Evaluating O'Brien's Move To Raleigh And The Big Finish

ORLANDO FL - DECEMBER 28: North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien celebrates after winning the Champs Sports Bowl against the West Virginia Mountineers at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on December 28 2010 in Orlando Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Brian: It's been nearly five seasons now since Tom O'Brien left the Heights for Raleigh, but things haven't exactly gone to plan for TOB with the lateral (?) move to N.C. State. TOB's track record with the 'Pack hasn't been all that good. Consider that TOB is:

-- 16-21 (.432) in ACC play since 2007, while BC is 21-17 (.550) over that same span
-- 8-17 (.320) against Atlantic Division teams, while BC is 14-10
-- 0-6 against Clemson and Virginia Tech, while BC is 4-6
-- 1-3 against Boston College and 0-2 in Chestnut Hill

And probably the most damning stat I can come up with ...

TOB is 0-12 against Atlantic Division teams on the road since hitting the road and heading south. Now that we are nearly five years removed from TOB moving on from BC, evaluate his performance at N.C. State. Was it the right move to leave BC when he did, and was N.C. State the right choice for TOB? Your thoughts?

Jeff: I think at the time, TOB leaving BC was a good move for him and there was no reason that anyone should have thought he would not be successful at NC State. NC State, at the time at least, was a better football program that got more national attention and went to higher profile bowl games. And certainly, TOB got a bigger paycheck with the move. Now, in hindsight, he would have won more games in Chestnut Hill. Many of the players that brought the Eagles success since his departure were there because of him. Now that there are no TOB players in the program, there is not much success. So he was certainly good at bringing in a solid foundation of players to build a team around. I think we both agreed at the time and still agree that TOB would have won fewer games than Jags in the two years following his departure, but it probably still would have been 18 wins between those two seasons at least which is better than he did at NC State.

Brian: So does TOB make it 1-13 in Atlantic Division road games at State, or will Spaz and the seniors send TOB home winless?

Jeff: No, I do think the Eagles win tomorrow more likely than not. NC State has had zero success in the past on the road under TOB and especially in Chestnut Hill. Also, this season, NC State seems to win only out of conference games against terrible teams and against pretty decent teams in conference. This is a game that the Wolfpack has a legit chance of winning on paper so I doubt they do. BC took advantage of Maryland two weeks ago and hopefully will do the same against NC State who has similarly little to play for. 

Big Finish

Brian: Luke Kuechly is a semifinalist for both the Lott and Lombardi Trophies. Does he take home one of them?

Jeff: I don't think so. I think the tackles record will be dismissed by enough people knowing that BC's defense was out on the field for 59 out of 60 minutes in some games.

 

Jeff: Northeastern tonight and a televised BU game Sunday. How do the men do on the ice this weekend?

Brian: A weekend sweep of the Boston HEA schools, sending a reeling Boston U. team further down the conference standings early in the season.

 

Brian: With basketball right around the corner, here's the Herald's capsule on UMass and Harvard. What will BC's record be against those two teams this season?

Jeff: 2-0. Yes, I said it, 2-0. But 1-1 does sound more realistic.

 

Jeff: The Lady Eagles start the run at another final four in soccer Sunday hosting Marist. How far do they go in the tournament?

Brian: They have a much tougher draw in the NCAAs this year. I think they get to the Sweet 16 but fall to Stanford in Palo Alto. 

 

Brian: The men's soccer team faces Duke in the ACC semifinals. Do the Eagles get it done tonight?

Jeff: Hope so, but don't think so.

 

Jeff: Will an undefeated go down this weekend?

Brian: Stanford obviously has a tough out this weekend in Oregon but I think the Cardinal gets it done. No undefeateds go down this weekend.

 

Brian: Last one. With Virginia Tech winning last night, what division will the eventual ACC champ come from? The Atlantic or the Coastal?

Jeff: I'll take the loser of the first game to win the rematch, just like in 2007 and 2008, so Virginia Tech over Clemson.

 

Pick 5

Jeff:

Pittsburgh (+3) at Louisville
TCU (+15) at Boise State
Auburn (+13) at Georgia
Oregon (+3.5) at Stanford
Alabama (-18) at Mississippi State

Brian:

Texas (-1.5) at Missouri
N.C. State at Boston College (+2.5)
Notre Dame (-20.5) vs. Maryland
TCU at Boise State (-15)
Tennessee at Arkansas (-14)

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