Pre-season prognostication is in full swing as the 2022 college football season approaches and none of the publications has more of a national following and reputation as does Phil Steele's College Football Preview.
Now in it's 28th year, it has been the most accurate in the business over the past 27 seasons and in any given year, number 1, 2 or 3 among the top 15 in this category. It has been one of the rating systems I have used to develop The Book ratings for the past 6 years now.
In 2021, Steele finished number two behind Pick Six Previews in accurately forecasting the finishes of teams in conferences per the Stassen Accuracy rankings that chart these things, so a very good barometer in general.
Boston College is ranked 5th in the ACC Atlantic, tied for the spot with Florida State behind Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest and Louisville. The Eagles are ranked 54th in the nation in his power ratings poll and are considered a potential sleeper to move up if they can stay healthy.
The keys to BCs success are pretty clear:
- offensive line play - where over the past few seasons, BC has been considered one of the better offensive lines in the country (6th preseason in 2021) and pretty noticeably under performed, this group is ranked just 12th in the ACC and outside of the top 67 in the country. BC returns just 26 career starts along the line, which ranks 125th in the country and that was before losing Christian Mahogany for the season. Mahogany accounted for 22 of those 26 starts. now putting BC #130 out of 131 in that category.
- keeping Phil Jurkovec healthy - although not listed as one of the top four QBs in the ACC, in a very deep QB class, Jurkovec has the capabilities to elevate BC. Can the offensive line keep him upright though and let him use the WR weapons in his arsenal, which ranks 3rd in the ACC.
- improvement in the pass rush - BC struggled to create negative plays and most of that comes down to the front four. Can the Eagles get to the QB, particularly without blitzing?