Boston College football’s season is officially one-sixth over already, and after having spent an entire spring and summer trying to figure out what this team was going to be, we have to ask ourselves: what do we know about the 2012 Eagles? Is 120 minutes of football enough to make any definitive, long-term judgments about this team and project the season going forward?
The short answer is no, and the longer version is no, period. Two games might be able to teach you a few things about the team you’re putting together and the year you might have, but in BC’s case, nothing conclusive. The Eagles faced the Miami Hurricanes and Maine Black Bears, going 1-1 in those two contests. Miami, victors on September 1, got run out of the building by Kansas State in their second performance, while Maine was never much of a match for the Eagles in their first.
We can, however, note some trends or guess about a few things, both about this team and others we’ve faced.
The Miami loss might not look very good in November. The Hurricanes got destroyed by K-State after coming back from 14 down against BC and gashing our run defense. Miami looks like a pretty questionable team, and one might have felt that way even after they beat BC. The Eagles had many opportunities to win that game on September 1 and probably should have; it’s the kind of game that, around Thanksgiving, we might be saying “we needed that win to get bowl-eligible.” BC has plenty of time to render it irrelevant, but it’s possible.
Maine was no true test of BC’s mettle. We knew that before the first snap. Forget the fact that the Eagles got off to a bad start here: Boston College was easily the more talented of the two teams and this will have no impact on anything going forward. That’s probably not what most people want to hear, but when Oklahoma State and Florida State tag team poor Savannah State, or any ACC school whacks an FCS team, that’s pretty much what’s supposed to happen. BC was supposed to slap Maine back to Orono, and they ultimately did. Games like this are like tapping in a two-foot putt on a practice green; they don’t tell you how good a putter you are and they don’t mean much, but you just do your job and move on. Likewise, these games don’t tell you how good you really are in the big picture against your major opposition.
On a side note, BC fans should be careful about overconfidence based upon the Maine game. Last year, BC embarrassed UMass and expected to ride a wave of confidence into the Wake Forest game; we lost. Same thing with the Maryland win and subsequent Florida State disaster. If BC beats NU, it will have decidedly little to do with a cupcake game against an FCS team.
Chase Rettig is unquestionably the starter. Hopefully, the Rettig vs. Josh Bordner faux quarterback controversy has ended. Despite knowing that he had to take a big step forward this season, Soaring to Glory has been squarely in Rettig’s corner from 2010 until now. That’s because he has been the best quarterback on this roster all along, and most people recognized that prior to the start of the season. It is too early to judge, but he seems to be on his way to having a respectable year. It is highly doubtful that anyone else on this roster would be at his level; meanwhile, BC’s coaches didn’t even trust Bordner enough to throw once in the fourth quarter of a blowout. Rettig’s status will not be a matter of dispute for a while.
BC has a path to bowl-eligibility, but it’s a little tricky. Consult earlier article. Considering that most teams on the Eagles’ schedule are at least passable, the road to six wins won’t be easy, especially since BC has already lost a game they probably should have won. The Eagles can still do this without having to beat a (currently) ranked team, but that will change if they can’t consistently win the other games. Losing to Miami made the grade of the hill they must climb a little steeper, and falling to Northwestern next week would exacerbate the issue.
Fumbles could be a problem. In two games, BC has put the ball on the carpet six times, losing four. Our corps of running backs is responsible for all of them. The Eagles only fumbled 14 times all year, so this brief trend is concerning.