Yes, Boston College just gave one away to the Miami Hurricanes, a winnable ballgame if there ever was one. Like Alex Amidon said, the Eagles "beat themselves" on Saturday. But there is hope.
The Eagles offense, which has been downright putrid over the last two seasons, was rejuvenated by OC Doug Martin and Chase Rettig. The fourth year is the charm, I guess, as Spaz has finally figured out that he should just turn the keys to the offense over to the coordinator and get out of the way. The results speak for themselves. Rettig set career marks in completions (32), attempts (51) and yards (441) in a tremendous opening day performance. Sure, he spotted the 'Canes seven points on a throw he'd no doubt like to have back, but other than that, he was near perfect on the day.
What's even more astounding is that Rettig put up those eye-popping -- for BC over the last two seasons, anyway --numbers playing pitch and catch without his favorite receiver (Bobby Swigert), top tight end (Chris Pantale) and big target (Colin Larmond Jr.); not to mention without the services of BC's most versatile running back (Rolandan Finch). How much better will the offense look when all those guys are back?
The offense probably won't spot every opponent 17 points off of turnovers, either. At least we like to think so. And Gallik and Rettig will work out the timing so that a snap doesn't hit the turf and spoil one of the Eagles trips to the red zone.
True, it's only one game against a very inexperienced Canes defense. And yes, Rettig had a similar game in last year's season opener before the team sputtered to a 1-6 start. But just as there is every fall, there is hope and it's still alive and well despite fumbling away a season opening victory over the Hurricanes.
Now for the bad news. The road from here on out doesn't get much easier. Well, it does, but only for a week. There's still a very real possibility this team is sitting at 1-3 at the end of September. But with the offense humming and Rettig and the offensive line gaining a little more confidence each week, I think there's still a chance this team goes bowling.
There's still a chance BC can return the favor and knock off Northwestern on the road in two weeks. But even if they don't, can't this team still find five wins over the last eight and go bowling? By the time guys like Pantale, Larmond Jr., Finch and Swigert get back, I'll take Rettig over the Army secondary. Given Maryland and Wake Forest's struggles to put away their week 1 FCS opponents, I'm fully expecting BC to beat both -- even with the Wake game on the road. That leaves the program two short of bowl eligible with games like Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Notre Dame wild cards.
Not beyond the realm of possibility that BC wins two of those games and gets back to a bowl. Besides, wouldn't Spaz beating Tom O'Brien on the road in his final game as HC be the more TOB thing O'Brien could do? Or is it the mentor crushing the disciple in his final game as HC that is more likely to happen? I'm confused.
Anyway, I'm excited about the 2012 football season, which is more than I can say about long stretches of each of the last three. Now I don't exactly think that attempting to look like a Big 12 team is a sustainable model. And if we continue to try to air it out over playing more of a traditional Boston College football game (bruising run game + nasty D), over the long run we'll probably look more like a MAC program than a Big 12 one.
But for one more season, why not air it out? Rettig (in particular) and the fans (in general) deserve an exciting season like this after enduring a revolving door at OC and the last few seasons of Boston College football. And if the D can turn things around and the Eagles surprise a few teams from here on out, it's still possible that we'll be playing in Shreveport or Washington D.C. in late December, which would be an improvement on 2011 and a step in the right direction for the program.