Chances BC has more than 10,000 fans at the Champs Sports Bowl?
BC will travel more fans to the Champs Sports Bowl than they did the ACC Championship game. BC had less than 5,000 at the ACCCG so that still leaves a long way to go which is why I don't give it much of a chance, but certainly the students will travel much better because you'll have many who come from southeastern states and others that have plenty of time over the holiday break to make a drive down to Orlando. Making it to Jacksonville was difficult for students because of the time of year and the expense. The real questions is though, how many BC fans said the last several years "I'll go to BC's bowl game if they get one in Florida" but still aren't going to the Champs Sports Bowl.
Absolutely NO WAY this happens. Approx. 3,500 BC fans show up at the ACC Championship game, and that was the game that mattered for BC's season. This would almost have to triple that output. As a measuring stick, look at the attendance for this bowl over the last three years: '06 Maryland-Purdue 40,000, '05 Clemson-Colorado 31,000, '04 Georgia Tech-Syracuse 28,237. Also, if it gives you some sort of clue as to the demographic of who's interested in going to this game, all you have to do is go to the Champs Sports Bowl website and vote on who is going to win this game. On a normal planet, 2/3 of the people shouldn't think that Michigan State is going to win this game. 0%
Jeff: Brian, the Champs Sports Bowl is expecting record attendance for this game but I agree that it will be mostly Michigan State driven. Try and get tickets on Ticketmaster right now and there are not any decent seats left. I hope we are both wrong though, seeing some maroon and gold in the stands would go a long way for next year's bowl selection.
Chances there are no major changes on the football coaching staff this offseason?
Brian: 25% I honestly have no idea about this one. Obviously I believe Jags is staying put. The coordinators motivation is cloudy in my mind - Spaz is a TOB guy at heart. Does he go south and join his buddy at NC State? I'm really not sure what Steve Logan's motivation is either. An NFL Europe guy, I could see him taking on another head coaching gig or jumping back to the pros (I'd more concerned with the latter, to be honest). McGovern, Turner, Yanowsky, Siravo, Comissiong, Sirmans, Day. I'm going to go low here, 25%, if only because all these guys are true "BC" guys and have a lot of ties to the program and the school.
I think we'll see the same guys back next year. If Spaz was going to leave he would've likely left last year. Jags didn't come to BC to only coach one year. Which leaves Logan: Logan has not been a major candidate for any of the jobs that have been filled so far. Duke is still open, but does he really want to go coach Duke if given the opportunity? Logan is my one worry but I think we'll see those 3 back next season.
Brian: How excited can Logan be about coming back to BC next year? He is the only non-BC guy there and seemed to be doing Jags a favor when Jags returned to the Heights. Since he is a vocal coach, has HC experience and is an NFL (yes, it was NFL Europe, but still) guy, I'm not sure if he'll be back next year. I can see him A) retiring, B) jumping to the NFL or C) taking a HC job somewhere back down south.
Chances BC makes it back to next year's ACC Championship?
Winning your division is no easy task. I think our defense has the potential to be better next year with Toal and Raji back but you can't expect our offense to be the same without Matt Ryan. At the same time I see Florida State getting better and Clemson, our biggest hurdle, returns their quarterback, running back duo and WR speedster Ford who fortunately was injured for the game against BC this year. Schedule sets up better for us next year because we have Clemson, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech coming to Alumni as opposed to playing them on the road this year but we have a tough trip to FSU somewhere on the calendar plus perhaps one or two other losses in there.
I'm going to go as high as 60% and here's why: Take a look at the other ACC Atlantic teams: I think Florida State has a tough schedule next year. Florida, Colorado, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, BC all at home. They will have a tough road to come all the way back. Now that Clemson has their coach back, they will underachieve yet against under Bowden. I think Wake will be a good team, but not sure they have all the right pieces to make another run. BC will be returning a lot of starters. Toal, Raji back on defense. Our receiving corps looks solid. It will just be a matter of how well Crane performs in Logan's offense. 60%
Jeff: Brian, FSU's out of conference schedule has no bearing on the ACC division, what are you talking about?!
Brian: True, FSU's out of conference schedule doesn't have a bearing on the ACC standings, but certainly momentum does. An early home loss to Colorado could shake a young team's confidence.
Chances Matt Ryan gets drafted in the top 5 of next year's NFL draft?
I'm going to go only 20%. Currently on ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board, Mel has Matt at #6. You have to figure McFadden, Long, and Dorsey will go ahead of Ryan. Then it's a matter of what teams need what in the early rounds. I think then it depends how far the Baltimore Ravens fall in the draft order. I don't think the 3-9 Atlanta Falcons (also in need of a QB) draft Ryan. I'd give the edge to Brian Brohm to the Falcons if ex-Louisville coach Bobby Petrino is still there. But who knows, maybe Ryan goes #1 with the first pick of the ... Miami Dolphins.
Ryan will be the first QB chosen. So when will the first QB be chosen? This year that was #1, last year it was #3. Historically, the first QB taken is at least in the top 5 so I think Ryan will go high.
Brian: Ahh, I'm not so sure you can point to history on this one. This NFL season has defied all history and logic. 16-0 New England and 0-16 Miami in the same division! The NFC is a train wreck. If you look at this year's NFL bottom feeders, I'm not sure they all need a QB. Miami (enter: the John Beck era), St. Louis (Bulger), San Francisco (A. Smith), Atlanta (Harrington/Leftwich), and the NY Jets (Clemens) all seem to have their QB futures at least partially sured up. 100% top 10, only 20% top 5.
Chances ACC Championship Game is back in Jacksonville next year?
Yes there was an article out this week that Jacksonville sold more hotel rooms and ACC fans spent more money than last year, but we were at the game, there was no one there! You had to fly in and you saw how difficult it was to get a flight into that tiny airport. The ACC needs to at least try another location, even if its in Tampa because Jacksonville just does not have a big enough airport or enough hotels to support the game.
Going to Jacksonville, it doesn't really seem like Jacksonville locals care about this game. They seem much more concerned with Gators, Bulldogs and Jaguars. The game has become less and less of a success with ticket sales over the past 3 years. I think of Tampa and Charlotte, Charlotte is the logical location for next year's game. It's central to many of the schools in the ACC, is close to Greensboro (home of the basketball tournament and the ACC head office), and is a major east coast hub for airlines. Charlotte might get the casual ACC fan draw that Jacksonville seems to lack. 75% Charlotte, 25% Jacksonville.
Jeff: 25%, I hope ACC officials aren't thinking like you. 0%! Also, ACC basketball tourney is now on a rotating schedule - DC, Charlotte, Tampa, Greensboro, Atlanta. I wouldn't mind if football came back to Jacksonville as part of a rotation.
Chances BC has more than 10,000 fans at the Champs Sports Bowl?