Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The importance of this game to Jags

TOB is downplaying the importance of this game. He should. It is just another ACC game for him. While Jags will never admit it, this game means everything. Because of the way the season has played out and because of the guy on the opposite sidelines, Saturday’s results will have short and long term effects on Jags’ future.

Bowl Eligibility
First the simple: Jags needs this game to get to six wins. 6-6 is the minimum required for bowl eligibility. 6-6 should also be the minimum requirement for a BC coach. Given the way we schedule there is no reason we should finish below that. 6-6 with this defense would be a disappointing season. While we can get to the .500 record even if we lose, NC State is one of our weakest opponents. With the wide open nature of the ACC you need to get every W you can.

Team Psyche
I usually try to avoid the hokey mental aspect of sports. It is completely subjective and impossible to measure. Yet there is still a place for it in college sports. Toal’s UCF halftime speech showed that the confidence on this team is teetering. We responded once to an emotional momement. How many times can that happen going forward? Controlling and winning this game will help this team mentally. They need to believe they can win and they need to believe that the offense can score. Therefore Jags and Logan need to handle the QB situation delicately.

There is no draft in college football. There is also no playoff. Unfortunately that means perception matters. If Jags cannot beat a bad NC State team the media will start to question his ability to win altogether. Last season will be yesterday's news. The media will certainly heap credit on TOB for beating his former players and pupil. Worse than the media will be other coaches. A loss to NC State will be used against us in every recruiting conversation going forward. Finally, this game will influence how many casual BC fans perceive Jags. Lose to TOB, and you’ll hear chatter: “we should have kept O’Brien.” These folks don’t follow the situation closely enough to know what TOB could or could not do. Nor do they give much thought to the roster holes he left behind. All they will know is that we can’t beat our old coach. And that negative perception will hurt in fundraising, atmosphere and in attendance.

In perception, I mentioned other coaches using a loss to TOB against Jags. No one will use it more than TOB and the NC State staff. We are going head to head with them for a few Midwest recruits. If we lose, TOB can pitch his own rebuilding project as the future and claim that Jags is headed down the wrong road at BC.

Each division game has equal importance, but as far as stability and perception, the only game that approaches NC State in significance is Notre Dame. It’s not fair. It’s not rational. Smart fans can see beyond TOB. But the smart fans are not who will make or break Jags. He need to win this game for the season and the future.
This is a must win.


BFM said...

Excellent post. While all of the ACC Atlantic games are important for obvious reasons, I would really like for BC to get this win, on the road, against TOB.

BCDoubleEagle said...

I think last year's 37-17 drubbing of NCSU while taunting chants of "Tom O'Brien" rained down from the BC student section is what most people will remember when they think of Jags vs. TOB.

Big Jack Krack said...

atleagle - good post. But I must say for every statement that includes doubt - "even if we lose...", (our team) "need(s) to believe they can win...", "if Jags cannot beat a bad NC State team".... "a loss to NC State will be used against us"....etc I think our team has a good chance to croak these guys in their own stadium. So I'm going to be optimistic, and I know Jags will play to win and gain control - not just to get into the 4th quarter with a chance to win, like TOB did, only to lose in the last few seconds in 2006. I was at that game - a debacle. BC should have won by 17 points at least. I think we'll do that on Saturday!!!!! Go BC

Greg said...

Posts like this are why I always come to your blog first to read about BC football.

Looking for a big showing from our RB's this game. Harris and Hayden could be a nasty duo.

Big Jack Krack said...

Have we talked about how important this game is to Steve Logan - who is coming into his "home area". He may still have a radio show in Raleigh for all I know.

Not sure what his record was while coaching ECU against NC State (I apologize) - but you can bet he wants to bury these guys no matter who their coach is. Let's go Coach Logan - "This Bud's for You!"

I know a lot of ECU guys - and the State game is a big deal, believe me. Logan will come prepared.


Big Jack Krack said...

Update - I guess he didn't play NC State as much as I thought - but you can bet it was a big deal. 2 and 1 as Head Coach, I think.

EWCANES said...

Take back TOB, he's terrible coach that ran off what little talent the chest left us. Wierd how we hire one of the three coaches we BEAT in that miserable season. He makes terrible decisions and keeps putting in Harrison Beck who you know is going to throw and INT...0/12 td/int against non william and mary teams! and lets be honest you guys never were a force to be reckoned with when he was there...we need to cut our MANY losses and move one....GO PACK FIRE TOB!!!

ATL_eagle said...


From what I read, most Pack fans are on the TOB bandwagon. Is that starting to change?

EWCANES said...

I hope so! but the reality is we yearn to beat UNC in everything, we could lose every game but if we beat them its a hell of a year, and the fact that them, GT, hell DUKE are winning against decent teams and progressing so much faster when they were so much worse is frustrating and will start taking a toll, there's an article that were one of the most generous programs in terms of donations in the nation...i don't think we're gettin a very good return