BC celebrates a score in Saturday's win over Northeastern. (Barry Chin / Globe Staff)
Can Boston College contend for its third straight ACC Atlantic Division title this season? Of course not, you say. The media picked the Eagles to finish last, not first in its division. No experience at QB, along with a young, injury- and illness-depleted defense, all under a first-year coach in Frank Spaziani, who is still learning where all the switches are as a head coach.
But then the Eagles open with a 54-0 win over Northeastern, which shouldn't be overplayed because Northeastern looked like an FCS team which lost 10 games last season. But 54-0 is 54-0 and that should be appreciated.
And then there is this: the ACC looked horrible in its first week -- Richmond beat Duke, William & Mary stunned Viriginia in FCS vs. FBS challenge matches, and NC State (South Carolina), Virginia Tech (Alabama), Maryland (California), and Wake Forest (Baylor) all dropped their openers and you start to wonder.
The point is this: BC has the right ingredients to continue its bowl run for another season. Spaziani knows what he is doing and he knows how to do it. The offensive line is solid, the running backs are solid, the wide receivers are solid, the defense just needs experience and the quarterbacks can manage -- if not win -- games on their own.
And the ACC looks like it has for the last few years -- a basketball conference that has some fun in the fall before concentrating on contending for national hoops championships.
It is a winnable league, with no monsters, although Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and -- we think -- Miami are lurking. The Eagles proved they were close to the best the last two seasons. They might not be as bad as some people think this season. In fact, they might be pretty good.
Spaziani is quick to point out that one game and one win does not a season make.
Just as Tom O'Brien at N.C. State, Ralph Friedgen at Maryland, Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech and Jim Grobe at Wake Forest should point out that one game and one loss does not a season break.
It is early and the rule of thumb is that good teams make their biggest improvements between Game 1 and Game 2 as they adjust to the pace of a season (barring major injuries, of course).
Let's see what happens.
EXTRA POINTS: Oklahoma not only loses to BYU, but loses Heisman-winning QB Sam Bradford for a month with a shoulder injury (this after losing one of the best tight ends in the country Jermaine Gresham early last week with in injury). See you later, Sooners, in terms of BCS and Big 12 title aspirations. Don't let Texas and Oklahoma State knock you down as they come rushing past you... And what about BYU? It wasn't so much the offense, but the defense was what we noticed. Oklahoma wasn't doing much before Bradford was hurt... Big games of week coming up: USC at Ohio State, which was expected, but Notre Dame at Michigan? Welcome back to the main ballroom, fellas... Ohio State is a touchdown underdog in Columbus? When was the last time that happened? ... Syracuse QB Greg Paulus couldn't help himself, when trying to describe where the Orange go from here following a 23-20 overtime loss to Minnesota. Paulus spent four years playing basketball for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke before switching for a one-year football stiint at Syracuse. "It's an old Duke saying,'' Paulus said. "Next Play. Coach K says it all the time. Next play, learn from it and get better.''
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell