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BCI Debates: Is Over 6.5 Wins for Boston College “Easy Money”?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Florida State at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Joe Gravellese: I saw that our friend AJ (who’s doing a great job over at Eagle Insider since starting there last month) posted this tweet:

My immediate reaction was to agree with it. Then I sat with it for a bit and reminded myself that 7 wins is still the best BC win mark since 2009 (woof) and can it really be considered easy money to match that?

Grant Salzano: Yea, I think I would probably take that bet.

Arthur Bailin: Yeah, if the offensive line is able to protect Jurkovec this year I think we are in good shape.

Grant: That’s where I’m at.

Joe: 7-6 seems like the exact outcome I’d put money on if I had to pick one exact outcome.

With a little optimism upside around the hopeful idea that the stuff we need to replace, or where we might not have the talent on paper seems in theory to be in the wheelhouse or our coaching.

Plus if we don’t go 3-0 against Rutgers UConn and Maine we should probably bring back Daz.

I don’t think 3-6 against the ACC + ND should be a stretch given we did that last year with a total lack of production at quarterback.

Then you need one more.

Easy money? I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I think I like their chances.

I think part of my struggle to mentally frame my optimism level right now is that historically we pretty much regularly do better than the models and predictions say, even if it’s just marginally better (winning 6 instead or 4 or something). But last year was an exception to that - there was some preseason hype around the team before it ended up being an exceedingly average BC season.

But again - that’s with an offense that was so limited that it was shades of 2015 from time to time.

Adam Marchany: It would be easy money if we knew Jurk would stay healthy.

But he hasn’t played a full season since he transferred here. So, take that for what it’s worth.

I’m not sure Rutgers is as surefire of a win as we might think either, they went 5-7 last year and were in the same division as 3 top-10 teams. They did better against Temple and Cuse than we did last year too.

Joe: Yeah that’s fair and frankly even pre-Jurk we never seem to have health and stability at the QB position. Some kind of curse. It used to be a bit of a meme to blame St. E’s but I’m pretty sure BC has cycled through every major hospital group as an official medical sponsor now. And yet we keep seeing devastating injuries. Is this how it is everywhere or have we truly had an insane number of QB injuries?

One of the darkest “that’s so BC” memories in recent years was being hyped all day for Gameday against Clemson and then Anthony Brown gets hurt literally on the first drive. Woof.

The turnover on the offensive line also adds to some fear around Jurk too.

Arthur: Yeah you have a QB with injury issues and a new o-line, I think we’re holding our breath for a while.

Joe: My Extremely Scientific way of trying to gauge this every year is to tally up my confidence interval for each game... .5 for tossups, .75 / .25 for ones where I lean a certain way, and then 95%/5% for what feel like locks. You know, super scientific.

And I got this:

Rutgers 0.75

@ VT 0.5

Maine 0.95

@ FSU 0.25

Louisville 0.5

Clemson 0.05

@ Wake Forest 0.5

@ UConn 0.95

Duke 0.75

@ NC State 0.25

@ Notre Dame 0.05

Syracuse 0.75

Giving me a grand total of..... (drum roll)... 6.25 wins. Which means my gut is probably relatively on track, if it’s tracking what Vegas thinks.

Arthur: Seems as good a science as any that anyone seems to be using Joe.

And that’s the issue, there are so many unknowns right now (one of the reasons preseason polls are useless!). We don’t know how the o line will hold up. There’s enough uncertainty that it’s possible it won’t. But what if it will? What if it is just as strong as before? That means the offense will be better off. Will that improve the outlook?

Curtis Flannery: My expectations are also pretty much in line with everyone here, as I’m predicting a 7-5 regular season. A big factor in why BC may be disappointing this year is how tough the ACC Atlantic has become in its final year of existence. Clemson and NC State are preseason top-15 teams, Wake is top-25, FSU and Louisville are on the come-up, and Syracuse is not the laughing stock it was 2 seasons ago.

Boston College could lose a game against any Atlantic opponent and I wouldn’t be particularly surprised, which puts them in a tough spot to crank out 7+ wins. Like Joe said, going 3-0 against Rutgers, Maine, and UConn is crucial, and I’d even throw Duke and Virginia Tech into that mix too.

Grant Salzano: I’m going to throw my hat in for 8-4. It would be a crying shame if we threw away a generational quarterback — believe it or not, Matt Ryan was nearly a generation ago — by just coming away with another 7 win season. Not that 8 wins is some amazing year, but we should be able to pull that off. The offensive line is the big question mark, yes, but taking any meaningful step forward defensively should help help offset that.

Joe: Who’s gonna be the negative ninny and say they wouldn’t touch over 6.5?

Arthur: I feel like that’s my time to shine, but I’m actually optimistic. I’m going to say 7.5 wins is my expectation, provided everything works out well. If the o-line can’t stop a nose bleed, well then yeah I’ll be the negative ninny and say that in a division like the Atlantic that’s not going to be good enough.

But I also think it will be ok. I refuse to believe at BC the o-line would be the issue.

And Grant is absolutely right, there is an absolute spoil of talent on both sides of the football. Jurk and Zay are going to pick apart some defenses.

From a purely analytical standpoint, I’m expecting UConn and Maine to be wins. That’s two. I think BC gets at least two of three against Rutgers, Duke and Syracuse. That’s four. I think BC splits Wake and Louisville. That’s six. Are you telling me that there isn’t a single game out there BC can steal? I don’t buy it.

Joe: Splitting wake and Louisville gets you to five by your math but point taken.

Arthur: I didn’t come to BC to play school.

Niraj Patel: I’m putting us at 8-4. This is 90% optimism, 9% perspiration. 1% hot gas. Health is always a concern and the offensive line is the biggest question mark, but I cannot stand for less than 7 wins. Maybe we get there with a bowl win, but I just want to not leave it up to chance. As Arthur mathematized, I’ll update the Wake/Louisville/FSU/Virginia Tech group as BC can take two or three there. Not to mention the more reasonable upset potential against the Clemson/Notre Dame/NC State crop. This is year three for Hafley, and between getting more of his recruits in the mix and some keen coaching changes, they should be gearing up for something special.

Arthur: I think the bottom line is if the team stays healthy, and if the O-Line is up to par, this team can really compete with anyone on its schedule. Notice how I didn’t say “its better than other teams,” but it certainly can compete. But there are some questions that do need to be answered.

Joe: So to bring us back to the original question........... it’s not easy money. But I think we’d all place the bet if we had to place it? I think that’s where we settled.

Well, we’ll find out soon enough. It won’t take long to know what this team’s ceiling is - we should know within a couple weeks, really.