Monday, February 28, 2011

Herzlich Slows Momentum

Mark Herzlich's rise in the draft took a step backwards today Mike Reiss is now reporting that the BC linebacker ran a 4.92 at the 40 yard dash during today's NFL combine. This is not good news for Herzlich, whose speed and agility were questioned coming into today. In case BC fans are wondering if the time was a fluke, Herzlich's second 40 was even worse, falling to a 4.96. Typically, NFL teams generally want their linebacker's running a 4.7 or better. While this certainly doesn't kill his draft status, this will be a developing story for Herzlich as it raises more questions than answers in regards to his health, especially considering that Herzlich noticeably lost weight in anticipation of the combine.I have to wonder at this point whether Herzlich truly lost weight in anticipation of being drafted by a 4-3 defense or if part of this was out of concern for speed.

Helmet tip to Mike C. for pointing this story out.

Draft Update

Just a quick update leading into the NFL combine. The run on linemen in this draft has officially begun, with two more linemen moving into the top round. Additionally, Tyron Smith is jolting up several boards as a top ten O-Line pick. The word among mockers is that he's gained 22 pounds of muscle leading into the combine without a serious hit to his speed. As a group, the linemen are starting to look better and better and Castonzo is definitely benefiting as much as anyone.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Herzlich Wows at Combine

As expected, Herzlich was the center of attention today at the combine, as pro scouts were wowed by his poise and composure. More important is the fact that Herzlich is now officially back to being as strong physically as he was prior to cancer. He claims that his reps at 225, the combine weight for the bench press, are the same now as they were in the 2008-2009 season. I think that more scouts are concerned about his lateral movement and speed but we'll know soon enough how he scores on those tests.

Also in combine news, I thought I would pass around what seems to be common knowledge at this point: Rich Lapham might get drafted in the later rounds. Between Lapham and Claiborne BC will probably have at least two, and potentially three, linemen drafted, which makes the struggles of this year's o-line even more befuddling.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bracketology: Eagles Out

According to ESPN's updated Bracketology, the Eagles are now the second team out, behind Minnesota. Minnesota, Georgia, UAB, and Colorado State are the teams to watch this weekend. If BC picks up a win today on the road and a few of those teams drop the ball, we're right back in it. Amazingly.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Eagles Set to Take on Minutemen

After a less than inspiring home and home last weekend against the Northeastern Cheating Huskies, BC looks to bounce back with a two game series against ZooMass-Amherst.  The Minutemen are atop the very pitiful bottom of the Hockey East conference.  Umass has a narrow lead over the other 3 Hockey East bottom dwelling teams.  Needless to say, I hope for two big wins this weekend.  In different contexts this type of a game could be considered a trap game.  After the disappointment of last weekend, I don’t see the Eagles coming out flat tonight or tomorrow night.

Cammy-Gibby Points Total – BC’s top 2 point getters are Cam Atkinson and Brian Gibbons with 40 points and 39 points respectively.  It will be really fun to see how many points they can tally on the season.  With UMass goaltending that may be kindly referred to as “average at best,” I think Cam and Gibbons could have another night like we saw last Friday.  Despite a poor night overall, BC scored 3 goals at the hands of Cam or Gibbons with the assist on each going to the other player.

Special Teams Flurry – Pretty simple here.  BC is the clear special teams favorite in Hockey East with a net special teams of plus 20.  The next closest is Merrimack at plus 16.  UMass is the worst at minus 14.  Not exactly going out on a limb here saying if BC plays well on the power play, we could see two blowouts.

Musical Lines – Coach York has been changing up the lines a bit recently.  I’m not sure if he is putting out the most competitive lines now or if he’s shaking things up only to go back to the favorites.  Sometimes mixing it up can generate greater offense when guys get back to playing with their normal line mates.  This is more something I will be interested to watch develop as the season progresses.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Grinds My Gears

Just one administrative matter before I begin a rant about last night's epic meltdown:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!!!! Great writer, excellent friend, and outstanding former room-mate.

Okay, now let's talk about last night's debacle. Make the jump if you want but be warned that I am not in a particularly optimistic mood this morning.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eagles' Bubble Bursts(?) - Miami Holds On to Beat BC 73-64

Not a ton to say about this one that I didn't already say in the UNC recap from last week. Just like that game, BC came out flat on offense early scoring only 17 (yes, you read that right) points in the first half. Nobody showed any energy on either end of the floor and the average Miami squad was able to build a shocking 21-point lead going into the halftime break.

Then, just like the previous game, BC put together a comeback with aggressive defense (playing much of the second half in either a full-court or half-court trap), some timely shooting, and a little bit of luck. Sadly, the result was the same as well, with the Eagles' strong second half effort a classic example of "too little, too late." Once again, BC's Achilles heel of zero interior defense doomed them, with the 'Cane's Reggie Johnson playing the role of heartbreaker this time as he hit what seemed to be a million and-1s in a row down the stretch (probably closer to three). This loss, obviously, is MUCH more devastating than losing to UNC on the road. Miami is a mediocre ACC team at best, and this loss all but guarantees you won't be writing in "Boston College" in your bracket come Selection Sunday. More thoughts on the game follow.

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  1. BC Hockey: BC became the second school ever to sweep the Beanpot when its women's team brought the Boston title back to Chestnut Hill last week. Although Northeastern has accomplished the feat on an impressive four separate occasions, no Boston team has been able to win both the men's and women's beanpot since 1988, the year the writers of this blog were born. It's great to see the excellence in both programs, and hopefully Eagles fans take up the cause of both teams down the stretch. It would be great to see fans start packing the house for the women as well. 
  2. Gabe Moton: The freshman is quietly getting more and more minutes as he earns Donahue's trust. Although he looks really tentative at times, Moton is a solid player who isn't afraid to drive and kick the ball back out to our more consistent shooters. From my view, it looks like this is his biggest offensive contribution at this point, as his flat shooting style necessitates a wide-open look if the ball isn't going to be swatted away (honestly, it looks like he shoots from his ear). In 19 minutes against North Carolina he went 0-4 with 0 total points and a personal foul, but he did a lot of the little things to help out on the offensive end which didn't show up in the box score. I think he's going to surprise a lot of people as he develops.
  3. John Leonard/BC Baseball: The baseball team has rebounded nicely after a disappointing opening loss to Coastal Carolina. John Leonard threw five scoreless against Tennessee Tech, and somehow the Eagles put up six runs on eight hits for the win. This is a team that I can't wait to watch as the home opener grows close. We'll know much more about this team after a crucial two game set against Florida on the 24th and 25th. For those of you in Florida, be sure to check out the spring training exhibition against the Red Sox. It would be pretty cool if we could hang with them for an inning or two. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Okay so Basketball Season Isn't Over But...

Want a look into the future? Check out this clip of Eddie Odio, set to cheesy music and against somewhat inferior high school students, but nonetheless don't pretend that this doesn't get you excited for what's coming down the Donahue pipeline. Odio has zero stars on rivals and is not considered one of our better recruits. Keep that in mind as you watch him put the beat down on some kids. 

Eddie: I love that you're 6-7 and can jack 3's, dunk, and handle the basketball. Additionally, your post moves look pretty legit and your blocks would make me never want to shoot the ball against you again, but please, spare me the music. Please. I really can't tell you how horrible it is.

Additionally, I would really like to know what this video was doing on this web page discussing possible candidates for the BC Law Dean position.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thoughts on Northeastern and Style of Play

Coming into this weekend’s Hockey East games against the Huskies I said that I didn’t know what to make of this Northeastern team.  I also said that I figured I’d have a much better idea what to make of them when the series was through.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I’m still very confused about the Huskies.  What’s more I’m now a bit confused about the Eagles too.  The following are a few thoughts on the close games the Eagles and Huskies have played this season.  Please add your thoughts in the comments as they will likely be clearer and more developed than mine.

A lot of things went wrong for the Eagles in the 4 games we’ve played against Northeastern – that’s a given.  Anytime you play a team 4 times and outshoot them 155 – 109 but only come out with a 2-1-1 record, a lot of things are working against you.  For that reason, I want to focus this post on what Northeastern did well and what it means for the rest of the season.

Give Northeastern credit for having the right game plan.  A good friend I was watching the games with explained it very simply.  He said they put 5 guys on the blue line forcing BC to dump the puck in.  When the Eagles do get possession of the puck in the offensive zone, the Huskies load 5 guys up in front of the net. Boom. Done. And from my perspective, he was completely right. BC is largely a puck possession team.  We thrive on carrying the puck quickly into the zone and making passes back-and-forth on the drive to the net.  With 5 guys on the blue line, it is nearly impossible for the Eagles to skate the puck into the zone cleanly.  Unfortunately, it seemed that for much of the series, that’s precisely what the Eagles were trying to do.  We are not a dump and chase team, but that’s what we had to do.  Instead guys tried to bring the puck in and the result was frequently the same.  2+ Husky defenders would collapse and he would either lose the puck or fire a low percentage shot somewhere around the point.  I think this goes a long way into explaining why we out-shot them by nearly 50% but only managed to score 1 more goal in 4 games.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HD Continues to Ignore Me

HD over at ESPN refuses to answer my question regarding whether or not she has ever been to BC for a home football game. Granted, she probably gets a ton of questions every week, but I'm still interested in finding this out. I say we get a team effort going. Help us ask HD whether or not she has ever been to BC for a football game every week until she responds.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BC Almost Comes Back Against UNC; Effort Encouraging in 48-46 Loss

With about ten minutes left in this one, I had a recap all written up about how BC, when on the road, always seems to stay close in the first half and then get blown out in the second half. Certainly, that looked to be the case this afternoon as well, with UNC running out to a 15-point lead, largely on the back of Tyler Zeller, who seemed to be scoring at will in the paint for much of the second half. But then a funny thing happened: the Eagles clamped down on defense, started hitting threes, and were a barely-missed Reggie Jackson jumper from winning this one.

It sounds cheesy and cliche, but this was about as encouraging a loss as is possible. Unlike most of its away games, BC showed real heart and defensive effort coming back in this one. If the Eagles could play defense as well as they did in the latter part of the second half, they would be a tournament lock. As it stands now, we'll have to see whether this defensive performance carries over to the rest of the season or was just a blip on what was a fairly crazy Saturday throughout college basketball. A few more random thoughts after the jump:

BC Ties Northeastern 7-7

I'm giving Alex a break from the hockey recaps today because he's been hustling from game to game and will be in attendance once again on the road tonight against Northeastern. Not bad for a guy who is also working in the real world 40 plus hours a week.

I'm no hockey guru but I know a bad call or a good goal when I see one so make the jump for some thoughts about last night's game.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Way Too Early Football Record Predictions Roundtable

Considering we are in the midst of the college football offseason, this week has brought some exciting news for Eagles fans. We finally found someone to replace Old Man Tranquil with the addition of Kevin Rogers as OC. The other exciting news was the release of the 2011 football schedule. So what do we do with this information? Make some way too early football predictions of course! Nick already gave some quick thoughts but he didn't make a prediction and that's no fun, so ATR writers: give me a projected record and identify the game you're looking forward to/any road trips you would like to make (Clemson anyone?).

Northeastern Series

The result of BC and Northeastern winning their first round Beanpot games was not only a chance to play for the championship.  Due to the Beanpot finals match-up, hockey fans have the chance to experience an interesting scheduling wrinkle.  BC and Northeastern played Monday night at the Garden (obviously).  The teams play tonight and tomorrow.  Tonight’s game is at Conte and Saturday’s is at Matthews Arena.  That means the 2 teams play each other 3 times in 3 different arenas in less than a week.  Call it the Beanpot Wrinkle.

Now I haven’t gone through the trouble of researching whether 2 teams have played each other in 3 different venues in less than a week before, but I’d wager a pretty penny it hasn’t happened often.  The Beanpot wrinkle also gives fans the chance to get to know a Northeastern team that has a lot of potential to be one of the best teams in Hockey East over the next few years.

The thing I’m most looking forward to this weekend is the chance to see more of this Northeastern team.  This article at USCHO nicely develops the question of whether the Huskies are for real.  They are no doubt young, and certainly have a lot of talent.  They are led by a stud goaltender, and have what I believe is one of the best coaches in Hockey East.

That said, how good should we expect Northeastern to be?  Will they make the playoffs?  Will they fall short but come back strong the next couple years?  Will they finish strong and make a run in the NCAAs then come back even better next year? I have no idea.  The Huskies had an atrocious start to the season and still sit at .500 (8-8-5).  The team is ranked 6th in Hockey East.  Their record against the 5 HE teams ahead of them is an awful 1-7-2.  That’s what makes the close games they have played against BC so perplexing.  Were they 2 examples of a mediocre team stepping it up on some big stages?  Is Northeastern a highly talented team whose inconsistency is simply a result of inexperience?  I think the next couple days could give us some interesting insight into the team down Huntington Ave.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SVP Gives Advice to the Around the Res Guys

ESPN's Scott Van Pelt visited Conte Forum on Saturday to see his alma mater Maryland take on the Eagles in an afternoon basketball game. Of course, Alex and I couldn't let the opportunity to meet such a legend pass us by and so we pretty much followed Van Pelt around like 13 year old girls until we could summon up the courage to ask him for a picture. He was also nice enough to give us some advice on creating a successful blog.

Make the jump to find out what SVP said.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BC on ESPN's Bubble

Nothing really new here but we finally have some hard analysis from ESPN in regards to what BC needs to do to get an 11 or 12 seed in the March tournament.

In sum, ESPN says that our lousy 1-5 record against the RPI top 50 is really going to hurt our chances but a road win in one of our final two road games OR a sweep of our last three home games should put us over the top. On the road, I don't see us beating North Carolina but a win against Virginia Tech is entirely feasible. As for the three game home stretch of Miami, Virginia, and Wake, I would say that Wake and Virginia should be gimmies (unless one of those teams gets up and decides to join the Ivy League) and Miami looks to be a close, but probable, win (Update: One of our helpful commenters pointed out our remaining game against UVA is on the road. The point still stands, however, since UVA, even at home, shouldn't be too tough a challenge.)

If ESPN's analysis is correct, then this team is actually sitting fairly pretty right now all things considered. This is a lot better than what I thought our tournament chances would be so I'm happy that we seem to have an inside track to a spot in the tournament.

I've said it about 100 times by now but I still really don't see this team making the tournament because I firmly believe that we are going to find a way to mess this up. Hey, who am I to disagree with ESPN though?

Beanpot Champs!

The City of Boston is once again looking up at Brighton.  Congrats to the team and coaches.  The Beanpot never comes easy.  There is far too much pride at stake for that.  This year it took 10 minutes of overtime spread across two games to bring the ‘Pot home and it seemed just a little more difficult, but the number 1 team in the nation did it again.  Make the jump for my reactions to the game and thoughts on the tournament as a whole.  As always leave yours in the comments.

Rogers over Day: The Aftermath

Let me start by saying that I would have been happy with either one of these guys as our OC. At the end of the day, however, I really think that Gene made a good choice on this one. By hiring Rogers, we are getting a proven offensive mind with a track record of success, but giving up on a coaching career that very well could turn into something special by forcing Ryan Day to remain as wide receivers coach for another few years.

Make the jump.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The Beanpot is where it belongs for another year! BC did not play a good game tonight but pulled out the overtime victory against Northeastern. I love seeing our banner in the rafters at the Garden. It makes me think BC is staking out its rightful place as the predominant Boston sports university. Kreider was initially credited with a hat trick but the scoring has since been updated to give the final goal to Jimmy Hayes. Somehow Rawlings was given the best goaltender award despite giving up seven goals on the night.

Things are looking good for the Eagles as we begin postseason play.

For tomorrow: Look out for a post-game wrap-up by Alex. Late in the day I will have a final analysis of the Rogers hire and try to expose a little of the reasoning in regards to the Rogers over Day line of thinking.

BC Football 2011 Schedule Quick Thoughts

You've probably heard by now that the ACC has released BC's football schedule for next year. (Here's a PDF of the ACC schedules, and here's BC Interruption's more manageable schedule of just BC.) We already knew the teams that would be involved, but make the jump to find a few thoughts about the order of the games and how that might affect the Eagles this coming season:

Beanpot 2011: No Dogs Allowed

First the BU Rat Dogs, now it’s the Northeastern Husky Dogs.  If BC wants to take the ‘Pot home again, it’s going to have to cut through the dog pound.  The Eagles are a heavy favorite coming into the game tonight.  Anyone who says otherwise is a crazy person.  Still, I think Northeastern is more dangerous than they might look at first glance.

The obvious first point is Rawlings.  The Northeastern goaltender has continued the tradition of excellence in net for the Huskies.  Don’t be fooled by the less than inspiring .500 record (9-9-6).  Chris Rawlings is one of the best goaltenders in the conference.  He’s sitting at 2nd and 3rd in Save Percentage and Goals Against Average respectively.  Northeastern is not the most dangerous team, but if Rawlings stands on his head, the Eagles could face an uphill climb for the ‘Pot.

I don’t take too much from the first meeting of these teams as it was the first game of the season.  To think a game that early is indicative of much, seems na├»ve.  That said, it’s not as though the Eagles exactly lit up the Huskies.  They won 2-0 with an empty netter and the only real goal came from a snipe by Steve Whitney.

It has been 23 years since Northeastern has taken the Beanpot back to
Huntington Ave.
  There seems to be a strange buzz circling them this year.  The Huskies’ head coach Greg Cronin likes to do some jawing so take this with a grain of salt, but when speaking about the magnitude of the Beanpot, the coach said “They would have to get both the NUPD and the Boston police on our campus if we won.”  Hopefully that won’t be an issue.

BC Set to Hire Kevin Rogers - The Wait is (Theoretically) Over

Multiple reports from Boston this morning are saying Kevin Rogers will officially be named BC football's new offensive coordinator. Instead of a full new write-up, check out Mike's post from a while back discussing Rogers' strengths and weaknesses. We'll have more in-depth analysis once Rogers has a press conference and we hear what his plans are for this struggling offense going forward.

(Oh, and please ignore the post behind this curtain. Move along, folks, nothing to see here.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

New OC Candidate: Doug Martin

Just when we think we might be getting close to having a new offensive coordinator, Gene goes out and interviews Doug Martin. I highly doubt Martin gets this job, but the larger question is whether or not Gene is dissatisfied with the current pool of candidates and is looking to expand interviewing by three or four more people. We are now 31 days into the OC search with no end in sight. Don't make me go on a hunger strike Gene.

Make the jump for the analysis on Martin.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Big Man Blues

I've been very skeptical about Josh Southern's development all year, and our lack of a big man may very well make my no-tournament prediction turn out to be true. As Nick pointed out, we clearly would have dominated Clemson had we been able to provide a decent interior defense. While we did not struggle with offensive boards against Clemson, rebounding on the offensive end has been a major issue this year as we currently rank third from last in the conference. This started making me wonder exactly how important offensive rebounding is to Donahue's offense and I began digging into the stats to find out. Simply put, this team is as good as it's going to get without a major big man, but help might be on the horizon.

Beanpot Thoughts

I decided to wait to post highlights form the Eagles’ Monday night win over BU in the first round of the Beanpot.  There have been plenty of recaps going around but I wanted to offer some specific thoughts about the night, the venue, and how we played.  If you didn’t get a chance to take it in, BC Interruption has a great article on the game.  Make the jump for a collection of scattered thoughts on the win.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Still No OC Decision

...and the wait continues. BC seems to be dragging its feet on naming a new offensive coordinator. While we still basically know very little regarding the time-line for naming a new OC, I think most Eagles fans assumed that one would be named shortly after National Signing Day. Given that we know who some of the candidates are, does this wait signal that BC is headed in a specific direction?

Make the jump to find some thoughts.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BC's Road Woes Continue in Clemson; Eagles Lose 77-69

Littlejohn Coliseum, the bane of BC basketball, looked to be toying with the Eagles once again early in this matchup, as Clemson ran out to a 12-5 lead in the first five minutes. Two Corey Raji threes later, BC was right back in the game, and the rest of the half was back and forth, with neither team able to build more than a five point lead.

Despite the fact that BC only lost by eight, the second half wasn't nearly as close. Clemson came out hot to start the second half and BC folded like the lawn chair Al Skinner is sitting on somewhere. To be fair, the Eagles made a nice run towards the end of the half (coming within five points after a Biko Paris three-pointer), but that makes it all the more frustrating that BC showed such a lack of effort earlier in the half. This loss won't kill BC's tourney chances, but - just like the losses to Duke and UNC - it's depressing that the Eagles seem to just curl into the fetal position and wait for the final buzzer at the first sign of a run by the other team. A few more thoughts after the jump.

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Not much to dislike this week as nearly all of BC's teams are hitting on all cylinders at just the right time.

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  1. Men's Ice Hockey: This team is shaping up to be the best team I have seen in the past five years, and I don't say that lightly. This team does the little things right, and passes the puck at a level I have never seen from a college hockey team. Not only that, but the guys on this team represent BC very well as young men of a Jesuit institution. They don shirts and ties after the game, are incredibly receptive to fans, and generally seem to be well-spoken and polite individuals. Just the type of guys that make you WANT to root for them.
  2. Jerry York: At what point does Jerry York begin to enter the conversation as the best men's hockey coach ever? As far as I can tell, Vic Heyliger from Michigan currently holds the lead in NCAA ice hockey championships with six. Jerry York has four, three with Boston College and one with Bowling Green. I think that York enters the conversation if he can win one more. Winning with Bowling Green is significantly more difficult than winning with an established power such as Michigan. Additionally, the tournament, with 16 teams, is significantly more difficult than the 4 to 8 team tournament Heyliger participated in. Furthermore, there has never been someone to grace the ice with more class than Jerry York. He simply doesn't get the credit he deserves. 
  3. Men's Basketball: Let me begin by saying that this team is not making the tournament. A good rule concerning BC sports is that the teams are not as good as they look when things are going well, but neither are they as bad as they look when things are going poorly. Having attended the game Saturday, I can safely say that game should have been won by ten points easily. This has been a better-than-expected year all things considered, but this isn't going to be the Cinderella ending Eagle fans were looking for in December.

Monday, February 7, 2011

BC Wins Opening Round of Beanpot!


BC wins in overtime against Boston University, their fifth win in five tries against their eastern neighbors and safety school. The win comes despite a "Sunday School" chant by BU, which as Alex astutely points out, really isn't insulting at all.

A much more refined analysis to come tomorrow courtesy of Alex.

Great job boys!

Morning Coffee With Caitlin Cahow

This is the second installment of our "Morning Coffee" series. For those of you who missed our first piece on BC fullback Codi Boek, Morning Coffee is a series in which 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 they were previously unaware of, and to help them appreciate the complexity, richness, and honor of the ACC student-athlete experience.

This morning, we are proud to introduce Caitlin Cahow, current BC Law student and member of the USA Women's Hockey Team. Caitlin won a bronze medal in the Turin games in 2006 and a silver medal in Vancouver in 2010. Between 2007 and 2009, she picked up two silver medals and a gold at the World Championships. Caitlin is also quite possibly one of the smartest hockey players ever to don the USA uniform, as she now owns a Harvard undergrad degree which will be supplemented by her BC law degree in 2013. It's truly an honor to have her sit down with our blog this morning. For a more complete bio, see this amazing piece that ESPN wrote on her last year.

Caitlin is all the way to the right in this picture, courtesy USA hockey.

Beanpot Countdown: 0 Days

Hey Terriers, remember when this happened?

Let's go Eagles!  Sucks 2 BU!

Beanpot Countdown: 1 Day

I was watching the NESN documentary on the BC-BU rivalry “The Battle for Comm Ave” the other night and found 2 quotes regarding the Beanpot that were too good not to share.

The first quote comes from John Powers of the Boston Glove.  It pretty much explains the reason why any BC fan has a measured amount of fear coming into tonight’s game.

“[BU] would win the Beanpot and Jack Parker would say he would go back to campus and the fans would say, ‘great year! How are you guys going to be next year?”

The Beanpot is by and large the biggest game of the year for the Rat Dogs.  You can never count them out, and that’s incredibly frustrating.

The second quote is from Richard Johnson of the Sports Museum (I have no idea what the Sports Museum is).  I think it is particularly appropriate this year.

“Right when it seems as though we’ve had too much snow, too much slush, too much ice…where the burdens of the cold sort of bare down on us, there’s this wonderful…Two Mondays where anything’s possible and it is a college hockey dream.”

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beanpot Countdown: 2 Days (Kind Of)

I’m sorry for not having this up sooner.  A combination of sloth and ineptitude at working a smart phone have pushed this post back a day. Alas, today will be a two-day with double the Beanpot Countdown goodness.  First thing I want to look at is the ridiculous special teams play of the Eagles.

BC is leading the nation in special teams play (net special teams = power play goals for  + shorthanded goals for – power play goals against – shorthanded goals against).  On the season BC is +20 when not skating at even strength.  The next closest Hockey East team is Merrimack at +16.  BC is third in the league with 27 power play goals for.  Even better, the team has the least power play goals against in Hockey East (15), the most shorthanded goals for (8), and the least shorthanded goals against (0).  One could say BC’s large number of shorthanded goals (second in all of college hockey) is more a product of its very high 17.0 penalty minutes/game average, but he would then have to concede how much more impressive it is that BC has only given up 15 power play goals on the season.

For those of you keeping score at home, BC leads Hockey East with +20 net special teams.  Northeastern and BU are fifth and sixth at -2 and -4 respectively.  Harvard’s not worth mentioning.  Let’s hope the Eagles stay out of the penalty box as these games can get chippy.  If they can’t though, things aren’t looking all that bad.

Second part of two-day’s countdown up later.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

BC Beats Virginia Tech 58-56; NCAA Tourney Hopes Still Alive

The Eagles opening the game well and then tailing off in the latter part of the first half is starting to become a trend, and this afternoon was no different. To start the game, BC showed nice ball movement and got a few easy layups from Josh Southern and Joe Trapani. At about the 7:00 minute mark of the half, the Eagles actually had a ten-point lead. As per usual, however, sloppy turnovers and some forced shots, along with an abnormal amount of fouls (see below) and nine offensive rebounds for the Hokies allowed Tech right back into the game (down only three at halftime).

The second half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to acquire a commanding lead. Early on, with Reggie Jackson struggling, Biko Paris and Corey Raji were able to take some of the scoring load with a few nice shots. Later in the half, the Eagles went away from any sort of inside game and reverted back to the traditional jacking up threes strategy, allowing Va Tech to stay close. The game came down to a clutch three-pointer by Trapani and some missed free throws and sloppy possessions on the part of the Hokies, allowing Donahue and the Eagles to barely hang on. Some more thoughts after the jump:

Instant Analysis: BC Seniors Draft Watch

Now that the mock drafters have had a few days to digest the senior bowl, let's see what the early projections are on our boys Anthony Castonzo and Mark Herzlich. Keep in mind that it's still very early to be making any final predictions, but these early mock drafts will probably have a decent idea as to whether Castonzo hurt or helped his stock in the senior bowl. Additionally, this mock draft alert has five mock drafts that are now into the 4th round or beyond. Let's see if Herzlich starts making the cut.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Beanpot Countdown: 3 Days

It's Friday, and in the capable words of R. Kelly that means "it's the freakin' weekend baby I'm about to have me some fun."  Today's beanpot preview is a video bonus.  Your welcome ladies.

Men's Basketball ACC Preview (Part 2)

In the first part of my ACC preview, I predicted the Eagles would go 5-3 in conference play thanks to an upset win at home over UNC. Needless to say, that upset win failed to materialize and so the Eagles currently sit at 4-4, good for 6th in the conference. The schedule from here on out doesn't really get any easier, so let's get right to the games. Once again, a hat-tip to Ken Pomeroy's site is called for.

February 5 vs. Virginia Tech: The first game in the second half of BC's conference schedule might be the most important. As fellow BC blog Soaring to Glory has pointed out, BC's chances of making the NCAA tournament without a win against either UNC or Virginia Tech are minimal. Unfortunately for Donahue, Jackson, and the rest of the gang, Virginia Tech is a terrible match-up for the Eagles, starting with the fact that they have one of the best defenses in the nation (20th in adjusted efficiency). BC tends to do poorly against teams with good defenses (think UNC and Florida State), which you might find odd considering BC has one of the most efficient offenses in all of Division 1. My theory: BC has to work much harder to score baskets against these teams, leading to lack of effort on the defensive end. In other words, going against a strong defense counter-intuitively affects BC's own defense more than its offense. VTech's offense, while not superb, is solid all-around, so they should be able to take advantage of any defensive lapses on BC's part. Prediction: Loss, 4-5 ACC

(More after the jump)

National Signing Day Roundtable

Today's topic on the Friday Round Table concerns National Signing Day. BC turned in a decent class, which could have been a lot better had Spaz been able to keep Graham Stewart in the fold. So the question becomes, are you ultimately disappointed with the class the Eagles were able to sign, or are you cautiously optimistic that this will turn into yet another under-rated class that contributes in a big way to the Eagles down the road?  As always, let us know what you think in the comments. Each Around the Res member shares his thoughts after the jump:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beanpot Countdown: 4 Days

Annnnnd we’re one day closer to the first round of Boston’s own Winter Classic.  Today we’re going to take a look at the supreme play of John Muse (or as we like to call him the best goalie in the land).

Throughout his time on the Heights, the Cape Cod Kid has been nothing short of phenomenal.  The two National Championships and perfect NCAA Tournament record speak for themselves.  The kid has been ridiculous at BC and the scary thing is he only appears to be getting better.

We begin with the obvious stats.  Muse is leading Hockey East in save percentage at .933 (though Northeastern’s Chris Rawlings is just behind him at .932 with a nearly 20% higher save total).  Our boy is second in the league in Goals Against Average with 2.08.  He’s just behind the only reason Merrimack is considered a contender in Hockey East Joe Cannata who’s putting up a robust 2.07 GAA.  Lastly, Muse-y is comfortably leading the league in winning percentage at .789.  Long story short, kid’s nutso.

More importantly however, is Numero Uno’s play in big games.  We already referenced the National Championships and NCAA tournament play, but what about previous Beanpots?  Muse-y is 2 for 3.  The only blemish was BC’s forgettable performance in 2009 while Muse was still recovering from hip surgery.  True to form, Muse came back in 2010 and not only won the Beanpot, but took home MVP honors to boot.  On a side note, 2009’s MVP was another current member of the Eagles – Brian Gibbons. Given the records of BU, Harvard, and Northeastern; it does not appear that this year’s Beanpot will have any massive impact on rankings. Make no mistake about it though, the Beanpot is always a big stage.  It matters to the city. It matters for recruiting. And oh yeah, the last 3 Beanpot winners were the last 3 National Champions.

OC Candidates: Dave Brock

This will conclude our series on the potential offensive coordinator candidates. While other candidates may crop up between now and the end of the week, Brock, Day, Rogers, and Hofher seem to have made the final four. We previously reviewed the qualifications of Hofer, Day, and Rogers, so today we look at what in-house candidate Dave Brock brings to the table.

BC Twitter Travels - Part 2 (Football)

If you missed it last week, I gave an analysis of five former BC basketball players' Twitter feeds and who would be worth following. This week, I looked at three former BC football players and one former BC "football" player (the pickings are surprisingly slim when it comes to halfway decent football alumni tweets). As before, I'll give a synopsis of the tone of each feed, some frequent topics, an example tweet that sums up the feed, and a BC-related tweet (since this is a BC blog after all).  The list starts after the jump:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beanpot Countdown: 5 Days

As Boston gets pounded by yet another blizzard (this time a two part special dubbed by meteorologists as a “1-2 punch”) and the most recent sports memory is last night’s debacle against North Carolina, I thought the Eagle faithful could use some cheering up.  And there’s nothing like BC hockey to make you feel warm and fuzzy on a dreary New England day.  I don’t mean to overlook Friday night’s match up with ZooMass, or sound like a BU fanboy but BC fans need some fun. In my mind, this is what makes the Beanpot so special.  In the middle winter’s harshest weather, comes this wonderful sports spectacular to signal the coming Spring (and Frozen Four).  Further, the tournament is a great opportunity for casual BC hockey fans to get on board and fall in love with the team.  So let’s begin our first annual Countdown to the Beanpot!

The “De Facto Beanpot Championship” otherwise known as BC – BU at the Gahden will happen in the opening round this year.  Monday night will feature the Harvard – Northeastern appetizer at but the real action begins at .  Here’s your daily countdown info.

Terriers Swept (and Dominated)
The Comm Ave Rivals have played all three regular season games this season, and BC has won all three, including two at Agganis.  For the first two iterations of the series, the less experienced BU team made it a game for approximately zero minutes.  The most recent contest was much closer with BC hanging on to win 3-2.  Even in the January game though, BC got up to a 3-0 lead in the first and never gave it up.  The point is, not only have the Eagles won all three games this season, but the BU puppy dogs haven’t played well at all against BC this year except when playing from behind.  That bodes well for the Eagles, and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

BC Inks Class

It's finally official. Boston College has inked 23 players to the recruiting class of 2011. All of BC's recruits signed by 2pm, meaning that Spaziani's press conference at 4pm should be stress-free, that is if any Boston reporters can make it in this wonderful freezing rain that we have today. Rivals ranks this class as the 38th best in the country and 7th best in the ACC.

BC Sports Roundup

Almost all BC sports fans already have some idea how the football or basketball teams are performing. A slightly smaller amount of them can tell you if Muse is on pace to lead the Eagles on another march to the Final Four. But how many of them can tell you about the Women's Basketball team? Or Men's Track & Field (did you know they have their own blog)? I understand these sports will never be at the forefront for most BC fans but I'm sure if one of them was competing for a national title, we'd all be heavily rooting. With that, here is a quick roundup of some of the "other" BC sports after the jump.

OC Candidates: Jim Hofher

By this point it's pretty old news that University of Delaware offensive coordinator Jim Hofher has interviewed for the BC Eagles offensive coordinator job. We've done pretty extensive analysis on Rogers and Day so far so let's take a look at what Hofher could potentially add to the anemic offense that is BC football.

Make the jump to see Around the Res' take on Hofher.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

UNC Embarasses BC at Home 106-74; Starting to Look Like the Eagles Just Aren't That Good

BC started the game looking good, with Trapani, Rubin, and even Elmore hitting threes. Of course, after about five minutes the wheels came off, due primarily to terrible turnovers on offense and even worse play on defense. Tyler Zeller and John Henson dominated the interior, especially on defense (where Henson had two monster blocks early), but all-in-all the offense was as good as it usually has been this season. It was on the defensive side where BC looked like my high school JV team. Prime example: Reggie Bullock - shooting 32% from beyond the arc on the season - lit it up from three to the point where one of the announcers suggested, without a hint of irony or humor, that "maybe [BC] should consider guarding him."

The second half didn't really matter, as the game was pretty much over by the end of the first. BC's only hope coming out of the locker room after halftime was to get a few quick stops, hit a few threes, and make the game manageable, but the Eagle defense looked as puke-inducing in the second half as it did in the first. While BC could theoretically make the NCAA tournament even with this loss, the larger lesson I take from this game is a simple one: BC just isn't that good this year.

More scattered thoughts after the jump:

Kevin Rogers in the Mix for OC

Kevin Rogers, quarterbacks coach for the Minnesota Vikings, reportedly interviewed for the BC offensive coordinator job. A lot of people won't like this hire if it happens because, like Gary, Rogers is a little on the older side. As we've already mentioned, Day is a good, but relatively unproven, up and coming offensive mind. Should the Eagles roll the dice with Day, who undoubtedly has a higher ceiling than Rodgers? Or should Eagle fans play it safe with a man who helped coach Brett Favre to one of the best seasons in his career?

Make the jump for more analysis.