Thursday, July 26, 2007

Maddux Sports BC outlook

Got this preview from the guys over at, a great handicapping site; I suggest all you other degenerates out there check them out:

When we were compiling our annual college football season preview these past few weeks, the ACC Atlantic was without a doubt the hardest division to prognosticate. The amount of talent separating teams 1 though 6 is miniscule. One could argue that the 1st place team could finish as low as 6th while the 6th place team has the ability to be playing in the ACC Title game. This is good news for Boston College fans since we are forecasting a 5th place finish for the Eagles which should still be good warrant a college bowl pick invitation by one of the minor bowls.

In 2006 Boston College posted a 10-3 record which included a 25-24 win over Navy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. In that game they were led by interim coach Frank Spazini after NC State poached Tom O’Brien away from the Eagles. This win extended the Eagles impressive streak of consecutive bowl wins to 7 straight, the longest current streak in the NCAA. With O’Brien gone to the Wolfpack, BC went out and hired former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski to take over the program. The good news for Jagodzinski is that O’Brien left the cupboard full of weapons including 9 returning starters from a defense that allowed a paltry 15.7 points per game.

One of Jagodzinski’s first decisions was to retain Spazini and linebackers coach Bill McGovern. Spazini will serve as the defensive coordinator for the 9th straight season. Keeping both these coaches on staff will bring some much needed continuity for the team.

As for the defensive guys actually suiting for the Eagles, there is plenty of veteran leadership. Seven of the nine returning defensive starters are seniors, including five of the seven guys manning the front 7. It is still up in the air whether or not five star recruit Brian Toal will return from injury in time for the opener but even if he doesn’t, the linebacking corps will be one of the best units in the ACC conference. The group will be led by last years leading tackler Jolonn Dunbar and Tyronne Pruitt who are All-ACC talents.

After returning a lot of talent in the secondary last season, Boston College intercepted 21 passes, good for 3rd best among NCAA teams. This year they lose 2 starters in CB Larry Anam and SS Ryan Glasper. Although they had those 21 picks, the Eagles did allow opponents to complete 60% of their pass attempts.

On offense BC returns 7 starters and the unit is led by senior quarterback Matt Ryan. We know Ryan is one tough SOB playing 7 of the last 8 games with a broken foot earning all conference honors in the process. The question is how good is he at learning a new playbook? Along with a new head coach BC is breaking in a new offense composed by new offensive coordinator Steve Logan. How well the offense performs will hinge on how fast Ryan dissects and learns the new plays.

The one thing we do know is that while Ryan is adjusting to the new scheme he will have plenty of weapons at his disposal. In the backfield Boston College is guided by a senior duo of L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender. Together they govern one of the most experienced running back corps in the country. As for the wideouts, last years leading receiver Kevin Challenger returns for his senior season and will be playing along the explosive junior Brandon Robinson.

The offensive line is lead by left tackle and future NFL draftee Gosder Cherilus. The Eagles do lose 2 distinguished starters both of whom where drafted by NFL franchises, but 8 of the top 10 lineman return. Even with learning new blocking schemes this unit still should be one of the ACC’s best.

So with all the good things going for Boston College how can we be calling for them to finish 5th? One of the big reasons why we are predicting a low finish is teams that change systems tend to have an incubation period in their first season before everything starts hitting on all cylinders.

The second reason is the schedule. The Eagles get the unfortunate prize of drawing the top 3 teams from the Coastal Division. Week in and week out wins will be tough to come by. There is not much separating the Atlantic teams and although we have Boston College rated as the 2nd most talented team in the division we have to predict a 5th place finish in what figures to be a tightly contested ACC Atlantic division race. is sports picks service that provides both premium and free college football predictions on the weekly football games. In 2006 they won the college football ultimate handicapping picking 63.1% winners besting all other handicapper entrants.



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