Brian: While this might be a bit of home cooking, the Eagles football team has had a tremendous amount of success playing on artificial turf. Over the last 5 years, BC holds a 32-6 record when playing on artificial turf (.842).
2005 - 6-1 (only loss: Florida State)
2006 - 8-1 (at Wake Forest)
2007 - 6-1 (Florida State)
2008 - 6-2 (Clemson, Georgia Tech)
2009 - 6-1 (North Carolina)
Over that same stretch, BC is just 15-13 when playing on grass surfaces (most away games, the two ACC Championships and 4 of their 5 bowl games).
BC plays a total of 9 of their 12 games this season on artificial turf. Including BC’s seven home games, we will play on Field Turf when they travel to Wake Forest’s BB&T Field and Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. The Eagles haven’t played 9 games on artificial turf since the 2006 season, where they went 8-1 and their only loss came in November at Wake Forest.
With 9 of 12 games played on artificial turf this season, does this give us hope of a very special season in 2010? Your thoughts?
Jeff: It's little things like scheduling and this stat that has a lot of things pointing in the direction that the Eagles might be the team to beat this season in the Atlantic Division. Am I guaranteeing we go 8-1 on turf again? No, but there is no reason to expect any less than 7-2 and even 9-0 is not impossible. With Field Turf being so much better than it was 20 years ago, I would imagine that the advantage of a turf team on turf and a grass team on grass has diminished significantly, but it has always been and will continue to be a factor in not only football but all athletic competition where artificial surfaces and grass are used.
With only 3 games on grass this season, what are the chances that the Eagles go 3-0 on grass? The game at Duke has to be a game where BC will be heavily favored. At N.C. State is probably still a little bit of an unknown while the Eagles will almost certainly be underdogs against the Seminoles in Tallahassee.
Brian: The Eagles will be underdogs against Florida State and may be slightly favored against N.C. State. We will probably also be favored over Duke. But chances aren't very good for the Eagles to go 3-0 playing on a grass surface. Recent history suggests that even though BC has 3 games on grass, the Eagles won't go undefeated. BC has lost no less than 2 games a season playing on grass in the last 5 years:
2005 - 3-2
2006 - 2-2
2007 - 5-2
2008 - 3-3
2009 - 2-4
Even if BC somehow manages to go 3-0 against FSU, N.C. State and Duke, I don't think they'll go undefeated on grass. The Eagles will also have to worry about the ACC Championship Game and bowl game. The title game will be played on grass while only 3 of 8 ACC bowl tie-ins are played on turf. I guess it's a good thing that both the Sun Bowl and the Independence Bowl - the two new ACC bowl games - are played on turf, though. Chances are good that BC ends up playing in one of the new ACC bowl games on an artificial playing surface ... even though you know BC isn't going to the Peach Bowl.