Five Obscure, Yet Bold Predictions For The 2011 Boston College Football Season

Jeff: Consider these five obscure, yet bold predictions for the 2011 season:

-- Chase Rettig will rush for four or more TDs this season ... 
-- The Florida State and N.C. State games will be sold out ...
-- Colin Larmond Jr. will lead the team in one major receiving category -- receptions, receiving yards, or receiving TDs -- but not all three.
-- BC will win more non-conference games, including bowl games, than N.C. State ...
-- BC will play in a warm weather bowl game ...

Which of my predictions do think is most likely to be wrong?

Brian: OK. Let's take these one at a time. 

How many rushing touchdowns did the Eagles score last season? 10? How many of those were scored by a QB? ZERO! In fact, only one Boston College quarterback in the last five seasons has rushed for more than four touchdowns in a season. That honor goes to ... Chris Crane, who rushed for a team-high SEVEN touchdowns in 2008 (and who knows how many more he would have tallied if he didn't go down in the Wake Forest game). However, the Eagles have notched all of ONE QB rushing touchdown in two full seasons under former OC Gary Tranquill (Dave Shinskie's one rushing TD in the Virginia game). Even with the change at OC, I find it hard to believe that Rettig will quadruple the Eagles' QB rushing TD output from the last two seasons this year. Sounds like a stretch ...

Next up, the prediction that both the Florida State and N.C. State home games will be sold out. Obviously, I have no problem predicting a sellout for BC's Thursday night home game against a Seminoles team that could very well be 7-1 or 8-0 and ranked in the Top 10. But the following weekend's N.C. State game? The Wolfpack have been one of the poorer home attendance draws in the ACC, averaging just 40,200 over three visits to the Heights. That places the 'Pack next to last in the Atlantic Division, behind Florida State (41,531), Clemson (41,167) and Maryland (41,115). In fact, the Wolfpack drew just 35,261 for their last road game in Chestnut Hill in 2009. The fact that N.C. State isn't a great home draw, coupled with the possibility of the Eagles falling off the pace in the Atlantic Division title race by mid November make me think it's a long shot that the N.C. State game will also be sold out.

As for Colin Larmond Jr., I could definitely see him leading the team in any of those major receiving categories. But I don't think it's a stretch to say that he won't take home all three of those statistical categories, especially not if the first fall scrimmage is any indication of how much progress the receiving corps has made in the offseason.

When comparing our non-conference schedule of Northwestern, at Central Florida, UMass and at Notre Dame, it's hard to envision the Eagles performing better than the 'Pack. Especially when you look up N.C. State's 2011 schedule and see that they are playing Liberty, South Alabama, at Cincinnati and Central Michigan, in what is easily the most embarrassing non-conference schedule in the conference. Three of those four games are sure wins and the Cincinnati game is a toss up, but probably also leans win. Even if you factor in a one game swing in the bowl game, it's really tough to see BC winning more non-conference games than N.C. State.

Finally, BC has a really good chance of playing in a warm weather bowl game this year, based purely on the fact that six of this year's eight ACC bowl tie-ins are located in warm weather cities -- Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, El Paso, Nashville and Shreveport (does Charlotte count?). Depending on the aforementioned treatment of Charlotte, the only other cold weather city that could host the Eagles is Washington D.C. (well D.C., or in the off chance that there are one too many ACC programs bowl eligible and the Eagles get shipped off to some other bowl game). So with 3/4 of the ACC's bowl lineup in warm weather cities, chances are pretty good that BC ends up playing down south for the holidays. Most likely landing spot is Miami or Atlanta, natch.

As for which of these bold, yet obscure predictions is the most likely to be wrong, I've got to go with the N.C. State game selling out. Ticket sales will be soft this year and the Wolfpack have never sold out Alumni Stadium. I don't expect N.C. State to be a serious contender for the Atlantic Division crown this season, and even with a cake non-conference schedule, just can't see the Wolfpack helping the Eagles sell out Alumni Stadium in mid November.

Now it's your turn. What  obscure predictions do you have for the 2011 Boston College Eagles football team?

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