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Headlines: We're #31 and 5 Questions As Practice Begins

Brian: The first version of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll came out Friday and the Eagles, while not ranked in the Top 25, received enough votes to garner the #31 spot in the poll. ACCers in the Top 25 were Clemson (9), Virginia Tech (15) and Wake Forest (23). Now no one really recognizes #31 as a ranked spot, and I'm sure that Eagles fans don't expect a repeat of skyrocketing to #2 in the polls at any point this season, but did the coaches get it right?

Jeff: BC should be somewhere around 25 in my opinion so I don't have a big problem with being 31, but I have a huge problem with South Carolina, Alabama, and Rutgers being ranked ahead of us. What happened in the off-season that changed South Carolina from not going to a bowl game to a top-25 team?

Brian: The same could be said for Georgia as #1. What has changed over the summer that the media has now suddenly fallen in love with Georgia? Sure, they cleaned up in the Sugar Bowl against a overranked and outmatched Hawaii team, but they didn't even win their division last season. As for Boston College, I don't have a problem with where we fell. In fact, if any of the teams ahead of BC drop one of their first 3 games and BC goes 3-0, it's likely the Eagles could creep into the Top 25 by week 3 or 4. It's the nature of these preseason polls to reward teams based on media buzz without seeing any of the product on the field, and fans shouldn't put much stock in what the coaches think preseason.

Jeff: At least Georgia won a BCS game and finished #4.

Brian: More than can be said for last year's ACC champion Virginia Tech, sure, but have you seen Georgia's SEC schedule? And we all know Ohio State is going to coast through the Big Ten and finish #1 or #2 and make its third straight BCS National Championship game. Getting back to our Eagles, the Boston Herald poses five questions/challenges for the Eagles in 2008, as the Eagles open fall practice today. Which of these challenges is the most critical to Boston College's success this season?

Jeff: Oh boy, it is tough to say what I think is most important of these five. Today, I'm gonna go with the defensive secondary. As the article points out, we know Silva and Tribble are gone but don't really know who might be replacing them. It's kinda like the saying if you have 2 quarterbacks, you have no quarterback. If any underclassmen were really stepping up in the absence of the previous starters in the secondary, we would have heard their names by now and I'd feel a little better about who might be in the starting lineup next year.

Brian: I think our secondary will be fine next year. The most important of the five in my opinion is the question around how good can Josh Haden be. We return virtually our entire receiving corps which should give Crane the necessary weapons through the air. But will we have another year where our offense is essentially one dimensional - an all-out air attack - or will we become a more balanced team offensively?

Jeff: I think our offense will certainly be more 2 dimensional this year regardless of how good Haden is.