I think we can call it at this point, folks: Boston College football is not going to win the ACC.
Yeah, we kept the hopes high for a while. When Phil Jurkovec went down, it was “well, we’ve got the best backup in the ACC and we’ve got talent everywhere.” After the loss to Clemson, it was “well, if we win the important games, we’ll be able to be on top, because Clemson already has a loss anyway.”
But now that the Eagles are 0-2 in the ACC with losses to two of the teams at the top of the heap, I think we can reasonably say that dream is dead. It probably died with Jurkovec’s throwing hand, if we’re being honest, but that’s neither here nor there. The Eagles aren’t going to win the rest of their ACC games, and even if they did, odds are Wake won’t lose two, NC State won’t lose three, and Clemson won’t lose three. We’ll see you all in Charlotte next season.
So that brings us to the question at hand. With the Eagles 4-2 halfway through the season and the ACC Championship hopes well behind us, we’re at a good place to reset expectations — what is a realistic goal to set for the 2021 BC Football season?
ESPN’s FPI is a pretty good place to start. The Eagles are projected to finish the year at 7-5 — or 3-3 over the final six games. That would be somewhat disappointing, given how high hopes were at the start of the season and how bad the ACC has turned out to be, but the Dazonian seven win season should be an absolute baseline for what should keep the season from qualifying as a complete failure.
The thing about the FPI, though, is that just about all the games are roughly a toss-up the rest of the way. It wouldn’t be a stunner to have the Eagles win or lose all of the remaining games. BC’s most likely win is a 67.9% chance over the hapless Seminoles, and the most likely loss is a 35.5% chance this weekend against Louisville. You definitely wouldn’t count BC out this weekend, and a win would go a long way towards having hope for 8 wins or better — not just because it’s currently projected as a loss, but because beating Louisville on the road would mean the Eagles are probably closer to the team we saw in the first half against NC State and not the team we saw in the second half.
At this point, an eight win regular season should be looked at as a success given how the season has played out, but should also be pretty attainable. You would hope that a solid backup like Grosel can game-manage his way to four more wins on the year without any real juggernauts left on the schedule and with the defense outperforming expectations. It would set the Eagles up for even higher expectations for next year with Jurkovec back under center and the defense having another year of experience. Anything beyond eight wins should make everyone ecstatic — but eight would end up being a solid year.