The season is finally here. Women's soccer is off to a 1-1 start. Men's soccer travels to BU on Friday night to start their season. Field Hockey and Volleyball get underway this week. And, of course, the much anticipated post-Spaz era in football starts on Saturday.
Last season was fairly disappointing for BC athletics, with the biggest highlights overall (aside from Spaz being fired) probably being the women's hockey team's run to the Frozen Four, Olivier Hanlon's coming out party at the ACC tournament, and some good early wins by women's soccer. But in terms of high profile successes, they just weren't there. Will that change this year?
The BCI staff takes turns making their predictions for the year... starting with:
1) BCI's logo is going to start to get crowded.
BC will win two national championships this year, in men's and women's hockey. BOLD PREDICTION RIGHT OFF THE BAT! Despite losing Alex Carpenter to the Olympics, women's hockey's depth and small number of losses to graduation and Olympic training camps relative to other top teams will keep BC in the top 4 of the national rankings all season. With no exceptional teams this season, the BC women will have the ability to beat anyone -- and this time, finally, they will.
The men will be successful because...
2) At least two incoming men's hockey freshmen will be major impact players.
I'm excited for the start of the Thatcher Demko era. I think he and Jon Gillies over at Providence will shine as the two superstar goaltenders in the league this year. On offense, one of the freshmen will have a Nate Gerbe- or Johnny Gaudreau-like freshman year.
3) BC football will win one game in the set of [USC, Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech]. The talent may not quite be there for a 10-2 season, but the motivation and effort necessary to pull off an upset will be.
4) Hoops will beat UConn. Because LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL it would be too funny NOT to happen.
5) (ENG prediction) A BU hockey player that starts the season on the Terriers will not end the season on the Terriers. Obligatory.
1) 5 BC programs will make substantial postseason runs.
Obviously I'm going with hockey as the flagship, but I'm telling you that basketball will be in the tournament, soccer will make a run into the College Cup, and women's field hockey and lacrosse will compete deep. There will be a fifth team involved, and I have no idea who. Probably women's puck.
2) Football will be bowling.
The talent was there, but it was woefully mismanaged by Spaz. So I'm going with 7 wins. Nova, Wake, Maryland, Army, NC State, and Syracuse with a crush of Nm State. Call it 8 if they upset USC or FSU. I love mid tier bowls.
3) Baseball wins 17 games.
Chris Shaw and Johnny Adams forms the best young core in the ACC before the years over. Pitching gets a little better. Can't possibly get worse. Still not sure if that keeps Gambino his job.
4) Attendance will be up for BC events
I pay special attention to this because if you're a stinky team, you can still be a relevant team. BC sports can be relevant the right way by maintaining attendance. I think football has done the right things to move past the Spaz error and hockey is poised to be huge. I think basketball is turning the corner, and there will be name recognition if they start hot. The school is succeeding in marketing with youth groups. That means a bump across the board, especially with the new initiatives introduced by Brad Bates. We are right there.
5) At least 3 BC hockey players will appear in this years NHL season.
Gaudreau will be gone to Calgary since they are in full rebuild mode, but two other guys will sign after the tournament and make their debuts this year. This team is super talented, and everyone knows it. Scouts are licking their lips.
Mark Herzlich and Matt Ryan will have their numbers retired at BC.
At least one of them will be honored.
Part II coming Wednesday