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Headlines: Who Took The Wind Out of the Sails of the College Football Season?

Brian: Is it just me, or do things seem that much duller regarding BC football this week? For one, we finally lost to the Irish for the first time in 8 years, which is more than disappointing given that the Irish are masquerading as BCS busters when in reality, they are a thoroughly mediocre team. Second, the team loses both Justin Tuggle and Josh Haden yesterday. Finally, it seems like all the exciting matchups of both Atlantic and Coastal Division opponents are now behind us. In the Coastal, Miami (Fla.) is now looking like an average team, and Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami have all played each other. On the Atlantic side, it's a two-horse race and Clemson and BC have already played one another. For the last month of the season, it seems like ACC teams can only play spoiler and there aren’t any compelling matchups down the stretch of ACC champ contenders.

Am I onto something here Jeff? Who took the wind out of the sails of this year’s college football season? Was it the loss to the Irish? Poor scheduling on behalf of the league? Key losses to backup offensive players? What gives?

Jeff: The football season got more exciting when Clemson beat Miami in my opinion.  If they had not won that game, BC would be in the drivers seat and would probably be assuming that they can lose one more game and still go to the ACC Championship Game.  Now Clemson and BC both know they need to win every game left to go to Tampa.  So the ACC Atlantic Division just got more exciting now that we know its representative in the ACCCG will probably be 6-2 in conference instead of 5-3 like last year.  I'm also shocked that you (who kept on saying that the Notre Dame game does not matter to you, only the ACC race) are now claiming that the wind has come out of the sails of the college football season.  So BC lost to Notre Dame?  BC is not going to go 10-2. I'm sorry if you or anyone else are such BC fair-weather fans that they now have no interest in the rest of the Eagles' season.

Brian: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a second. I’m not saying I am any less enthused about BC football this year. It just seems like a combination of Boston College losing to a team it could have (should have?) beaten plus Clemson beating Miami has put a bit of a damper on football this week. You know as well as I do that there are a good number of fair weather fans that will consider a loss to Notre Dame a lost season. I, however, have unequivocally said that I didn’t care about the Notre Dame game for nothing more than to become bowl eligible last week.

Jeff: Maybe the ACC could've scheduled a little better but apparently they didn't want the Coastal Division crown to be decided in November because its no surprise that it was between Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech this season.  Similarly, the Big XII South is always decided by now because Texas and Oklahoma always play in October so the loser of that game just sits and waits for the winner to lose a game so they can get back in the Big XII South race.

Brian: As you suggest, perhaps the ACC put the games between Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech early in the season so the eventual Coastal Division champ could have several weeks to prepare for and sell tickets to the ACC Championship Game. I wouldn’t be surprised, however (and I know neither would you), if Georgia Tech doesn’t go to Tampa. In the Atlantic, the league tried to set the preseason division champ up with a bit of drama in November as Florida State finishes playing four Atlantic Division teams in their last five games. As Florida State could rally and win their remaining four ACC games, there is a slim possibility of a three-way tie atop the Atlantic at 5-3. But if Florida State don’t win out, there really won’t be any suspense this year in the Atlantic Division race either.

What about the loss of Justin Tuggle and Josh Haden? Your thoughts?

Jeff: As for the loss of Tuggle, this situation comes across as the typical athlete who thinks he should be starting but isn't and leaves the team.  If Tuggle had left at the end of the season, I would have no problem with it at all.  Why he chose the middle of the season to do this I do not know. Conversely, Haden might not have been getting quite as many touches as he had originally hoped coming out of high school but he still got plenty. Haden probably should've gotten even more touches after how ineffective Montel Harris was on Saturday when he was the only back out there. No matter what their reasons are, I am disappointed in both these young men for not sticking out the entire season.

As a fan though, is Tuggle a loss?  No.  He had slipped to the third string quarterback and with a freshman starter and redshirt freshman backup, there was no sign he would play in the future either.  Haden on the other hand absolutely helped our offense.  He was small and somewhat injury prone but I expected him to improve next year and the year after as he built more and more muscle mass in the weight room.  I don't think he is quite good enough to be a premier back at a top 25 team right now but I hope (because of his antics of leaving BC midseason) he slips to a non-BCS conference program which is below his talent level.  I always liked Haden more than the average BC fan so I might be taking this particularly harsh, but I don't have any sympathy for high school or college athletes that quit teams midseason.