Thursday, December 28, 2006

BC-Navy Preview

I don’t know how Navy fans feel, but for most BC fans this game is the ultimate afterthought. The focus remains on the new coaching staff. Who’s coming? Who’s going? But this game is important. BC needs to win. This is the players’ first chance to impress Jags. This is McGovern and potentially Spaz’ opportunity to show their new boss Jags what they are capable of. And most importantly this is BC’s chance to extend the nation’s longest current bowl win streak. The streak took a funny place amongst BC fans. Many are legitimately proud of it. Others, including this blogger, saw it as an over-hyped crutch used to justify TOB’s accomplishments. Now that TOB is gone, the streak is ours, not TOB’s. BC should win this game, extending the streak to seven games and within reach of Florida State’s 11-game streak. That, along with the chance for the team to win 10 games for the first time since Flutie, makes this game important.

Theme that won’t be discussed on television
There will be plenty of talk about coaches. Johnson is still in the mix for the Alabama job. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear Jags call in. They will talk about TOB’s departure. And there will be talk about Spaz and the admirable job he is doing. What won’t be discussed is that Navy infamously snubbed TOB during their mid-‘90s coaching search. John Feinstein captured the moment in his book Civil War. TOB came off in his interview as cold and uninterested, so the USNA hired Charlie Weatherbie instead. So when the media subtly scoffs at BC for letting TOB go, they overlook that the three schools that knew TOB best (USNA, UVA, and BC) all let the old Marine walk away from opportunities because they tired of his personality.

Three simple keys
1. Stop Navy on 1st and 2nd down. Navy has an impressive bowl streak of its own. Each year they overwhelm a favored team with long, methodical drives that break the spirit of the other team. The key to those drives is getting four and five yards on the 1st and 2nd down. Navy is not a big play team. But they are a solid, confident team. BC needs to slow them down with solid tackling and crowding the line. The key to winning is stalling Navy drives early.
2. Throw early and often. Navy does not have the pass rush or the corners to stay with us. BC should come out and throw like Notre Dame did against the Middies. But with the whole offensive coaching staff leaving, I have no idea what to expect. Will they be stubborn? Creative? Who knows? But if Ryan doesn’t throw for 250 yards, the blame will be on Dana Bible.
3. Create turnovers. The last time these two teams played, BC forced six turnovers. By design, Navy’s offense limits possessions. BC needs every turnover possible to get another chance to score.

Gambling Notes
-- TOB teams are 1-4 in the state of North Carolina
-- BC is 17-11 all time vs. the USNA
-- BC is 5-2 against the spread in TOB bowls
The current line is BC -6

What would be a pleasant surprise? An easy BC victory where the underclassmen get to play and where the guys honor Spaz with a Gatorade dump.

What would be a letdown? Losing. Navy is very good and certainly comes in with more focus. Even with all the distractions, BC should win. I hope the coaches and the players come out with enough pride to finish on a high note.

What would be a shocker? A Navy romp. Although Navy has the better coaching staff, we have more talent. They may steal the game, but there is no reason they should run away with it.

Bottom Line
I want to win this game. The TOB era is over and everyone involved deserves to end on a high note. Plus this is a chance to win 10 games. That accomplishment is somewhat watered down by the extended seasons and bowl games, but it is an accomplishment none the less. If the team comes to play and is given a gameplan to win, they should eventually pull away from the game Middies.
Final Score: BC 31, Navy 21.


sammie said...

No matter what the situation, this SHOULD be an easy win (See Rutgers and ND). BC should be beyond the point of losing to a service academy in any circumstance. ND has beaten them, what, 42 times in a row? Only TOB blunders led to Navy's last victory in 1999. I still get sick when I think about that one. A vision of the future-unable to finish off a game.

We should see if TOB held back the offense or was it really always Bible. I think Spaz will try to put a bit of his signiture on the game plan, especially if he is staying.

Which brings me back to the next coaching staff. Where is it? Would be nice if the recruits could have heard about the staff before the game. If there were some quality people, it might have gotten some good PR out to potential recuits, during the quiet period.

This is looking more and more like amature hour. No splash in the hire, no splash in the follow up.

Good article in the Baltimore paper on Chet Gladchuck. Not popular here, but not a used car salesman either. You could look him in the eyes and know he would take no prisoners. Gene has no clout and no backbone. Let the Big East and ACC push BC around. His legacy is as inflated as TOB's record.

Looking forward to some anouncements.



Roger and Joan Sullivan said...

Navy has given away 5000 tickets to enlisted sailors and marines from all over. They don't care about who will be coaching BC next year. Many of them are real heroes. I'm a BC grad (very bald eagle) and also retired military. Love BC but if we're not totally focused Navy and their "12th men" will carry the day.

beantownman60 said...

The future coaching staff and reaching out to the recruits. Please, SOME of you sound like grannies in the "15 items only lane." You wanted TOB gone now you're wringin' your hands on the future staff. The priority NOW is this game, first and fore most, that will speak volumes to the recruits. Bowl games are ripe for upsets. Have faith in YOUR BC Eagles. They want to win as much as we want them to win. Typical Boston fans...always looking at the negative. Are any of you Die Hards going to the game? If not, please, take the spot behind granny in the express lane. Go BC!!

Adam said...

Good Post. I enjoy the commentary but have to say what I'm seeing out of most BC fans on the message boards is straight up BS. Sorry guys, but we don't "suck" or "blow" and I doubt we'll be blown out by 30+ points. I thought I'd see more class out of most BC fans, but I guess I was wrong.


sammie said...

Hey Beantownman60:

The game means little. A football program is stamped by it's big victories, not by a string of 2nd rate bowl wins against teams you should beat in your sleep. The recruits make a program. Miss a year and your not even going to the pigsfeet bowl. Many wanted TOB gone. Many expected a legit hire. We don't know what this hiring is. One month ago, if you asked even the biggest TOB haters to choose TOB or Jags, I think most people would have stuck with TOB.
Gene is the slick marketer-he has to know that the credibility of the program right now is related to what kind of staff this guy puts together and what kind of recruiting he can do-this year. Right now the publicty is not great. For those pointing to a dynamic offense, we watch Green Bay stumble and bumble on national TV. We hear how the Atlanta o-line couldn't protect for Michael Vick. TOB ("NCST is a huge step up")and the rest of the competition are having a field day out there right now and they are making BC look foolish. I think alot of people want to see some sort of a program surfacing. As far as the game is concerned-no disrespect is intended for Navy (all of their men are heros, as far as I am concerned)-but they certainly cannot out athlete us, and their record has been built on a limited schedule. This is mid-major program. Even with distractions, BC should not lose . But, of course they might, which is why the games are played.

By the way-I am going to the game.

On another matter-the sky is falling. Just got back from the B-ball game. You can't lose to Duquesne, even with three palyers out of the lineup. This is not going to be an NCAA team. Already with 3 bad losses. Look for some tough times ahead. 15-12 is not going to keep that seat license money coming in, nor is a shakey head football coach.


beantownman60 said...

Sammie -
Your are truly Die Hard. I live in Boise (Billerica former) and attended the MPC Computers Bowl game last year. This year I traveled to BC vs. Clemson and BC vs. FSU. I can't make the Bowl trip this year but will be watching. My point on recruits is this. If there isn't a personal connection to a recruit and a coach most committed recruits are going to stay with BC (see the article on the Charlotte, NC WR). The recruits that de-commit more than likely were looking for a reason to do so. Also, rating the Packers offense as an indication as to the future of the BC offense is a grasp. We don't know the dynamics of the Packers and their game planning. My point is; let's give Jags a chance. I do agree with you on the schedule. I would like to see BC get some SEC and Big Ten schools on their OOC schedule. Bowling Green, Army, UMass, on the home schedule is lame. How would games against Auburn, Penn State, LSU raise the BC program? I'd rather see BC go 7-5 against a tough schedule than 9-3 with Maine, Buffalo, and Central Michigan. If BC wants to be in the big time the AD needs to toughen the competition. I am proud to support BC sports (attend NCAA BB Tourney in SLC in March). BC needs to step out and decide whether they are a player on the Big Stage or just a "nominee" for best picture. BSC or bust in 2007! The schedule is in BC's favor. Matt Ryan coming back there will be no excuses. With this schedule I say 10-2 would be a reasonable record since (WFU, FSU, UM, are at home).

Joe Grav said...

we're playing one of the toughest schedules in the country next year.

why do we have the whiniest, least supportive fans in the world? i came on to these blogs expecting excitement after a thrilling game. Instead, bitching.