Earlier in the week SB Nation posted a breakdown of BC's Defense. It is certainly worth the read, though I feel they put too much emphasis on the front four. While those guys were great, BC was at its best when the DBs were healthy. Don Brown's scheme puts so much pressure on the DBs that once the talent slips a little, the Defense starts giving up big plays.
This year's Defense was so good that it makes the final 3-9 record all that more damning. Take a look at the Top Ten Defenses this season:
1. Boston College
7. Ohio State
9. San Diego State
Now while not all those teams were perfect, the only one other than BC with a losing record was Missouri. Usually if you are in the Top 10 of either major category, you will win more than you lose. During the past ten years, no No. 1 Defense has finished with a losing record (other than BC).
I keep going back trying to find some sign that a great D one year leads to a great team the next. One team that I found interesting was the 2006 Kansas Jayhawks. They finished a much better 6-6 than BC and only 11th Nationally in Defense (which was strong in the pass happy Big XII), but it was a defense that carried the team. They next year the D remained strong and the Offense finally clicked. The Jayhawks finished 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl. I don't know if BC will bounce back the same way, but that does give me hope.