Whether you agree with Gene DeFilippo or the angry masses, it's hard to argue against the fact that 2011 stunk for Boston College athletics. Look at every sport -- they either flat out played poorly or underperformed. Attendance and student engagement continued to sink, and the program itself became hostile to the very fan base that supports it.
In order to see how poorly 2011 ended up, let's take a gander at some of the major sports.
In January the football team headed to San Francisco to play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against a vastly superior Nevada team. The defense kept the team in the game, but a major screw up on special teams and no semblance of offense cost the Eagles the game.
During the offseason Gary Tranquill finally was sent out to pasture, and replaced by our offensive savior Kevin Rogers. We all know how that ended, and we wish him well in his recovery. Clyde Lee, Shakim Phillips, Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha all either left the program or were kicked off the team.
Expectations were mixed for the BC 2011 season, as many including myself had high hopes for the team. But the team came out flat, and our once vaunted defense looked weak as they lost nail biters to Northwestern, Duke, and Wake Forest and were thoroughly embarrassed by the UCF Gator-Knights. Injuries didn't help as preseason ACC Player of the Year Montel Harris only played in two ineffective games, and projected #1 receiver Ifeanyi Momah was knocked out in the opening game against Northwestern.
Chase Rettig never took the steps that many thought he would, and the offense looked as bad as it had under Tranquill. Couple that with horrible losses to Clemson, Virginia Tech and Florida State and it's understandable why BC had their lowest attendance in the past 18 years. For the first time in over a decade BC wasn't bowl eligible as they finished the season 4-8.
The beginning of the year started off with great promise as the BC basketball team played solid basketball against their ACC opponents. The highlight of that season had to be BC's win against the Hokies in Blacksburg. Everything went downhill after that. First, BC got blown out of the ACC Tournament with a bad loss against a beatable Clemson team. Then during selection Sunday, BC who was on the bubble, was left out. The NIT bound Eagles, started off with a win against McNeese State before getting embarrassed at home against Northwestern losing 85-67.
The offseason was not very kind to the Eagles either. BC graduated 8 seniors, most notably Reggie Jackson who left early for the draft, and Dallas Elmore transferred. BC would be going into this season with nine freshmen. Expectations couldn't be lower.
In front of paltry crowds at Conte Forum, BC played like the inexperienced team that they were. They barely beat UNH, lost games to BU, Holy Cross and UMass, and looked completely lost. A settled rotation, and more confidence gives a gleam of hope, and players like Jordan Daniels, Lonnie Jackson and Ryan Anderson certainly give us hope that things can turn around. Bbut we shall see what this team really looks like when ACC play begins.
The pride of Boston College started off strong this winter by winning the Beanpot and the Hockey East title. Hurray for winning! But hockey fans watched in horror as BC was absolutely dismantled by Colorado College in the NCAA Tournament. A disappointing end of a promising season, and end to BC playing days for John Muse and others. Just like the basketball team, much of the leadership and experience left the team in the summer, so questions remained about BC's goalie situation and who other than Chris Kreider would provide offense.
The fall started off strong for the Eagles as they beat Michigan State and North Dakota to win the Ice Breaker. BC soared up the polls, reaching #1 just in time to play Notre Dame in South Bend. It was a great game with a horrible ending. BC tied the game with two minutes remaining, but the Irish answered with less than five seconds left in the game. Barf. Speaking of vomit, BC also was defeated by Boston University twice in the span of month, the first time the Terriers had beaten the Eagles in almost two years.
Other Sports and News
Just a quick recap of other BC sports. Baseball finished the 2011 season 17-33. Woo. Women's Basketball finished with a winning record. Our lone star of the year had to be the Women's Ice Hockey team who made it to the Frozen Four and were close to knocking off Wisconsin.
All in all 2011 was a very disappointing season for BC Athletics. Couple that with a self serving, pig headed, condescending AD that cares little about the fans, and it looks more like a disastrous year and certainly one that was hard for many fans to stomach.
How will 2012 fair for the program? It's certainly a year already filled with many questions.