(An outsiders look at what's happening with Boston College athletics)
Let's start by making an admission. We are writing this in late May, early June, when no injuries, losses, bad calls, weather delays, can impact our analysis for at least another 89 days.
Boston College has a chance to be really good in football this fall.
We say this knowing a few things such as:
Most of their offensive line and defensive line must be rebuilt, as does their secondary.
In six years under Coach Steve Addazio, the Eagles have been the picture of ..mediocrity, which includes five seven win seasons wrapped around one 3-9 clunker. In six years, Addazio's record at The Heights is 38-38.
Having said that, we also look at an Atlantic Coast Conference which is top heavy. Clemson and 13 dwarfs with varying skills.
BC, playing in the Atlantic Coast Division, must deal with Clemson, but also will face a rebuilding Louisville, a struggling Florida State, a rebuilding NC State and Pittsburgh, as well as Syracuse which also took some graduation hits.
Wait, there's more.
Virginia Tech, BC's traditional cross over opponent, is also in a major rebuilding mode and must come to BC for a season opening game on August 31.
And the non-conference schedule, includes, Richmond, Kansas, Rutgers...and Notre Dame.
Roster wise, BC has a veteran QB in Anthony Brown returning, as well as a Heisman quality running back in AJ Dillon and a talented, if inexperienced, group of wide receivers.
Here's what intrigues us about the schedule, which starts this way:
August 31--Virginia Tech, which is coming off a 6-7 season, returns only 5 starters on offense and has had a rash of transfers on defense, as well as quarterback Josh Jackson and wide receiver Eric Kumah and is coming of a season in which the defense allowed more than 30 points 7 times, more than 40 points 3 times and more than once.
BC might even be favored in that game.
Sept. 7--Richmond. FCS team, which could be dangerous, but is forecast to finish last in the Colonial Athletic Conference
Sept. 13--Kansas--New coach in Les Miles, but the Jayhawks are 9-51 during the past 5 seasons.
Sept 21--At Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are 19-42 in the last five seasons and are coming off a 1-11 season.
Sept. 28--Wake Forest--Toss up game, but Eagles are playing at home.
Oct. 5--At Louisville. Normally a tough W, but the Cardinals have a new coach and are an internal mess, coming off a 2-10 season with a new coach
.Oct 19--NC State. Another toss up home game, but NC State must regroup without veteran QB Ryan Finley.
That looks like a very possible 7-0 or 6-1 start which would again put them at the plateau of 7 wins which no Addazio team has been able to vault in his six seasons at The Heights.
Here's the problem. After NC State, BC must travel to Clemson and then finishes with four road games in five weeks against Syracuse, Florida State (home) Notre Dame and Pitt.
Realistically, that puts BC on that elusive 8 win plateau once again with a schedule in which the Eagles could lose ALL of those games.
At BC, the cup has never really been half full during the past several years.
Although BC athletic director Martin Jarmond rewarded Addazio with an extension at the end of last season, there are few people at The Heights who don't think that another 6 or 7 win season could hit the rebuild button again with a new coach.
If you factor in a good start and late season collapse, you have an added element of danger for Addazio's future at BC.
But those are worries that will come with the fall. Right now, with the cusp of summer arriving in New England and enough ingredients to make a more than palatable football season, it seems like the best time to talk about a season that might just be better than most the Eagles have produced in the past 10 seasons.