Duke at Boston College: Opening line and the basics


This should be a riveting game between two teams with a combined record of 0-4. Must see TV if I’ve ever heard of it.

Two losses to open the season for the Boston College Eagles for the first time since 1994, but apparently, things will get better.

I say that because the Duke Blue Devils are rolling into town, and they do so as 7.5-point underdogs to the Eagles (they opened at +9). This may seem like a pretty exaggerated line to some, because it did to me.

Both of these teams are 0-2, and both appear at this stage to be pretty bad. I do believe, however, that the Eagles should be favored. At least we can say for Boston College that they’re 0-2 after having played two decent teams; yes, Duke played Stanford (and got their asses handed to them), but in Week 1, they were defeated at home by FCS team Richmond.

Between Duke being, well, worse than BC is, and the Eagles being at home, that amounts to Boston College being favored. The question now becomes if anyone really believes that Boston College would beat any FBS team by two scores right now the way they played in their first two games, even if the opponent is perpetually awful like the Blue Devils. I tend not to think so myself, since with the way the Eagles played to start the season (especially on Saturday night), they’d probably have trouble with a high school team, let alone another ACC program. That may be an exaggeration, but the problems Boston College has shown us are not. In just 120 minutes of football this season, we have seen varying degrees of poor play from the offensive line, defensive line, and secondary, amongst other things.

If the Eagles are looking for a week to bounce back, this would probably be it, but if we’re going to be perfectly honest with ourselves, merely winning (I’m talking about squeaking by in a 21-17 type game) won’t be enough. They did that last year towards the end, and when the bowl game against a real team came around, we were reminded how mediocre they actually were. By “bouncing back,” I mean BC would have to blow the doors off of Duke or, at the very least, win comfortably and show some tangible signs of improvement. Anything short of that and I think we could be headed for a very unpleasant season.

Duke, however, we know is heading for an unpleasant season. Most prognosticators have them penciled in as a last-place team in the ACC Coastal, and five wins would be an overachievement. They return a bunch of starters, but seem to still be well behind a number of other teams in the conference, probably at this point including Boston College. Whether or not the Eagles will actually win (and look good doing it) is another matter entirely.

In short, this is a very important game for Boston College. If they win big, it would show maybe they’re capable of turning it around. If they win small, I’d fear we were treading water. If they lose, bluntly, BC is heading for a disastrous season. We’ll find out this weekend.