Fanatics everywhere have been counting down the days on their calendars for months now. Well, after more than eight months off, the wait is over!
The much anticipated 2010 college football season is ready to kick-off tonight with four of the top-25 teams set to take the field.
119 team’s around the country are working out those last minute kinks, finalizing their starting lineups and getting set to embark on another four-month journey all culminating in one universal dream, a national championship.
Coming off of another solid season last year, Boston College has a lot of people talking around the ACC. The Eagles are returning 15 starters from last year’s team and have added a few new pieces to the puzzle that could put them over the top in the Atlantic Division.
The emergence of underclassmen Montel Harris and Luke Kuechly helped to propel the Eagles to unexpected heights during the 2009 campaign.
This season, with the highly anticipated return of senior linebacker Mark Herzlich, BC is looking well beyond their 8-5 record from a year ago and hoping to hoist the ACC crown, once and for all, come December.
So, as all you Superfans get set for Saturday’s first kick on Alumni, let’s breakdown the 2010 season and get you ready for what should be one heck of a ride.
I’m no Nostradamus. I’ll be the first to admit it. And as the season goes along things will certainly change for most teams around the country.
But, you have questions and apparently I’m the guy with the answers so here goes nothing.
Sept. 4 vs. Weber State – The return of Mark Herzlich should give the Eagles a huge emotional boost and kick them into gear right off the bat. Shinskie should hook up for a few long bombs against an overmatched Weber St defense. (W)
Sept. 11 vs. Kent State – The Kent State game should be just another scrimmage for the Eagles, reminiscent of the Week 1 shellacking. If last year’s 34-7 rampage is any indication, then this game should be an even bigger blowout. Look for the reserves to make an early appearance in the second half. (W)
Sept. 25 vs. Virginia Tech – With a full two weeks to prepare, coach Spaziani and the Eagles should be in a good position to put a fight up against the Hokies. Montel Harris should find his way into the end-zone while the line backing corps puts the brakes on Tyrod Taylor and Heisman hopeful Ryan Williams. Eagles pull out a gutsy victory at home. (W)
Oct. 2 vs. Notre Dame – Brian Kelly and his hurry up offense could cause problems for Spaz and the defensive unit. Harris will help control the tempo while Shinskie shoots a few long balls down the sidelines. A packed house at Alumni will be too much for the Irish in this one. (W)
Oct. 9 at NC State – Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson ranked fourth in the nation with 30 touchdown passes last year. He’s got some new weapons around him and looking to improve on that total this season. Wes Davis and the BC secondary will be up to the task to contain the QB’s big arm. A late touchdown puts the Eagles over the top (W)
Oct. 16 at Florida State – Heading into the weekend 5-0, the Eagles are a little cocky and come out sluggish against a potent Seminoles passing attack. Christian Ponder makes them pay with a few deep balls and the Eagles never recover. (L)
Oct. 23 vs. Maryland – Heading back to Boston with their first loss of the season, the Eagles are poised to get back in the ACC title hunt. Kuechly, Herzlich and freshman sensation Kevin Pierre-Louis set the tone and put a hurting on the Maryland backfield all day. BC throws a few touchdowns on the board and get back on track. (W)
Oct. 30 vs. Clemson – The orange and purple invade Alumni with a sense of urgency as they look to get back in the title hunt. A close game ends in a late drive behind Shinskie’s newfound accuracy and confidence. (W)
Nov. 6 at Wake Forest –The crowd at Groves Stadium makes Salem one tough place to play. But the Deacons are still young on both sides of the ball. BC wins by a few scores. (W)
Nov. 13 at Duke – The Blue Devils took a huge leap into the mix last season. They don’t have the talent to compete in the ACC just yet. Eagles Roll. (W)
Nov. 20 vs. UVA – Virginia is rebuilding and they have a new coach in place. BC takes advantage of the Cavs in the last home game of the year. (W)
Nov. 27 at Syracuse – The rivalry is back! Too bad BC can never seem to beat the Orange. Eagles falter in their regular season finale and drop a close one in the Carrier Dome. (L)
Post Season Predictions:
ACC Championship Game -
Dec. 4 vs. Miami (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC) – After cruising through the ACC schedule and even knocking off the rival Hokies along the way, BC finds themselves in the ACC title game for a third time in four years.
Pitted against an 11-1 Miami team, seeking a shot at the national championship, presents a tough task for the Eagles. The game is close through the first three quarters but Jacory Harris makes some spectacular plays late in the game and the Hurricanes celebrate victoriously with oranges in hand. (L)
With a surprising 10-2 record and a few impressive victories along the way, the Eagles think they finally earned the respect they deserve from the bowl committee. But, as usual, the Eagles get jumped by a more popular Florida State team, missing out on the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, and end up in Orlando stuck in the Champ Sports Bowl yet again.
Dec. 28 vs. Pittsburgh (Champs Sports Bowl, Orland, FL) – Although it’s a disappointing end to the Eagles stellar season, it still should be a great game between two former Big East rivals.
As the season goes along keep an eye out for some of your favorite Eagles to be named among the nation’s elite.
Here’s a list of the players who should be taking home some hardware come December.
Anthony Costanzo, OL – Outland Trophy winner (Best Interior Lineman); AP All-America team
Mark Herzlich, LB – Butkus Award Semi-Finalist (Best Linebacker); AP All-America 3rd Team
Luke Kuechly, LB – Butkus Award finalist; ACC Defensive Player of Year; AP All-America 2nd Team
Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB – ACC Freshman of the Year
Montel Harris, RB – Doak Walker Award Semi-Finalist; AP All-America 3rd Team