Linked to the Heights, June 13: Paul Myerberg’s Verdict and Other Previews

1 of 2

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Readers of Soaring to Glory know that, generally speaking, we value Paul Myerberg’s analysis. His insights into the Boston College football program are usually more incisive and accurate than (at least) half those in the local sports media who are supposed to follow it.

As of yesterday, we finally have his thoroughly well-written analysis of the upcoming 2014 season, and it’s time to figure out whether or not we can agree with it.

Boston College Football

College Football Countdown | No. 81: Boston College (USA Today, Paul Myerberg)

For reference, Boston College was number 100. At least we can say that this is an improvement.

Nevertheless, 81st out of 120-some odd teams is nothing remarkable. Let’s dig deeper into the analysis:

"… Issues do remain, and let’s place them firmly on the doorstep of the previous regime. B.C. is in a period of overhaul as a result of the lack of depth inherited by Addazio and his staff. The team is still reliant on major-conference transfers to bridge the gap, as evidenced by this year’s starting quarterback. The Eagles are missing the middle class, in essence, with top-heavy upperclassmen joined by two recruiting classes – but little in the center, those third-year sophomores and juniors who provide a boost to every rotation."

As a matter of principle, I tend not to like blaming the previous coach for current deficiencies. In this case, however, there’s no way to avoid it. Our former head coach’s final season at Boston College was the worst Eagles season in approximately 35 years; there are current Boston College coaches who were not alive for the last time the Eagles were as bad as they were in 2012. Do not make the mistake of suggesting that it was only on-field difficulties: recruiting took a marked decline in the pre-Addazio era and this is to what Paul Myerberg refers.

He rightly praises the Eagles for getting a hold of Tyler Murphy, whom he calls a “fine fit” for the Addazio/Day offense, but points out how the defense will have rebuilding issues. As we have noted here before, the entire starting defensive line from last year is gone and so are two-thirds of the starting linebackers. That’s a lot of holes to fill and it’s not particularly far-fetched to say that Don Brown will have a lot of work to do in getting his unit back up to an acceptable level of play in 2014.

The final verdict?

"So I think it’s a five-win season, maybe four if the offense sputters and the defense lags. But it feels different, no? Let’s not allow last season to cloud a major factor: B.C. was left in bad shape. It’ll take Addazio time to totally rehab the roster, in my opinion, and the fan base must be prepared for a slight step back in 2014 as he performs a top-to-bottom overhaul. The Eagles may reach the postseason – but probably won’t."

I think we can see where he is coming from on this one, given how many starters the Eagles have to replace. Collectively, we expected a step back in 2014 knowing that the roster overhaul was coming, but that was before the Eagles front-loaded their schedule with some easier games and they found a competent replacement for Chase Rettig. Paul Myerberg’s analysis for this season is fair, though perhaps a tiny bit more pessimistic than the conventional wisdom in Chestnut Hill this summer.

The analysis featured on the next page, however, is not as laudable.