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Banter: Can Boston College Football Lock Back In for Their Bowl Game?

Our writers look ahead to what BC can do to salvage the season

Boston College v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Curtis: Well, that went about as we all expected. BC finished their end-of-season collapse with another blowout, this time getting thumped by Miami on Black Friday. What are your biggest takeaways as we head into bowl season?

Curran: I’m not sure if there are any new takeaways — this was, as you said, fully expected. Nothing we saw was surprising, from the secondary getting shredded to the offensive turnovers and crippling three-and-outs. Frankly, I thought Hafley looked beat in his postgame presser; I think this program is capped with him leading it. But again — we already knew this.

Kieran: Well on the bright side, BC got to six wins and will be playing in a bowl game. I know I didn’t expect that at the beginning of the season. I’m not sure anyone, coaches, players, or fans, are really content with just 6 wins, but a bowl game is still a bowl game. Will Hafley stay? Will Hafley go? I don’t know, but that decision will determine what this team looks like next season.

Arthur: We’ve got a quarterback, but not a whole lot else. And we definitely don’t have the scheme or thinking to properly utilize him.

I think Castellanos hit the nail on the head and it’s pretty apparent that complacency set in after win six. That falls ultimately on coaching to keep them focused. By the way, as an aside, giving a lot of credit because I think he really embraced his team leadership role this year, I’ve seen a lot of growth in that area. But circling back, there’s no level of talent that can overcome complacency and that feels like the big problem for them, doesn’t it? The fight wasn’t there.

Niraj: I really, really appreciate that Castellanos quote (and agree he’s grown into that leadership role well it seems). I don’t know how many people are still warm on Hafley, but if the man can’t get his team locked in again with all this time for a bowl game, his and this group’s first. Coaches always talk about how important these extra practices are so let’s see if this can be an actual building block for next year. We’re stuck with him anyways.

Curran: I agree, Castellanos owning that is positive. He is the future. My issue is that he basically had the same “we got humbled, we need to regroup and not be complacent” response after all three of those losses to end the regular season. It is good that he and the team is recognizing it, but then something needs to actually be done about it.

Curtis: I think the silver lining here is that it’s fixable in the short-term. It won’t require a major roster overhaul to get the guys to stop being complacent. If Hafley and the leadership play their cards right, then this team can start to turn things around for the bowl game at least.

Arthur: Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I feel like the refrain of “we need to practice harder” has been one that’s been mentioned before, like last year.

Curtis: It has definitely been mentioned by the players in previous seasons under Hafley.

Curran: Or even the Hafley classic “we practiced well this week, I didn’t see this [insert bad loss] coming at all”

Arthur: So here’s the thing. I love that the players are realizing it. It’s accountability. The real question is why does this keep happening late in the season? And to Curran’s point, if Hafley’s thinking they’re having good practices, why is it that it’s not translating on the field? Because it’s clear the push isn’t there.

It feels like one of two things is true. Either Hafley has a fundamental misunderstanding of what is necessary to get the team ready late in the season, or he doesn’t have control of the locker room to get the team ready. I feel like this team on paper should have been better than six wins. Sure, injuries were tough to the Eagles this year, but good players seemed to underperform or make very dumb mistakes. Florida State should be a CFP team this year in a world where the playoffs are an actual meritocracy, and BC had it on the brink. So the talent is there, it’s hard to not come back to the Eagles just not having the requisite energy to go play an ACC schedule, even a horrible one.

Curtis: Which bowl game are we pulling for? Personally I want the Pop Tart Bowl even though it’ll never happen. We’re probably looking at either Pinstripe or Fenway. Ugh.

Curran: I’m with you, Curtis. I want to win the first edible mascot of all time.

Kieran: Fenway makes almost too much sense doesn’t it? I’ve heard some bad things about the Pinstripe Bowl, so I’m personally pulling for the Wasabi Fenway Bowl (and it’s not the kind of wasabi you think).

Arthur: Are you youths too young for the frozen field Pinstripe Bowl? I feel old. I feel like you’re right Curtis, I think the big issue is that the BC brand is so weak, even internally, that the only chance of BC drawing is local or relatively local. It’s a shame but it’s a reap and sow thing.

Curtis: I’m not that young, how dare you. I’ll have you know I froze my ass off in the stands for that game! And I’d do it again!

Arthur: I wouldn’t. I’ve only had (mild) frostbite twice in my life and that was one of those times. That game wasn’t worth it.

Curran: Did we win?

Curtis: Of course not. Lol.

Arthur: What do you think? lol

Curran: (Why do I even ask)

Arthur: Yeah the answer to that hasn’t been yes since… is it the Quick Lane Bowl like seven years ago?

Curtis: I count the 7-0 lead in the First Responders Bowl as a win, personally.

Arthur: I think the thunderstorm won that game.