Thursday, November 17, 2011

BC-Notre Dame preview

Some Notre Dame fans point to different games against BC and say, "I knew Coach ____ would never win at Notre Dame when we lost to BC in 200_". Davie, Willingham and Weis all had bad losses to BC that helped fasttrack their respective exits. You would think that given the emotion on the BC side of the rivalry our fanbase would react the same way. It won't. I think Spaz is safe for another season regardless of how this game plays out. In my opinion the only thing a blowout will do is show the casual BC fans how far things have fallen.

Overlooked storyline for the game: BC's slow demand for tickets
A few weeks back season ticket holders were given a chance to get extra Notre Dame tickets. That should have been a wake up call to BC. We once had waiting lists and lotteries for Notre Dame tickets. Now even many current seniors are skipping the trip. Gene might think Spaz is not to blame for our current woes, but I hope he realizes that Spaz, as the leader and face of the program, is blunting enthusiasm. Even without a coaching change, that needs to be addressed in the offseason.

Three Simple Keys
1. Turnovers. Turnovers are cliche and hard to actually "force" but I do think this game will be decided by how many BC gets. Notre Dame is pretty good on offense but will also shoot themselves in the foot. BC needs to be ready and look to pick off Rees often.
2. Sticking with the run. This is opposite of what I've been preaching lately, but I actually think we can run on Notre Dame. I also think that controlling the clock may allow us to steal the game.
3. Contain Atkinson. Atkinson is their return man and a true freshman. BC's been decent in special team's coverage. We cannot let Atkinson change the game with one big play.

Gambling Notes
-- Spaz is 0-2 against the Irish
-- No BC coach has ever lost three straight to Notre Dame
-- Kelly has a perfect November record as coach of the Irish
The current line is BC+24.5

BC has only played Notre Dame this late in the season (after November 15) twice. BC beat Notre Dame in South Bend on November 20 in 1999 and on November 20 in 1993.

Scoreboard Watching
I am not really watching scoreboards at this point. But I will be paying some attention to UCLA-Colorado and Kansas-Texas A&M. Both matchups involve coaches on hot seats and/or having terrible seasons. I pay attention to this stuff as a benchmark for how much losing other programs will tolerate. BC has to do its own thing, but it is important to look at how other schools decided that the timing is right to make a change.

I hope to see...
A real showcase game for Luke Kuechly. Our record is going to keep Luke from winning some postseason awards. That unfortunately is out of his control. But if he has a big game this week on national TV and follows it with another big effort next week, he might earn some of the accolades he's up for.

BC is in trouble if…
Notre Dame can run the ball. Their offense is good to begin with and pass happy. If they also run at will, we will have a hard time keeping up with them.

Bottom Line
I have a little optimism. Strange things happen when we play Notre Dame as a major underdog. I also could see us picking off Rees and running a pick 6 back to change the game. But for all my Notre Dame optimism, I still don't trust Spaz to play to win. Instead I see this game as a blowout where we pad our score late in the game.
Final Score: Notre Dame 42, BC 21


EL MIZ said...

ATL - i think you're belief that spaz is definitely back at season's end could be a tad overblown. gene has to be monitoring the ND ticket situation and extrapolating it a year forward with home ticket sales. i think spaz is one bad nationally-televised loss away from getting canned at the end of the season. a win likely saves his job b/c gene can play it safe (like spaz does) and say "look we won 4 games with this young team."

we were already drubbed on national TV once. in a game against our hated rival, a drubbing should lead to spaz's exit.

i am, however, hoping for the best. i hope we show up with a lot of fire, get lucky with a few calls/plays going our way, and win a close one.

neenan said...

Good point EL MIZ. ATL -- what's the deal? You keep saying Spaz is probably coming back! That kind of talk is lowering expectations and you are making GDF's decision to retain Spaz easier.

You have more influence than you realize.

Luv to see you say how outrageous it would be if Spaz is retained. If the blog-o-sphere can make GDF squirm, all the better.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Jimmy- Say what you like about GDF, but I highly doubt he makes his decisions based on the random musings of a few bloggers.

neenan said...

BCDouble -- our man ATL has got some clout! His words are not the random musings of a blogger. ATL is positively a BC sports opinion maker.

You overestimate GDF. He reads blogs for sure. He even twitters Although I have no idea, I would not be surprised if one of the more knowledgeable commenters here is GDF or one of his guys.

blockparty said...

bjk is gdf's brother, ive been feeling the brotherly love recently.

observer college is a gdf minion-- either that a parody of every uninvolved bc fan who shows up for the nd game.

JBQ said...

24.5 pt. underdogs. Shame! Shame!

mmason said...

Back in '92, I sat in ND Stadium and watched the Irish crush a good BC team ranked #17 in the nation with Jerome Bettis going though us like a scud missile. Score 55-7. We had Tom Coughlin coaching against Lou Holtz. They were ranked in the top five, and we got clocked. I don't even want to imagine how badly they will run up the score on this one. The Irish don't like us and we don't like them. (Yeah, I know what happened the next year in '93, but that won't happen next year in 2012 so dream on...)

It won't be a 24 point deficit...we suck, boys and girls. ND wants to tattoo BC bigtime in this game and the more humiliation they can our down on us the better they will feel.It's who they are, so prepare for the worst. I've been there and seen it. Spaz will have no plan and we don't have the horses. Say your prayers...I'll say mine. Go Eagles.

JBQ said...

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. There will be another day. Flutie will never die. The Jewish kid, David Gordon, cannot be erased. You have to whistle the March from "Carmen" with Tanner and the Bad News Bears. In 1992, Holtz ran up the score 54-7. In 1993, SI was a cover story. Sometimes, you have to take your licks. Terry Molloy in the 1954 classic "On the Waterfront" took a lot of hits. He kept on tickin'. Regis Philbin was on Letterman tonight stating that he was inspired by Frank Leahy. Frank Reagan is not the only "Blue Blood". BC will be back. Spaziani has to go! Semper Fi.

EL MIZ said...

the SI cover:

those days can return, we just need a new man on the sidelines.

Big Jack Krack said...

BlockParty - I'm surprised by your comment and I feel as though I have been pretty clear concerning my opinion of Gene DeFilippo.

For the record, I dislike GDF and wish he were gone. I think Gene has been responsible for the drop off just as much as Spaziani and others. I dislike his entire approach and think we should bring in a new AD with more vision, a better management style and who commands a more reasonable salary. We need a change at Boston College.

He has certainly damaged my enthusiasm - and it makes me sad that I do not look forward to BC Football like I have for many years.

It's not just because we are now one of the worst teams in college football and we are losing convincingly - it's because of the unimaginative approach to trying to score that I can't stand. We don't even try to win and the coaches seem to pre-determine that we can't win and act accordingly. The AD is right in the middle of this.

Prevent Offense is a true killer of enthusiasm.

One more time, BP - I'd like to see Gene DeFilippo gone from Boston College. I am not one of his admirers or defenders. I don't care if he resigns (he won't - he's paid well enough to take care of his entire family for several generations) or he gets fired.

We are heading back to pre-Flutie days in terms of attendance - and the situation in Conte is deplorable. A visionary AD would have figured out long ago how to get the students court-side instead of empty DB seats.

It's Notre Dame week and I'm not even talking about the hockey game or the football game. That about says it all. An AD has to go out of his way to kill the enthusiasm of a fan like me.

Galvin said...

I'm guessing (hoping) Block Party was being facetious. BJK, I think most of us here agree and appreciate your opinion and comments on GDF. I think you are spot on in your criticisms of the football coaching staff and with the student seating at Conte. I hope that GDF's meddling doesn't completely snuff out the few hardcore fans BC has left.

Big Jack Krack said...

I am so disgusted with the situation that I am missing tongue in cheek comments.

I have a sense of humor, so I am surprised at myself! :-)

Matt said...

prior to this year hadn't missed a home game under my control (wedding here and there) in 10 years as a season ticket holder. And have been on several road trips to games. I have skipped two this year out of indifference, and didn't even really care whether we won or loss. And I'm not even all that interested in the ND game Saturday. If Spaz is back, I may not even renew my tickets next year. It doesn't feel fair to the players that are trying hard ....but the coach gives us nothing to latch on to and root/hope for. I know that is just one fan, but I imagine there are a lot of others who feel the same way.

I do have a lot of faith in Donahue as a long term bball solution so at least even if this year is a struggle, that gives us something to look forward to.

But football, eh.

bobble said...

Same thing for me Matt. Season tickets are gone if Spaz is still there. Especially when I can find tickets for $10 at any game I want to see.

AlbanyEagle said...

I'm with you, Matt. I've never cared less about BC football.

It's not just the losing record. It's not just the embarrassing losses. It's not just the horrendous gameday experience, or the expense involved with subjecting one's self to it. I can live a lot of that, stick with the team through thick and thin.

The problem is that on top of all those things the people in power don't seem to care enough to make a serious attempt to give our players a legitimate chance to win a real game. They want us to buy tickets, but they really don't care. If they did we would see some change.

I think ATL is right. Spaz will be back next year. Even on ESPN Radio I heard some coaching hot seat chatter, and the consensus was that Spaz is doing a remarkable job, given all the injuries and youth he has had to deal with. Apparently our team been getting younger and more injury prone each of the last 3 years.

GDF will not resign, and though I know absolutely nothing about him, I have no reason to think the prez gives a damn enough to do anything.

I've never cared less, and it depresses me. Sad, sad days.

Darius said...

I feel like we're in a holding pattern until Leahy is gone, at some point in the next couple of years.

Tim said...

Same here. I've attended almost every home game since 1998 and a lot of road games, but I haven't been to a single game this year.

John said...

Matt said it best. Spaz back next year and so long season tickets. FYI, my daughter is a senior and is in South Bend for the game as this was on her senior year bucket list. Too bad we don't have a chance in hell of winning. So sad as I remember the ND game her freshman year (I think we won 16-0 or 17-0) and the defense and the BC crowd was electric. Seems like a 1000 years ago.

janebc said...

While I think very highly of Atlanta, but I agree with Jimmy here-the "Spaz is back anyway" talk just makes GDF's task of imposing his will on a defeated and apathetic fan base even easier. "We don't want Spaz" back should be the resounding message he is getting, not one of complete resignation