Saturday, April 28, 2007

Spring Forward

In an effort to keep my mind off the fact that the Eagles just drafted fucking Kevin Kolb 36th overall, I'll share some thoughts on today's spring game.

I was very happy with what happened today. Both units clicked and played well for the most part, although I felt the defense had the slightly better day. Before the game, I attended the Gridiron Club breakfast at Conte (sat with BJ Raji - great guy), and Jags mentioned that at the conclusion of every team meeting, he asks the question "What are you here for??". The answer is "championships". In his brief speech, Jags went out of his way to mention his belief that anything less than a championship this season will be a disappointment. Seriously, how can you not love this guy?? Tobias never even BELIEVED we could win a championship, and he sure as hell was too scared to say something like that publicly and raise expectations. The days of excuse making, expectation managing, and an air of arrogance around the Yawkey Center are over. The Jags Era has begun. Raji mentioned to me that the new coaching staff is far more personable and hands-on than the old regime, and while we all kind of knew that already, it still impresses me to see, for lack of a better word, how happy all the players that I've talked to--whether it was Raji today, the guys I ran into in the Philadelphia airport a few days before the bowl game, or guys I just see around campus--seem to be under the new staff.

The game itself was fairly boring from a detached perspective, but there were a lot of very interesting things. The offense, as I expected would be for this game, was pretty vanilla--more aggressive than it had been under Dana Bible, but nothing really fancy. No misdirection plays or anything like that, although I think we'll see that sort of stuff slowly work its way into the playbook come fall.

What impressed me more than anything else was the play of Matt Ryan. I'm not talking about his stats, which were impressive but not overly so (19-33, 233 yards, 1 TD). He simply has "it". As good as he was last year, his pocket presence and decision making today looked vastly improved over what we saw previously. This kid is going to be a top 10 draft pick a year from now, and has a chance to go #1 overall. He has all the tools, and now he's got a real QB coach as well. He is simply going to be stellar this year. Chris Crane was also solid--we're in good hands come 2008. One thing that largely got unnoticed but impressed me about Crane was his poise in calling a timeout to prevent an illegal substitution penalty on a field goal attempt. Those are the type of heads-up decisions you need your QB to be able to make, and they can win and lose games.

Staying in the backfield, I was very pleasantly surprised with the play of the RBs. All 4 backs saw time with both offensive units, although LV Whitworth and Andre Callender got most of the first-team reps. Callender was the best of the running backs, but Whitworth really surprised me. He appears to have lost about 15-20 pounds, and was noticeably faster and quicker today than he's been since his freshman year. He could finally be ready to be a solid BCS-caliber back. See what happens when you get a real strength and conditioning coach instead of Yoga Boy?? Jeff Smith saw quite a few reps at RB and generally looked good, although his fumble concerned me. He's obviously got blazing speed, but I still question his vision a little bit. There were a few plays today where he kind of just ran into the line of scrimmage where there was nothing available. Particularly with the new blocking scheme, he needs to learn to sit back a little bit and wait for a hole to open up (and if nothing does, to use his speed and bounce outside). But he's still learning. Not only is it only his second year in the program, it's only his second year playing RB (he was a QB in high school). I think he'll see increased reps on offense this year, and by about next year he'll really start putting it together and excelling. AJ Brooks also looked good, and I still think he's got a great shot to be our starting RB in the fall.

The receivers were a mixed bag. Kevin Challenger didn't play, and it seemed like Brandon Robinson came down with the ball more than half the time Ryan put it up. Clarence Megwa had a solid game and I still say he'll be considered one of BC's greatest ever wideouts by the time he graduates. The tight ends were solid but unspectacular. Jordon McMichael had one or two bad drops which worried me, but did a great job getting open and also was a pleasant surprise blocking. I don't think he'll unseat Ryan Purvis as our #1 TE this year, but he'll see the field quite a bit. The big surprise to me was the play of Billy Flutie, who underwhelmed me as a punter (I don't think he's good enough to be "the guy" after Johnny Ayers graduates) but had a very nice game at wideout. Good enough to play the position at the ACC level?? I'm not sure, but he's definitely worth some more looks. Incidentally, I was lucky enough to meet his uncle during halftime:

The starting offensive line impressed me. There were a couple more penalties than I would've liked (including a pair of false starts on Pat Sheil), but I think a lot of that is a matter of adjusting to the new scheme. From left to right you had Gosder Cherilus, Ryan Poles, Matt Tennant, Kevin Sheridan/Nick Rossi (the two split time at RG), and Sheil. The second string was not so good. They seemingly got bowled over by the defensive line every other play, particularly in run blocking (making it fairly difficult to properly evaluate the backs running behind the second unit, mainly Brooks and Smith). You actually had Anthony Castonzo, a true freshman who enrolled in school early, as the second-string right tackle. From left to right the second-string line was Richard Lapham, Ty Hall, Sheridan, Carlos Huggins, and Castonzo. Clif Ramsey, Tom Anevski, and backup center Bryan Murphy were out with injury, and we need those guys to stay healthy this fall. I do think we have a lot of talent on the offensive line, we just don't have a great deal of depth. Particularly when you've got a complex blocking scheme, offensive line is a position where you don't want to have to rely on true freshmen to play. Although a guy like Mark Spinney (who was in attendance today) or John Elliott probably could play right away and hang at the ACC level if needed, it's better to have guys stay healthy and be able to rely on your veterans. That said, these guys have the whole summer to heal up, so I think we'll be OK come fall; but I'd be lying if I said this doesn't worry me, particularly when looking ahead to the Georgia Tech game in Atlanta on September 15. 2 years ago, playing at Clemson the same time of the year, we had great success rotating the second-string offensive linemen in and out to minimize the effects of the heat. We might not have the depth to do the same thing against the Yellow Jackets, at least not to the same extent, this time around.

On the other hand, not as much to say about the defense. As expected, it was more aggressive than we'd been used to in the older days, but the same basic scheme. Kevin Akins was still at LB, which I wasn't too happy about, but I still think he'll move into the secondary in the fall. The LB corps was great--JoLonn Dunbar had a superb game, as expected, but Robert Francois and Mark Herzlich really stood out to me. Tyronne Pruitt is an excellent player, but I honestly rate both Francois and Herzlich ahead of him at this point in time. I asked Raji at the team breakfast if he expected Brian Toal to be back this season, and he more or less said that it's too early to say. I was pleased with the pressure the defense was getting on the QBs, and I also liked the play of the defensive tackles. Thomas Claiborne needs to lose some weight, but if he does he has potential to be as good as Raji. Very talented player. The secondary looked pretty good (and congrats to Jamie Silva on receiving the Jay McGillis scholarshp), although at the risk of beating a dead horse, it'll be even better with Kevin Akins back there. Tough injury to redshirt freshman Chris Fox, word is that he broke his ankle, I'd expect he'll be ready to go in the fall. Razzie Smith had a solid game, and I'm a little more comfortable about our depth at CB than I had been, although we still could do better. I wouldn't be surprised to see DeLeon Gause play some this year.

The major thing that disappointed me was the crowd. Absolutely beautiful day (mid-60s), new coaching staff, a reason to finally be excited about BC football and the best we can do is 5-6k?? I don't buy Tobias' excuses about BC having a bad fanbase, but I do think that a lot of BC fans just don't get the whole college football thing yet. They'll show up for the real games, but a lot of them probably don't even know what a spring game is. Although it should be said that the baseball game going on next door was siphoning off a number of fans.

All in all, an excellent day, at least until the Eagles' draft pick. I literally could not possibly be more excited for this season. I'll have some more thoughts in the coming days as I have time to think about and digest what I saw a little bit more. Long live Jags.

As for the draft, no BC players have yet been taken, but I expect that Josh Beekman and James Marten will both go before the day is out.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Spring Game - What to Look For

For those of you heading to the spring game on Saturday, here are a few things to keep an eye on:

-The New Offense
How is it looking?? Jags mentioned in his interview on WEEI this morning that Matt Ryan is doing a great job picking up the new scheme, but how is the rest of the squad faring?? While I expect the game plan on Saturday to be fairly vanilla compared to what we'll see this season (as there will be scouts from every team on our schedule in attendance), I do think you'll see a wrinkle here and there, maybe some simple misdirection plays, to show the crowd that the days of TOB are over. I'm also looking forward to seeing the extent and manner to which tight ends are utilized in Jags' system.

-Position Battles
Despite returning 16 starters (not including kickers) from last year's team, there will be quite a few spots up for grabs. Of course, with the possible exception of the offensive line situation (which I will talk about in detail below), the most attention is being paid to the RB spot. Although LV Whitworth is the incumbent starter and by most accounts has been getting a plurality of snaps in spring ball so far, most BC fans expect him to get a serious challenge from Andre Callender, AJ Brooks, and Jeff Smith. I've been saying ever since his breakout performance as a true freshman against Wake Forest that AJ Brooks is the most talented (not to mention, at least until Smith came along, speediest) back on our roster, and while I believe he will ultimately win the starting job, it'll be interesting to see what happens on Saturday. If I had to guess, I'd expect the three older backs to get a more or less equal number of touches, with Smith also seeing the field quite a bit but in a variety of roles, including being split out.

It'll also be interesting to see what happens at LB with Brian Toal out for the game (and his return for the season questionable). The two leading candidates to replace Toal have to be sophomore Mark Herzlich and junior Robert Francois, and it's impossible to say which of the two will get the nod. In fact, you could see both taking the field with the starting unit if one of them (Herzlich has the better body for it) can beat out Tyrone Pruitt for the starting SAM position. This would get BC's 3 best LBs on the field--Pruitt is a very good player, but not as good as Herzlich or Francois--but playing the strong side is a different beast from the middle or weak side, and it would require some adjustment on the part of whoever made the switch.

Speaking of LBs, will Kevin Akins stay there or will he move back to safety, a move that many BC fans have been calling for for a while?? Early interviews with coaches seem to hint that he'll stay as a situational blitzing LB, but I'm hoping to see him moved back, mainly to get him on the field as an every-down player. Switching his primary position to safety doesn't mean that you can't still deploy him as a pass-rushing LB situationally, and there's little doubt in my mind that he's a future first-round NFL draft pick at S if given time to learn the situation. He's already proven that he can cover like a CB and hit like a LB. Moreover, we're losing one of the leaders of our secondary in Ryan Glasper, and--the fiasco regarding this that has come to light in the past few days notwithstanding--we all saw how the secondary played last year in the first 4 games of the season before Glasper's return. While I liked what I saw from then-true freshman Wes Davis last year and while Marcellus Bowman has apparently been impressing in practices, getting a guy like Akins back there would be a tremendous stabilizing force for the entire secondary. Additionally, I have serious concern about our depth at CB, so we need all the talent in the secondary that we can get.

-Offensive Line
Uncharacteristically for a BC team, this might be the biggest question mark heading into the season. You have both personnel issues and scheme issues here. As pleased as I am that Gosder Cherilus has moved to LT (a move that should've been made a year ago), the rest of the line is still a question mark. Although I think we have both depth and talent at the tackle position (something that will not be affected in the long run by the injury to Clif Ramsey, who should only be out about 3 weeks), the interior of the line concerns me. Kevin Sheridan was underwhelming last year at center and will need to seriously improve this year. Who will even take over the guard positions?? Early reports indicate that Tom Anevski has been playing RG with the first team, and the LG could be a guy like Ryan Poles or Pat Sheil. I'd be fine with any combination of those 3, but behind them there's little depth (Ty Hall is a very useful utility OL, but has never impressed me as a starting-caliber player). Likewise, reports are that Sheil and Ramsey were battling it out for the starting RT job, and Ramsey's injury could give the inside track to Sheil, although I wouldn't mind seeing Richard Lapham, who will likely be our starting LT for the next 3 years, get a shot at the job in order to get his feet wet as a starter against ACC competition.

And is talent even the most important thing here?? Chemistry is extremely important for OL play in any circumstance, and especially now with Jags teaching his zone-blocking system to the team. As Herb Brooks said, "It's not about finding the best guys, it's about finding the right ones." While talent is important, the guys who will start against Wake Forest on Sept. 1 are the guys who can pick up the new system and mesh together as a cohesive unit. It'll be very interesting to see what happens.

-The Defense
All indications are that Spaz's unit will be more aggressive than it has been in recent years, which is a great thing. Like the offense, I expect them to go fairly vanilla on Saturday, but we should be able to see a thing or two. Aside from the personnel questions I mentioned previously, I'm particularly excited to see how the defense responds to the new offense (which will test it more than Dana Bible's ever did) and whether or not we finally start jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage.

-Wide Receivers
I've been saying since the spring game last year that Clarence Megwa will be a stud wideout for BC sooner rather than later. He showed some flashes of it last year, and I expect that this will be his breakout year. Will anyone put on a similar performance on Saturday?? Ryan Lindsey was a guy a lot of people were excited about, but his ACL injury means we'll have to wait until this time next year to see what he can do. Justin Jarvis, the 6'5 sophomore whose redshirt was criminally burned last year by O'Brien only to play in meaningless games against Maine and Duke, has a lot of promise as a solid red-zone threat but isn't the type of guy who's likely to have a true breakout game. Warren Wilson, a 6'1 redshirt freshman from New Hampshire, on the other hand, is a guy I'll be keeping my eye on.

Assuming the weather holds up (which it looks like it will), I'm expecting the best crowd for a BC spring game in years. With the new coaching staff in place, the days of Toby-ball are over and we finally have a team that we (and by "we" I mean "those of you who aren't delusionally optimistic alcoholics") can get excited about. Tom O'Brien said that it's impossible to win at BC because we have a small and apathetic fan base. Let's get out there on Saturday and prove him wrong.

Tommy Reamon Jr. will be in town for the game, but will any other recruits be?? I haven't seen anything as of yet, but if you have, please add it in the comments section.

I'll be at the coaches' breakfast on Saturday before having a few brews and heading to the game. I'll probably be in either the Edmonds lot, the Mod lot, or the Beacon garage (depending on weather and weather or not we want to keep an eye on the baseball game), I've got a ridiculously beat-up red Taurus station wagon with Pennsylvania plates and US flag and Philadelphia Eagles stickers, feel free to say hi.


Bicknell's Back

Not the former head coach, but his son--Jack Bicknell Jr., who played C for the Eagles during the Doug Flutie years, has returned to BC to replace the departed Jim Turner as OL coach. Bicknell, who will also be the team's assistant HC, was the head guy at Louisiana Tech for several years (where he sent 22 players to the NFL in 8 years and notched up wins over Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Boise State, and the same 2005 Fresno State team that nearly took down USC), fired after a disappointing campaign last season, but quickly found work as OL coach at Texas Tech.

This is simply a great hire. Bicknell is a very good coach, a BC Guy, and should do a great job at the Heights. We couldn't have done any better. (And what was that about BC being a horrible place to coach?? We just hired a coach, albeit a BC alum, away from a very good BCS program for a lateral position.) Welcome back, Jack.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Turner Out??

Well it turns out I was wrong and the rumor-mongering this morning was on to something, as OL coach Jim Turner has apparently resigned (or plans to in the near future), according to the Globe. Jags, an O-line guru himself, will take over for the time being. Unclear on whether Turner is leaving on his own or was "asked" to resign by the head man, and it is equally unclear what the fallout of this development, if any, will be.

This could mean any one of a number of things. It could mean that Turner was butting heads with Jags and/or Logan. It could mean that Turner's hire, which was something of a "reach", wasn't working. It could be some sort of personal or family issue on Turner's end. Or it could be something entirely different altogether.

The short-term implications are two-fold. First, as mentioned earlier, Jags will be directly coaching the O-line until Turner's replacement is found. I actually think this will benefit the OL unit, as Jags has coached the position at a higher level than Turner has and is considered an offensive line innovator even at the NFL level; but as head coach Jags is forced to wear many hats both on and off the sideline, and we have to hope that this won't force him to divert too much attention away from his other responsibilities.

Second, the impact it will have on recruiting has yet to be seen. Although it is unclear exactly which recruits Turner has been working on, based on what we believe have been the various coaches' areas of responsibility, Turner's area of responsibility is eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia, plus Northern Florida. (That said, RB Richard Watson from Tallahassee has specifically mentioned talking to Ben Sirmans; however, it is unclear whether this is because Sirmans is recruiting him or because he would be Watson's position coach at BC.) You also have to assume that he's been playing a part with any OL recruits.

Impossible to say just yet how the fallout from this will impact BC's season.


Unrest at Yawkey Center??

The message boards have been lighting up today with rumors, first posted early this morning, that a member of the BC's athletic department, possibly connected to the football team, may have quit.

Yeah. That's all there is.

Someone tossed out the name of Barry Gallup as a hypothetical, not even a legitimate rumor, and within minutes news spread like wildfire of the imminent departure of our Director of Football Operations.

Settle down, people. I'll go on the record here as saying that I don't really think there's anything to this at all. In my opinion, if there was, we'd have heard at least a rumor (a legit rumor, not a hypothetical that people misinterpreted and ran with) of a name by now.

Stay tuned and I'll be updating on here as the situation develops, but I really don't think it's anything.

Disturbing Google Phrase of the Week: Some dude in the UK (what is it with these Brits??) somehow found FHMAM by searching the phrase "men who like a kick in the balls". I wish I was kidding.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fuck you, TOB

From the Raleigh News & Observer:

"At BC, nine or 10 wins a year was about as good as you could do," O'Brien said. "The sky is the limit here. We're not here to win nine or 10 a year. We're here to win more."
No, asshole, 9-10 wins a year was the best YOU could do at BC, because you pissed away numerous chances each year to win more through your horrible personnel decisions and even worse playcalling. The only reason you won as much as you did was because of the incredible character and "all-for-one-ism" of the kids on your team. You won't have that advantage in Raleigh. You'll be lucky to win 8 a year.

Sept. 8, 2007 cannot come soon enough. I hope Jags and Logan have about 1000 printouts of this article hanging all over the locker room in the Yawkey Center by first thing tomorrow morning. And then I hope they hang about 80 points on that jackass. No need to worry about the defense, as Deep Sea Dana will be lucky to hang double digits on Spaz's crew.

I've been saying ever since we were sent to Charlotte last December that BC is not going to be given any quarter by the ACC, so we need to take it for ourselves--come out, kick people in the face and stomp on their junk. Figuratively, of course. Any chance we get to run up the score on an ACC foe, we should do it. And that goes double for the Wolfpack. Fuck Tom O'Brien, fuck the culture of mediocrity he instilled at BC for all those years, fuck the Kool Aid we drank for all those years believing he was a good coach. The JAGS era has begun--and come autumn, BC will be storming through the south in a manner that would make General Sherman proud.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Jags to throw out first pitch at Fenway tonight

7:05 start vs. the Angels. If you're gonna be there, let's give him a great welcome.

I'll have some updates on spring ball and recruiting in the coming days.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Worst Loss Ever

After consideration, I've come to the conclusion that that was the most painful loss of my life. Not even as a BC fan--with any team. Think about that for a second; I'm a Philadelphia sports fan.

Syracuse. Miami. Wake Forest (over and over again). Wisconsin a year ago. Maine in the 2004 Frozen Four. Villanova. All those Eagles NFC Championship Games. The Eagles-Pats Super Bowl. Flyers-Lightning in the playoffs the year before the lockout. US-Ghana in the World Cup. Hell, I'll even throw in the time last year when one of the hottest girls I've ever seen gave me her number and I accidentally deleted it from my phone 30 minutes after leaving the party.

Last night topped all of them.

(No, I didn't forget Joe Carter's home run. I was a Blue Jays fan growing up because the first major league game I went to was in Toronto, and although I cheered for the Phillies when they played anyone else, I actually got to celebrate that one.)

I'm not even going to go into detail about the game because it's just going to piss me off even more. Maybe in a few days, but not now.

I just want to commiserate about what a fucking kick in the balls that was. I've honestly never
been more hurt by any sporting event in my entire life.

Last night was one of those nights where I would've given anything to just not give a shit about sports at all. To be able to see the game, say "Eh, that sucks" afterwards, and continue with my life. There's no logical reason why I continue to subject myself to this. Yet I know that come October I'll be right back there in Conte Forum (in spirit, if I can't make it in person) truly believing that this year it'll be different. Same deal with Alumni Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field in September. I wish I could just switch off and stop caring and invest my time, money, energy, and emotions into something that isn't going to end up turning around and taking a sledgehammer to my balls at the end of the day, but it is what it is.

And still almost 3 weeks until the spring game?? This fucking sucks.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

60 Minutes to Glory

Well, here it is folks. The day we've been waiting for since October, and in many ways even since that heartbreaking night in Milwaukee a year ago. As I've been predicting all season, BC will take the ice tonight in our second consecutive national championship game, hoping to win the second national championship of Jerry York's tenure at the Heights.

Boston College celebrates their first goal scored by Dan Bertram (22)
(photo from Grand Forks Herald)

While this team isn't as star-studded as that 2001 team, the Eagles will still be the heavy favorites tonight. Michigan State is a tough team that will have a good amount of insight into BC's play, having defeated BC's two biggest rivals as well as a Notre Dame team that demolished BC back in November en route to the title game.

Hell, I'll be perfectly honest here--facing an overwhelming underdog team that happens to be named the Spartans just a few weeks after "300" came out can't possibly be good karma. I'm very superstitious when it comes to these things, as regular FHMAM readers know, and I'd be lying if I said that this didn't worry me considerably.

Although they're not red-hot to the extent that BC is and North Dakota was, Michigan State is playing very good hockey right now. They play a gritty, defensive style somewhat similar to BU (without the thuggery). Jeff Lerg is a very good goaltender, and he'll need to have a great game if the Spartans want to have a chance in this one. Michigan State's blue line is somewhat questionable, but they have a number of good forwards, most notably Bryan Lerg (who led the team with 23 goals this season) and Tim Kennedy (17 goals, 41 points).

However, the Spartans need to come out firing in this one. They can't go down 2-0 early as they did against Maine; BC is too good to let them get away with that.

From BC's perspective, the key is to just keep doing what we've been doing. Play our game. BC is too talented to lose this game as long as we play physical, play smart, and do what we do best. Like MSU, BC also needs to come out firing; we've played poorly in the first period of each of our 3 NCAA tournament games, and against North Dakota it nearly cost us. The Sioux are better than Michigan State, but we've come too far and overcome too much adversity this year to start taking things for granted now.

This is the last game in a BC jersey for Brian Boyle and Joe Rooney (and, unfortunately, probably Cory Schneider as well). These kids have sweated and bled too much for this program, invested too much, to fall short now. They are not going to allow BC to lose tonight.

Prediction: BC 2, Michigan State 0

Some links:
Enlightened Spartan - MSU Blog
Excellent Game Preview from the MSU Rivals board
BC Set to Play Michigan State in Final (Herald)
For Boston, York a Perfect Fit (GREAT article on Jerry from the Herald - I had the privilege of meeting him on Tuesday and he's one of the nicest people I've ever met; BC is truly blessed to have both a coach and a person of his caliber on campus)
Champagne on Ice for BC: One Win Away from 3rd Title (Herald)
Matchup Full of Memories (Herald)
Brothers Never Babied BC's Gerbe (Globe)
BC's Smith Turns On the Switch (Globe)
Lerg is a Breath of Fresh Air for Spartans (Globe)
MSU Underdogs are Ready (Lansing State Journal)
Frozen Four Notebook: Veteran Coaches Share Unique Bond (LSJ)
Title In Sight for Spartans (LSJ)

One more win...

Sorry I haven't posted yet, but got blackout drunk in celebration after the game yesterday and was way too busy today to post.

I'll have a recap of last night and a preview of the Michigan State game (thank GOD we don't have to beat Maine again) early tomorrow. Night, folks, and GO EAGLES.....

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Scalp 'Em

For the 3rd time in as many years tonight, BC meets North Dakota in the NCAA tournament, a matchup that has evolved into one of the better inter-sectional rivalries in college hockey (and will be continued with a regular season matchup at Conte Forum next year). Last year in Milwaukee BC did a fairly good job of rolling over the Sioux despite a 6-5 final score boosted by several late North Dakota goals, but don't expect a repeat performance in St. Louis tonight. North Dakota is big, fast, and tough. I can honestly say that I was pulling for Minnesota, the #1 team in the country heading into the tournament, to knock off the Sioux in their regional semifinal, as the Gophers didn't scare me nearly as much as North Dakota does. Their first line of Ryan Duncan, TJ Oshie, and Jon Toews is arguably the best in college hockey, and the addition of Brian Boyle to BC's defensive corps will be a major factor in our efforts to contain them. The Sioux also have a great defensive unit, led by Brian Lee and Robbie Bina, but I question their ability to stay with BC's speedier forwards. I think guys like Nate Gerbe and Joe Rooney will be very important tonight.

Ultimately, though, there is one area where the Eagles have a huge advantage and that is in the nets- North Dakota's Phillippe Lamorieux is a solid but unspectacular netminder; Corey Schneider, on the other hand, is Corey Schneider. I see that as the ultimate difference in the game; much like BC's initial two NCAA tournament games, I see this as a hard-fought affair between the two best teams in college hockey right now, but Corey Schneider is ultimately going to lead this team to victory.

Prediction: BC 2, North Dakota 1

Some links to keep you occupied until gametime:
Herald Scouting Report
Eagles in Line of Fire: Schneider Set to Face Potent North Dakota (Herald)
Intent BC Has Mean Streak: Determined on Title Fight (Herald)
Greene Sees Future in Black and white (Herald)
For BC and ND, It's Their Time of Year (Globe)
Schneider: Plenty of Work, Not Many Goals (Globe)
Time to Shine (Grand Forks Herald)
These Teams Know the Show (Grand Forks Herald)



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Business as Usual

The hockey team departs to St. Louis today for their 7th Frozen Four in 10 years. It looks like the real national championship game could be played on Thursday night, as North Dakota is the second hottest team in the country after BC, coming into the game at 15-2-3 in its last 20 games (the only losses coming to Minnesota in the WCHA Championship game and at Denver). I'll have a more extensive game preview up tomorrow, but until then, Goon's World and Brad Schlossman run a pair of pretty good blogs covering UND.

Some links:

InsideCollegeHockey Game Preview
BC's Gerbe Plays it Big (Herald)
BC's Motherwell Returns to Roots (Globe)
Sioux Secrets Scarce - BC's Bertram Knows Foe (Herald)
Excitement's Sky High for Eagles (Herald)
Teams at Even Strength (Herald)
In a Class By Themselves (Globe)
UND's Top Line is One Tough Trio (Grand Forks Herald)


Nice article in the Herald today on Matt Ryan's foot recovery adjustment to Jags' offense. He even gets a Heisman mention at the end of the article....I've been saying it for the last year and a half, this kid is legit, and we need to start building the Heisman hype now. This is as good a place to start as any.

Additionally, it appears that transferring freshman QB Ross Applegate will be continuing his career at Alabama. Best of luck in Tuscaloosa.

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