Today we play a game of Toss Up, discussing whether we think the Eagles are going bowling for the 12th straight year and who's a bigger head coaching fraud - Spaziani or Swinney.
Toss Up - BC bowl eligible or home for the holidays?
Jeff: I am just as down on the state of BC football as the next person but BC will make a bowl this season. BC will finish 7-5 I think and worst case 6-6. As bad as things are, we will celebrate a victory sometime soon and we'll finish the season winning four or more of our remaining games. In order to be bowl eligible you do not have to have a good team, you only have to beat six opponents and BC is more than capable of doing that this season.
Brian: 7-5? Jeff -- ever the BC optimist. I think it's a stretch to say that the Eagles will win five of their final seven games this season, particularly with what we've seen from the team through six weeks. BC's struggles are the type of struggles you just can't fix in a week. With the off week well in BC's rear view mirror, there is no longer the opportunity to hit the reset button on this season. I think BC can win their games against Wake Forest, Duke and Virginia, but I'm leaning towards losses in the Eagles' next three against Florida State, Maryland and Clemson -- big loss, small loss, medium loss.
Syracuse currently stands at a hollow 4-1 (two wins over I-AA cupcakes and 0-6 Akron), but they have been playing better than people expected them to at the beginning of the season. I can envision a scenario where a 6-win Syracuse team goes into the season finale against a 5-win BC team, both needing a win to become bowl eligible. If that happens, watch out. That game will be intense.
I'll reluctantly say BC is bowl eligible, but 6-6 is the best case scenario. Not the worst.
Brian: Swigert has been a surprise spark for the Eagles offense. He's caught 14 balls for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns in just five games. Swigert is on pace to catch 34 passes for 557 yards. That's not up to the level of a Rich Gunnell, but we are talking 2009 Colin Larmond Jr. production.
Those stats are hardly eye-popping, but considering the fact that he's a true freshman and he's had Dave Shinskie throwing him the ball, Swigert has been a surprise on offense.
Montel Harris has played about as well as he could given the offensive line's struggles, griding our 4 yards per carry on 96 attempts. Harris has been the workhorse for an anemic Eagles offense, but we expected much more from him when the season began. I'll give offensive MVP to Swigert through five games.
Jeff: BC's offense does not have any value therefore you can not have a most valuable player. They both currently have equally little value or zero. I suppose some people probably do have Montel Harris in college fantasy football leagues. That means people out there think he has the potential to be valuable therefore I have to go with Harris between the two.
Toss Up - More worrisome November road game - at Wake Forest or at Duke?
Jeff: There is a very real chance that neither team wins a game the rest of the season. Wake Forest had a chance to beat Navy on Saturday and lost with 0:30 to go. Duke played Maryland tough on the road this season. But Wake beat Duke already so Wake is certainly going to be the tougher challenge this season.
Brian: The answer to this question is Duke. Both Duke and Wake Forest have struggled mightily on defense, but the Blue Devils have actually played well on offense. Sure, Duke has played a bunch of pushovers through six weeks, but their passing offense still ranks in the top 15 nationally while BC has struggled on pass defense.
Wake Forest might be the better team, but the Deacons have played the Eagles tough over the last eight years and BC will be prepared to face them down in Winston-Salem. My fear is that BC will sleep on Duke because they are Duke. But the way BC is playing, the Blue Devils at least have a shot of knocking off the Eagles. I'm not sure I could take the indignity of losing to the Dukies in something other than basketball.
Toss Up - Biggest head coaching fraud - Spaz or Dabo Swinney?
Brian: Watching the end of last weekend's Clemson-UNC game, I was blown away by a graphic they threw up when the game was no longer in reach and Clemson was going to drop their second straight ACC game. The graphic showed that Dabo Swinney is just 4-6 in true road games since taking over as head coach of the Tigers. In the last two seasons, Swinney's Tigers are 2-5 on the road. The Tigers currently have an identical record to BC -- two wins in the first two weeks against creampuffs, then three straight losses to BCS competition. The road doesn't get any easier for Clemson, who still has dates with Georgia Tech, NC State, Florida State and South Carolina. If CU can't get a win in any of those final four games, they will be home for the holidays for the first time since 2003.
I'm not sure Dabo is cut out to be a head coach in college, but the one thing he does have going for himself is youth. That's something that's not on Spaz's side. Spaz was a good-to-great defensive coordinator for the Eagles, but we haven't seen anything lately to suggest that Spaz can right the ship and maintain a level of success that Superfans have become used to. Like I said, I think Spaz is a great DC and a good person that's been loyal to BC through and through, but I don't think he's cut out to be a college HC. Even though Clemson is 2-0 against BC since Swinney took the reigns, I haven't been wowed by his coaching performance thus far. Without the home run hitting, playmaking abilities of C.J. Spiller, and combined with a brutal schedule, I think Clemson will continue to struggle this season and limp to a 7-5, 6-6 or 5-7 overall record. But Dabo still has time to grow into the role. I have the feeling that won't be something that Spaz will be afforded.
Jeff: Dabo is a future very good to great head coach in college. He has already made one ACC Championship Game while Spaz has zero. Clemson will be fine in the coming years with him while BC is only likely to be fine in the coming years without Spaz.