Brian: Welcome to the BC Interruption psychic hotline. Today we peer into our crystal ball, look into the future and predict how the Boston College football Eagles will fare in 2008. Last season first year Coach Jags, in addressing his players and the media, broke up the season into 4 quarters. Similarly, we attempt to predict BC's fortunes over the next four Wednesdays leading up to kickoff in Cleveland.
First up, how do you see Game 1 - Boston College vs. Kent State (Cleveland) - going down?
Brian: Kent State notched their first win against a BCS opponent since 1987 last year with their 23-14 win over Iowa State. Can they make it two wins in as many years? Probably ... not. I foresee, as no surprise to anyone, an Eagle victory. Although I foresee it being a little ugly as a new Eagle offense feels things out. Crain [sic] will have a decent game offensively, will probably hook up with Robinson, Gunnell or Purvis for a TD strike, and I see Josh Haden having a modest gain on the ground against a strong Kent State defense. The Golden Flashes return senior MAC leading rusher Eugene Jarvis (5-5, 170). Jarvis will carry the lion share of the offensive load for Kent State, smacking up against a stout BC run defense. The onus will be senior QB Julian Edelman to beat BC through the air.
Jeff: I see things differently here. I see a BC offensive explosion and people will be singing the praises of Jags, Haden and Crane prematurely. Kent State relies on a rushing game which will be easily snuffed out by BC's national top-10 defense. The Golden Flashes will be begging to get back into MAC play by the end of the night because BC is going to put up 40+ after the defense sets up Crane with a short field consistently. This dominant victory coupled with a few first week upsets will probably even get the Eagles into the top 25 by week 2. Final score = 45-6
How do you see Game 2 - Boston College vs. Georgia Tech - going down?
Jeff: Paul Johnson comes from Navy to Georgia Tech next season and will be installing a new offense so I think we should be happy to play the Yellow Jackets in week 2. I am sensing giving up a first possession TD because the boys on D aren't used to defending the option and give up a couple big plays. As the game goes on though BC will dominate and cruise to an easy 24-10 victory to start off 1-0 in ACC play. The defense will create at least one of our TDs and Paul Johnson will remain winless against the Eagles. This is going to be the least exciting ACC game we play all year. First of all it will be an easy victory. But secondly, no one is expecting anything from Georgia Tech this year due to the coaching change and Georgia Tech is in the Coastal division.
Brian: 24-10 BC over Georgia Tech? What is this, deja vu? Nothing comes that easy in the ACC, Jeff, especially the first ACC game of the year. Remember last year's wild start to the conference schedule against Wake Forest? How about the double OT ACC opener against Clemson two years ago? You can even throw in BC's first ever ACC game against Florida State in 2005. What do all three of our ACC openers have in common? BC went down by double digits early in each of these three games but were able to rally and take the lead in each of these games (BC would go on to win against Wake and Clemson, but come up short against Florida State).
Along these same lines, I think this game will be an unconventional start to the Eagles' ACC play. Both teams can arguably claim the ACC's best defensive front seven, so I see both teams attempting to air it out on offense exploiting the secondary. Seems crazy to say that I expect Johnson's triple option flexbone to air it out, but I am expecting the unexpected from the Jackets. All else being equal on the defensive side of the ball, I think BC has the slight edge with their offensive personnel, given that the Jackets lost several impact players due to graduation or transfer. I'm not discounting Paul Johnson's immediate impact on Georgia Tech though. Even though Johnson may be 0-2 against BC with Navy, remember that Johnson's Midshipmen, if not for a very timely Reggie Campbell fumble, nearly ended BC's bowl winning streak in the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. Ultimately though, I expect the Eagles to win this game. Final score = 28-20
How do you see Game 3 - Boston College vs. Central Florida - going down?
Brian: The Eagles haven't lost a home out of conference game since they began the 2003 season with a WTF loss to Wake Forest, 32-28, after blowing a 9 point lead through 3 quarters. Since, the Eagles have rattled off 12 straight wins against out of conference opponents over the last 5 years. Do I foresee the Eagles dropping their first out of conference game in the friendly confines of Alumni Stadium? No, although I think this game will be much closer than people think.
Sure, the Golden Knights will be without the services of All-American running back Kevin Smith (2,567 yards, 29 touchdowns). And the starting QB position seems to be junior Mike Greco (9 games, 24-45, 303 yards, 1 INT), but it could also be end up being FSU's Drew Weatherford's younger brother Joe. The defending Conference USA champions do, however, return a very strong defensive unit (ranked in the Top 3 for most defensive categories in C-USA) which might even be better than the 2007 squad. Sound familiar? But without their stud running back and questions at the quarterback position, I don't see them scoring many points in Chestnut Hill against BC's front seven. This may very well be a game played in the low teens or single digits, but ultimately, I think Boston College's offense is stronger than the Golden Knights.
Jeff: The Eagles will enter this game 2-0 and relatively untested. This scares me a little. Fortunately though, Central Florida is another team that relies heavily on running the ball and our defense loves to stop the run. But as Brian pointed out, their defense is a strength of theirs also, so I am going to agree with Brian and go with a low scoring nail-biter victory for the Eagles to improve to 3-0. Final score = 17-13
Brian: That's it. We are out of premonitions this week. Check back next week for a look at BC's games against the Rhode Island Rams, North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Virginia Tech Hokies.