Thursday, January 08, 2015

BC and the other schools still waiting for their moment on the big stage

New Year's Day was different this year. The games had more meaning because of the new Playoff. One thing that wasn't different: no BC. As great as the Pinstripe Bowl experience was, BC still wasn't in a major bowl. And BC hasn't played in a true major bowl since the Cotton in 1985. As much as we want to blame it on travel reputation and fanbase size, there have been automatic qualifying opportunities for more than 20 years. First the Bowl Coalition, followed by the Bowl Alliance, then the BCS and now the Playoff. As a member of the Big East and the ACC, BC had access to all of these games. We just never played our way into any of them. We know the near misses: losing to WVU in '93, losing to Syracuse in '04 and dropping back-to-back ACC Championship Games. At this point it is almost bad luck. Other Power 5 teams have made it on fewer close calls.

Although only one year old, the Power 5 conferences of the Playoffs have put the majority of their teams into major bowls. Take a look at the teams that have yet to play in Playoffs and their forebears:

ACC Have Nots
Boston College
North Carolina
NC State

Big Ten Have Nots

Big XII Have Nots
Iowa State
Texas Tech

Pac 12 Have Nots

SEC Have Nots
South Carolina

(Now I am only using bowl history and qualification based on the bowl's status at that time. Take Duke and the Peach Bowl as an example. The Blue Devils played in the Peach Bowl last year. It was a good bowl, but not defined as a Playoff/Major bowl at the time. This year, the elevated Peach Bowl is one of the official New Year's Six. So although Duke has played in a Peach Bowl recently, they have yet to earn or get selected into the Playoff/BCS/Bowl Alliance/Bowl Coalition games.)

Of course the ACC would have the most teams that have not played in a major bowl. Despite that fact, I don't worry that we are locked into some top heavy conference that will never enable a major bowl. As Georgia Tech showed this year, there will be many times when the ACC runner up also makes a major bowl (as long as the winner gets into the Playoff). As daunting as Florida State, Clemson and Louisville may seem right now, it only takes one down cycle for things to change.

The variety and number of schools that have made major bowls should be encouraging to BC fans. It shows that things can change quickly and every school will get its shot. I'm impatient for our shot, but believe it will be here soon. And hopefully by that time there are eight teams in the playoffs...because then we have a chance to win the whole thing.


Chris B. said...

I assume your list is limited to a certain time-period, since some of these teams have played in major bowls, just not in a while. Is it limited to just since the first Bowl Coalition in 1992?

JBQ said...

Let's be realistic. BC could have been "near there" this year if they made their extra points. If you can't do the fundamentals, then you don't deserve to cry. Marlon Brando in "On The Waterfront" said it best. I coulda bin a contender".

Hoib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoib said...

Daz has said since he got here that he has a 5 year plan. So with that in mind I think next year is the last rebuilding year, and then we become a real contender in year 4.

mod34b said...

a "real contender" for what Hoib? 3rd place in ACC Atlantic?

I am not convinced Daz can get us to even a TOB level, but, of course, hope he can "break on through." Frankly, I would be more than happy with the next few years at a TOB level

To get beyond TOBness, Gotta find a Matt Ryan, a Kuechley, a Herzy, a Castonzo, a Cherilus, a KPL, an Andre, A Kiwi, a real WR, a few 3*+ DBs, etc. -- and find them in a 2-3 year window. I don't see anybody like that presently on the roster, but am open to be surprised.

SaturdaysOnShea said...

I hate these comments, like mod's above, suggesting that once Daz has all the pieces in place we wills till only be third best in the Atlantic.

People, we came three points away from beating FSU and a dropped pass from beating Clemson. Of the best teams in the Atlantic, we only got blown out by Louisville.

We nearly "broke through" this year in what most of us thought was going to be a worse year than last.

mod34b said...

Saturday, you missed my point. I did not "suggest[] that once Daz has all the pieces in place we will still only be third best in the Atlantic. "

We will compete for #3 in ACC Atlantic UNTIL we get the kind of high quality players BC needs, as we have done in the past. But go take a look at Clemson's and FSU's recruiting. Among the tops in the nation. Even will a better roster, those teams will alwys be tough to beat. Doable? of course.

Hilliman is one of the few really high quality players on the team now. Maybe Outlow too. Maybe 1, 2 others. We need more to get past a TOB-like ceiling.

mod34b said...


you said "We nearly 'broke through' this year "

Close, but no cigar. We DID NOT break through.

We were the epitome of mediocrity in 2014. There were 6 ACC teams with better records. 6 with worse. 1 the same.

Middle-schmiddle for sure.

SaturdaysOnShea said...

You're right, but I won't argue that we weren't a "real contender." The only games where we weren't "real contenders" were against Pitt and Louisville. Midway through the season we were all opining how we should have been 6-1 AT WORST.

You're comparing this team to the rest of the ACC in which case, yeah mediocre. We were exactly middle of the road as you point out. But comparing this team to itself, we were actually pretty damn good all things considered. NONE of us were predicting 7-5 this year with real possiblities of being 10-2.

And maybe you need to rewrite your statment. Hoib says that we can be a "real contender" in year 4 as Daz has more pieces in place, yet you seem to suggest that we will on be contending for 3rd best in the Atlantic.

If you don't think Daz can get us to TOB level you're crazy. He's gotten us to that doorstep with Spaz recruits.

Bravesbill said...

If you want to be even more depressed, check out a list of schools from the Power 5 conferences who made it and been utter garbade for the past 15 years: Syracuse, Purdue, Illinois, Kansas, Washington St, Wake. For an even bigger depression, look at the non-Power 5 schools who have made it: Boise St (pretty legit), UConn, Cincy, UCF, Hawaii, NIU.

mod34b said...

TOB's record during his last 6 years at BC. Final season rankings

2001 ranked 21
2004 ranked 21
2005 ranked 17
2006 ranked 20

Can Daz equal this? Not convinced yet he can. Hope he can.

Can he exceed it? Can Daz avoid the TOB WTF loses? (like CU and Pitt this year)

The jury is still out on Daz.

Until Daz gets really good recruits and improves his game-day coaching, Yes, i do think "we will on be contending for 3rd best in the Atlantic" -- Which might still be good football.

SaturdaysOnShea said...

I'm not saying Daz doesn't have a lot to prove. He absolutely does. The CU and Penn State attest to that. But to think that he might not get blessed "TOB" status is asinine. He went 7-5 with a team that went 2-10 the year before. That's enough for me to belive he's the right guy.

SaturdaysOnShea said...

You're also comparing apples to oranges with your last post. You're comparing TOB's final years with Daz's first years. TOB did not have a winning record at BC until Year 3, going 4-8 in both his first two years after inheriting a team that went 5-7 in '96 under Henning.

Again, Daz inherited a team that had gone 2-10 and made them 7-5 and bowl eligible. He's produced two winning seasons in his first two years.

I'm not giving him a blank check and he still has a lot to prove (winning a bowl game) but you can't say, with what he's done so far, that our ceiling is 3rd in the Atlantic each year, especially when we came one play away from beating Clemson and FSU THIS year.

mod34b said...

SoS - "You're comparing TOB's final years with Daz's first years"

not so.

I am saying in plain words that I wonder of Daz can reach this level.

SaturdaysOnShea said...

Well, based off how TOB started his tenure at BC and how Daz has started his, then yeah, I feel pretty comfortable saying that Daz will get to that level. At the least.

Bravesbill said...

Still so much love for a mediocre coach that failed miserably with NCST. It is telling that Jags had more success than TOB with virtually the same players. Jags was even able to lead a Dominique Davis/Chris Crane led offense to the ACCCG. It's doubtful that TOB would have done that.

Hoib said...

Daz will get it done!