No best and worst case scenarios this year. Just straight up picks. I am very high on this year's team and season. Outside of the raw, thin and inexperienced OLine, most of the pieces are in place. Hafley/Lukabu have yet to field a dominant D, but improved greatly from Year 1 to Year 2. A similar progression this year would mean a Top 40 defensive unit. Do I worry about a new OC? Not really. When McNulty has above average talent he can produce. It all comes down to Phil Jurkovec. If he stays healthy, he and BC will have a huge, memorable year.
I also think our schedule is manageable and friendly. In my opinion, we start with five wins (Rutgers, UConn, Maine, Duke and Syracuse). Even going 3-4 in the remaining games gives Hafley a better season than we've had in 13 years! I think we can do better than that. I've been doing this long enough to know we will still have a painful loss or two in the mix. But this is how I think it plays out.
Rutgers -- Sept. 3: Win. Great way to start the season. A Power 5 game that pads the win total and gives us confidence for the season.
at Virginia Tech -- Sept. 10: Win. Probably the most pivotal game of the season. I don't think much of VT, but still know enough that a road win at Lane in Week 2 would be a big accomplishment.
Maine -- Sept. 17: Win. Another gimme.
at Florida State -- Sept. 24: Win. This is a winnable game. Probably a bit of a shootout, but no reason we can't take them.
Louisville -- Oct. 1: Win. At this point I see the D coming into its own. We win this and we are ranked.
Clemson -- Oct 8: Win. Now things are getting serious. Jurk gets a ton of press. Hafley is the next college football head coaching star, etc.
at Wake Forest -- Oct. 22: Loss. If you are a BC fan reading this, you know we would follow a huge win with a gut punch loss. (I think we split the Clemson-Wake games. It is more BCish that we finally beat Clemson only to fall to Wake during one of their upswings.)
at UConn -- Oct. 29: Win. Great scheduling break here.
Duke -- Nov. 4: Win. Ranked again.
at NC State -- Nov. 12: Loss. (Like the Clemson/Wake portion of the schedule, I think we split NC State/ND...and it would be fitting to finally beat the Irish again after a tough loss to NC State.)
at Notre Dame -- Nov. 19: Win. The BC bandwagon would feel like it is 1993!
Syracuse -- Nov. 26: Win. No letdowns this year.
Yes, I just predicted a 10-2 season. A lot would have to go our way, but I feel like this is in the mix. 10-2 (6-2 in the ACC) probably keeps us out of the ACC Championship game but forces us into a decent bowl. We've never been shipped to the Sun Bowl, so I think it would finally be our turn. My guess is we play someone like Oregon State. We win and finish 11-2 and just outside the Top 10. Hafley would certainly be plucked by someone, but it would be a fun, memorable season.