Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011 Season Preview: The Heights

In case you missed it this morning, Doug previewed what we would consider the Lows forecast for the 2011 football season. I'll admit, the fact that even in the Lows he has a 6-6 is surprising to me - I'm the glass-half full guy, and I think I could have been way more pessimistic than that for this team than he was.

...but that's not what the reason I'm here. I'm here to talk about the dream that could be if, at the end of the day, the pieces do come together.

September Outlook: Cupcakes for Breakfast 

There is absolutely no question: for BC to make any headway toward a positive season, it has to start right away given that the only light part of the schedule are the trio of home games against Duke, UMass and Wake Forest in the last three weeks of September. There will be no dream season if BC drops any of those, and with wins against Northwestern and what will be billed as an upset in Orlando against UCF, BC leaves the first five games unscathed and at 5-0. 

The secret sauce in that recipe will be an even moderately improved offense over last season. With last year's offense (specifically, its monotonous play calling and quarterback carousel), a win against Northwestern would have been challenging even if the D kept up its top-in-the-nation pace. The hope is that Chase Rettig has done everything he's been asked under Rogers, comes out strong against NU's below-average defense and uses the new weapons in the backfield and receiving corps to post the big win.

October's Road Trip: ACC Schedulers Hate Us

I haven't crunched the numbers, but you'd be hard-pressed to find another team that has had to go on the road to three straight challenging, in-conference road games since the ACC went to 12 teams. At Clemson, At Blacksburg or At College Park would be tough in the first place, but with a little luck, BC could survive the trip with two wins if things are clicking still facing the Tigers and Randy Edsall can't keep Maryland together through the end of the month. It would take a truly heavy does of dreaming to think of an upset against the always treacherous Hokies, but at 7-1 through October and ranked, no one would complain.

November: Thursdays, Fridays and Rivalries

Did every storyline converge at the same time for a reason for the Eagles? 

BC has played really well during Thursday night games in the last few years (please ignore VT in 2005), and the first Thursday night home game since 2006 is likely to really have the crowd fired up and in the heads of the Seminoles. In the dream, BC upsets Florida State and gets shotgun for a trip to the ACC championship as long as they can navigate their way through a date with TOB and NC State at home for Senior Day ten days later. Ending the season with the two road dates to South Bend and what's left of Da U will be the other challenge spot, and BC is likely to drop the rivalry game against the Irish and needing a win to secure the ACC Atlantic, the game in South Beach just may not go the Eagles' way (you need to remember, BC hasn't won there since the day after Thanksgiving in 1984 when it took, well, this to win).

At 9-3 & 5-3 - even with the game in hand against Florida State - BC is on the outside looking in to the ACCCG but a trip to somewhere other than San Francisco would be the reward.

Is this what I think will happen? No. This is all terrifyingly overly optimistic. It's fun to dream.

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