(An outsiders musings about the goings on at Boston College, aka The Heights)
With slightly more than 12 minutes remaining in Boston Colleges's 34-10 home opening loss to Wake Forest, the BC message board started promoting season tickets for an Eagles' men's basketball team which had compiled a 2-34 record in ACC basketball the past two seasons.
Sound move, since it served as a temporary distraction from the pile of manure which was being piled up by the Eagles' on their new artificial turf at Alumni Stadium.
Coming off a 23-20 opening win at Northern Illinois last week, there was a cautious feeling of optimism at The Heights on a fall-like late summer afternoon.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
The Eagles promoted their opening win, which stretched their winning streak over the past two years to five games. There were new faces in the line up such as redshirt freshman Anthony Brown, who was finally the quarterback of the present instead of the future and a highly touted freshman running back.
There was new athletic director Martin Jarvis, who injected a shot of excitment into the BC athletic scene with his work ethic. """He seems to be everywhere,''said BC Hall of Fame hockey coach Jerry York with a laugh before the game. "He's got a lot of energy.
But it didn't take long for a typically late arriving announced crowd of 38,082 to lose much if its sizzle watching the Eagles self destruct against a Wake Forest team BC beat in a regular-season finale a year ago to gain bowl eligibility.
An opening quarter fumble by running back Jon Hilliman gave Wake the ball at the BC 26 late in the first quarter and four plays later, Deacon QB John Wolford connected on a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Greg Dortch for a 7-0 lead Wake never relinquished.
Two years ago, both teams set back offensive FBS football for a generation, Wake took a 3-0 first half lead which held up in l a 3-0 Wake victory.
There was more offense on Saturday--much more by Wolford--whose older brother Bobby graduated from BC in June--who took apart the highly touted BC defense, completing 19 of passes for 151 yard and 1 TD and picking up another 92 yards and another TD rushing.
In fairness to the Eagles and Brown (making his second collegiate start) the Eagles did produce some numbers of their own, nearly matching Wake (2-0) in total offense with 305 yards compared to Wake's 309 yards. The battle they lost was in the turnovers. Three Brown picks, including one returned for a touchdown, as well as the Hilliman fumble, put BC in a 21-7 halftime hole, which expanded to 31-10 by the end of the third quarter.
BCs pattern in head coach Steve Addazio's five seasons has been to poach off the bottom tier ACC teams such as Wake, while dropping games to the ACC elite.
In four seasons, Addazio's record against Louisville, FSU, Clemson, Virginia Tech, as well as Notre Dame and USC, is 2-16, including an 0-9 record the last two seasons.
The disparity between good and bad last season was astounding. The Eagles were 0-4 vs Virginia Tech, Clemson, Louisville and FSU, losing by a combined score of 202-24. Yet, they finished with a 7-6 record and a bowl win against Maryland.
The one-sided loss to Wake, which was also 7-6 last season, was the most one-sided loss to a non-Top 25 team since BC was blown away by a UCF team (which finished with a 5-7 record) 30-3 in 2010. And, it was out of character in a series which has been competitive.
With games against Notre Dame and at Clemson the next two weeks, the concern meter in Addazio's brain must be ringing loudly. Its one thing to get blown away by top caliber opponents. But Wake was projected as a 5th place team in the ACC Atlantic.
""Statistically it was pretty close,' conceded Addazio, who must regroup his team for a battle with Notre Dame at Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon. But we turned the ball over.'
Brown, who continues to be a work in progress has now thrown 71 passes in two games with three TD's, but four interceptions.
""We just have to grow up, said Brown. "I have to get better, I ve got to make better decisions.
Two Brown's picks came on tipped passes and the Eagles were playing without center John Baker, who tore the ACL in his right knee and is out for the season. So there are mitigating circumstances.
But the Eagles, including Addazio, know that the time for making excuses for losses has passed. This is the fifth season of Addazio's reconstruction program at BC. They have better, experienced players who are expected to do the job.
On Saturday, the Eagles came up woefully short.
""Its college football,'' said All America defensive end Harold Landry. "You have good days and bad days. Today was a bad day. We've got to get back to work.''
And a team, which has tried so hard to climb back to respectable status, is starting over again.[/membership]