Phil Steele made his name by publishing the most thorough, analytical and detailed college preview annually. He boasts that he's right when everyone else is wrong. In his latest edition, one of the teams Phil thinks will surprise is BC.
Phil's not behind BC for just some random reasons. He's always put an emphasis on returning starters and BC's rates high in that department. Steele also likes that BC faces most of its toughest opponents at home. BC's close losses from last season are also factored in (Steele think luck tends to revert to a mean -- so BC will do better in close games this year). Steele also predicts improvement from Rettig (due to Martin and maturity) and thinks our offensive line will be better than it has been in years.
Although he touts BC as a +3.5 on his new Stock Market metric, Steele's not predicting greatness for our Eagles. The magazine has us 4th in the division and playing Army in the Military Bowl. Still, that is relatively high praise when most magazines expect us to have another losing season.
I understand where Steele is coming from. All his factors give me some optimism. We should be better on offense. The defense does have some good returning talent. I like Doug Martin and what he represents. Yet I don't think it is that simple. Steele believes that some of the bad losses will even out this year. I'm not there ready to take that leap. Many of the reasons we've been in so many close games under Spaz is because he manages the games that way. He doesn't put teams away and doesn't go for broke when we trail. Is that suddenly going to change this year?
I want BC to win. I want to make a bowl game. I may not care for Spaz, but I love BC and watching winning football is fun. I hope Steele is right, but I still think this year will be as frustrating as last year.