Brian: The big news yesterday was the announcement of the 2010 Boston College Eagles schedule. Here it is again.
Sept. 4 - WEBER STATE
Sept. 11 - KENT STATE
Sept. 25 - VIRGINIA TECH
Oct. 2 - NOTRE DAME
Oct. 9 - at NC State
Oct. 16 - at Florida State
Oct. 23 - MARYLAND
Oct. 30 - CLEMSON
Nov. 6 - at Wake Forest
Nov. 13 - at Duke
Nov. 20 - VIRGINIA
Nov. 27 - at Syracuse
Let’s start with the likes. What do you like about this schedule?
Jeff: Well first of all, if you are hoping to win the Atlantic Division next year, there is nothing better than seeing Virginia and Duke on your schedule as your two rotating Coastal Division opponents. UNC, Miami, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech all made bowl games last season and are clearly a step above UVA and Duke. Right now there's no reason to think that this Coastal Division hierarchy will change next season. Maryland was clearly the weakest team in the Atlantic last year so I am glad that that game breaks up the tough Florida State and Clemson games.
Brian: I agree with you. The ACC Coastal Division slate is very manageable, especially with Virginia breaking in new HC Mike London. I like that BC has four home games to start the season, especially given our struggles on the road last year. I also like the fact that BC plays exactly one bowl team in their final 6 games. The Eagles could easily finish the season on a bit of a tear (say 5-1 or 6-0). I say this even with the Eagles going on the road for 3 of those final 6 games.
Onto the dislikes. Anything stand out to you that could pose a problem for the Eagles in 2010?
Jeff: From September 25 through October 30, the Eagles could either wrap up the Atlantic Division by beating all three heavyweights on their schedule (setting themselves up for an 8-4, 9-3, or 10-2 season with a 4-2 record in that stretch), or play themselves out of the conference race and be playing in the EagleBank Bowl at the end of the year.
Brian: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s kinda crazy that BC plays back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back ACC Atlantic Division games in five consecutive weeks from October 6 to November 9. The Florida State road game is also in the middle of a tough stretch of games. I like the fact that BC will be well rested going into the Virginia Tech game (with two cupcakes and a bye week), but I would have liked to have seen the off week occur later in the season.
To end the regular sesason, the Eagles are set to renew their rivalry with Syracuse. Do you like having this rivalry game to end the season?
Jeff: I love having the Syracuse game at the end of the season each year. I think the ACC Championship game matchup should be set at least two weeks prior to the game as it was last season. This gives fans and teams ample time to prepare and the only way to do that is to get the majority or all of the ACC action played prior to the last week of the season. Last year, we saw the end of season rivalry game backfire on both Clemson and Georgia Tech when the lost to South Carolina and Georgia respectively, but BC managed to beat Miami (Fla.) in a meaningless game in 2007.
Brian: BC has had 7 days off to prepare to host the Blue Devils tomorrow. Will the extra time off help or hurt the Eagles’ chances?
Jeff: It will help. The Eagles are an improving team and if we could take a month off before our next game we'd be even better.
Jeff: The NC State blog YANCCSB took a look at men’s basketball talent usage and showed that BC has the least talent in the conference. Any merit to this metric?
Brian: You can only put faith in this talent usage metric insofar as you trust basketball recruiting rankings.
Brian: Men’s Health magazine listed Boston as the "least drunk" city in the US. Surprised?
Jeff: Yes, I am surprised. My current city of Columbia, SC getting an F does not surprise me though.
Jeff: D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens took a look at 9pm tipoffs and found that BC has played in the fourth most 9pm tipoffs since 2006 (going 5-5 in those games). Your thoughts?
Brian: In general, I don't like 9pm tipoffs. They are good for BC when on the road, bad when playing at home.
Brian: Skinner feels that BC’s best basketball is ahead of them. Agree?
Jeff: Absolutely. Largely because they haven't played very good en route to their ten losses so far this season.
Jeff: BU Coach Jack Parker says that "The Beanpot is losing its luster" with BC and BU always in the final. Who’s to blame?
Brian: I don't understand the outrage. Everyone is quick to forget Northeastern played in the final last year, and Harvard played in the final two years ago.
Brian: Many head basketball coaches are in favor of a 96-team NCAA tournament. Will the backing of coaches tip the scales in favor of 96?
Jeff: As soon as rumors surfaced, NCAA tourney expansion was labeled a done deal. Then the NCAA tried to get the cat back in the bag. I believe we are looking at a 96 team tournament soon, possibly next year.
Jeff: Jon Sheyer hit a bajillion 3's in Duke's victory over Georgia Tech last night. Does that scare you that he might be getting hot?
Brian: Umm ... yes.
Brian: Last one, BC-Duke tomorrow afternoon. Chances the Eagles knock off the Blue Devils?
Jeff: 40%. Better than 1 in 3 but not 50-50.