USA TODAY Sports
The Eagles will not win the Atlantic Division in 2013, says Athlon Sports.
Athlon Sports' Steven Lassan is out with his way too early ACC football predictions in 2013, and -- shocker of all shockers -- he does not think highly of the Eagles chances next season. Lassan ranks BC seventh of seventh in the ACC Atlantic Division. That would be last.
The Eagles don’t have many personnel departures, but it’s also hard to envision this team showing major progress after finishing 2-10 in 2012. Quarterback Chase Rettig had his best season in his career last year, throwing for 3,060 yards and 17 scores. Rettig and receiver Alex Amidon formed a solid connection, but new coach Steve Addazio ran a ground-based attack at Temple and will look to establish Boston College’s ground game more next season. Andre Williams and Rolandan Finch are capable backs, but the offensive line must replace tackles Emmett Cleary and John Wetzel. Although the Eagles struggled on defense last year, Addazio’s hire of Don Brown as the team’s defensive coordinator should help this unit improve immediately.
I get it. It's not hard to predict that a team that finished 2-10 overall and 1-7 in conference will finish last next season. At the same time, I feel that there are enough key players returning that BC will comfortably finish in NOT last. I also think that we'll see a markedly different results with the coaching change; proving that coaching does matter.
If the Eagles are going to get back to the postseason, which I believe they can, figure BC needs a minimum of three conference wins to get there. Even just a 3-5 record in conference play should be good enough for anywhere from fourth to sixth in the division; not last. Plus the two teams that were picked just ahead of BC -- N.C. State and Wake Forest -- have to come to Chestnut Hill in 2013. Then again, the Wolfpack and Demon Deacons are the only Atlantic Division teams to face Duke next year, so there's that, too.
Athlon picks Clemson to win the Atlantic, followed by Florida State, Maryland (¡dream job!), Syracuse, N.C. State, Wake Forest and BC. In the Coastal, the picks go Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Pittsburgh and Duke. Stop me if you've heard "Miami will win the Coastal Division" before.
For what it's worth, Athlon was the most down on the Eagles' chances in 2012 of all the preview magazines, predicting BC to finish 3-9 (1-7 ACC). Boston College managed to fall even short of the bearish of 2012 preseason expectations so many Athlon is onto something for next season.