Friday, November 30, 2007

Checking in from Jax

I-95 South into Jacksonville felt like the Hokie Highway. Checking into our hotel felt a little better as I started to see some BC fans. The weather is nice and supposed to be better Saturday. To give you the mood of the city, you can read this at EDSBS.

For those of you going to the game, I'll be in Section 108, row D wearing the BC pants. Say hello if you have the chance.

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Jags and the guys

Hopefully this clip will get you pumped for Saturday.

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Oh, there is also a little basketball game Saturday

Lost in all the ACC Championship talk is our basketball game against Providence. The Friars are one of our true rivals in hoops. This year's game takes on a special feel as it is part of a doubleheader at the Garden. Providence enters the game 4-1. Their record includes an impressive win over Arkansas and a curious loss to Miami. They are productive on offense and very good on D. For BC to be successful, we'll need to keep turnovers down and grab a ton of defensive rebounds. Here is the kenpom capsule on Providence.

Our young team has impressed so far. Let's hope they continue their good play and make this a really special day for BC sports.

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Game Watches: ACC Championship

I will be traveling Friday, so if any of these are wrong or I missed one please post it in the comments. I don't know if the Boston Game Watch is official, but I do know many people plan to watch the game at the Greatest Bar and then head into the Garden for the basketball game.

Atlanta Game Watch
Frankie’s Sports Bar, Frankie's (Sandy Springs at The Prado)
5600 Roswell Road NE

Austin Game Watch
Third Base Sports Bar
1717 West 6th Street
Building 2, Suite 210R
Austin


Boston Game Watch
The Greatest Bar
262 Friend St
Boston

Chicago Game Watch
Finley Dunnes Tavern
3458 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago

Dallas Game Watch
McKinney Avenue Tavern (MAT)
2822 McKinney Avenue
Dallas

Los Angeles Game Watch
Sonny McLean's
2615 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica

Minneapolis-St. Paul Game Watch
Majors Sports Café – Golden Valley
6440 Wayzata Boulevard
Golden Valley, MN


New York City Game Watch
Pat O'Briens
1701 2nd Avenue (2nd ave and 88th street)
New York, NY

Philadelphia Game Watch
Calloway's Restaurant and Bar
1902 County Line Road
Huntingdon Valley, PA

Phoenix Game Watch
16th Street Sports Grill & Bar
6522 N. 16th Street
Phoenix

Washington, D.C. Game Watch
Porter's Dining Saloon
The corner of 19th and M, Sts. NW and is walking distance from the Dupont Circle, Farragut North, and Farragut West Metro stations

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

BC-Virginia Tech preview

Throughout the season I’ve heard numerous games called “the most important game in BC history.” All the talk seemed to lack perspective and diminished BC’s long and storied past. Now as we prepare for Saturday, we might actually be witnessing the most important game in BC history. Never before has the team had a chance to win a championship on the field. Also, winning the ACC would be the culmination of four decades worth of effort begun under Father Monan and Bill Flynn to take BC athletics to the next level. This is THE game.

Theme that won’t be discussed on television. There will be plenty of talk about the ACC-Big East dynamic and BC potentially taking the “next step” by winning the ACC. I don’t think you’ll hear much discussion of Virginia Tech’s rise and how conference affiliation dramatically changed that entire program. Prior to joining the Big East in 1990, they were a nice program with a steady but not spectacular history. They lacked identity and their schedule was a hodgepodge of random ACC schools, second-tier southern programs like Memphis and Tulane and a random service academy thrown in. It all changed when the Big East came calling. The Hokies -- more than any other Big East program -- bought into everything and sold it like hell to their recruits and fans. Thursday Night Games – “anytime, anywhere.” Carquest Bowls – “we’ll show up and make some noise. Miami speed – “we’ll be faster.” When the opportunity came to upgrade again to the ACC, they fought like tooth and nail for inclusion. And with the move have upgraded their moribund basketball program. There are many things I dislike about VT but I respect that they changed the culture of their program and their fans. BC should remember that as we try to figure out what went right and wrong this bowl season.

Three Simple Keys
1. Protect Ryan. The Hokies only sent four last time and they had Ryan off balance all night. This time around we need to be ready for anything. The offensive line must build on their solid performance against Miami and control the line of scrimmage.
2. Contain Taylor in the red zone. He burned Virginia with some timely runs when drives had stalled. Because we haven’t faced a running QB of his caliber this season, I have no idea who will be responsible for spying Taylor, but whoever gets the call needs to have a great game and keep Taylor from turning broken plays into TDs.
3. Avoid penalties. We were whistled nine times for 83 yards in Blacksburg. The situation should be a little better at a neutral field, but we still need to play smart. Those calls handed VT its two scores.

Gambling Notes
-- The underdog has won both ACC Championship Games
-- Virginia Tech is 2-4 in games played in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
-- Jags is 3-0 as an underdog
The current line is BC+4.5

What would be a pleasant surprise? A mistake free game. Since our trip to Blacksburg we’ve had at least one or two cringe-inducing plays per game. Style points do not matter, but I think all of our cardiologists would recommend a game without a turnover or some stupid penalties.

What would be a letdown? Losing (obviously). There is still hope we could land in the Peach Bowl, but we’re likely to bounce down the ladder to a bowl none of us care about.

What would be a shocker? VT blowing us out. I know they are looking for revenge and are playing great football yada yada yada...I just don’t see us going down without a fight. Even in our worst game (Maryland) we were onside kicking at the end.


Bottom Line
Like the last VT game, I have a very positive feeling about this one. No hard data. No great insight. Just a good vibe. (How's that for analysis?) I think the setting will make a positive difference for BC and we’ll control the game.
Final score: BC 28, VT 17

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Jacksonville list of events

Looking for something to do in Jacksonville? Here are a few events set up by BC, the ACC and the city of Jacksonville.

FRIDAY

Gridiron Club Event
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk
Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar
$10 members, $20 non-members
Please reserve tickets at gridclub@bc.edu
Only cash or checks accepted at the door

ACC FanFest
5:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Public event with free admission
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Pepsi Plaza

ACC Firework Display
10:00 p.m.
St. John's River

SATURDAY

Pre-Game Event
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Ballroom
Included in official ACC Tournament air & land tour
Limited walk-ins available at $25 per person
Breakfast buffet and cash bar
Reserve walk-in tickets at alumni.comments@bc.edu
Only cash or checks accepted at the door

Transportation to Stadium
Water taxis are available within walking distance of the hotel for $10 roundtrip.

Pep Rally
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Free

EVENTS AND PLACES OF NOTE IN JACKSONVILLE

This is only a bit of what they sent me. For more information go to visitjacksonville.com.

Be a part of the excitement at the Jacksonville Landing, located along the Northbank of the St. Johns River in downtown. Experience the live entertainment on the famed courtyard all weekend long. The action starts on Friday, Nov. 30 at 5:00 p.m with the Rhythm Cure Band. Saturday, the party starts early and continues throughout the evening. The Jacksonville Landing is home to restaurants and nightlife along with the Twisted Martini, an upscale entertainment and dining venue with South Beach sophistication. Call (904) 358-1188 or visit www.jacksonvillelanding.com.

Enjoy Downtown’s premiere riverfront restaurant, the River City Brewing Company, located along the Southbank of the St. Johns River . Try a taste of local flavor with Mayport Shrimp, brought in fresh daily from the Northeast Florida waterways. The Brewhouse Lounge offers live entertainment weekly along the river deck, providing a breathtaking view of the Jacksonville skyline. Also check out the on-site brewery and see the beer brewing process, as the restaurant creates its own flair with flavors such as the Jag Lite, Jackson Pale Ale, Red Rooster Ale and Riptide Porter. Call (904) 398-2299 or visit www.rivercitybrew.com.

Shoppers will delight with the opening of 40 new stores exclusive to Northeast Florida market at the St. Johns Town Center . Home furnishings, jewelry, footwear, specialty stores and of course, fashion, are among the highlights opening just in time for holiday bargains. New stores include: Abercrombie, Aldo, Arden B., Baker’s, Bebe Sport, Betsey Johnson, BCBG, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Guess, MAC Cosmetics, Marciano, Pottery Barn, Sole Mio, The Walking Company, Tommy Bahama, Urban Outfitters and West Elm. Call (904) 998-7156 or visit www.simon.com.

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ACC Championship location and other links

Charlotte is making a strong bid for future ACC Championship games. It looks like the conference will rotate future sites like the Big 12 does.


Virginia Tech has not sold out their allotment either.


Most of you already saw this, but Ryan was named ACC Player of the Year.


An article on Paul Anderson.

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Michigan photos

Finding SuperFans amongst the yellow-clad Michigan faithful in Crisler Arena was a bit like playing "Where's Waldo?". Matt R. and Kelly Z. were two Eagles there to support the boys in their first road win of the season. Here are their shots of the game.













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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There is still time

You are probably reading this post in an office or a classroom. It is probably Thursday morning. You're thinking about the big game but are not going (friends didn't want to, funds, etc.). Now you're regretting it. Embrace that feeling of regret. There is still time. There are some cheap flights and hotel rooms out there. You can fly into Orlando and drive. Now is your last chance. If you're on the east coast and want to drive you need to hit the road Thursday afternoon. So think about it. This is a huge moment in BC sports. You should be there. Even if you are going solo, there will be plenty of BC fans around. You've got a few hours to say "what the hell? I'm going!" Friday will probably be too late. Think long and hard about it. You could pull this off.


I hope I'll see you there.

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Likes and dislikes: Michigan win

This was my first time watching this season's team. I came away pleasantly surprised with the effort.


Likes
-- Rice making tough baskets. He really used the shot clock well and can make the deep three. I think he will be able to carry the team.
-- Raji and Sander's basketball IQ. Some things cannot be taught. I was impressed by these two anticipating things and hustling and cutting. Smart players seem to thrive in Al's system. Maybe these two will be the latest.
-- The defensive rebounding. That is what allowed us to control the game.
-- The defense. We used a lot of 2-3 and it was the best we've looked against a Beilein offense in a while.

Dislikes
-- Shamari in the low post. Spear put up good numbers and rebounded well but is lacking something on offense. His hands are still suspect and he doesn't finish well. Why is he shooting short fades five feet from the basket?
-- Southern's lack of minutes. Our big guys were better but still not great. Why not get Southern some playing time?
-- Oates' D. He did not move or rebound well.

I came away from this game feeling much better about the season. I think we'll surprise a few ACC teams this year.

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Soccer's season over

Soccer's run at the national championship ended before it started. We dropped our first tourney game 2-1 to UMass.


Hats off to the guys for bringing home the ACC Championship. I hope it is a sign of things to come.

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Peach put off by BC's travel rep

Many of you have already read this. For those who haven't, here is the key paragraph:
Boston College – Obviously, Boston College is thinking Orange Bowl. We spent more time talking about B.C this week than any other team, but probably not for the reason you think. Let me say this first: We really like this team on the field and Ryan is a great quarterback. Period. But, in all honesty, our committee is leery of the Eagles and we’re not convinced their fans will support this team on a bowl trip to Atlanta – particularly after having to travel to Jacksonville for the ACC Championship Game. No one doubts that B.C will provide a great team for our game, but the Chick-fil-A Bowl has a long tradition of sold-out stadiums and an atmosphere that is as loud as any stadium in the country and we’re not sure a pro sports town like Boston can support their team at that level. We’re hoping the Eagles’ fan base will make a statement on behalf of their program and give us a reason to be high on them.


Looks like Orange Bowl or bust. I don't know why people didn't get motivated by the ACC Championship, but our showing this weekend is going to stay with us for a long time. We need to change the culture of BC sports. Any suggestions? I am all ears.

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Michigan preview

Another test for the young Eagles tonight as the team takes on Michigan as part of the ACC/Big 10 challenge. Michigan enters the game with a 3-3 record but is actually better than that. Their rough outing in Alaska is in part due to the transition to the Beilein perimeter offense. Here is their kenpom breakdown. I expect the game to be close and for our D to allow a lot of 3s. If our big men are more productive we should be able to pull away in the second half.

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Soccer reminder

The ACC Champion men's soccer team begins their march to the NCAA title with a game at home against UMass tonight. You can see the boys in person on the Newton campus or listen online at WZBC.com.

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Midweek links

Future Eagle Donnie Fletcher is the first player from his Cleveland program to head to the ACC.


Skinner keeps finding talent in random places. Here is an article on one of our two Colorado commits.


Here are two articles (first and second) on the ACC bowl picture. It is starting to feel like Orange Bowl or bust for BC.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Announce our presence with authority!


Photo courtesy of the Ryan for Heisman Blog


ACC Championship Game ticket sales are going slower than any of us would like. Hopefully the donation push will get us to 10,000. To make this a successful, program changing trip we really need the 6,000 or 7,000 of us who actually attend the game to make our presence felt. We need the locals to believe the BC fans were everywhere...eating, drinking, and spending money. We need the Jacksonville Visitors and Convention Bureau to give BC a ringing endorsement that Gene can use to shop us around to future bowls. How can such a small group make a big impression? The Three Amigos approach. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the classic comedy, here is summary of the brilliant denouement:
The Amigos organize the villagers, using their sewing skills to create an army of "Amigos" by replicating their mariachi costumes. The villagers defeat the bandits by appearing clad in the costumes and shooting from all sides, creating the illusion that the Amigos are everywhere. Thereafter, the Amigos ride off into the sunset.


The few of us there have to act like many. Wear BC paraphernalia everywhere you go. When you check in to your hotel, let the front desk know that you are in Jax to support the Eagles. When you see another BC fan, give a loud “Go BC!” Write “Go BC” on all your cash. After you sign your credit card receipt add a little “Let’s go Eagles” to the slip. Hit the Landing and sing “For Boston.” If you are slipping in a round of golf, bring your BC headcovers. Anything and everything counts. Make an impression. Then, like the Amigos, we'll ride off into the sunset after our upset victory.

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A look at rematches

Conventional wisdom says that it is hard to beat a football team twice in one season. The reality is somewhat different. Since the creation of conference championship games, eight contests have been rematches from the regular season. Seven of the eight games were won by the team that won earlier in the year. Take a look:
Year ConferenceMatchupRegular Season
Winner
Championship
Winner
1999SECAlabama-FloridaAlabamaAlabama
2000SECAuburn-FloridaFloridaFlorida
2000Big 12Oklahoma-Kansas St.OklahomaOklahoma
2001SECLSU-TennesseeTennesseeLSU
2002Big 12Colorado-OklahomaOklahomaOklahoma
2003SECLSU-GeorgiaLSULSU
2004SECAuburn-TennesseeAuburnAuburn
2005Big 12Colorado-TexasTexasTexas


Does this make BC a lock for Saturday? No. But it does confirm that good teams often beat other good teams twice in one season.

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Video and links

This will probably be the last Ryan for Heisman video. All votes must be in following Saturday's games. I don't think Ryan will win. Hopefully he gets invited to the ceremony. Hats off to Vince '03 who put these clips together all season.


AJ Brooks is done for the season and probably his career. He beat some kid to a pulp Saturday night/Sunday morning. One of the most frustrating things about being a fan of college sports is watching talented kids do stupid things and waste great opportunities.


Great feature on Jags in the Washington Post.


Ryan, Purvis, and Silva made first team ACC. There were a few suprises among the other names. The only real injustice was Callender making second team. He's been the best back in the ACC. Buried in this notebook is an update on our tickets sales. Not good news. If you cannot make it to this game yet can spare the $70, buy a ticket through BC. Donate it. Eat it. Whatever you want to do. Every bit helps. If we don't sell our allotment we will never get invited to a major bowl again.


The ticket sales have not been strong in Jacksonville either. I think this might be the last ACC Championship Game held there for a few years.


Future Eagle Colin Larmond continues to carry his team in the New Jersey playoffs.


Nice article on how the ACC Champion soccer team came together.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Miami

I didn’t give this game the fine-tooth comb treatment I usually do. I did watch it a second time, but time constraints didn’t allow me to rewind play after play. I agree with Jags – we left points on the field. A decent game. Not the best effort.

Offense: B

This game sort of captured the Matt Ryan of the past month. He made numerous passes that only he could make, got really unlucky on a few plays due to his teammates, got lucky that a few of his bad throws weren’t picked, and ultimately responded when BC needed him. Ryan really let his fundamentals slip in the pocket. He was throwing off his back foot, side arming etc. He also got careless scrambling, which led to the fumble. Good overall game, not one of his all-time greats. Hopefully that has him primed for next week.

AC added another great game to his great season. Good tough runs early, followed by some tough catches in the middle of the game and closed with a big TD run. LV got a TD. Nice for him in his last home game. They both did well in pass protection. No one else really got any playing time of note.

Purvis had a good game, although we didn’t get it to him nearly enough. Loyte…not so much. In addition to his early fumble, he also dropped an easy pass that would have been for first down. Challenger finished his Alumni career with his best game in two months. Gunnell looked really good and may have the best hands of the young guys. Megwa – a couple of bad drops offset by some nice plays.

Outside of some bad, bad penalties, the offensive line played pretty well. Very good push early. They were moving in sync on the stretch plays. Good pass protection in general. Ramsey and Tennant had the best games. Both are moving very well on runs and on screens. Castonzo is a good run blocker. He struggled with some pass rush. Anevski got whistled for a dumb penalty. Cherilus was better.

I liked the play calling. We ran early using our offensive line advantage. Went away from the run to put some pints on the board and then closed it out with more conservative play calling. Did you ever think you’d see the day when our players were running away from Miami players?

Defense: B

The defensive line dominated upfront. They got great push on the Miami line. Solid game from Brace and Smith. Willette looked good. Ramella played well. Larkin had a quiet game. The second teamers were not used extensively (resting up for next week?).

McLaughlin and Akins had their best games of the season. McLaughlin was making plays all over the place and looked very good in pass coverage. Akins finally closed on a QB and was very disruptive in the backfield. Francois was quiet. Dunbar and Pruitt only saw limited action. Herzy was good, just lacking his usual highlight.

Gause played like a true freshman. He made a great move on his INT. He also got burned and looked lost at different times. Silva did his usual strong job in run support. Morris played well. Anderson wasn’t really tested.

Spaz faced a terrible offense with a limited roster and went vanilla. It worked. Miami really only had one long drive. Their first TD was more of a Ryan gimme than a defensive breakdown.

Special Teams: B-

The good: nice kick offs and kick coverage. Silva trying to make something happen on punt returns.

The bad: Sid missing a chip shot. Ayers – who has been great – muffing a punt.

Overall: B

This had an NFL feel to it, so Jags was ready. We didn’t play great or with loads of emotion but we won in a business like fashion. I have no complaints. Outside of some sloppy plays on offense that kept the score closer than it should have, it was a nice day. If their minds were in Jacksonville, they at least came away with the win.

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Link roundup

Here is a nice article on Rakim Sanders. (Thanks to Murph for the link.) I am looking forward to seeing the team on Wednesday against Michigan. The game will be on ESPN U for those of you who actually have the channel.


ESPN's Mark Schlabach calls BC and Jags one of the surprises of the season.


A North Carolina paper lists Steve Logan as one of the candidates to take the Duke job.


It doesn't appear the Gator Bowl is very interested in selecting BC if we lose Saturday.


UVA fans think we will be selected ahead of them.


Here is an article on former Eagle Steve Trapilo. (Thanks Scott M. for the link.)


Jon Loyte got some local press. In the article he talks about the atmosphere at Clemson and the new coaches.


This is the only article where I've seen the possibility of Florida being selected for the Orange Bowl. If we win it would make sense for a bowl trying to sell tickets.

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Blogtpoll ballot

This sport needs a playoff. Look at the official top ten or even my top ten below. Any of those teams could beat any of the others. I am still going with resume rankings and trying not to jinx BC. I still strongly favor the ACC and finally gave Hawaii their due.

Games I watched
BC-Miami 100%
Arizona State-USC 25%
Hawaii-Boise State 25%
LSU-Arkansas 50%
Mizzou-Kansas 50%
Georgia-Georgia Tech 50%

RankTeamDelta
1 Missouri 2
2 Ohio State 3
3 Kansas 2
4 West Virginia 2
5 Hawaii 5
6 Georgia 3
7 Southern Cal 7
8 LSU 6
9 Oklahoma 3
10 Boston College 1
11 Arizona State 7
12 Virginia Tech 5
13 Brigham Young 9
14 Florida 6
15 Illinois 3
16 Tennessee 7
17 Clemson 4
18 Texas 3
19 Virginia 11
20 Auburn 6
21 Wisconsin 2
22 Oregon 9
23 Cincinnati 1
24 Wake Forest 2
25 Air Force --

Dropped Out: Boise State (#16), Connecticut (#17).

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ticket reminder and other links

Some of you may have received a voicemail from Matt Ryan urging you to buy tickets for the ACC Championship game. Included in the message was the option of buying a ticket and donating it to a local charity. For those of you who cannot make the game but want to support BC's ticket efforts, please contact the BC ticket office about this policy.


The Ryan for Heisman guys have great pictures of Senior Day.


The soccer team begins its run at the National Championship Wednesday.


Jared Dudley got his first NBA start and acquitted himself well.


The Globe had some encouraging news about the Peach Bowl.

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Bowl picture coming together

The ACC regular season is over. Start the musical chairs of bowl season!

The Championship Game will decide the Orange Bowl, but every other ACC-affiliated bowl will decide this week what it will do if BC wins and what it will do if VT wins. I know Gene's focus is on the ACC Championship Game, but I hope he is selling BC to the Peach/Chick-fil-A folks in case things don't break our way in Jacksonville. This is what we know.

If BC wins the ACC Championship game, we go to the Orange Bowl. No obstacles and no chance that BC would be selected for the BCS Championship.

What happens if BC loses the ACC Championship Game?


Due to the "BC rule" ACC-affiliated bowls cannot bypass an ACC team for another ACC team that is two games behind the bypassed team in the standings. For example BC finished 6-2 in conference and Clemson finished 5-3. Any ACC bowl can select Clemson before they select BC. Florida State finished 4-4 in conference. A bowl cannot select the 'Noles before they select BC. However, a bowl could select Florida State before selecting Clemson because of the standings rule. Confused yet?

So if BC losses only four ACC teams can be selected ahead of BC. Those teams are Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Wake Forest. If VT beats us, they are going to the Orange Bowl. The Peach would go next. They will not select Wake. They would likely select Clemson. That would leave BC, UVA and WF for the Gator. The Gator would not want BC back a month after the ACC Championship Game. They would likely select Virginia. The Champs Bowl would then have to select BC or Wake. Wake does not have a good travel rep and does not have BC's television success. BC would probably go here and play a middle of the pack Big 10 team.

What about the Peach stuff?

The ACC gets involved in the bowl process. They try to make everyone happy and they don't want the loser of the ACCCG to be penalized for playing in the conference title game. So if BC loses, I could see the ACC suggesting the Peach take BC. Then Clemson could go to the Gator Bowl and the folks in Jacksonville would be happy. UVA would be screwed in this scenario which makes me think the ACC won't meddle too much. The Peach might take a chance if they can get a good SEC team that sells tickets (like Auburn).

But as all BC fans know, the bowl season never breaks our way. Fortunately we control our own destiny!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Move over Miami

It seemed like this team's thoughts were elsewhere. I don't really care. We got the win, came away without any major issues or injuries, and finally beat a Miami team (even though it is a bad Miami team).


I am on the road and away from my Tivo so I won't have second viewing thoughts and grades until Monday. I may have another post later tonight or Sunday afternoon.

Regardless of what happens next week, this team and staff deserve credit for winning ten games and six ACC games, something very few thought was possible.

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In-game comments post: Miami

The final home game for a great group of BC guys. Hopefully they go out in style.

Since the game is on TV, I will not be online during the broadcast. Leave your comments and thoughts below.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday links

Here is an article on future Eagle Nick Clancy.


The first national article on Rakim Sanders. (Thanks to Michael G.)


Here is an article on the changes coming to Duke football. I do think some BC figures will be among the names mentioned as replacements.

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Rooting guide

The Orange Bowl is ours as long as we win next week. That doesn't mean that this weekend's action doesn't have implications. This is what I am hoping for while I scoreboard watch this weekend.

Virginia vs Virginia Tech. A Virginia Tech win would help our bowl options but I want to play Virginia in the ACC Championship Game. Go 'Hoos.


Florida vs Florida State. The only way Tebow is losing the Heisman (and keeping the hopes for Ryan alive) is with another loss. Plus it would help the ACC. Go 'Noles.

Maryland vs NC State. The winner goes bowling the loser is done. Go Terps.


Wake Forest vs Vanderbilt. ACC vs SEC. Go Wake.


Georgia vs Georgia Tech. A GT win helps BC. I am a little torn since I do have an interest in UGA. For BC's sake -- go Jackets.


Duke vs North Carolina. Neither impacts BC. I guess I would like to see Duke win so that Ted Roof hangs around another year (and they don't come after Logan). Go Duke.


Clemson vs South Carolina. I love the Clemson fans but another loss might knock the Tigers out of a good bowl and open a spot for BC. Go 'Cocks.

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Game Watches: Miami

I am sure many of you are on the road and might be looking for places to watch the game. These are the game watches I know of. As always, post additional ones in the comments or send me an email.

Chicago Game Watch
Finley Dunnes Tavern
3458 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago

New York City Game Watch
Pat O'Briens
1701 2nd Avenue (2nd ave and 88th street)
New York, NY

Phoenix Game Watch
16th Street Sports Grill & Bar
6522 N. 16th Street
Phoenix

Tampa Game Watch
Lee Roy Selmon's
Boy Scout Blvd
Tampa

Washington, D.C. Game Watch
Porter's Dining Saloon
The corner of 19th and M, Sts. NW and is walking distance from the Dupont Circle, Farragut North, and Farragut West Metro stations

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

BC-Miami preview

This game won’t make or break our season but it does have importance. First it would end Miami’s long, long win streak. Second, it would improve our bowl resume. If we don’t win the ACC Championship Game, how we perform this weekend could be the difference between the Peach Bowl and Nashville. Finally, it would get us to 6-2 in conference and complete a 10-2 regular season. Big accomplishments for our coach and something his predecessor was never able to do.


Theme that won’t be discussed on television. One year ago, in the game against Miami, the TOB-BC relationship really reached the point of no return. Many BC fans were put off by his snide “we’re up, aren’t we?” response to Erin Andrews and losing another game against a lame-duck coach when the ACC was still on the line. There were a million other things that led to TOB’s departure -- primarily NC State’s interest – but it was easier for everyone to walk away after the bitter disappointment against Miami.

Three Simple Keys
1. Stop the run. Miami might be the most one-dimensional offense we face this year. Their pass attack has been bad regardless of who is throwing the ball. If they cannot establish the run, it will force the ‘Canes to put it in the air.
2. Avoid turnovers. Ryan still has an outside, outside shot at the Heisman. But he is going to need to pad his stats and avoid anymore INTs.
3. Get the second teamers in. This might not be a key to winning, but it will be important that we come out of this game without major injuries. Also, this might be the last time for someone like Chris Crane to make an impression in live, in-game action.

Gambling Notes
-- The only time BC has been a bigger favorite in an ACC game was last season against Duke (BC was favored by 28 against the Blue Devils)
-- Miami hasn’t lost in Chestnut Hill since 1975
-- Miami hasn’t lost four-straight games since 1997
The current line is BC-14.5


What would be a pleasant surprise? Deep kickoffs. I expect BC to score and then squib and squib again. I would love to see BC try and sail a few deep.


What would be a letdown? Losing. I know this is not a must win, but a great, championship team should put Miami away early.

What would be a shocker? Chris Crane playing really well for more than a quarter. It may seem like I am placing extra emphasis on our backup QB but replacing Ryan will be the story of the offseason. I would love to see Crane play well, but I have a feeling we’ll have a QB derby next fall.

Bottom Line
This will probably the least I’ve cared about a BC game in some time. Win, great. Lose, no problem. The big thing is to come out healthy. Even with the lack of motivation, I still think pride and our talent will carry the day. I also think Miami is in shambles.
Final Score: BC 27, Miami 13

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Boxscore breakdown: Rhode Island

Another game, another solid win. Things weren't easy as the team was down at half and their shots weren't dropping. I didn't see the game, so those of you who did can leave your thoughts in the comments section. Here is what I liked from reading the boxscore.

Good Things
-- Sanders making big shots. 4 from 7 from the 3-point line including a big shot that iced the game late.
-- Raji's rebounding. He didn't play that much but grabbed the loose balls when he was on the floor. As you can see from the boxscores, our big men are not great rebounders. Raji will need to fill that void.
-- Drawing fouls. We continue to get to the line more than our opponents. Good sign.

Concerns
-- Zero points from Blair and Oates. I don't think we should be drawing plays for them but the offense we run and their positions should stumble into at least a few baskets.
-- Another cold day from Roche. His baskets better start falling or his minutes might disappear.
-- Spears foul shooting. He is going to get to the line a lot this year. He needs convert.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A few AOL links

I've been slack with AOL of late so today I put up two posts.


Ian also captures our narrow bowl options at the Fanhouse.

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Can BC finallly beat Miami?

BC is shorthanded this weekend against Miami and has not beaten the Hurricanes since Flutie's famous pass. Over the past 20 years BC has entered the game as the underdog and Miami as the powerhouse. This year is different. We all know BC carries a different identity this year. So do the 'Canes. This the worst Miami team since 1979 (Howard Schnellenberger first year). How bad are things?
-- Entering the game Miami has allowed 51 more points than they have scored. Their last season with such a lopsided point differential was 1977.
-- Miami never lost five conference games in one season until last year. If they lose to BC it will be the first time they've ever lost six conference games.
-- Miami is 108th in total offense
-- Miami has lost five of their last six
-- Miami's struggles have not come against the nation's best teams. Their strength of schedule entering the game is 51st

I'll have more on the matchup Thursday, but BC needs to take advantage of this down time for Miami.

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Basketball's first test

Rhode Island is not a great team but they are the best team BC has faced so far. Their biggest win of the short season was beating South Florida. Here is the basketball prospectus breakdown of the Rams. They are a good defensive squad and middle of the road offensively.


For BC to win, they need to pick up points in the paint. Spears and Southern need to both get into double digits.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jax or Orange Bowl? Answer: Jacksonville! Jacksonville! Jacksonville!

Photo by Ryan for Heisman blog


I don’t think all BC fans know what is at stake in Jacksonville. A SuperFan won’t catch a pass or make a tackle, but how BC fans support the school will have long-term ramifications on the program. If you can make it, BC needs you to be there and BC needs you to buy your ticket through the school. (If you buy through TicketMaster the school does not get credit for your appearance.) The temptation to “hold out for the Orange Bowl” is understandable. As I mentioned in my letter to current students, once you hit the real world funds and time become precious commodities. However, if BC fans don’t show up for this game we will confirm our poor travel reputation and will never be invited to a big bowl.

I’ve spoken to many of you of the years and heard “I would go to a bowl if BC ever got into a real one.” I understand. I’ve missed more Tire/San Fran/Motor City Bowls than I’ve made. This is different. This is a really big game. This is for the school’s first conference title. It is on a Saturday. It is on the East coast. There are numerous travel options and affordable hotels. Go to Jacksonville! If you wait for the Orange Bowl and we lose you’ll never have this chance again. This is our “bird in a hand…”

The reality is that if BC loses the ACC Championship Game we will fall to either the Champs Bowl or the Music City. But if 15,000 to 20,000 BC fans show up for the ACC Championship Game our athletic department will have proof that we are worthy for bigger and better bowls in the future.

I understand if you have real world obstacles. If you don’t have anything holding you back and can make it, you need to be there. The Orange Bowl is a long way away and far from a sure thing. This is for a championship. This is what we’ve longed for. This is the game and the moment. BC needs you!

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More videos of Clemson

The first one is the latest Ryan for Heisman spot.


These two are from Cubicle Jockey.




The ACC also put up a video of the game and has great footage of Jags in the locker room after the game.

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Tuesday links

Vote for Ryan to Gunnell as the ACC play of the week.


Good news on the TV front, our game against Miami will be on ESPN in HD.


Here is a little background on Rhode Island hoops. We take on the Rams Wednesday.


Want to see what a difference travel reputation makes? Read this article on Clemson. If they beat South Carolina, they are going to a very good bowl.


Here is an interesting article [subscription is needed] on players suing coaches over playing time. Quoted inside is lawyer and BC guy Timothy Liam Epstein.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

More Clemson pictures

Cubicle Jockey is obviously a better photographer than yours truly. He also had better seats (what the hell, BC ticket office?). Here are some of his great pictures from Saturday.

On the photo front, did any students greet the team when they got back to campus? I would love to see pics of that too.









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ACC Champions and other links

Men's Soccer beat Wake Forest Sunday to capture the ACC crown. Congrats to the guys. So much for those who said or non revenue sports would suffer in our new conference.


The basketball team won again. Al's rotation remains fluid. My only surprise is how much time Spears is getting. I am interpreting his increased minutes as a sign of Shamari's renewed commitment and development.


In sad news, Kiwi broke his leg and is done for the season.


The Heisman appears to be Tebow's but that is not stopping the boys at Ryan for Heisman.

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Blogpoll ballot

I didn't put much thought into this. I am still going mostly on resumes and W-L records. Based on the Clemson road trip I also didn't watch as much football as I normally would.

Games I watched
BC-Clemson 100% (once in person and once on Tivo)
Georgia Tech-UNC 50%
Michigan-Ohio State 25%
Georgia-Kentucky 25%
Oregon-Arizona 75%


RankTeamDelta
1 Kansas --
2 LSU --
3 Missouri --
4 Arizona State 2
5 Ohio State 2
6 West Virginia 2
7 Virginia Tech 3
8 Virginia 3
9 Georgia 3
10 Hawaii 4
11 Boston College 5
12 Oklahoma 8
13 Oregon 8
14 Southern Cal 1
15 Texas 9
16 Boise State 5
17 Connecticut 1
18 Illinois 2
19 Wisconsin 6
20 Florida 2
21 Clemson 12
22 Brigham Young 7
23 Tennessee 4
24 Cincinnati 7
25 Air Force 1

Dropped Out: Kentucky (#23).