The Importance Of A Fast Start And The Big Finish

Wrapping up Maryland week.

[Ed. note -- The Big Finish -- a few days late -- kicks off a big week here at BC Interruption. It's on to Florida State preview week. In addition, we have a three-part series on UMass' jump to FBS and Northeast college football recruiting written by a guest blogger, the Ultimate Boston College Bar Tournament semifinals and oh yeah, happy fall football camp opening!]


Brian: Nearly every program in the ACC starts weeks 1 and 2 of this season with a steady diet of creampuffs like Troy, UL-Monroe, Liberty, Appalachian State, James Madison, Western Carolina, William & Mary, Richmond, Charleston Southern, Wofford, Gardner-Webb and Middle Tennessee State. Not so for Boston College and Maryland, where both programs have some tough sledding straight from the get go.

As we all know, the Eagles host Northwestern before hitting the road to face Central Florida in weeks 1-2. Maryland also has a pretty tough first two weeks as they host Miami and West Virginia in weeks 1-2 (though the Terps don't have to leave College Park until October 8 this season).

Both programs are breaking in new offensive coordinators this season in BC's Kevin Rogers and Maryland's Gary Crowton. Which team's schedule is more conducive to getting off to a fast start in 2011 and working out the kinks of implementing a new offense? What will BC and Maryland's records stand at after the second week of the season?

Jeff: BC's schedule has a very real possibility of leading them to a 5-0 record. As long as the Eagles beat Northwestern, they will be favored in all five of those first games. Maryland meanwhile is an underdog to Miami and probably will be to West Virginia as well.

Both of these teams are breaking in some new coaches but so are a lot of programs including both of Maryland's opponents and UCF for BC. The first two weeks spell trouble for offenses all over the nation so new coaches might bring just an extra bump or two to these programs. For BC, since they have the same QB, RB and HC, I think changes will be subtle and will just be a lot of different play calling within the game rather than a lot of new plays for the offense to learn. BC should do well in the first few weeks relative to other programs with new coaches.

After two weeks, I expect Boston College to be 2-0 and Maryland to be 0-2.


Big Finish

Brian: According to, Boston College opened as a 7 point favorite over Northwestern. Sound about right?

Jeff: Sounds kinda high. I thought it'd be 4 or less.


Jeff: Montel Harris says the new-look offensive line is ready to go. Do you believe him?

Brian: I think there will be some growing pains but the schedule breaks nicely for the O-Line and hopefully they are clicking on all cylinders for the Clemson game.


Brian: BC hoops draws Saint Louis and Villanova/UC Riverside in the first two rounds of the 76 Classic. What sort of finish do you expect from the Eagles? 

Jeff: I'll be very happy with two wins in that tournament no matter how they come.


Jeff: Tomahawk Nation thinks this could be the year that the ACC gets a second team into the BCS, specifically Virginia Tech. Do you?

Brian: The BCS has never been kind to championship game runners-up. I think it can happen this year but probably won't be the ACCCG runner up.


Brian: BC's Bruce Pearl has an offer to coach the Dallas Maverick's D-League team. Should he take it?

Jeff: That doesn't sound like a great career move but it would be a job.


Jeff: ESPN's new QB rating system, Total Quarterback Rating, ranks Matt Ryan's 2010 performance third in the league last year behind only Manning and Brady. Impressed?

Brian: Of course. Matty Ice is clutch. Though ESPN didn't have to create a brand new statistic to inform us that Jimmy Clausen was the worst quarterback in the NFL in 2010. 


Brian: Last one. James McCluskey is already missing workouts with the Raiders due to a knee injury. Does he make the roster? 

Jeff: Doubtful. He was going to be a bit of a long shot anyway.

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