Brian: I also want to know a little about the defense. We've seen with some other teams the defense give up on the offense quite a bit given the teams offensive struggles. A team like Auburn comes to mind where the defense is on the field for so long and the offense doesn't move the ball, so the defense sort of gives up on the rest of the team.
Bill, can our defense keep the faith and put us in a position to win ballgames (and the division) despite the mounting injury list?
Bill: The defense didn't give up Saturday. If they struggle down the stretch I don't think it will be a sign of giving up. More that we are facing more talented offenses. Also, wherever you stand on Spaz, he's really never had a bad five game stretch. I expect our D to look very good in at least two of the final games.
Jeff: Did everyone think the defense had given up after we lost the shootout in college park last year? Our team was better then and Maryland was not as good as UNC was this year. Everyone needs to calm down and stop jumping off the ship after every loss and crowning our team after each win.
Bill: An even smaller subset of fans are also upset with how this recruiting class is coming together (or not coming together). If I am going to give a grace period to Jags, this is one where he will get a lot of leeway with me. First the recruiting class won't be complete until Feb. Second, they have a pretty good track record so far of IDing guys that can play at this level.
Brian: I try not to get too emotional when it comes to recruiting and I agree that Jags has some time to fill out this year's recruiting class. One thing to keep in mind: given the what seems to be unprecedented amount of coaching churn midseason at major college football stops, including Tennessee, Clemson, and Washington, and the lack of success some flagship programs are having this year – Michigan, Auburn – there's no telling if BC will be able to land a kid that reopens his commitment given the state of flux these programs find themselves in. A good example of this is the Eagles landing Texas recruit Uko Okpara last year, who decommitted from Arkansas after the coaching change.
Jeff: The recruiting class is a little disappointing so far. But if you are a BC fan, when has a football or basketball recruiting class not been disappointing? Especially this early in the process. If people are getting upset over the recruiting class they need to be brought back to the reality that they are following Boston College, not Notre Dame, not Alabama, not Tennessee, not Penn State, etc.
What happens now? Four games left. We've lost to a ranked UNC team, a ranked Georgia Tech, and Clemson. Meanwhile we have wins against a 1-AA school, three teams with losing records, and Virginia Tech. Should we be talking ACC Championship Game or bowl eligibility?
Brian: The two goals go hand in hand. The only goal this football team should have every year is winning the Atlantic Division and playing for a shot at the Orange Bowl. While we aren't in as good of a position to do that this year as we were last year after the first weekend in November, given a little help from the Terps, we can be right back in this thing. It starts this Saturday as a win against the Irish will help this program gain momentum going into their last three ACC bouts. And if you think about it, no one outside of Chestnut Hill expected us to be in the thick of the division race this late into the season, so is all really lost?
Bill: The division race remains the primary goal. Bowl eligibility and winning the third tier bowl remains the minimum. In fact that is why I've been begging people to keep their cool and wait until it all plays out. If Jags runs the table, this stretch will be forgotten. If we lose out and miss a bowl, or go 6-7 by losing a crappy bowl, then is when we should start asking the hard questions.