Brian: Another year, another mid level finish predicted for the Eagles in the Atlantic Division. It’s news, but not really new news. BC is continually underappreciated by the media in the ACC preseason poll, and this year is no exception.
Take a look at the last 5 years of ACC preseason polls with year-end results in parenthesis:
Here’s HD’s rational for picking BC third in the division:
"Here's my main reason for picking the Eagles third behind Florida State and Clemson, respectively: BC still has something to prove at quarterback. Anthony Castonzo told me on Sunday that Dave Shinskie has improved tremendously, and that he made a visible leap. He's going to have to if the Eagles are going to beat the likes of Christian Ponder and Kyle Parker."
Of course, we don’t have a year to benchmark against when BC was picked to finish higher than they actually did finish. But there’s nothing to the theory that BC plays better when they are the hunter, not the hunted, right? Your thoughts?
Jeff: The thing is, everyone plays better when they are the hunter rather than the hunted. When you are the hunter, you cannot fail. When you are the hunted, you either win it all or you fail. However, BC has never finished below preseason predictions since joining the ACC but we can't say they play better as the hunter because everyone does.
This season I am certainly not surprised that they weren't picked ahead of Florida State but I am surprised that Clemson was picked ahead of them. The amount of talent that BC returns compared to what Clemson brings back is night and day and I expect a bigger slide for the Tigers than just to second place in the division.
Brian: For the first time, the ACC also published the results from the Championship Game predictions. Two members of the media predicted BC to win the ACC, while the other two that predicted BC to win the Atlantic had the Eagles falling to Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech-Boston College was the sixth most popular pick for the Championship Game with 3 votes. Georgia Tech-Boston College also received a vote.
1. Florida State-Virginia Tech 46
2. Florida State-Miami 19
3. Clemson-Virginia Tech 13
4. Florida State-Georgia Tech 9
5. Florida State-North Carolina 4
6. Boston College-Virginia Tech 3
7. Boston College-Georgia Tech 1
7. Clemson-Georgia Tech 1
7. Clemson-Miami 1
7. Clemson-North Carolina 1
No Boston College-Miami matchups, which I thought was mildly interesting considering that old Big East schools have appeared in the Championship 5 times out of 10 (well, really, just Boston College and Virginia Tech). Your thoughts on the predicted ACC Championship Game participants?
Jeff: Well when only four people picked BC to go to the ACC Championship Game I do not think it is surprising that no one picked BC-Miami. What did surprise me was that Virginia Tech was no more of a favorite to win the Coastal Division than Florida State was to win the Atlantic Division. With Virginia Tech being the only team in the ACC that will start the season high in the national polls, I am surprised that they were not the heavy favorite to make it to the ACC Championship Game out of their division, even though the Coastal Division is deeper than the Atlantic this season.
Brian: Finally, in the ACC Player of the Year voting, BC’s Montel Harris received just 1 vote and tied for 10th in the voting. Despite rushing for 1,457 yards last season, Harris finished tied for 10th with Virginia Tech RB Darren Evans. My guess is Harris will pick up just a few more votes between the preseason and postseason polls for conference Player of the Year, no?
Jeff: Even though we were talking about Harris rushing for 2,000 yards this week, I am not at all surprised he only got one vote and would not have been surprised if he hadn't gotten any. Even if he is the leading rusher in the league, he will have to outshine all the QBs and other players in the league. I don't see him winning the POY honor this season regardless of what stats he puts up because certain voters will give a lot of credit to our offensive line and the large number of touches he is going to get.
Brian: I definitely think you'll see players like Montel Harris and Jacory Harris receive much more love when the media sit down to select the conference's Player of the Year at the end of the season. That's not to take away from the other candidates, but you already have three Hokies on that list (two running backs) who will siphon off votes from one another; not to mention the fact that Williams and Evans will share the workload in the backfield. If Harris can match or exceed his production from last year, and the Eagles are in the Atlantic Division hunt, he'll definitely climb the list of POY candidates by season's end.