Brian: I'm not one who believes in moral victories. The college football season is incredibly short, and wins and losses are ultimately the only thing that matters. Moral victories don't win you the ACC Atlantic Division title and they don't get your program bowl-eligible. Still, you have to be encouraged by the Eagles play on Saturday, no? BC was better than in weeks past.
Combine better play with a very favorable schedule down the stretch. The Eagles remaining opponents went 1-5 in week seven, while that lone win was Clemson's over Maryland -- BC's next two opponents -- so someone had to win. In BC's upcoming opponents five losses this week, those teams were largely uncompetitive. Maryland, Wake Forest, Virginia and Syracuse got smacked around and Duke probably is owner of the most competitive loss of the bunch (a 28-13 loss to Miami).
When Jags was coach, he used to talk about breaking down the season into four quarters. BC's season is now at halftime. Six down, six to go. Despite a poor 2-4 record, you have to be encouraged that the Eagles will start stringing together wins in the second half, no? Judging by the reactions of the BC fan base, you would think the program isn't going to win more than a game the rest of the way. What's up with all the doom-and-gloom from Superfans? Your thoughts?
Jeff: Seeing what happened this past weekend and as I've been trying to tell you, 7-5 for this team is still pretty much a worst case scenario for this team. Technically anything can happen on any Saturday but the Eagles have a better chance of beating Clemson than anyone else on our schedule has of beating us. Maryland, Virginia, Duke, and Wake Forest are just not anywhere near as talented as the three teams we've played in conference so far or Notre Dame.
Before the season began we talked at length about how great our schedule was this season. Looking back though, it was horrible. We started off with two non-tests so we had no idea what our QB was capable of nor did we really know what we needed to work on during our bye week. Then we played four straight against teams that are currently or have been ranked in the top 25 of at least one major poll this season. The rest of the way, we don't play any teams that have been or have much chance of being ranked this season. Knowing now that N.C. State was not the pushover they were last season, if that week had been a bye or a Syracuse/UVA type opponent, maybe our season would be playing out very differently. Or if we were playing Notre Dame towards the end of October as we typically do instead of the first Saturday of October.
Also, there are plenty of things that could've happened Saturday for BC to win. And don't forget, BC could've easily been leading going into halftime against Virginia Tech in which case our season would be looking very different right now as well. Instead, BC is basically eliminated from the ACC Championship discussion and has no opportunities to excite fans the rest of the way aside from a home game against Clemson which will probably give the Eagles the chance to get back to .500 on the season.
Brian: I don't subscribe to all the doom-and-gloom, but I'm going to disagree with you about the schedule. I still maintain that this year's schedule was a gift from the college football scheduling gods. One that was completely squandered by some bad coaching decisions. The reason we had no idea what our QB was capable of, or the fact that we didn't know what to work on in the bye week, is 100 percent on the coaching staff. When you have an extra week to prepare for a good but reeling Virginia Tech team, and when you don't have to leave home for the first five weeks of the football season, you have to capitalize.
Notre Dame and N.C. State may have been ranked in the Top 25 at some point in the season, but I can't believe that Notre Dame is 17 points better than BC. Nor can I believe that N.C. State is 27 points better than the Eagles. These are basically the same teams from a season ago -- a year in which BC left 21 points on the field at Notre Dame and lost by just 4 points and a year in which the Eagles blew out a Wolfpack team by 32 points. There wasn't that much turnover on the rosters of those 3 programs for the results to swing so dramatically the other way in the course of a year.
Anyway, the schedule lightens up considerably down the stretch. BC is actually favored in a football game this weekend. A win this weekend and BC will easily be favored in five of their remaining six games. A convincing win and they might be favored against Clemson too.
Though I am in favor of a coaching shakeup at this point -- Tranq needs to go, Spaz isn't the long-term solution and the O-Line and WR coaches need a serious talking to -- there is still plenty to play for. If you lower your expectations for this team for the second half of the season, then I truly believe you are just buying into all the BS excuses that Spaz puts out there to excuse this program's performance.