ESPN dropped its team by team predictions and previews for the ACC on Monday, giving us an outsider's insight into the atmosphere surrounding the program. Yeah, that's right—an outsider's insight. That makes no sense, right?
Anyway, here's the link to the whole piece, but to save you some time, I took the liberty of giving you some of the snippets with some blazing hot sports takes. Leave your thoughts in the comment section, if you wish.
Coach Steve Addazio has exceeded expectations in his first two seasons in Chestnut Hill with back-to-back bowl berths following a two-year drought. But a complete about-face in offensive philosophy, a patchwork O-line and trips to Clemson and Louisville will likely sink BC in the rough Atlantic.
COMING STRAIGHT OUT OF THE GATE! Okay, I'll give the following concessions: Steve Addazio did exceed expectations in his first two seasons, which tells you the state of the program when he took over. And they're going to have a rough go of it with trips to Clemson and Louisville.
What exactly does it mean to "sink" though? BC still gets divisional games against NC State, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. Even with a completely new offense, Syracuse is trying to overcome last year's complete dumpster fire of a season, and Wake Forest is just not very good. So as long as BC beats the Wolfpack, they should already be expected to go 3-3 in the division. That's not exactly sinking. If they're not, then they're sunk and we're all angry/disappointed.
Then there's the argument on the offensive philosophy. That's right. BC graduated everyone, including Tyler Murphy, so they have to be changing everything about their offense. A simple Google search would've produced the following quote from the coach himself, along with the realization that he's already retooled the offense. Twice.
The best way to win football games is to utilize the talent that we have the best way we can. I'm hoping we can become a more balanced team. Will we ever be a 50-50 team? I'm going to say probably not, but you never know.
Translation: yes, he has to retool the offense, but a dramatic shift in offensive philosophy? I doubt it.
His (Tyler Murphy) replacement, sophomore Darius Wade, is a more traditional, pro-style passer, which will put the onus on a brand-new O-line and sophomore RB Jon Hilliman
I agree that there is going to be pressure on a fresh-out-of-the-box offensive line, and I believe Hilliman needs to make a jump in his sophomore year. But Wade is not a pro-style passer at all. The recruiting profile on him (WHICH IS ON YOUR WEBSITE, ESPN) refers to him as the "ideal fit for the shotgun spread offense." It talks about him being able to "throw off balance and on the run with enough zip to fit the ball in." THAT'S NOT A PRO STYLE QUARTERBACK. I repeat: that scouting report was on ESPN.com.
This group (the defense) will be under more pressure now with a new-look offense that will rely less on ground-it-out drives.
Don't let up on the pass: BC allowed seven teams to throw for 250-plus yards in '14 and beat only two of them (USC and Virginia Tech). The losses of DE Brian Mihalik and LB Josh Keyes hurt an already mediocre pass rush as well as a pass defense that ranked 10th in the ACC.
Finally something I mostly agree with. I do believe that teams were able to throw on BC way too easily last year, and the losses up front hurt the front seven in terms of the pass rush. But here's where I disagree: AJ is in the process of convincing me that this front seven for the Eagles could be really nasty this year, and as we know, the Don Brown methodology is go crazy man on fire to take chances. That does open up the defense to getting lapses, and it results in a bend-don't-break mindset.
I can't help but wonder aloud, though, about the rushing attempts and yards in those games where they beat Virginia Tech and USC. *taps search into handy dandy search engine*
Virginia Tech had 69 yards on 29 attempts and USC had 20 yards on 29 attempts. Oh.
So in other words, the team was forced to pass all the time because BC clamped down on the run. If they were successful at destroying the run, then they could grind out wins against teams that had to go fast for three quarters through the air. Got it.
Again, I'll leave it to everyone here. Agree with the ESPN analysis? Disagree? Take a look and let us know.