Monday, January 31, 2011

Thoughts on the Jackson Benching

Donahue's benching of Reggie Jackson, at least superficially a result of Jackson being outworked in practice, has drawn a lot of heated debate from BC fans. Donahue, a new and relatively unproven head coach, benching his star player in arguably the most important game of the season thus far, blindsided a lot of fans hoping to see another BC upset of the Blue Devils. This benching should have surprised no one, as the writing was on the wall that drastic measures would be taken after the Florida State loss.

Friday, January 28, 2011

ESPN Not Doing Its Homework?

It seems like ESPN loves every New England team except BC. Heather Dinich recently posted her list of best ACC game-day experiences. While I'm pretty sure that BC shouldn't make that list, it is telling that Dinich hasn't even seen BC play in person this year. This makes me wonder if she's ever actually made it up to Chestnut Hill. I know she wasn't in attendance last year when College GameDay paid us a visit and she definitely wasn't there for the Thursday night game in 2006 because she wasn't even blogging then. She may have been to the Florida State-BC game in 2007 as a member of ESPN, but because she wasn't officially covering the ACC at that time, I'm pretty sure she never made the trip. Anyway, I sent her an inquiry through her mailbag so maybe she'll solve this on Friday...

Roundtable: End of Year Football Awards

As our basketball and hockey teams prepare for some postseason tourney action (hopefully), we are going to take this time to fit in a football post. It's a little overdue but let's discuss some posteason awards for the Eagles. Today's Roundtable is a simple one - Give me your MVP, OPOY, DPOY and Coach of the Year. Let us know your choices in the comments! Let's go.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BC Grad Might Make Superbowl

This is a pretty cool story I picked up from a campus newspaper today. It's not your typical sports story in that it details the experiences of a BC grad trying to make a Superbowl commercial.

Just another reminder about how broad a school BC is and how talented its students are.

Weekly Stock Report

This week's stock report, brought to you by your good friends at Around the Res.

Stock Up

  1.  B.J. Raji: Is there anything better than when a nose tackle drops back into coverage, gets an interception, brings it back to the house, and then breaks out a dance we all know he's been practicing for years? Is getting into a snowball fight with pitching great Randy Johnson a good idea? I would like to know why Green Bay dropped him into coverage to begin with because, to be perfectly honest, Raji doesn't look like he can cover my grandma, but I really can't argue with the results. It clearly fooled Chicago and resulted in BC being mentioned three times on national TV. 
  2. John Cahill: I was pretty upset with Donahue when he decided to go with Cahill down the stretch in the BC-Virginia game, but he proved me wrong. Cahill came up with two big plays on defense late in the game, and, if Rubin and Moton aren't going to contribute on the offensive end then we might as well go with the best defender. I worry about this turning into a Steve Aponavicius situation, but for now lets celebrate the fact that a Superfan is living the dream and bringing a sense of excitement to the basketball program. It should be noted that Cahill is usually the first guy off the bench to congratulate his teammates and seems to be enjoying every minute of his time on the team. 
  3. Reggie's Veggies: Who says that BC fans can't be creative? They've been doing it for a while now, but I applaud the two undergrads with the creativity and guts to show up in vegetable costumes (a carrot and a pea pod) for the men's basketball home games. I don't like it; I love it. It's the most creative thing I've seen from the student fan base in five years and I hope other fans try to start thinking of creative game-day costumes (who says that Halloween comes once a year?). Between these guys and the creepy yellow guy (with the excellent dance moves), we've got at least a few Superfans true to the name. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BC Twitter Travels - Part 1 (Basketball)

One nice aspect of the "Twitter era" is that an average Joe like me can have access to the thoughts and opinions of potentially millions.  On the other hand, not all tweets are alike - some can be informational, some funny, and others (I'm looking at you Kanye) can be straight up bizarre - so for fun, I decided to check out a few former BC athletes' Twitter accounts and give a summary of the tone of each, followed by some frequent topics, an example tweet that basically sums up each person's tweeting style, and finally a BC-related tweet.  Since there are a lot of "tweeters" out there, I'm going to make this a series, with each post covering a different sport.  To start, I took a look at some former BC basketball players. The list starts after the jump:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weekly Draft Watch: Anthony Castonzo

This week's draft watch centers around Anthony Castonzo. Most mock drafts haven't extended beyond the first round yet so we still don't have a good idea regarding the values of Claiborne and Herzlich. If Herzlich plays well in the senior bowl, then we should hear a lot more about him. From the little I've read this week, he seems like a 3rd rounder. The only mock draft I could find which went as far as four rounds (Walter Football) did not include him, however.

Make the jump to see this week's draft watch:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend Hockey Wrap-Up

It was a good weekend for BC hockey fans with the team nabbing two Hockey East wins (and possession of first place in the league) against BU and UMass Lowell. The team beat BU 3-2 at the Agganis Palace Friday night. King York's guys followed it up with a narrow 5-3 win (empty net) over last place Lowell Saturday night at Conte.

I have mixed feelings about the team's performance this weekend. On the whole, I feel they played pretty well. More than anything, Superfans should be excited that this team was able to stave off comebacks from a very talented and improving BU team and an easily overlooked team in Lowell. On the flip side neither game went as well as one could have hoped

Friday night's game against the Terriers was the story of 3 periods. BC absolutely dominated the first. The team scored each of its 3 goals for the night in the first period. The first goal by Steven Whitney showed nice setup and a good snipe. The second goal by Brian Gibbons (with assists going to Cam and Carey) was perhaps the nicest goal of the season. The story of the first period was that of an experienced BC team exerting their will on an inexperienced BU team that seems unsure of itself in big games.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Don't Rock the Boat

There has been a lot of discussion lately surrounding BC's indecision in regards to a new offensive coordinator. Heather Dinich and Eagle in Atlanta have differing interpretations as to what the BC delay means. While Dinich provides consistently interesting analysis regarding the ACC, I often find myself disagreeing with her take on BC football. I can hardly blame her for not quite understanding the strange breed that is the Eagle fan base though. Eagle in Atlanta, simply put, is the best in the business, and his sources are usually impeccable.

Make the jump to see what Mike thinks about the lack of an OC with signing day around the corner.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hatred Pt. III

Ahhh, let the hatred commence.  Tonight the Eagles take on their safety school Boston University at Agganis.  The game starts at and is being broadcast on NESN for those Superfans not making the trek to the shady part of Comm Ave.

Tonight’s game looks to be an interesting contest between familiar foes.  On the one hand, anytime you’re playing BU the emotions are going to skyrocket.  Guys skate harder, finish their checks, and generally play with added intensity.  On the other hand, this game comes sandwiched between the home and home series in December and the Beanpot.  I don’t doubt Coach (King) York will have our boys ready to play, but if it is possible to overlook any BU game, I am worried this may be it.  Throw in a hostile environment as the Eagles play in front of a gaggle of screaming fanboys, and you have a definite level of unpredictability.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eagles Escape UVA, 70-67

The BC Eagles played just well enough to win last night in a 70-67 affair at Conte Forum. In front of a rather lethargic crowd of about four thousand, the Eagles ran hot and cold for most of the night. This was a big win for the Eagles considering how tough their schedule is about to get but overall the game appeared to be fairly sloppy and once again BC didn't look ready to play for the first seven or eight minutes of the game.

Make the jump for some additional observations: 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekly Stock Report

This week's stock report, brought to you by your good friends at Around the Res:

Stock Up
  1. Reggie Jackson: The Co-ACC Player of the Week scored an average of 25.5 points per game last week. He may have also opened some eyes along the way. I don't care how many college basketball games Danny Ainge attends. When someone goes off for 29 against an ACC opponent in front of you, you give them a second look. Right now I think there's a 50-50 shot that this will be Jackson's last year at BC. Next year might be a long one for Donahue.
  2. John Muse: Muse has been somewhat of a "playoff goalie" at BC in that he doesn't necessarily wow you with his regular season numbers, but is clutch once the tournament starts. This year, he is turning in a .937 save percentage, good for 16th best in the nation (minimum ten games played). By comparison, Muse had a .910 save percentage in last year's regular season, and has a stellar .934 career save percentage in the postseason. If we make the tournament, look out. Muse might be one of the most accomplished college hockey goalies in history by the time all is said and done.
  3. BC Baseball: Cabin fever is in full throttle here in Boston. I'm sick of the rain and snow and dreaming about a nice game of spring baseball. BC baseball will be getting a new stadium on the Brighton Campus within the next few years. The stadium is said to have a 2,000 seat capacity and a press box. C'mon BC!!! Give us some press credentials!

Atkinson for Hobey; Oscar

The buzz surrounding Cam Atkinson's second bid for the Hobey Baker Award is beginning to pick up.  We at Around The Res will do our best to follow said campaign (along with those of his teammates) as the season progresses.  However, every once and awhile, something so great comes along that it puts everything on the back burner - even Hobey talk.

As the spring approaches, Eagle hockey fans may find it advisable to book their flights and get their tickets early. No, I'm not only talking about trips to St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center.  This spring, the Superfans may want to fly out to Los Angeles and stop at the Kodak Theatre.  Keep an eye out for Cam.  He'll be the one standing in for the reception of the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

You're welcome.

Monday, January 17, 2011

BC Eagles & The NY Knicks....Wait What?

I hope I captured your interest with the title as I have found the perfect analogy to our beloved Boston College basketball team: The New York Knicks. After finally being able to come out of hiding and watch the Knicks without having the urge to strangle someone (thanks Isiah!), it felt like I was watching a professional version of BC at times. I’m not really sure what to make of the similarities between the two teams , most likely nothing, but I had a fun time comparing them.

Offense: As discussed previously on this blog, BC lives and dies by the three (see last week’s game versus Miami as a dying example). BC has already attempted over 400 three-pointers, not including the Miami game, which is good for 19th in the country. As a result, BC has drastically improved its scoring average from the Skinner era to 76.1 points a game.

Under Mike D'antoni, the Knicks have been the model of a Run N’ Gun offense. They lead the NBA in PPG with 107.18 and take an outstanding 25 three pointers a game. Some of D’antoni's sets revolve around his patented “Seven Seconds or Less” which involves pushing the ball and settling for the first open look, most likely from 3 point range. Both offenses are extremely fun to watch and I think most BC fans are more than happy to watch this offense instead of Skinner’s “Flex to Death” offense.

Defense: While BC’s offensive performance is often exciting to watch, their defensive performance leaves a lot to be desired. They give up an ugly 69.1 points per game, good for 206th in the country. Opponents FG %? Even worse at 44.1% allowed which is 221st in the country. I wouldn’t hold your breath expecting BC to become a defensive power under Donahue anytime soon.

The Knicks, as expected, also suffer on the defensive end giving up 106.08! points a game while allowing opponents to shoot 46.5%. Just the other night against Utah they managed to give up 131 points in regulation! Even better, Amar’e Stoudemire was quoted in the NY Post that he was never taught defense in the NBA under D'Antoni. I think that pretty much sums up all you need to know about the Knicks defense.

Check back after the jump for some more fun analogies.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

BC Lets One Slip Away in Miami, 72-71

Reggie Jackson and the BC Eagles lost a tough one to Miami tonight at a sparsely populated BankUnited Arena in Coral Gables, FL.  To start the game, the Eagles struggled shooting in the first half (a terrible 3-13 from three point range).  Part of this was due to solid Miami defense, but BC's shooters also had a number of open looks that they simply missed.  The Eagles showed good poise as the first half went on, however, transitioning to a more interior game (highlighted by a few classic Reggie Jackson layups and put-backs) that kept them within a point at the half despite what has become their normal lackluster interior defense and poor defensive rebounding.

In the second half, BC managed to build a 5-point lead thanks to a much-improved effort on the offensive boards and better 3-point shooting, but poor defense - especially guarding 3-point shots - and some terrible transition turnovers (alliteration not intended) kept Miami in the game when BC had an opportunity to break away.  In the end, a few botched offensive possessions and some defensive lapses gave Miami a lead in the final minute they wouldn't relinquish.  BC managed to cut it to one with a Jackson three and forced a Miami turnover, but the Eagles' last best shot at a win, a shot by Jackson, was blocked, effectively ending BC's chances.  Simply put, the Eagles can't afford to lose many more winnable games like this if they want to legitimately challenge for an NCAA birth.  A few more thoughts after the jump:

Could Nate Freese Become BC's Points Leader?

Boston College is a school that hasn't exactly been known for its kicking prowess over the past few seasons. As a freshman, I broke in with the Superfan tradition only to discover the pain and agony of the late Ryan Ohliger era (aka the time when BC couldn't even kick an extra point through the uprights). Although Steve Aponavicius was a great story, what Superfan wasn't lusting after our opponent's kickers, who so easily put the ball through the uprights consistently from 20, 30, or even 40 yards out? When would we ever get our very own D1 kicker, a guy who could nail a clutch field goal every time?

Nate Freese has proven to be that guy. Although he only went 1-3 this year from beyond the 40 yard line, he nailed an impressive 88 percent of his field goals (with one block), missing just one from under 40. Even though he has been the model of consistency, the one concern with Freese so far has been his leg strength. In addition to missing a majority of his longer field goals, when Freese kicked off, he had a meager average of 58.6 yards, a full 5.5 yards behind senior Ryan Quigley. That being said, Freese did nail a 49 yard field goal this year, something I never thought I would see a BC kicker do.

Make the jump to find out how Freese stacks up against our leading all-time scorer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Draft Watch: Anthony Castonzo

With the football season over, it's time to start watching the draft status of some of our favorite BC players. Although more extended mock drafts are not yet available, I took an early sampling of first round mock drafts to see where left tackle Anthony Castonzo, a preseason first round pick, stood after the completion of an up and down senior campaign.

Draft Tek                              Pick 12                            Minnesota Vikings
Walter Football                     Not in first round              Pick 19                            New York Giants
New NFL Draft                       Pick 32                            Atlanta Falcons
Fox Sports                             Not in first 20                 Pick 9                              Dallas Cowboys
CBS Sports (Rang)                  Pick 21                            Kansas City Chiefs
CBS Sports (Reuter)               Pick 19                            New York Giants               Pick 29                            Chicago Bears                       Pick 19                            New York Giants

80% of the mock drafts sampled put Castonzo in the first round. Of those that put him in the first round, Castonzo generated a mean score of 20.

As you can see, these mock drafts are pretty much all over the map, but most would agree that Castonzo is now a mid to late first round selection. Three mock drafts have him going to the injury-riddled Giants, possibly because of Tom Coughlin's connection to BC. A possible reunion with Matt Ryan would have BC fans drooling, but I would have to think that if Atlanta wins the Super Bowl (as is suggested by the fact that they are picking 32nd in the New NFL Draft's mock draft), they will be pretty satisfied with their protection up front. As much as I (a lifelong Cowboys fan) would like to see it, I don't think that Dallas is a good fit for Castonzo right now because the front office is playing up rookie right tackle Sam Young (and Doug Free has exceeded all expectations at LT this year). The Bears and Vikings are interesting choices, in part because both teams have had games where it looked like their quarterbacks had to hike the ball and start running or be sacked.

Castonzo still has plenty of time to improve his status. Shortly before last year's draft several offensive tackles gained momentum on the mock draft boards. A solid combine workout and excellent interviews will likely increase Castonzo's stock leading up to draft day.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Travel Woes

I came across this little gem while reading ESPN's Andrea Adelson's "Best, worst of non-AQ bowls."

Best atmosphere: The Rose Bowl is always great by default, so I am going with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl between Nevada and Boston College. Some 30,000 Nevada fans packed the home of the San Francisco Giants to root on the Wolf Pack, who closed the best season in school history with a 20-13 win over Boston College. 'I would say this is probably the best atmosphere we've been in,' Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick told the Reno Gazette-Journal. 'The stadium holds 42,000 and it seems like all 42,000 were for Nevada.'
There's not too much to say here.  I would normally feel the urge to go into a tirade about the lack of support, but we have a whole off-season for that.  And frankly, I can hardly find it in me to blame the "Eagle faithful" for not flying 2696 miles from the Bean to San Francisco.  Not this year. Not with the way this team underperformed. Still, it kind of hurts to hear the opposing team's quarterback say a neutral site game felt like there were ZERO BC fans there. ZERO! Thanks to all the fans who made the trek.  Hopefully a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Danny Ainge Scouting Reggie Jackson?

BC radio reported last night that Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge was on hand for the BC-NC State game. While Ainge may have been there to see NC State's C.J. Leslie, Jackson certainly put on a show with an efficient 29 point performance. Jackson hit 9 of 13 field goal attempts, went 3 for 6 from beyond the arch, and managed to shoot 8 of 9 from the line. In addition, Jackson also had 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, and a steal to cap off an amazing night, even by his standards. He did have three turnovers, something he has been struggling with a little this year, but overall this was a performance to remember for BC fans.

Expect speculation that Jackson will head for the draft at season's end to begin gaining momentum. He is clearly the most physically gifted athlete in the BC basketball program since the days of Sean Williams. Jackson recently make the 30 player watch list for the Wooden Award, something which may have interested NBA teams who had not yet had a chance to review his tape. With the possibility that BC will take a step backwards next year, Jackson may head for the draft a year early, hoping to leave with his stock at its highest point.

Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe was clearly right early on in the year when he said that Jackson would greatly benefit from Donahue's new offensive scheme. Sticking it out for another year might allow Jackson to further develop as a player, provided that BC can keep defenses honest by making teams pay for putting two men on Jackson. As of now, 15 of the 30 players on the Wooden watch list are seniors, so conceivably that competition might be removed for next year's draft. Jackson's draft status may also fluctuate as the year progresses, especially if BC makes the tournament and is able to win a game or two.

As far as the Celtics go, I don't know enough about their needs as a team to say whether or not Jackson would be a good fit. Does the fact that Rondo is still young have an effect on how interested Boston would be in Jackson? Right now, Jackson is considered by some to be the second best guard in the country, even though he is ranked 35th overall in points per game.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Eagles Survive Wolfpack at Home, 75-66

The Eagles picked up a solid win at home tonight against NC State (playing in what appeared, judging by the amount of fans in attendance, to be the practice gym).  After building a lead as large as 11 in the middle of the first half thanks to a hot start by Reggie Jackson and a lackluster offensive effort by the Wolfpack, BC allowed NCSU right back in the game thanks to a matador-style interior defense and suddenly cold shooting on the offensive side.  Fortunately, the shooting got hot again in a major way with about 3 minutes left in the game, when back-to-back threes by Corey Raji and Biko Paris gave the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish.  The win kept BC undefeated in the ACC (3-0) going into a Saturday night game at Miami.  A few stray thoughts after the jump:

BC Officially Announces Gary Tranquill's Retirement

Boston College finally made it official this afternoon; Gary Tranquill is retiring effective immediately. No word on who the new OC will be, so perhaps all of the talk in regards to Day was a little premature.

From the press release:

"I would like to thank Frank Spaziani for the opportunity to be a part of this tremendous program for the past two seasons," Tranquill said. "I have enjoyed working with the outstanding young men who represent this institution. This is a special place, and the future is very bright for Boston College football under Frank's leadership."

Thanks for the hard work Mr. Tranquill.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekly Stock Report

A special football edition of this week's stock report brought to you by your friends at Around the Res. Let's get started!

Stock Up

  1. Ryan Day: According to sources, Ryan Day will be replacing Gary Tranquill as the offensive coordinator. Fans may be wondering why the wide receivers coach is being given a promotion after last night's performance. While many people in the coaching community have a high opinion of Day, his resume certainly leaves a lot of question marks (although his connection to Chip Kelly is intriguing). We knew going in that we would not realistically be able to hire an established offensive coordinator if we moved on from Tranquill, and therefore I applaud this move. Hiring Day promotes from within, places an increased emphasis on "BC guys," minimizes the impact of the move on recruiting, and furthermore elevates the man with the biggest sideline presence out of anyone on the current coaching staff. We will have a more detailed article about Day either tonight or tomorrow but for now let's thank Gary Tranquill for two years of service to the BC community. 

Gary Out, Ryan Day In

Multiple BC blogs are now reporting that a change has taken place on the offensive side of the ball. Gary is out and Ryan Day is in. More reaction to come later this afternoon in the stock report.

4th Quarter Recap

Not much to say here:

  • Nevada got away with a real cheap shot on the sideline, and their player was congratulated by a coach. Nice. 
  • Rettig looks like he's playing to not get intercepted. You can't expect to win that way. 
  • If I could sum up my feelings about this game, I would say that after the 1st quarter, I never really felt like we had a legitimate chance to win. I really hate to keep harping on this but I have to wonder what the offensive staff, the entire offensive staff, was doing this past month. Additionally, the special teams were atrocious throughout.
  • Rettig's performance tonight reminded me a lot of Shinskie's last year against USC. Not something people want to hear right now but I'll have the stat comparison tomorrow.
  • As far as Spaz goes, I really have to take issue with his outwardly apathetic and pessimistic demeanor. That may not be how he was actually feeling, but that's how he looked on the sidelines.
  • At least we covered the spread. Time to take a closer look at basketball and hockey. I really feel sorry for our seniors. They deserved an upset tonight and they should have been put in a better position to achieve it.
More to come tomorrow...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

3rd Quarter Breakdown (and I mean breakdown):

Here we go:
  • Quigley has been our best offensive player tonight. 
  • Its a sad day in Chestnut Hill when we only come away with three points after an interception puts us on the opponent's five. What's going on out there??? With hands like that maybe Wonderboy should play WR as well. He can't be any worse than what I've seen thus far.
  • Its a good thing that Rettig has several months to recover from this game. His offensive line is giving him little protection. Things started off badly with the inexplicable chop-block by Castonzo on the opening series and really haven't gotten better since.
  • Williams is now turning in a pedestrian 2 yards per carry (which includes his long TD run). It doesn't help that Nevada is stacking 8 in the box right now. I'm not sure what's more predictable, duck-duck-goose or our run-run-pass offense. Feel free to discuss in the comment section.
  • Nice play by Rettig to avoid the three and out from the goal line. We needed that pass and it was probably his best play of the game.
  • I called the Kueckly interception. Now I only need a Herzlich one to get us back in it...
  • Albright must have heard me talking about him because he's been in a few plays this quarter. 
  • Things are getting a little more chippy. Hopefully this means that BC is waking up a little bit. Play for pride seniors.
  • A nicer looking field goal from Nevada and we're back where we started.
  • Penalties and turnovers: the only way we can get back into this one?
  • Pass interference on that interception or was it just me?
  • At this point I really don't even know what to say. We're terrible right now and don't deserve to be in this game. On the positive side, this should be the last straw for Gary. I mean this is really pathetic. This is what I get after a month of practices???

Second Quarter Analysis

Half-time Eagles fans!

  • Nice three and out by the BC D to start the quarter, only for the offense to turn in a painful possession. Would have been a late hit had that helmet-to-helmet not extended things. Rettig hasn't shown much improvement yet. We need him to do more than not turn it over.
  • That Scafe late hit capped off a maddening play for BC. Penalties are killing us here early and we better clean it up quick or we have no shot at winning this game.
  • Kuechly is starting to rack up the tackles. I don't think he's on pace to break the record yet, but he will hit double digits this game if he hasn't already. Still nothing in regards to tackles from ESPN or Yahoo.
  • The Nevada field goal was one of the ugliest I've seen since Aponavicius donned a BC uniform. 
  • Amidon - getting in on the drop action. Someone PLEASE get that sticky tack on the gloves. Where are the equipment managers when you need them?
  • We need a score here quick to get us back into the game....Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd a fumble (sigh). Nick: "So far our receivers have dropped two and fumbled one. Out of a total of what? five passes?" Replay bails us out for once!!!
  • I haven't heard much out of Albright tonight. I've heard whispers of him thinking about a future in the pros. He needs to prove it tonight if he's going to get a shot. At this point I'm not even sure if he dressed for the game. I did see him run out of the tunnel with a uniform on so I'm guessing he's in the rotation. 
  • At 1:36 are we even going to try running an offense? Special teams take a turn for the worse, again, with a terrible decision to fair catch the ball on the five yard line. This is unacceptable. We deserve better than this from our special teams.
  • Apparently our two-minute offense consists of handing the ball to Williams. The time outs roll over right? Right??? Three time outs and nothing to show for that drive. Terrible. That isn't Tranq's fault. That's Spaz's fault. He needs to command the game and chart an overall strategy for his coordinators to follow.
  • Overall I couldn't be more disappoint thus far. Earn your contract Spaz. Earn it.

First Quarter Analysis

Okay the first quarter of action is over. Let's break it down:

  • Chase Rettig walks into this game with a passer rating of 115.3. I know he's played well for a freshman but its hard for me to comprehend how he has quietly put up such a great rating while being seen largely as a "game manager." More on this to come tomorrow. 
  • Is it just me or did Ramsey eat his Wheaties this morning?
  • Mark Herzlich is flying all over the field tonight and really improving his draft status in the process. I will be interested in seeing where he goes in April but I'm thinking 3rd round right now.
  • I was wrong about Williams. Keep giving him the ball because he is a legit back.
  • I know we're down seven right now, but it really looks like we're winning it in the trenches at times. The offensive line isn't generating the power run game I thought they might but I think they will wear down Nevada eventually. I see us running it a lot more as the game goes on provided that we don't get too far behind. It looks like we're bigger than Nevada, but a little slower. 
  • I haven't seen the box score yet but Wonderboy has started a little quiet. Part of that is due to the fact that the D-line is doing better than usual right now. No official word on his tackle total yet but I will post something as soon as I see it in the box score.
  • Bobby Swigert dropped a big one at the 3:30 mark. Our receivers need some machine work over the summer.
  • We had one month to plan that opening drive? And what did we have to show for it? I hate to say it but I don't see what BC sees in Gary anymore.
  • Nice crowd here at the Atlantic Beer Garden. We have about 40 BC fans here rocking the place when things are going well. 
  • Special teams have been an issue all year. I'm not saying that we need a new special teams coach next year but clearly something needs to change in that department.

Game Day!

ITS GAME DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be sure to check back here for your quarterly updates and analysis as the game goes on. I will be at the Boston game watch with Nick, Alex, and my trusty computer. If you see us there be sure to say hi (hint: I'll be the idiot with the computer)!

In the meantime, get ready for a heavy dose of this guy right here as Gary tries to use our superior offensive line to wear down the Nevada D.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Roundtable: It's Time to Go Bowling

As bowl season comes to a close, it's time for the first Roundtable of the New Year. BC was given the distinct honor of playing in the 2nd to last of these bowl games in their matchup versus Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (ed note - do these bowl names get progressively worse each year or is it me?). The experts and Vegas have little to no hope for the Eagles in this one. With this, it's a simple question today for our writers: Who you got, give us a score and why?

Roundtable Discussion: BC v. Nevada - Who you got?

Nick: Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here, but I'm going to predict a BC win on Sunday for a number of reasons. For one, I think the Eagle defense seems perfectly suited to limit Colin Kaepernick and the rest of Nevada's pistol offense. On the offensive end, the Eagles might struggle at times but while the raw numbers suggest Nevada's defense is solid, when they are adjusted for schedule strength Nevada looks like nothing more than an average defense at best (for example, check out Football Outsiders' adjusted rankings - Nevada is down the page a bit at number 31). As long as Rettig can make a few key passes for first downs, I think BC can run the clock with Montel and limit Nevada's scoring opportunities. Even if BC can't pull out the win, I'm pretty sure taking the under (the total in this game is at 55) is a pretty good bet. Prediction: BC 17, Nevada 14

Who says BC would never play in a January bowl game against a top 15 BCS
Link opponent? Ok I get it, its not the Orange Bowl but it's a bowl game nonetheless. Anyway back to the game and in this one I'm focusing on one key player - Chase Rettig. With the extra practice time and the 108th ranked pass defense facing him, I'm expecting Rettig to remind everyone why he is the future QB of the program. That said however, Nevada's pistol offense is something BC does not have much experience facing. I expect them to shut down the running aspect on the inside zone reads but Kaepernick is a quality QB who will play at the next level (projected 4th-5th rounder by Mel Kiper). He doesn't have a great deep ball but he has the ability to take advantage of the generous cushion our corners provide. I like BC to cover the spread but Nevada takes it. Prediction: Nevada 23, BC 17.

Alex: I hate to be a Debbie Downer (this is a lie), but I have to go with the mighty Wolf Pack of UNLV Nevada. In my estimation, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will be decided in one half-the first. My initial reaction to the match up was, if our Eagles get down, there's no coming back.

A little snooping around later, and I have only become more confident in my initial reaction. Let's begin with BC. I don't think it's a stretch to question our offensive ability. It is no secret that I have little confidence in our offensive coordinator. Our quarterback play has been shaky (to put it nicely). Our greatest offensive weapon has not played in nearly 2 months. We are averaging a paltry 18.9 points per game. That's good for 108th in FBS (and that on an easy schedule in a down ACC). I don't feel the need to cite more BC offensive stats. No one in their right mind has confidence in BC's ability to score.

Now let's turn to the Wolf Pack. Colin Kaepernick's crew hasn’t exactly experienced the same struggles as the BC offense. Say what you will about BC’s line backing corp containing Kaepernick and forcing him outside. A team that averages 42.6 points per game and over 500 yards of offense is going to get in the end zone at some point. The point at which the Wolf Pack score is precisely the point that worries me. If BC gets down I don't see them coming back. Perhaps more accurately, if Nevada takes the lead, I don't see them giving it up. In 13 games this season, Nevada has led in 12 and only fallen behind once. This includes its victory over Boise State (sigh, what could have been) and its only loss which came at the hands of Hawaii. In that contest, Hawaii took the lead and never gave it up. The only game this season that Nevada has fallen behind after leading was against Fresno State. In that game, Nevada never led by more than 7, fell behind, battled back and forth, and won by 1. I am really looking forward to watching Kuechly line up against Kaepernick, but have to go with the Wolf Pack. Prediction: Nevada 31, BC 20.

Mike: I'm going to agree with Nick on this one. Nevada's record and stats are inflated by an easy schedule and they haven't played a D this good all year. Our game plan should be the same as always, keep the opponent's offensive line in check and force the ball to the outside. If we're able to do that, we should be able to neutralize the scariest parts of the pistol offense. Look for Wonderboy and Herzlich to have some huge plays to keep us going (can I go out on a limb and call an interception for each?). Look also for Rettig to have his best game of his career. Nevada will be expecting the freshman and deer-in-the-headlights Rettig, not the seasoned sophomore who is going to cut up their very average D. Look for our offense to finally use the play-action. I think that BC wins in the end after jumping out to a quick lead and almost blowing it when the coaching staff tries to prematurely run out the clock by going with Harris on all three downs. Prediction: BC 24, Nevada 23. Kuechly- 16 tackles.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Texas Traditions viewed by a BC Grad

Some of you may have noticed that I've been a little quieter lately. That's because I have been spending the past two weeks in Texas with my Aggie girlfriend. In that time, we have had the chance to see four Texas universities; University of Texas, Texas Tech, Texas State, and Texas A&M. I've had a chance to talk to a handful of students from each university, hear about their traditions, and compare them to some of our own. With that in mind, I'm going to do a little awards ceremony Texas-football style.

Best Tradition

Texas A&M: The Corps

Texas A&M used to be an all-boys military school, and it shows. Military traditions are still predominant in College Station and The Corps is at the heart of it all. The Corps is a military training unit for A&M students, and in many ways, the center of school spirit at the secluded university. The Corps sports over one thousand members and dominates the social scene on campus. In addition, The Corps takes care of the school mascot Reveille (a dog which not only enjoys 24/7 pampering by military seniors but also enjoys the privilege of ending any class it attends simply by barking) and also provides A&M with its incredible military marching band, which performs in fatigues at all home games.

The Corps is serious business at A&M, and its students take great pride in this General Patton quote:

"Give me an army of West Point graduates and I'll win a battle. Give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I'll win the war."

And by the way, this, BC, is a marching band half-time show:

Men's Basketball ACC Preview (Part 1)

Now that BC has completed its annual loss to the team across the Charles River, its ACC schedule begins in earnest.  I thought it would be a good idea to look at how the first part of the schedule might go for the Eagles.  In February I'll post a preview for the second half of the ACC slate.  (By the way, I'll be using Ken Pomeroy's extremely helpful website to look at some key stats of the opposing teams).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The 3rd Time Isn't The Charm: Another Bad Loss to Harvard

I'm going to get right to the point and not sugarcoat this: BC's loss to Harvard was bad. Really bad. Season destroying? For now, I'll say no but without a doubt our tournament hopes are in the ICU and another shocker like this puts them in the morgue.

I think most BC fans were relieved (some maybe ecstatic) that Jeremy Lin graduated as he appeared to be the culprit behind the Eagles last two losses to Harvard. Well we have the "new Jermey Lin" in Laurent Rivard, a freshman who exploded off the bench for a career-high 23 points. As Soaring to Glory pointed out, Harvard might simply be in the team's head.

With a new coaching regime, new offensive system and strong sense of discipline surrounding the program, losses like these shouldn't occur.  Nonetheless we already have two terrible defeats at home to Ivy League teams. I've said in previous posts that this team lives and dies by the three but that wasn't the case tonight. The Eagles shot over 50% from the floor, including 38.9% from 3pt range. Instead turnovers, shoddy defense - especially when a key stop is needed - and an inability to get to the foul line (Harvard was 23/24 as compared to 4/8 for the Eagles) are to blame. It would be foolish to start questioning Coach Donahue but it is a little surprising to see our former Ivy League coach drop both our games to his former league opponents.

The key this year is how the team responds to losing to Harvard for the 3rd year in a row. In the 2008-2009 season, the Eagles promptly followed up the Harvard loss with 3 more losses to Miami, Wake Forest and Virgina Tech. Last year, BC followed the loss with a not as bad (but still pretty bad) loss to Rhode Island. This year, BC gets a relatively easy introduction to its ACC schedule with home games against Georgia Tech on Saturday and an improving NC State team next Tuesday.

It's important BC picks up these winnable ACC games in the next week to not only rebuild their confidence but to bolster our tournament profile. Most likely, BC will need 10+ wins in the ACC just to get in the tourney discussion. However, the ACC is down this year so out of those 10+ wins, some will need to be of a higher quality against the likes of Duke, UNC and Florida State.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's Good? Cammy-Brian-Joe

We at AroundtheRes have yet to post on the hockey team. I want to start by saying that I believe this years' rendition of Eagles on Ice has the potential to be one of the best BC teams ever. I more certain that this team has the potential to be the most entertaining BC hockey team ever. I hope to draw this out over a series of posts on the icemen throughout the season. Let’s begin with a look at the heart of this year's incredibly talented and enjoyable team—the first line: Cammy Atkinson, Brian "Gib us a goal" Gibbons,* and Joe Whitney.

First up, the gold standard. The nation’s 2009-2010 leading goal scorer, the pride of Connecticut, Cammy Atkinson. Who better to anchor an effort at a national championship repeat than a goal scoring machine with incredible quickness who always seems to be in the right place at the right time? For being such a prolific goal scorer, Cammy does not overpower opposing netminders with the nation's (or even the team's) best shot. Our golden boy relies on off-the-charts hockey IQ, incredible instincts and an ability to finish that should keep even the best goalies up at night. So far Cam has notched 26 points a game (15-11). That’s good for a spectacular 1.44 ppg. This coming during a robust first-half in which nearly half of all teams BC played are currently ranked in the top 20, and almost every third team is now ranked in the top 10.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Morning Coffee with Codi Boek

Morning Coffee is going to be a twice monthly feature at Around the Res where we interview BC athletes about academics, athletics, and the BC experience. The goal is to allow our readers to see a side of BC athletes that there were previously unaware of, and to help them appreciate the complexity, richness, and honor of the ACC student-athlete experience. We hope you enjoy these interviews as much as we do and use them as an opportunity to learn a little something about BC sports and the men and women who make them what they are today.With that in mind, please meet our first guest, BC senior fullback Codi Boek! In addition to being a very good player and an excellent BC guy who really cares about the school, Codi is also one of the nicest people you are ever going to meet. He represents everything that our football program stands for, both on and off the field, and will be sorely missed next season.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Devil's Advocate: Gary Tranquill

Since I'm studying to be a lawyer, and since I enjoy a good heated argument, I decided to start a series in which I take on conventional wisdom and play the role of devil's advocate. First up: a defense (of sorts) of our very own Gary Tranquill.

Both on this site and in the BC blogosphere in general, no man has come under more scorn and criticism than Offensive Coordinator Gary "NyQuil" Tranquill. Tranq (this guy's name really lends itself to disparaging nicknames, doesn't it?) has been largely blamed for the offensive struggles BC has faced the last two years - a little unfairly, in my opinion. After the jump are three reasons why BC fans might want to put down the pitchforks and torches when it comes to Tranq: