Brian: The Raleigh News & Observer takes a look at ACC programs home records over the last 10 years. This season, only BC and Georgia Tech are undefeated at home. Over the last five seasons, BC’s 33-5 record (.868) is second (by only half a game) to Virginia Tech’s 34-5 record. Over the last ten seasons, BC’s record of 51-12 (.810) at home since 2000 is only bested by Virginia Tech’s 56-10 (.848) record in that same time span. With one of the smallest stadiums in the conference and with increasing attendance issues at Alumni Stadium, how have the Eagles been so successful at home this decade?
Jeff: It's difficult to draw many conclusions from records at home vs. records on the road these days by teams because the schedule is so unbalanced between home and road games aside from conference games. Winning your non-conference home games is almost expected of every BCS conference team aside from a few marquee matchups. With that being said though, I do think Alumni provides a nice home field advantage for a few different reasons. It is different from most ACC stadiums because of a great student section, very little space between the field of play and the stands, no open end zones for noise to escape, and field turf instead of natural grass. Playing at Alumni Stadium is a different experience (better or worse) for most opposing teams and that is basically all you need in order to provide a home field advantage.
Brian: Let’s move to this weekend’s game between the Eagles and Tar Heels. It will be a tale of two extremes this year with the Eagles offense facing the Tar Heels defense, and the Eagles defense facing the Tar Heels anemic offense. In the matchup between the Eagles 95th ranked offense and the Tar Heels 8th ranked defense, who wins?
Jeff: The Eagles offense at home vs. on the road has been night and day. I think the location of this game is a huge determining factor in making this a decent day for the Eagles offense. Montel Harris should be able to get going enough to get us some first downs if Shinskie is not connecting early. But since it is at home, I think Shinskie will get going in this game despite the fast UNC defense and BC will be able to score a few points. I would be shocked if BC doesn't turn the ball over, but hopefully they'll have far more positive plays than negative.
How about the Eagles defense against the Tar Heels offense? The Tar Heels haven’t seemed to have gotten anything going on offense this year. What do you expect on Saturday?
Brian: I expect more of the same out of the Tar Heels offense as we've seen throughout the year. The Tar Heels rank 113 in total offense, behind only seven teams in all of Division I-A. They do, however, rank ahead of Virginia at 118. Just like the Cavs performance last weekend, I think the Tar Heels offense is probably good for 7 points on Saturday. If North Carolina is going to win this one, their defense is going to have to turn over Shinskie and the Eagles offense and convert those turnovers into points. Interesting that the Eagles play the three worst ACC teams in total offense to end the season - Maryland (106), North Carolina (113) and Virginia (118).
North Carolina kicker Casey Barth has been red hot, connecting on his last 13 field goals, 8 in the last two games and a last-second game-winner at Virginia Tech. He has quite a bit more range than BC’s Steve Aponavicius. Will the Heels edge in the kicking game be a factor on Saturday?
Jeff: Must I remind you that Aponavicius has not yet missed a field goal this season? He's not too shabby himself, but he does lack some range and of course that will be an advantage for UNC.
Brian: Yeah, well Aponavicius has only attempted 2 field goals in the Eagles last 6 games. He's not too shabby, but he's far from a go-to kicker. Huge advantage North Carolina.
Jeff: BC men's basketball plays Saint Joseph's tonight. Not in Chestnut Hill, not in Philadelphia, but in St. Thomas. You like these preseason basketball tournaments?
Brian: Yes, absolutely. The Eagles will need games against quality opponents like Purdue, Tennessee and Saint Joseph's to boost their strength of schedule when it comes time to evaluate their NCAA Tournament resume.
Brian: A Peach Bowl representative will be visiting Chestnut Hill this weekend to scout BC and North Carolina. But really, they are just scouting North Carolina, right?
Jeff: I'm trying to come up with scenarios where BC goes to the Chic-Fil-A Bowl and it is very difficult. The scenario would obviously mean BC wins out. Then Georgia Tech would have to lose to Georgia and then lose the ACC Championship Game. Virginia Tech would have to either win out and get a BCS at-large or lose out and then BC would head to Atlanta via the "BC Rule."
Jeff: Does watching 3-8 Colorado nearly knock off #12 Oklahoma State on the road give you any more confidence that Virginia will beat Clemson Saturday?
Brian: No. Unless Tommy Bowden is again roaming the sidelines this Saturday, or Clemson plays without the services of their starting quarterback and star receiver (like Oklahoma State).
Brian: Montel Harris is 83 yards shy of breaking William Green’s sophomore rushing record (1,164). Having already broken the BC freshman rushing record, what are the chances he breaks both the junior and senior year rushing records?
Jeff: 10%. Injuries and/or jumping to the NFL early make this unlikely.
Jeff: BCMike asks HD "Odds that BC finishes 1st in the Atlantic this season (tied w/Clemson or otherwise) and is still projected 4th or 5th at the start of next season?" Give him his answer.
Brian: It's a complicated question since BC has to finish 1st/tied 1st and be projected 4th or 5th next year, but chances are good. I'll go with 67%. Wake and Maryland will definitely be ranked below BC. The only question is will NC State be ranked below the Eagles too?
Brian: On Wednesday, the Eagles men's basketball program officially added three to their 2010-2011 recruiting class. Which newest Eagle are you most excited to see join the team?
Jeff: Kevin Noreen is the biggest and put up sick numbers in high school.
Jeff: Six teams in the ACC have a chance to finish with 10 wins this season. How many will?
Brian: Georgia Tech is 1. The winner of BC/UNC is most likely another. And two of Clemson, Virginia Tech and Miami will get to 10 wins as well. 5.
Brian: Last one, HD predicts that the Eagles win this game 21-17. Is she right on the mark? What’s your prediction? Final score?
Jeff: Wait a second. HD also said that North Carolina was far more likely to win 10 games this year than BC. How does that all add up? Are we gonna lose to Maryland or Toilet Bowl she predicts us to go to?
- Connecticut at Notre Dame (-6)
- Kansas at Texas (-27.5)
- LSU (+4.5) at Mississippi
- Kent State (+10.5) at Temple
- Baylor at Texas A&M (-5)
- North Carolina at Boston College (-3.5)
- Rutgers (-8.5) at Syracuse
- Kentucky at Georgia (-9.5)
- Vanderbilt at Tennessee (-17)
- California at Stanford (-7.5)