CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Head coach Frank Spaziani of the Boston College Eagles reacts after Dave Shinskie is hit after the whistle in the final minutes of the first half against the Virginia Tech Hokies on September 25 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Today we play a game of Good Cop/Bad Cop, discussing what's #1 on the minds of Superfans as the Eagles get ready for their Holy War matchup against the Irish.
Suspect #1 - Chase Rettig Starting This Weekend Against The Irish
Brian as Bad Cop: I'm not the biggest fan of Spaz and Tranquill starting Rettig this Saturday, as this move is high risk, high reward. The downside to this move is you rattle the young man's confidence and place yet another QB with a shaky confidence on the BC depth chart. The upside is he starts to get some reps, plays well enough, and quarterbacks BC to a respectable record this year. But does anyone really think Rettig is going to step in and QB this team to another Atlantic Division title?
The problem I have with this is it seems (to me) like Spaz is throwing in the towel on this season after just one loss. Why would you put together a depth chart of 1) Shinskie, 2) Marscovetra then 3) Rettig coming out of fall camp if you didn't think the second string QB could step in and assume the starting role? There is still a ton to play for, including another Atlantic Division title and a spot in the ACC Championship Game. BC was in this position before just two years ago -- losing to a Coastal team in the ACC opener in a game they could (should?) have won, and then rebounding to win a second straight division title.
This quote from Wedding Crashers basically sums up my feeling on the matter:
"It's the first quarter of the big game. You want to toss up a Hail Mary. I'd like to be pimps from Oakland or cowboys from Arizona, but it's not Halloween. Grow up, Peter Pan. Count Chocula!"
Throwing Rettig to the fire is Spaz's Hail Mary. If it doesn't work, I think the 2010 season will go down as one of the biggest wasted opportunities in program history, given the talent that returned (Herzlich, a talented secondary and four seniors on the O-Line) and all the scheduling breaks the Eagles got this year. Next year, the Eagles won't be as fortunate, with Miami back on the schedule and ACC road games in Miami Gardens, Blacksburg and Clemson. BC's chance to win the ACC is this year, and the Eagles chances get substantially worse in 2011, 2012 and 2013. I'd much rather see Spaz give Marscovetra an opportunity to start than throw a QB out on the field that has no game experience.
Jeff as Good Cop: This is the best move of the Spaz era. Burning Rettig's redshirt is the smartest thing he has done and makes perfect sense. We have heard that Rettig would probably be BC's starter somewhere down the line. Did that mean not until three seasons from now when Marscovetra and Shinskie have graduated? Maybe, but more likely he would've competed for and possibly won the job next season. I liked Spaz's original idea of thinking Shinskie showed last season that he would be good enough for this team to improve on 8-4 and Rettig could get at least his freshman year of college under his belt before having the pressure of being the starting quarterback. Shinskie did not improve as expected because he continues to melt down after one of his own mistakes and Marscovetra has not shown much during his action either. The soft schedule this season is a gift to Spaz and this is the best way to take advantage of it.
Suspect #2 - Gary Tranquill As BC's Offensive Coordinator In 2011
Jeff as Bad Cop: Since I get to go first I am clearly taking bad cop here. I think two years is enough for Tranq and he should go back into retirement completely. BC's offense has shown little under his tutelage and its time to move on. Clock management seems to be an issue and sense of urgency when trailing is certainly a problem. With a younger OC in there, I think those two problems go away immediately. Aside from the N.C. State game in 2009, what has Gary Tranquill done here? He certainly won't end up accomplishing half of what Steve Logan accomplished in his two seasons.
Brian as Good Cop: C'mon, Jeff. Tranquill has accomplished some things on the Heights. Look at the BC's offense' statistics from last year. The Eagles ranked 98th in total offense, 93rd in passing offense, 71st in rushing offense and 79th in scoring offense. This season ... well, the passing offense has improved 20 spots from 93rd to 73rd! The Eagles total offense is up to 92nd nationally, and the Eagles have yet to go up against the Wake Forest and Duke defenses! That's progress, no?
Looks around for other meaningless stats that show offensive improvement ...
OK, maybe the case to keep Tranquill is a little thin, but don't go saying that Steve Logan accomplished twice what Tranquill has accomplished. Tranquill didn't have Matt Ryan to make his career the fourth time around, and Logan's offenses were just as bad in 2008 without Ryan.
Suspect #3 - Kuechly Breaking The School's Single Season Tackle Record
Brian as Good Cop: I will play the good cop on this one. Kuechly continues to pile up ridiculous tackle totals. He had 16 tackles against the Hokies, giving him a total of 37 through 3 games. That's an average of 12 1/3 per game. At some point, you've got to think that his tackle total will start to diminish but you learned yourself, Jeff, never to doubt Kuechly. If he continues to average 12 tackles a game, including the bowl game, that puts him at 160 -- just 5 shy of Tom McManus' school record of 165, set in 1991.
Then throw in an ACC Championship Game appearance and now Kuechly is up to 172 and change at his current clip.
The amazing thing about McManus' school record is that he amassed 165 tackles in just an 11-game season (the Eagles finished 1991 with a record of just 4-7 and missed the postseason). That's an average of 15 tackles a game. With a 2-3 game advantage, I think Kuechly has a very good chance at breaking the record this season. If we were playing Over/Under, I'd go OVER 165 tackles on the year for Kuechly. Boy Wonder gets it done.
Jeff as Bad Cop: You said I learned to never doubt Kuechly so I won't. But I can still doubt him breaking this record. How do you expect him to set this record if BC doesn't go to the ACC Championship Game or a bowl game? If we don't score again the rest of the season it is going to be tough to win another game and even though there are too many bowl games, there are not enough to include a 2-10 BC team. Kuechly would have to average 14 tackles a game to break the record and I don't see that happening since he is already off pace through the first 3.