After last year’s woeful 3-9 season, Steve Addazio and the Eagles will need to improve by three games just to get bowl eligible. Certainly, many fans are hopeful that BC can do at least a little better than that. With Vegas setting the over/under for BC wins at 6.5, there is reasonable hope and expectation that BC could get to at least 7 wins this season.
If the Eagles do improve on their record by 4 games or more, it would be one of the top ten year-over-year turnarounds in Boston College history. The moral of the story? Big turnarounds can happen, but they are rare.
Only once in its history has BC improved by six wins: 1899, when BC improved on their 2-5-1 mark to go 8-1-1. Coach John Dunlop's squad racked up wins over luminaries like UNH, MIT, and Andover Academy. They lost 18-0 to Brown in the season's penultimate game before beating Holy Cross in the season finale in front of 6,000 fans.
BC has had four seasons in its history where it improved its win total by 5. Most recently? 2013, when Steve Addazio piloted BC to a 7-6 record in his first year in charge, following a 2-10 season in 2012.
The most memorable and somewhat recent example of a 5-win improvement came in 1986, when BC improved on a 4-8 mark in 1985 to go 9-3. Jack Bicknell’s squad won the Hall of Fame Bowl that year.
In 1979, BC recovered from a disastrous 0-11 season to go a somewhat more respectable 5-6. Ed Chlebek was able to get back above .500 the next year, going 7-4 in 1980.
Last but not least was the 1928 squad, which went 9-0-0 after going 4-4 the previous season. It was Joe McKenny's first season in charge, and BC had a number of solid wins, beating Navy, Duke and Fordham, along with local rivalry victories over BU, UConn and Holy Cross.
BC’s bowl streak under Tom O’Brien began in 1999 when BC improved from 4-7 to 8-4.
The Eagles’ other four-win swings came in 1933 (4-2-2 to 8-1-0); 1962 (4-6-0 to 8-2-0); and 1992 (4-7 to 8-3-1).
We’ll see if BC is able to add another entry to this list this fall.