This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.
Last week, we did our fair share of introspection into our Boston College fandom. We kicked off the week of posts with a discussion about how you became an Eagles fan. We then discussed our favorite all-time Boston College team, our favorite Boston College football players, and the moments that define being a Superfan. We even tried to find the silver lining of the BC tailgating scene.
Well, enough looking back. It's time to look forward. Today's post topic is a discussion about your expectations for the 2010 Eagles football season.
I won't go ahead and make a game-by-game prediction of the season just yet (The offseason is a marathon, not a sprint ... we'll save that for early next month). Instead, I want to discuss my expectations for the season and this Eagles' team. Feel free to leave your own expectations in the comments section below.
As we've discussed here at BC Interruption, it appears that the Eagles will be afforded plenty of advantages in 2010. We've noted that three of the Eagles' 12 opponents will be breaking in new head coaches next season, and half the schedule is comprised of programs with coaches with 2 or less years of experience at their current stops. All but three of the Eagles regular season games will be played on turf, a surface BC has had a lot of success playing on the past few years.
BC has just 3 bowl teams from last season on their 2010 schedule. In comparison, the other two Atlantic Division contenders - Clemson and Florida State - each play 7 bowl teams. Even the placement of the bye week on this year's schedule seems to break BC's way, giving the Eagles an extra week to prepare for what is likely to be a Top 10 Hokies team.
If that wasn't enough, check out the slate of Coastal Division opponents in 2010 - Virginia Tech, at Duke, Virginia. BC misses three Coastal teams that will likely be ranked in the preseason Top 25 (Georgia Tech, Miami and North Carolina). Clemson draws those exact three teams, while Florida State has road games against Virginia and Miami and a home title against North Carolina.
All signs are pointing to very special season this year for Boston College. The question is can the Eagles take advantage? BC might not be the most talented team in the Atlantic Division, but they will be afforded plenty of opportunities and should contend for another Atlantic Division title in 2010.
At least, that's my expectation. The planets seem to be aligned in 2010 for the Eagles to contend for an Atlantic Division title and a berth in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. Anything less than a 8-9 win season would be a disappointment for me, and less than a 9-10 win season probably isn't enough to win the Atlantic Division over Florida State or Clemson.
For what it's worth, Matt Ryan, in filling in for SI's Peter King, seems to agree with me:
"I think my alma mater - the Eagles of Boston College - are going to surprise a lot of people this season in college football. I think the defense should be really good this year and the inspirational return of linebacker Mark Herzlich from Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, will help tremendously."
This season will be very important to Spaz and the Eagles, as the window for winning an ACC Championship seems to be rapidly closing. It seems like every year the window is closing - Florida State and Miami can't be "meh" forever, right? - but any season in which you avoid playing 3 preseason Top 25 teams from the other side of the conference (instead, drawing Duke and a rebuilding Virginia program), and regain your emotional leader on defense, you have to take advantage.
Next year's schedule isn't as forgiving. An improving Miami is back on the schedule, and BC faces a tough road sched of Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Notre Dame. Herzlich will have graduated and the Eagles will lose a significant portion of their All-Conference offensive line. If there's any season to make a run at another Atlantic Division title and an ACC Championship, this is the year.
What are your expectations for the season? What in your eyes will make for a successful season? Be heard!