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Boston College Football 2019: What Would Be A Successful Season?

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What should the Eagles realistically be shooting for?

Boston College Football Practice Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

We are a mere hours away from the Boston College Football season kicking off against Virginia Tech. But what should be a realistic goal for BC football in 2019?

Last year’s 7-5 was frustrating in a whole lot of ways — hopes were high before the season that the Eagles would break through the ceiling with a big year, and those expectations weren’t met. On top of that, BC didn’t get an opportunity to win a bowl game after an act of God kept Addazio stuck on 7 wins and left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth in a game that could have ended the season on a high note.

While the season did not meet the lofty pre-season expectations, there were some positives. The Eagles were ranked for the first time in forever — as high as the teens — and hosted College GameDay for a legitimate, big-time game in prime-time. But Michael Walker’s punt return touchdown to take an early lead marked the high-water mark of the season, and Anthony Brown going down with an injury meant it was all going to be downhill from there.

So what are the preseason expectations for the Eagles for 2019? Well, let’s compare to where we stand relative to last year and see how things look.

The Offense: Trending Slightly Upward

By and large, there’s a lot to be excited about on offense. A good chunk of the skill players have returned, and while losing Michael Walker and Tommy Sweeney to graduation were big blows, AJ Dillon is AJ Dillon but another year more experienced, and fully recovered from his lingering injury. Kobay Right has the ability to be a star at wide receiver, and two of BC’s more talented players, backs Ben Glines and Travis Levy, will be on the field more often to give a little spark to the receiving unit. Anthony Brown is an upperclassman and has some intriguing weapons to throw to.

Yes, the offensive line does lose some experience, and it’s going to be hard for someone to step right into Tommy Sweeney’s shoes... but on the whole, the offense is in somewhat better shape than last season.

The Defense: Trending Downward

I could be persuaded that the BC defense could be holding steady from last season. The Eagles weren’t exactly all-world at keeping points off the board last season, so it could be that some of the young guys stepping into featured roles might show us something, especially after we’re deep into the season and they’ve gotten a chance to settle in against our weak first half schedule.

But based just on experience alone, you have to assume the defense may be taking a step back until proven otherwise. The defensive line is pretty young and, honestly, not as big as we’re used to (we miss ye already, Zach Allen) and there was quite a bit of talent lost to graduation. The defense showing us something early would be an early sign that the season might go better than we expect.

The Special Teams: TRENDING AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

Based solely upon the fact that the Eagles have a real, honest-to-goodness kicker, I feel like throwing a party. It’s like we’re breaking the rules!

The Schedule: Trending Tougher

BC’s schedule changes from last season to this season like so:

(W) Temple → Kansas: Slightly easier, but close to a push
(W) Holy Cross → Richmond: Tougher, I guess, but who cares
(W) UMass → Rutgers: Tougher
(L) Purdue → Notre Dame: Tougher
(W) Miami → Pittsburgh: Easier

No question, the non-conference schedule is tougher than it was last year. None of BC’s non-conference opponents were even close to being as highly ranked as Notre Dame is — 9th — and while the Irish are always overrated, they’re still better than any of our out-of-conference games by far.

But while Richmond and Rutgers are steps up in difficulty over their 2018 counterparts and with Kansas vs. Temple being pretty similar... are they really games we don’t expect BC to be favored in? The Eagles lost badly to Purdue last year, so it’s not like the result against Notre Dame can be worse — and who knows, Notre Dame is overrated and you never know what’s going to happen in a rivalry game.

And finally, you have to feel like the ACC as a whole is down this year. Only #1 Clemson and #22 Syracuse are ranked this year of our eight conference opponents. So yeah, the schedule is tougher. But it may be more of a push than we might expect.

Overall: Trending Slightly Downward

The offense is a bit up. The defense, as of now, is a bit down. The schedule is trending tougher, but not prohibitively so. So we’re probably slightly worse off than we were than last season’s 7-5 record, which the sports books generally agree with given BC’s book-projected mark of 6 wins (though with the money trending toward the over).

So What Would Make For A Successful Season?

Obviously, less than 6 wins is not a success. BC needs to meet the book expectation of 6 wins and a bowl to at a minimum not feel like the season was a complete and utter disaster.

Then there’s the Daz-Sized elephant in the room of the 7 win mark. Frankly, that might be a reasonable season given where we stand relative to last year. There’s not all that much difference between 6-6 and a bowl win and 7-5 and a bowl loss — both will leave a sour taste in your mouth for different reasons, and will pretty much cement Addazio’s status as the Khris Davis of college football.

Of course, last season landed somewhere in between. So given that expectations feel a bit down, an improvement on last year is probably the minimum mark for 2019 to be a “successful season.”

Now before the comments go full Hades on me for suggesting that we should be happy with mediocrity, hear me out — a 7-5 season with a bowl win (or 8-4 with a bowl loss) would be a reasonably eyebrow-raising season from the national point of view for a team expected to take a step back. It’s all about playing above your expectations. Can you really say you would be disappointed with the year if the Eagles ended up 8-5 in something of a rebuilding year with a potentially big year on tap for 2020 should the Eagles have a senior quarterback and a returning AJ Dillon?

So what do you think? What would BC have to do this year for you to think of 2019 as a successful season?

Poll

What is the minimum requirement for a successful 2019 for BC Football?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Just get to a bowl and I’ll be happy (6-6 plus bowl loss)
    (15 votes)
  • 7%
    If you squeak into a bowl, you’d better at least win it (6-6 plus bowl win)
    (37 votes)
  • 10%
    A .500 regular season record isn’t enough. 7-5 would feel okay, even if we lose the bowl (7-5 plus bowl loss)
    (52 votes)
  • 20%
    It has to be an improvement on last year (7-5 plus bowl win)
    (99 votes)
  • 20%
    I’m tired of seven wins. We need a breakthrough (8-4 plus bowl loss)
    (98 votes)
  • 33%
    I’m tired of seven wins and I’m tired of losing bowls. We need both (8-4 plus bowl win)
    (161 votes)
  • 1%
    We need to win the division
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    We need to win the ACC championship
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    I have no sense of reality whatsoever and I enjoy hating the things that I do for fun (must win the national championship)
    (11 votes)
486 votes total Vote Now

And as a bonus, as opposed to what you want to happen, what do you expect to happen?

Poll

What do you expect BC Football’s record to be in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    4-8 or worse
    (12 votes)
  • 10%
    5-7 regular season, with or without a bowl game
    (41 votes)
  • 10%
    6-6 and bowl loss
    (41 votes)
  • 20%
    6-6 and bowl win
    (80 votes)
  • 15%
    7-5 and bowl loss
    (59 votes)
  • 18%
    7-5 and bowl win
    (69 votes)
  • 3%
    8-4 and bowl loss
    (13 votes)
  • 10%
    8-4 and bowl win
    (39 votes)
  • 7%
    KICK ASS, TAKE NAMES (9-3 or better)
    (27 votes)
381 votes total Vote Now

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Let us know what you think in the comments as well!