1. Name the five teams, other than yours, whose accomplishments you respect / envy the most.
I am not a real grass is always greener type. I like the grass here just fine. Teams I like and respect tend to change over time based on who is playing and who is coaching them. In the spirit of the question, I’ll answer the service academies as 1, 2, 3 in no particular order. Their players don’t match up physically with anyone, yet give gutsy performances every week. Plus the pomp and circumstance at one of their games is something every college football fan should experience in-person once.
4. Northwestern. Their valleys have been deeper than most, which makes their peaks that much more enjoyable. There are plenty of schools with good academic reps that field the occasional competitive team (Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke, etc.) but no one does it with such pluck. They’re really the one school that doesn’t belong in the Big Ten, yet have a couple conference championships to prove otherwise.
5. Miami. There are many things that they do and have done that are not admirable. But I do admire that they have done it with a different cast of characters and with a series of different head coaches. What other program can boast of winning National Championships under 4 different coaches in a 25 year span.
2. With regard to Question #1, what is the most damaging criticism of your program that you will admit is a legitimate criticism? That is, what negative trait does the most damage to the overall respect level of your program (in your eyes, or to others, interpret as you will).
BC will always lose a game it shouldn’t. There is more to this than the WTF? games. BC’s best seasons have been ruined by losing winnable games at inopportune times. And this is not just a TOB thing. Doug Flutie lost to West Virginia by 1 point his Senior year. The week after beating the 1993 Notre Dame team, BC came back to the Heights and fumbled away a Sugar Bowl trip by losing to West Virginia. Last year, with the outright conference championship in our grasp and a trip to Tempe, BC sleepwalked through the Syracuse game. This season has potential to be something special. However, if we beat Virginia Tech, I am going to be a wreck waiting for the other shoe to drop against UNC, NC State or Maryland.
3. Who do you think is the best player in the history of your program?
Doug Flutie. This is easy as he is the school’s only Heisman winner and part of one of the most famous plays in sports. Unfortunately the Miracle in Miami has overshadowed how good he actually was. There was much more to him than that one play. I would argue that he was one of the five greatest college QBs of all-time. His numbers don’t look that impressive now, but when he graduated he held multiple NCAA offensive records. He helped usher in the passing era and showed that slower, undersized teams could compete by throwing the ball like crazy. It is ironic that the school he helped save now plays a bruising Midwest style of football, while the Big Ten and Big XII have gone pass happy.