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WWTOBD? and the Big Finish

Brian: Reading the ESPN Insider football preview on Boston College, one particular line struck me as interesting. The article briefly hints at finding it hard to imagine Tom O'Brien getting last year's Eagles squad to 11 wins.
Popular Coach Jags turned Ryan and a high octane BC offense loose last year in ways that it's hard to imagine his predecessor, Tom O'Brien ever doing.

Then again, Jagodzinski won all those games with the team that O'Brien built, adding an eighth consecutive bowl victory to O'Brien's already impressive streak.

So, because its still only July and we've got a long way to go until season kickoff - 50 days and 6 hours, but who's counting - let us play a little revisionist history, Jeff. Having watched or attended nearly every football game in 2007, let's imagine Tom O'Brien was still coach of the Eagles a year ago. What would have changed? Which games that we won would we have lost? Which losses might have turned out differently? And just how many wins would the Eagles have finished with with O'Brien as head coach?

Jeff: If Tom O'Brien were coach last year I would say we would've lost to Wake the first game of the season because he would've gone overly conservative in the second and third quarters and Wake would've put a few more points on the board. Then the rest of the season I would've seen playing out about the same and we would've ended up with 10 wins instead of 11. Perhaps we would've beaten FSU or Maryland instead of Clemson or Georgia Tech. Since TOB is gone and its all just speculation anyway, I will never say that BC would've won any more than 10 games with him making the tough calls. We know for sure that the team would not have gone for it on fourth down so much. What do you think?

Brian: I agree that we would have lost to Wake Forest last year under O'Brien. We wouldn't have been as aggressive in our play calling, and an early 14 point deficit would have been too much to overcome. I also see the Virginia Tech and Clemson games going the other way. We won both those games making our game much more vertical (typical Steve Logan style offenses) and I can't see us winning those games under O'Brien. That being said, maybe the more conservative style of offense that O'Brien employs would have gotten us Ws against Florida State and Maryland. Still, I'd imagine there would be another WTF loss in there somewhere and I'd say that we would have finished 9-4, tied for second in the Atlantic with Wake Forest and would have beat down on a Big East team in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. So I guess I agree with the author's thought that it's hard to imagine O'Brien getting us to 11 wins. I mean, 8 or 9 wins was supposedly the best you could do at Boston College, right?

Big Finish

Jeff: BC Interruption guest blogger Christian's dad Joe pointed out to us that former BC RHP Chris Lambert tossed a 3-hitter in a AAA game between the Toledo Mud Hens and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Toledo ended up winning the game 8-1. Impressed? Think we'll see him in the Bigs soon?

Brian: Toledo is a minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers who are struggling this year. I can see Chris making the jump to the majors in a few years. Chris is 8-5 this year with an ERA under 4. And interestingly, Lambert is the only first round MLB draft pick Boston College has ever produced (drafted 19th overall in the 2004 MLB Draft by St. Louis). Joe wanted more BC Interruption baseball coverage since the All Star game rolls into town next week, so how's that for your random BC baseball factoid? Also, what the heck is a Mud Hen?

Brian: reports that the North Carolina football program has already sold out their season tickets. Opinions are mixed on whether UNC will turn it around coming off a 4-8 season. Some think that the Heels will contend for the weak Coastal division crown, while others think they will do marginally better than last season. Jeff, which version of UNC will we see in 2008?

Jeff: First, I am not surprised they have sold out of season tickets. UNC has a huge fan base locally and not a very big stadium to fill. I expect a 5-7 season from the Tarheels. They might start to get it together in 2009, but not this year.

Jeff: Last one, Vegas has BC at 15-1 to win our division and 25-1 to win the ACC Championship game. Where, if anywhere, are you putting your money?

Brian: Towards my wedding! Still, 15 to 1 is a little ridiculous considering those are the same odds they are giving to the Wolfpack to win the Atlantic Division. Last year I believe we were 6 to 1 to win the Atlantic. Annually underrated, indeed!