Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Season Prediction Part I: worst case scenario

This annual series is my attempt to look at how the season could play out. I always rip off the band-aid and look at the worst case scenario first. I follow with the pie in the sky best case and then finish up with what I think will happen. Because the D is so strong I am not worried about the worst case, but there are enough things in the mix (tough ACC schedule, new QB, etc) that the following could happen.

At Kent State. Win. An ugly season starts with an ugly win. Martin’s guys are ready for Jags and Logan. Crane is shaky and the running game is ineffective. BC squeaks out of a low scoring game in Cleveland.

Georgia Tech. Loss. Misdirection/option style attacks have always given Spaz problems. This year is no different as Paul Johnson picks apart our D again, only this time there is no Dunbar fumble recovery to save the day. The BC offense continues to struggle.

Central Florida. Win. A more conventional attack is a welcome respite. BC wins a low-scoring affair. No one feels great about our QB situation.

Rhode Island. Win. An easy victory over a really bad team. Provides a little false hope for the second half of the season.

At NC State. Loss. Another ugly close game in Raleigh only this time TOB comes out on top. A devastating blow this early in the season and creates plenty of painful “BC should have never let TOB go” narratives for the media.

Virginia Tech. Loss. BC shows some fight but still cannot get a win. Another great defensive effort is wasted.

At North Carolina. Loss. BC’s first three-game losing streak since 1998. Growing call to let Davis start with the hope that he might spark the offense.

Clemson. Loss. BC plays well but loses again. Five losses put the team’s back against the wall. Crane is starting but his play is nothing to write home about.

Notre Dame. Win. The Irish bring out the best in BC. The Eagles rally at the right time and the defense gives Jimmy Clausen trouble. There’s rejoicing around the Heights that things might turn around.

At Florida State. Win. A pretty big upset considering the dreadful October. Attitude among fans is improving.

At Wake Forest. Loss. Another back and forth game with the Deacons. The defense does its job again but the offense and special teams can't take advantage.

Maryland. Win. A must to keep the bowl streak alive. BC wraps up a frustrating regular season and avenges last year’s loss to Maryland.

6-6 is a definite step back but still leaves BC eligible for a bowl. That bowl is likely to be Boise. BC takes on Nevada and wins moving the bowl streak to nine games and keeping the winning season streak to 10.

This would be a frustrating season but at 7-6, it shows that even the worst case is not end of the world.


Joe Grav said...

I agree that 6-6 is the worst case. There are folks out there worrying about making a bowl. NO WAY.

Unknown said...

Bill, while I hope this is as bad as it will get, it really isn't the worst case, right? Does anyone think that its impossible for us to have an epic disaster of an offensive season? If so, turn any one (if not all three) of the ND, FSU or MD games into a loss.

HOWEVER, I think there is little chance of that happening.

The D should be good enough to get us 6 wins as long as we can find the endzone every now and again with Crane. I just wanted to throw this out there because looking at the depth chart yesterday and seeing in one place what we already knew... Well, it scared me.

Andrew said...

I think you are right on with worst case being 7-6. In regard to losing to ND, FSU, MD, those are possible, but we would then pick the win up elsewhere, GT, NC St. or UNC

Big Jack Krack said...

I guess it's good to be humble, but this is depressing. I'm looking forward to your pie in the sky best case and finally to what you think will happen.

I can't comment on this scenario. By the way, we've got to play well for many reasons, one of which is to stay out of Boise - a beautiful place to visit, but not for a college football bowl game in the team's blue home field!

America said...

You know how much I love the work you do but in all honesty this post is a slap in the face to our team. How much did ESPN pay you to write it? I hope you really make up for this with your best case scenario!

GO EAGLES! BC is puts the BC in BCS!

Darius said...

Hardly worth jumping off a bridge over, Jack. If you look back to last year, the worst-case scenario was 5-7. As you no doubt recall, we posted a 10-2 mark in those games. So you can see just how big a disaster he means by "worst case." Likewise, we ought to get through *this* regular season comfortably better than 6-6.

The one other thing we can learn from last year's preview is that you just cannot predict injuries. His best case scenario essentially played out--putting us at 10-2 in a tight ACC championship game against VT. However, ATL still mispredicted 4 of those games. Hey, it's tough to foresee Ryan's "heroics" in stealing the VT and Clemson games for us. Those were straight close-call misses. But it's BEYOND tough to anticipate that our defense is going to be decimated by injuries and let otherwise-entirely-overmatched FSU and Maryland teams blow through it.

It's the lack of depth that has me worried about this year more than anything else. Once guys drop, there's no one with any experience behind them this year. I could see the injuries mounting again and turning a very solid 7-1 or 6-2 start into that "worst-case" 7-5 or 6-6.

Oh, and Vincent, ATL’s not trying to slap anyone in the face. In fact, he goes out of his way to say it’s particularly unlikely to play out this way because of the D. I think you’re missing the concept of ATL’s 3-part preview. There’s not just one result that will happen, there’s a range of possibilities for the season. Look back to August of the last three years in the archives.

ATL_eagle said...

Vincent, it is a worst case. Not what I think will happen.

Big Jack Krack said...

I had forgotten what Bill's "worst case scenario" was from last year, Darius - thanks for putting that in perspective.

I agree with you entirely about the injuries and we have 7 straight weeks starting with Virginia Tech. The first 5 aren't so bad because we have 2 bye weeks, plus the competition isn't as tough, with all due respect.

All of our games except RI will be very physical - and players could get injured in that game as well. But to think of 7 straight hard-hitting games - VT, at UNC, Clemson, ND, at FSU, at WF and Maryland - that's tough.

I'm still an optimist and super fan.

Ed said...

This is not a "worst case scenario," it's just a fairly pessimistic prediction.

The actual worst case scenario would have to be BC losing every single game that there's any chance of losing. Everything goes wrong, turnovers galore, none of the QB's work out, etc.

And I'd have to say that's every game except Rhode Island. There's NO WAY we could possibly lose to Rhode Island. (Go ahead, put that on your bulletin board, Rams. Do you even have a bulletin board?)

Now before you go nuts and call me an infidel or the like, I don't think this will happen. Almost by definition, worst case scenarios are unreasonable and very unlikely.

But if you really want to talk about how bad it could possibly get, that's how bad.

And on the other hand, if you want to talk about how good it could possibly get, think 13-0 (which assumes making and winning the ACCCG of course). There's no team on this schedule that BC couldn't possibly beat.

Nick P. said...

Should the worst case scenario occur and we end up in Boise, I'm definitely going to attend the bowl if for no other reason than to get some solid skiing in while I'm there. Where else can you couple skiing and BC football?

X said...

I think regardless of bowl, it's important that BC fans make it out and make it a point to establish a fanbase that travels and spends-- even if it's Boise.

campy said...

I agree with Ed. While I hope for and expect better, 6-6 and a bowl is far from the worst case scenario.

~ campy, class of '76 (season ticket holder during the Chlebek era)