Bye Week Blues: The State of Boston College Football



One quarter of Boston College’s 2012 football season is already over. In an ironic twist, Soaring to Glory will have spent longer previewing the season than the actual season itself, but that’s what happens in college football and its short 12-game seasons. Nobody even plays every Saturday, and neither will Boston College. After just three games, BC has hit their bye week.

Though there are only three games in the can, we already have 180 minutes of Eagles football to break down, and what better thing to do on a bye week than pick it all apart?

Today, a basic outline of where this team has been so far in 2012 and some extrapolation as to where they might go in the remaining three quarters of the year. This is my ninth year following Boston College sports (as in, nine seasons ago was my first as a BC freshman), and if there is one thing I have learned in that time, it is that things do not come easily for most of our teams — unless you play for Jerry York. That is especially true in Boston College football, as I became a fan during the days of Tom O’Brien and his patented annual “WTF losses.” To this point, it certainly isn’t coming easily for Eagles football this year, as BC is 1-2 with some very tough games coming in the near future.

Following their 22-13 defeat on Saturday afternoon to Northwestern, many Boston College-oriented folks are wondering where this team stands relative to potential postseason games. Unfortunately, the path got a little more difficult:

If you have seen how Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Florida State, Clemson, and Virginia Tech have played (for the most part) to this point, it is not a stretch to say that the Eagles will be an underdog to every one of them, even in our own building. The ugliest point spread will probably be Florida State; I don’t even want to think about it because it will be preposterously big (think somewhere in the 30s). The others will be smaller, but still unfavorable to this team. If the Eagles cannot win any of those games, that will be seven losses and we are out of a bowl game. Had BC won on Saturday, the Eagles could lose all of those games and still have had a less difficult path to bowl eligibility. Now, BC is in a position to have to win at least one of those games where we will be a relatively sizable underdog, and that’s just assuming BC wins all the others.

That might not be a safe bet if the first three weeks are any indication. Boston College overall was about a C- against Miami, C+ against Maine, and D+ against Northwestern. Using the BC GPA conversion scale, that averages out to about a 1.78 or a C-, which may technically be passing but it probably isn’t going to make your parents happy when you show them your grades on Agora. Realistically, Boston College football has to play far better than they have so far in order to position themselves for December football. I don’t enjoy saying this, but C- efforts from here on in will not only keep BC out of a bowl game, but will take BC to last year’s loss total or possibly beyond.

We are not at the point yet where BC has to pull an inside straight to make a bowl game, but the road is more difficult now than it was last week, even after just three games. Some may point to 2010, where the Eagles started 2-5 and made a bowl, but the difference between then and now is that in 2010, BC’s schedule got considerably easier at the end of the season; this team’s schedule doesn’t feature any stretches where it will be easy for them to roll off several wins in a row like it was then.

Frankly, we shouldn’t be talking bowl games until the Eagles beat an FBS team, and with Clemson next that might not happen until October, but it is fair to analyze the current situation. Unfortunately, in losing winnable games to Miami and Northwestern, they’ve made their own task more difficult, and will have to work harder than ever to salvage the season.