Hypotheticals and what-if scenarios are often the refuge of the downtrodden college football fan who ponders what could have been. That is where Boston College is right now, and all we are left with is a smoldering wreckage and thoughts about what this football team might have been able to do. It is not an unfair thought, either, as BC has one of the most unimpressive head coaches in the country and the players and sidelines aren’t always on the same page. That’s not why we’re left to thinking what could have happened, however.
The fact of the matter is that Boston College football’s schedule has not been especially difficult in 2012. An analysis of each game played so far bears that out:
• Miami: 5-5; was a “winnable” game; beatable team.
• Maine: FCS; BC’s safest win.
• Northwestern: 7-3; have been ranked; “winnable” game but tough road test.
• Clemson: 9-1; ranked; unlikely win.
• Army: 2-8; a game that few AQ-conference teams lose.
• Florida State: 9-1; ranked; was an unlikely win.
• Georgia Tech: 5-5; beatable team.
• Maryland: 4-6; beatable team.
• Wake Forest: 5-5; beatable team.
• Notre Dame: 10-0; ranked; unlikely win but not a runaway defeat.
And the remaining two:
• Virginia Tech: 4-6; worst season in 20 years.
• NC State: 6-4; beatable team.
You’re going to tell me a good coach couldn’t have squeezed six wins out of this group? By the time this thing is over and done with, the Eagles will have played maybe three or four legitimately good teams this season, and one or two on the border. Even if Boston College didn’t have the skill to keep up with those better teams, the lesser ones shouldn’t have been the major hurdles they were.
And how many opposing teams played truly well in those first ten games against BC? Maybe a couple of them. The problem was that the Eagles themselves have put together precious few good performances this year, which would explain their sad state of affairs.
Quite frankly, this was a doable schedule. Not easy, because there were a few highly-ranked teams dotting it, but not hard, because the vast majority of teams on it are mediocre or worse. There is no justifiable reason that this team has eight losses already, with the possibility that it can spike all the way up to ten. Prior to the start of the year, I would have seen this being a bit more difficult to handle than it actually was, and yet, the Eagles lost most of those games against so-so (or worse) teams.
With a decent coach who knows how to maximize talent and prepare his team appropriately, Boston College could be tracking towards six wins or so. That’s not great, but it’s a hell of a lot better than being 2-8 for the first time in twenty-three years. This team was gifted with a manageable schedule in a perpetually-down conference and still could find a way to lose ten games this year.
This could have been better. This should have been better. And in two weeks, when Frank Spaziani is dismissed, it will get better.