Boston College is coming off a miserable 3-9 campaign, which saw them go winless at 0-8 in the ACC. It was as many conference losses as Addazio and the Eagles had suffered in his first two years on the job (8-8).
Boston College simply couldn’t generate enough offense to win games. They had 6 losses where they held their opponent to 20 points or fewer. The Eagles averaged a mere 17.2 ppg and that was with them scoring 76 against FCS foe Howard.
Heading into Addazio’s 4th year here, there’s reason to be optimistic. The Eagles go from just 8 returning starters to having 15 starters back. While not a serious threat in the top heavy Atlantic, a bowl game is definitely within reach.
|Date||Opponent||Spread (Est.)||Win Chance|
|9/3||Georgia Tech (Ireland)|
|9/17||@ Virginia Tech|
|10/29||@ NC State|
|11/11||@ Florida State|
|11/26||@ Wake Forest|
|Estimated Wins: TBD|
One of my biggest concerns with Boston College is their schedule. Mainly there opener against Georgia Tech in Ireland. The Eagles get no time to recover from the certain jet lag they face. In fact, they don’t have their first bye until the middle of October.
Win or lose against the Yellow Jackets, that next game on the road against UMass is a brutal spot. As is there following contest at Virginia Tech. A potential 0-3 start isn’t out of the question, but at the same time they could go 2-1.
The Eagles will get a chance to right the ship with four straight at home. That includes three favorable matchups against Wagner, Buffalo and Syracuse. The other being against Clemson. That’s a game to keep an eye on. The Eagles will have that game circled, as it’s a nationally televised weekday matchup.
The rest of the schedule isn’t all that bad. While 3 of the final 5 are on the road, two are winnable against NC State and Wake Forest. They also get Louisville and Connecticut at home during this stretch.
The Eagles offense was plagued by poor quarterback play in 2015. It all started with starter Darius Wade being lost for the year in the third game against Florida State. Four different players played in all, including true freshman walk-on John Fadule.
It’s going to be interesting to see who Addazio goes with in 2016. It’s likely between Wade and Kentucky transfer Patrick Towles. The early edge would go to Towels, who started 22 games for the Wildcats the past two years.
It didn’t help matters that the Eagles also lost top running back Jon Hillman early in the year. Keep in mind Hillman was a 3rd-Team All-ACC performer as a true freshman the season prior. He’s back for his junior year and the running game should be much improved.
It’s hard telling what kind of talent the Eagles have at wide receiver, due to the poor quarterback play. Last year’s leading wide out was Thadd Smith with a mere 17 receptions for 233 yards. Either way the unit as a whole should put up much better numbers in 2016.
Last year Boston College didn’t have a single returning starter on the offensive line. That definitely played a part in the offensive struggles. This year they have 3 starters back and will be a much stronger unit, though still one of the weaker in the ACC.
While the Eagles have 7 starters back and 17 of their top 21 tacklers, their is some concern with the defense. That’s because defensive coordinator Don Brown left to take the same job at Michigan. Replacing Brown will be Jim Reid, who spent the last 3 years as the linebackers coach at Iowa.
BC does lose two key pieces up front on the defensive line. Those being defensive tacklers Connor Wujciak and Mehdi Abdesmad. They do get back starters Harold Landry and Truman Gutapfel. While not as strong as last year, still one of the better units in the ACC.
The strength of the defense will be at linebacker, even with the loss of top tackler Steven Daniels. They have two veteran playmakers returning in Matt Milano and Connor Strachan.
The secondary also looks to be in good shape. The Eagles have two strong corners back in Isaac Yiadom and Kamrin Moore. Plus, they return one of the conferences best safeties in senior John Johnson.
Regular Season Win Total
ACC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
Even with last year’s surprisingly bad showing, I still believe that Addazio is the right fit here. He guided the Eagles to bowl games in each of his first two years with limited talent. I expect him to do the same in 2016.
BC also goes from one of the most inexperienced teams in the country to one of the most experienced. They should remain strong defensively and will be much better on offense. A couple upsets and this team could crush last year’s win total.
While that game in Ireland concerns me, the schedule is very manageable. All four non-conference games are winnable and I have them going 4-0. While I have them at just 2-6 in the ACC, a 4-4 finish in the conference is within reach.
Win Total Prediction