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Boston College Vs. Louisville: Weekly Kickoff

After a rough start to the season, the former dark horse in the Atlantic Division looks to continue their recovery with their third straight divisional matchup at home against the Eagles.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the season, ACC prognosticators called this the year where the establishment would be rocked. The top tier of the Atlantic Division, held for the past few years by Clemson and Florida State, would slip enough to let another team slide on in. With the Seminoles losing a chunk of last year, Clemson would filter up to the top and the door would open for a team like Boston College, NC State, or Louisville to jump on in.

More than halfway through the season, the Atlantic Division's establishment was rocked—by mediocrity. Florida State and Clemson are very much still the top two teams and the conference's remaining hope for a shot at the College Football Playoff. The rest of the division is mired in a complete struggle with all teams hanging around the .500 mark.

While the entire Atlantic Division has been a disappointment for the ACC, no team encapsulates the squandered hopes and dreams like the Louisville Cardinals. Considered before the season to be the likely contender for Clemson and FSU's crown, the Cardinals instead bombed to start the season.

They lost three in a row to start the season, none by more than a touchdown. There was the 31-24 loss to Auburn to open things up in the Georgia Dome, then the 34-31 loss to Houston. The Clemson game was just bad, a 20-17 loss where the Tigers all but tried to give the Cardinals the game at the end.

They rebounded with a win over FCS-level Samford and over NC State, but last week's 41-21 loss to Florida State reinforced the opinion that the rest of the Atlantic Division will wait another year before it can ever take the fight to the preeminent powers.

This Week's Storylines (Risky Business Edition)

"Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, 'What the f--k.' 'What the f--k' gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future." -Miles

It wasn't too hard to see, early on, that Clemson was simply in a much better position than Boston College as a team. As a result, the Eagles kept as close as they could before the Tigers imposed their will and pushed forward. They pulled away, cruised home, picked up a victory. It was a game that went exactly how we all thought it would.

With Louisville coming on the horizon, this is a good opportunity for the Eagles to throw caution to the wind and really open things up. They play with the bonus of being the last place team, currently 0-4 in the ACC. Since they've started to get some athletes back, they can begin getting back to where they are when all of the injuries derailed the season.

Look for BC to open things up a little bit this week. They don't have all of their weapons back, but they have enough where they have a little bit of flexibility. Since nobody is really expecting much on Saturday, they can put caution to win and embrace a good opportunity to build on the small steps taken last week.

"Who's the U-Boat Commander?" -Service Manager

It's not intended as a funny scene in the movie, but it makes me laugh every time I see it. Something about a Porsche diving off a pier—just good stuff.

Risky Business is a movie that deals with themes of coming of age, loss of innocence, and materialism. I'm pretty sure some of those themes can be applied to this football season (NEW GUY ANALOGY ALERT).

Before the season, I felt BC fans had a certain innocence that they originally lacked after 2012. Assuming this team would just continue forward without taking any steps back, the predictions of eight or nine wins didn't look into the roster and see where the holes and lack of depth were. Then when the injuries came, wiping out some of the team's potential, fans quickly lost that innocence and became angry. When eight or nine wins became a long shot, then a lost cause, some became obsessed with the number, the short term satisfaction.

I feel like I say this every week, but stick with this team for the long haul. This is a long process. You have to eschew your short term desire to keep things going in order to see this team's growth. As they've gotten players back, they've gotten better. They're making strides. There is legitimate play making ability. These things eventually will need to come together, but it's a long process.

This team needs to come of age. As this team grows, the success will come, and when it does, it will be supremely more satisfying.

This is something I say every week, but I urge fans to just hang in there.

"I don't believe this. I've got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I'm being chased by Guido the killer pimp." -Miles

I feel I say this every week, but BC will face a top-notch defense this week. Although they struggled to open the season, this is a Cardinals defense that should have been much better before the season. The 32nd ranked defense, they only give up 210 yards per game through the air, but they're susceptible on the ground, having given up an average of nearly 145 yards per game. After giving up 40-plus points to Florida State, the Cardinals are barely in the top 50 in scoring defense in 2015.

The Cardinals, on paper, were supposed to be very good, and the talent is there to really get after the Boston College Eagle offense. This team isn't necessarily as good as Duke or Clemson, but they're still going to present a good challenge. After making strides this past week, this is a matchup worth paying attention to as game day nears closer.

Matchup Fun Facts

School Name: University of Louisville
Nickname: Cardinals
Founded: 1798

National Championships: 0
Conference Championships: 8 (2 Missouri Valley Conference, 3 Conference USA, 3 Big East/AAC)
Bowl Games: 19
Postseason Bowl Record: 9-9-1

Head Coach: Bobby Petrino
Years at School: Second (Sixth overall with Louisville, second stint)

Head-to-Head With BC

All-Time Series: Louisville leads, 4-3
Streak: Louisville, 2
Last BC Win: 1994 (35-14 at Louisville)
Last Louisville Win: 2014 (38-19 at BC)
First Meeting: 1986 (BC won, 41-7)