Boston College at Central Florida: Opening line and the basics


Well, Saturday didn’t go so well for Boston College, now did it?

It did, however, go very well for Central Florida, who did unspeakable things to FCS school Charleston Southern by beating them 62-0, outgaining them 560 yards to 119.

What was the end result, aside from BC being 0-1 and UCF being 1-0?

Why, Vegas decided that Boston College should be six-point underdogs.

Now, you can certainly argue that the Eagles don’t deserve to be that deep in the hole, but I was expecting something like it to happen, for better or for worse. Bookies will see the scores of the two games and assume that the Knights will stick it to BC. The thing to take from it all is not to get bent out of shape, because it’s just a point spread.

Boston College is not Charleston Southern, however (and it sure wouldn’t be fun to be them, anyway — a week after they lose by 62, they have to go play Florida State). The Eagles will provide a much greater challenge than the Buccaneers ever would have, but the question we want an answer to the most is: Will they win?

I think an equally-pertinent question to ask might be: Will Boston College beat themselves?

I can’t answer either one yet (though I might in “5 big questions” on Thursday), but I do think Boston College are the legitimate underdogs coming into this game (maybe not +6, but underdogs nevertheless). Throw out the very lopsided score between UCF and Charleston Southern last week, and you still have a team that finished last season ranked #21 in the AP and #20 in the Coaches Poll. They got votes in the preseason, and might get a couple more this week. Central Florida isn’t a bad team; they’re not the team BC smoked in September 2008. The Knights are the defending C-USA champions who are coming off of an 11-win season (best in program history). They’re not Florida State or Virginia Tech, but they’re not to be taken lightly, either.

Boston College, on the other hand, played a decent team on Saturday but fell short. There were several glaring flaws with the team, including the offensive line and soft pass coverage. Those are correctable issues, but whether or not they’re correctable in a week is something we’ll all have to find out together. Things like clock management and kneeling with 32 seconds to go and timeout(s) in your pocket, which also came up during the course of the Northwestern game, aren’t correctable except by changing coaches, so let’s hope this game doesn’t hinge on that sort of decision.

When you’re playing a team like Charleston Southern, not too many of your flaws are going to get exposed. This will be the first real test the Knights have faced this year, while the Eagles have already faced one and hopefully learned from it.

I don’t expect that this will be a simple game; the ACC team > C-USA team conventional wisdom doesn’t necessarily hold up when the ACC team looks like they might be in for a 7-5 season or when the C-USA team has a good shot at being decent themselves. I won’t be predicting any outcomes just yet, but I do think this will be another challenge for the Eagles.