I'd Love To See The Globe Put A Positive Spin On This

Through two and a half seasons, Spaz's record as a head coach is now at an even 16-16 (not counting the interim HC win over Navy). He is famously 4-11 against teams that finish with a winning record, with his only wins coming against 7-6 Florida State (2009), 12-2 Central Michigan (2009), 6-5 Weber State (2010) and 8-5 Syracuse (2010). 

Conversely, Spaz is 11-1 against teams that fail to finish with a winning record, with his lone loss coming at 6-6 Notre Dame in 2009. 

That near perfect 11-1 record against teams that finish .500 or less may take quite the tumble this season, with our first-half opponents looking less and less formidable as the week's go by. Let's take a look at how BC's first-half opponents have fared in 2011.

 

Northwestern Wildcats (2-4, 0-3 Big Ten)

-- W 24-17 at Boston College Eagles
-- W 42-21 Eastern Illinois Panthers
-- L 21-14 at Army Black Knights
-- L 38-35 at Illinois Fighting Illini
-- L 42-24 Michigan Wolverines
-- L 41-31 at Iowa Hawkeyes

The 'Cats have now lost four straight, and need to win four of six to become bowl eligible. With Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan State all left on the schedule, the chances that Northwestern makes a program-best fourth straight bowl appearance aren't promising. Verdict: Northwestern finishes below .500.

Central Florida Knights (3-3, 1-1 Conference USA)

-- W 62-0 Charleston Southern Buccaneers
-- W 30-3 Boston College Eagles
-- L 17-10 at Fla. International Panthers
-- L 24-17 at BYU Cougars
-- W 16-6 Marshall Thundering Herd
-- L 28-17 at SMU Mustangs

The Knights will certainly finish with a winning record this season given the Conference USA dead weight remaining on its 2011 schedule, but for a program that was riding high after an 11-win season and bowl victory over Georgia, things haven't exactly gone to plan for O'Leary and the Knights. Losses in all three road games already this season make BC's 30-3 loss at UCF look that much worse. Verdict: UCF finishes above .500.

Duke Blue Devils (3-3, 1-1 ACC)

-- L 23-21 Richmond Spiders
-- L 44-14 Stanford Cardinal
-- W 20-19 at Boston College Eagles
-- W 48-27 Tulane Green Wave
-- W 31-27 at Fla. International Panthers
-- L 41-16 Florida St. Seminoles

Duke is a surprising 3-3 through the first half of 2011, but the schedule takes a turn for the worse during the second half of the season. The Blue Devils host Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech while traveling to Miami, Virginia and North Carolina. Duke has to win this Saturday as they host Wake if they have any hopes of going bowling this season. In the end though, I see Duke coming up just short of bowl eligibility yet again, giving Spaz another loss against a sub .500 team. Verdict: Duke finishes below .500 (again).

Massachusetts Minutemen (4-2, 2-1 CAA)

-- W 24-16 at Holy Cross Crusaders
-- W 36-27 Rhode Island Rams
-- L 45-17 at Boston College Eagles
-- L 48-33 at Old Dominion Monarchs
-- W 42-26 Central Connecticut State Blue Devils
-- W 21-10 at Delaware Blue Hens

Verdict: UMass finishes at .500 (wins over Richmond and Villanova).

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-2, 3-1 ACC)

-- L 36-29 at Syracuse Orange
-- W 34-27 N.C. State Wolfpack
-- W 48-5 Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs
-- W 27-19 at Boston College Eagles
-- W 35-30 Florida St. Seminoles
-- L 38-17 Virginia Tech Hokies

Wake Forest has been one of the biggest surprises of 2011. The Deacons were a perfect 3-0 in ACC play before falling to the Hokies yesterday. There are probably two more wins on Wake's schedule to get them back to the postseason, but the second half sched also includes trips to Chapel Hill and Clemson, as well as home games against Notre Dame and Maryland. Verdict: Wake finishes either above or below .500 based on their bowl game.

Clemson Tigers (7-0, 4-0 ACC)

-- W 43-19 Troy Trojans
-- W 35-27 Wofford Terriers
-- W 38-24 Auburn Tigers
-- W 35-30 Florida St. Seminoles
-- W 23-3 at Virginia Tech Hokies
-- W 36-14 Boston College Eagles
-- W 56-45 at Maryland Terrapins

At 7-0, Clemson is guaranteed to finish with a winning record. Even if the Tigers tank the rest of the season and don't win the Atlantic Division (highly unlikely), Clemson can finish no worse than 7-6.

 

Looking at the above, Spaz is probably looking at 2-3 more losses against teams that finish .500 or below at season's end -- Northwestern, Duke and maybe Wake Forest. Add in potential losses to Maryland and N.C. State, and Spaz could finish the year with a total of five losses against .500 or worse teams.

11-1 could soon become 12-6 (with UMass likely to finish above .500), which doesn't even factor in his poor record against teams that do finish above .500. I'd love to see Blaudschun spin these numbers.

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