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Boston College’s Biggest Turnaround Seasons

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A look back at year-over-year improvements throughout BC history

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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.

6-win turnarounds

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.

5-win turnarounds

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.

4-win turnarounds

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.