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Boston College Athletics And The ACC: A Year Of Futility

This one is painful, but necessary....

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

There is low, and then there is what happened to Boston College Athletics this year. For the first time since World War II a team went 0 for the ACC in both basketball and football. The Athletics department has rightfully become a punch line for opposing fan bases, and media members.  If you are like many, you just see the big fat ZERO next to the wins column, but forget all of the heart breaking, anger fueled moments that made up this past season. Let's give a blow by blow of the awful seasons both football and basketball put together:

September 9, 2015: Florida State 14 Boston College 0.

This is where it all began. The Eagles off of a stretch of two wins against FCS squads Maine and Howard went under the lights of Alumni Stadium for a Friday night game against the Seminoles. The defense was stingy, but as a foreshadowing of the rest of the season, the offense was a wreck. Quarterback Darius Wade went 4-12 before being lost for the season with a knee injury. BC's defense held the Seminoles to 7 points, but the offense gave them an extra 7 when Jalen Ramsey blasted Jon Hilliman and took the ball to the house.

October 3, 2015: Duke 9 Boston College 7.

The merry-go round of Eagles quarterbacks couldn't do much of anything as Jeff Smith and Troy Flutie went 8 for 21 for 141 yards, and a missed field goal by Colton Lichtenberg. BC was denied a clear touchdown on a Thadd Smith catch in the endzone, but that wasn't nearly as infuriating as the horrible play calling that drained the clock as BC couldn't muster a drive to get into field goal range as time expired.

October 10, 2015: Wake Forest 3 Boston College 0: The defense did everything to keep them in this game, but the final quarter was truly the icing on the cake on a bad bad bad day of offense. Marching down the field, BC had to just move the ball a foot for a first down, Troy Flutie launched the ball on his dive about five yards down the field. Then like the miracle workers they were, the defense got the ball right back for the Eagles. Cue Jeff Smith, and Steve Addazio who could not figure out a play with time running down with the ball on the one.

October 17, 2015: Clemson 34 Boston College 17:

BC actually took an early lead in this game 7-0, but after that it was all Tigers. In one of the few games where an opposing offense got the better of BC's vaunted D, Deshaun Watson and company amassed 532 yards in this Saturday night drubbing.

October 24, 2015: Louisville 17 Boston College 14.

In one of the toughest losses of the year, Boston College battled with the Cardinals for most of the game. Of course a tough strip six fumble return touchdown when Sheldon Rankins stripped Jeff Smith and took it to the house. BC had a chance to tie the game or win it, but of course Troy Flutie was sacked twice in a possession that went six yards in the wrong direction.

October 31, 2015: Virginia Tech 26 Boston College 10

There was nothing redeeming about this game. This Halloween Horro Show showcased an offense that executed like it did for most of the year which was a steaming pile of poop. By half time Virginia Tech had a 20-0 lead, most of the fans had rightfully exited the stadium, only to miss the second half where Boston College did nothing. The John Fadule experiment kicked into high gear, as the walk on freshman went 8-20 for 143 yards and an interception. Probably the low point of the game had to be true freshman Jordan Gowins getting creamed, and almost handing the ball directly to a VT defender who waltzed into the endzone.

November 7, 2015: NC State 24 Boston College 8

(There is no GIF for this game. As my wife said "We left at half time, and I guess all the reporters did too")

At this point of the season we knew what we were dealing with, and boy was it evident in this slopfest. In this game, Fadule threw the ball a mind blowing 37 times, completing 23 of them, which would seem like a good game. But he also threw three interceptions. BC was basically shut out in this one, other than a garbage time touchdown to Thadd Smith at the end of the game.

November 28, 2015:


That's it. That did it. Boston College was in this one, they jumped out to an early 7-0 nothing lead, but Syracuse took over with some offense. But give BC credit as they stormed back to kick a late field goal. But the defense couldn't hold the smoking hot Orange offense, as Syracuse kicked a game winning field goal as time expired to give Scott Shafer a final victory and seal the deal as BC went ZERO for the ACC.

January 2, 2016: Duke 84, Boston College 61: It wasn't necessarily a bad game for BC, who actually led this one for moments in the first half. Not getting blown out and playing Duke evenly through the first half, the score was probably worse than the game looked. But Duke had too many weapons; Brandon Ingram scored 25, Grayson Allen scored 17, and Matt Jones scored 16 to allow the defending national champs to make the score look worse than the game probably was. This would be the last game BC would be .500.

January 7, 2016: Notre Dame 82, Boston College 54: The Fighting Irish absolutely blasted the Eagles, outscoring them 45-30 in the second half while dumping in 40-plus points in the paint and 25-plus points off of BC turnovers. In a sign of things that would come, BC shot 17-for-51, including only nine buckets not scored by Eli Carter, Dennis Clifford, and Garland Owens. Carter himself would have five points in the game's first four minutes, then not score again until halfway through the second half.

January 13, 2016: Syracuse 62, Boston College 40: Outscored 30-15 in the first half, the also-winless-in-ACC-at-that-point Orange ran away with the game behind a double-double from Tyler Roberson (nearly in the first half). Eli Carter shot 3-for-8 for a team-high nine points as BC shot 30% from the floor, including 38% in the second half.

January 16, 2016: Pittsburgh 84, Boston College 61: At this point, it wasn't so much losing as it was the realization that as hard as BC tried on the floor, there was a chasm between them and the rest of the ACC in terms of overall talent levels. Eli Carter was on the mark, pouring in 31 points, but the rest of the team struggled, scoring 30 combined. Meanwhile, the Panthers erased an early BC 7-0 run to lead by seven at the half, and they ran away with it in the second half after shooting 55% in the period. BC would hit only eight shots in the second half, five by Carter.

January 20, 2016: Miami 67, Boston College 53: In one of their best halves of the season, the Eagles went on a 10-1 run to close the period, coming within one of the Hurricanes. In the second half, even after the U opened up a 10-point lead, the Eagles went on a 6-0 run to cut the game first to four and then, later to three. But BC would fail to scorea field goal in the game's last seven minutes, scoring four points the rest of the way as Miami unloaded 15 of their own for the victory.

January 23, 2016: Notre Dame 76, Boston College 49: Despite holding tight in the first half, the Fighting Irish took advantage of another long BC stretch of basket-less shooting, outscoring the Eagles by 22 in the second. BC shot 6-for-30 in the second half, including a combined 2-23 from their starting five. Finishing the game under 30%, they were no match for Notre Dame's 48%.

January 26, 2016: Florida State 72, Boston College 62: Eli Carter scored 16 and added eight assists as Jerome Robinson emerged as a legitimate second threat, going 6-10 from the field for 15 points of his own. But tied late in the first half, FSU scored five to close the period, then added eight more to start the second to pull away. BC would close within six, but FSU made an adjustment and put the game away for BC's seventh straight loss.

January 30, 2016: North Carolina 89, Boston College 62: Even if they were energetic and hungry, the young, inexperienced Eagles stood virtually no chance against the top-ranked team in the nation. BC pulled within one during the first half, but UNC went on a 15-0 tear to go up 16 late in the first. The Tar Heels led by 11 at the break, then scored the first 10 points of the second half. BC would go on a 7-0 run, but there was too much UNC at the Dean Dome.

February 3, 2016: Virginia 61, Boston College 47: Against another top 10 team, Sammy Barnes-Thompkins enjoyed a break-out performance, scoring 12 points in the first half. But he was quieted in the second half to just two points as the Cavaliers scored nine unanswered points at the halfway point. As a testament to their never quitting attitude, BC did score the last 11 points of the game, even though the result was no longer in doubt. At 0-9, the possibility of a winless season started to become more prevalent, even though winnable games stood ahead.

February 6, 2016: Louisville 79, Boston College 47: Prior to this game, the Eagles stood hopes of catching Louisville napping. But then the school announced a self-imposed postseason ban due to a recruiting scandal, and the Cardinals came out angry and hungry to prove a point. They decimated BC with a 19-2 run to start the game, then never let up. A 32-14 halftime score would combine with a 21-7 late-game run as Rick Pitino's bunch ran BC off their floor.

February 9, 2016: North Carolina 68, Boston College 65: Apparently fed up with their losing ways, BC took it to the visiting Tar Heels from pillar to post, playing their most complete game of the season. Conte Forum electrified, and the stands came alive with a Hoosiers-type feel. Dennis Clifford turned in a signature marquee performance, and Eli Carter helped BC swagger into a game against the eighth-ranked Heels. But Marcus Paige helped UNC take the led late, then iced the game with some free throws. Roy Williams, who dealt with a bout of vertigo during the game and had to be helped off the court, would return to congratulate the Eagles on their game afterwards and laud both Coach Christian and his young team. Despite that, BC's ACC record dropped to 0-11.

February 14, 2016: Syracuse 75, Boston College 61: BC had the lead late in the game, but the offense hit one of its signature cold spells, allowing the Orange to go on a 24-7 run. BC never closed within nine after that.

February 17, 2016: Clemson 65, Boston College 54: As the schedule got "easier" with the bubble Tigers, Dennis Clifford continued his renaissance, scoring 17 points and eight rebounds. At halftime, the Eagles actually led 34-31. But Clemson rolled late, outscoring BC 34-20 in the second half. Eli Carter went 1-17, including an 0-7 first half.

February 21, 2016: Wake Forest 74, Boston College 48: Prior to the game, hope ran rampant that the losing would come to a close against the equally-hapless Demon Deacons. But the unthinkable happened with a 14-0 Wake run to open the game and a 37-4 score on the board with three minutes left in the first half. BC trailed 41-14 at the half, ending all hope. Now with 20 losses on the year, at 0-14 in ACC play, the winless possibility now became a looming cloud of reality people begged wouldn't fall.

February 23, 2016: Virginia Tech 71, Boston College 56: Despite a Clifford double-double, BC found themselves down 13 at the break after the team shot just 1-15 from beyond the arc. They improved in the second half to shoot 38.5%, including 4-13 from three-point world, but the Hokies just coasted home. This game was notable for its 9 PM start, resulting in only 1,000 fans reported in attendance at what felt like a cavern at Conte Forum.

February 27, 2016: Georgia Tech 76, Boston College 71: BC hung tight and never went away against a very beatable Yellow Jacket team, as Eli Carter and Dennis Clifford put the team on their backs. Carter was 10-18 from the floor, scoring 25 points, and Clifford added 17 of his own while Sammy Barnes-Thompkins scored 15. Down nine late, BC closed to within three with 12 seconds left, but a couple of free throws iced the game and pushed BC to match Maryland's 0-16 winless record.

March 2, 2016: NC State 73, Boston College 72: With one second left, a loose ball bounced out of bounds, giving the Wolfpack their last shot at redemption. The defense lost Maverick Rowan, and an uncontested layup went in to give NC State the one-point victory. This was the backbreaker for the season, as the air of inevitability started to hit the fanbase that the sports gods just didn't want BC to win a game in ACC play.

March 5, 2016: Clemson 66, Boston College 50: Totally out of gas, BC had nothing left in the tank on Senior Day, and the Tigers walked out with a 16 point victory, sealing the Eagles' fate as a footnote to history.

Honorable Mention: March 8, 2016: Florida State 88, Boston College 66: The Eagles loss in the ACC Tournament's First Round assured them of no consolation prize, extended the losing streak to all of 2016 and ending what was a rocky journey into unwanted territory.