries, and even if there was a significant gap between the two teams in talent or current form it would be highly unlikely that either team will take the full 4 points this weekend. Throw in the fact that these two teams are very evenly matched, and these will be two great games.
BU will be looking for revenge, plain and simple. They've had all summer to think about last year's NCAA regional final, where they had their season humiliatingly ended 5-0 by the Eagles. They will need a big weekend from John Curry if they are to defeat the Eagles, but Curry, in the fine tradition of BU goalies, more often than not comes through in games against BC (that glorious night in Worcester [how often has THAT phrase ever appeared in print??] notwithstanding). Jack "The Alc" Parker's team will also be looking to senior captain Kenny Roche, currently leading the Terriers with 11 points, to lead the charge. Sophomore Matt Gilroy, expected by many to have a breakout season, is currently lagging behind BU's top scorers but could get his season kick-started with a big weekend against BC. The loss of sophomore Brandon Yip, a constant thorn in BC's side last year, will not help the Terriers.
For BC's part, the outcome of the weekend will come down to the play of the young defense--particularly the unit's leaders, Mike Brennan and Brett Motherwell. Motherwell, touted as a preseason All-American and Hobey Baker candidate in just his sophomore year, has had a disappointing season to date but still has plenty of time to turn it around. Brennan, on the other hand, needs to start living up to his leadership role and stop taking stupid penalties. On the other end of the ice, Joe Rooney seems to be finally living up to his potential. While not having the Collins-esque breakout year that many had hoped for (if not entirely expected), Rooney is leading the Eagles with 15 points and will seek to recreate his heroics from the 5-0 game in Worcester. However, it's also time for Brian Boyle to step it up and start becoming the dominating force that he is capable of being. His production so far (13 points) is decent, but nothing special; more so than the numbers however, he needs to realize that this is HIS team, take it by the scruff of the neck, and drag it to victory, singlehandedly if need be. Boyle still has time to put together a Hobey Baker season but he needs to start stepping it up now.
I think he'll do it, and I think BC will do it. Tonight's game will be very hard-fought (even by BC-BU standards) as the Terriers will seek revenge for March's 5-0 defeat. I do expect BC to weather the storm and come out with a point before riding Cory Schneider to a win tomorrow night at Agganis. Prediction: BC 2, BU 2 (Friday); BC 3, BU 1 (Saturday)
Faceoff in just a little over 3 hours on CSTV, with tomorrow's game at 7 pm on CN8. Until then, check out this great preview video courtesy of CSTV: