Your Boston College Eagles are off to a 4-2 start to the season. Despite the modest preseason expectations for this team, not a wholly unexpected outcome given the competition and not having to leave the state until game #6. The schedule gets much tougher the rest of the way, with three conference road games--@ Wake Forest, @ Virginia Tech and @ Florida State--to go along with home games against the division's (conference's) top outfits.
But before looking ahead, let's look back. How does BC's 4-2 start to the season rank among the last 10 seasons' starts?
Here's an arbitrary ranking of BC's last 10 season starts. Obviously a fast start is no indication of a strong finish, and vice versa (see: 2011 Boston College football).
1. 2007 Season / Jagodzinski (6-0)
Opponents: Wake Forest (W), N.C. State (W), at Georgia Tech (W), Army (W), Massachusetts (W), Bowling Green (W)
Like this season, BC was fortunate to play five of its first six games at home in 2007. The result was a perfect 6-0 record with the team rising to #4 in the polls for the following weekend's game in South Bend. Of course, we know how the season ended, with losses to Florida State, Maryland and Virginia Tech (ACCCG). Still, 2007 remains the program's best finish of the last decade.
2. 2005 Season / O'Brien (5-1)
Opponents: at BYU (W), Army (W), Florida State (L), Clemson (W), Ball State (W), Virginia (W)
The Eagles' inaugural ACC season got off to a fast 5-1 start, with the lone loss coming to Florida State in the conference home opener. BC got in the ACC win column the following week with a 16-13 overtime victory in Death Valley. The start to the 2005 season gets the nod over the 2006 and 2008 seasons given the strength of the opposition in BC's one loss.
3. 2008 Season / Jagodzinski (5-1)
Opponents: at Kent State (W), Georgia Tech (L), Central Florida (W), Rhode Island (W), at N.C. State (W), Virginia Tech (W)
BC started the season fast with a 21-0 shutout victory vs. Kent State in Cleveland Browns Stadium to the delight of hundreds of fans. The program followed that up with a home loss to Georgia Tech, one of the more winnable games in recent memory that BC simply let slip away.
4. 2006 Season / O'Brien (5-1)
Opponents: at Central Michigan (W), Clemson (W), BYU (W), at N.C. State (L), Maine (W), Virginia Tech (W)
Ultimately it wouldn't have mattered, but TOB's Eagles got Hail Mary'd by a redshirt sophomore QB down in Raleigh; the lone blemish on a 5-1 start to the season. The Eagles would go on to drop road games at Wake Forest and Miami to finish the year 5-3 in conference. Even if they had managed to beat State, BC would have lost the head-to-head with Wake Forest for the Atlantic Division title. Hey, remember when Wake Forest won the ACC haha good one.
5. 2014 Season / Addazio (4-2)
Opponents: at Massachusetts (W), Pittsburgh (L), USC (W), Maine (W), Colorado State (L), at N.C. State (W)
A play away from 5-1. Alas. Even if BC somehow manages to pull out the Colorado State game, I'm conflicted on where this season's start would rank among the other 5-1 starts. Given what we've seen from Pitt in recent weeks, I'm not sure it would rank that much higher.
6. 2013 Season / Addazio (3-3)
Opponents: Villanova (W), Wake Forest (W), at USC (L), Florida State (L), Army (W), at Clemson (L)
Overall, this was a "good" 3-3 given the opponents and the showing with competitive losses to Florida State and Clemson in Addazio's first season at the helm. Wake Forest was a mess at the time but that was still a quality win on Friday night. The USC loss was bad, but Addazio and staff really started to figure out their identity on offense over the next few weeks, and the program was able to parlay a 3-3 start into a 4-2 finish and a return to a bowl game.
7. 2009 Season / Spaziani (4-2)
Opponents: Northeastern (W), Kent State (W), at Clemson (L), Wake Forest (W), Florida State (W), at Virginia Tech (L)
This season's start is ranked below 2013 given how non-competitive BC was in road losses to Clemson (25-7) and Virginia Tech (48-14). That, and BC probably should have lost that home game to Wake Forest if not for some good karma in OT. The Florida State win was nice, but 2009 FSU was one of, if not the worst Seminoles team of the last decade. Somehow, this team managed to finish the second half of the season as it did the first half with an identical 4-2 record, though, outside of a blowout win over N.C. State, hardly looked impressive doing it. The season would end with a loss to USC in the Emerald Bowl.
8. 2010 Season / Spaziani (2-4)
Opponents: Weber State (W), Kent State (W), Virginia Tech (L), Notre Dame (L), at N.C. State (L), at Florida State (L)
After jumping out to a 2-0 start to the season in relatively unimpressive fashion, the wheels quickly came off the Spaziani train in glorious fashion. A shutout home loss to Virginia Tech was followed up with losses to Notre Dame, N.C. State and Florida State (though BC only managed to lose that game 24-19). The loss to N.C. State was particularly galling--the most lopsided BC loss in a series that the Eagles have dominated. That it came at the hands of the program's former coach...only a year removed from hanging 52 on State the year before...made the loss sting even more.
9t. 2011 Season / Spaziani (1-5)
Opponents: Northwestern (L), at Central Florida (L), Duke (L), Massachusetts (W), Wake Forest (L), at Clemson (L)
Next time you complain about Addazio or this year's Boston College football team, first consider that the program started the two seasons prior to his arrival with a 1-5 record. 1-5! with ZERO wins over FBS opponents. The @ UCF game was a serious punch in the face to the program and who could forget Middle, Schmiddle? A 45-17 victory over UMass was the lone bright spot in an otherwise miserable first half stretch of football. Wasn't this also the debut of the touchdown squirrel? One of the few highlights of an otherwise dismal season.
9t. 2012 Season / Spaziani (1-5)
Opponents: Miami (L), Maine (W), at Northwestern (L), Clemson (L), at Army (L), Florida State (L)
I went back and forth with the group trying to figure out which of two steaming piles of crap was superior; ultimately deciding I just couldn't. Losing in West Point was the coup de Spaz, but how do you rank that up against losing at UCF 30-3 and Middle, Schmiddle? Extremely winnable-but-didn't games against Northwestern are a wash; as are the lone victories up until the halfway point of the year--45-17 UMass and 34-3 Maine. Let's just call it a tie and never talk about these years ever again.
Overall, hard to make any real meaningful comparisons over these seasons given that BC is on its fourth head coach in 10 years. Addazio has gotten the team off to decent starts in both of his first two years at the helm, but they haven't yet approached the TOB/Jags benchmark for early season success. At the very least, I'd argue both of Addazio's starts to the year are stronger than anything the Spaz era of Boston College football produced, and for that we should be thankful.
Other thoughts? I'm not exactly going out on a limb suggesting that the second half of the season will prove much more difficult than the first half, but there's certainly a path to bowl eligibility there. And who knows? Maybe there's even another upset in the cards over the second half of the season.