Sunday, January 22, 2012


Dear Readers,

I am sorry to say that Saturdays On Shea will be taking a bit of a hiatus through February and March.  I will be away from a computer for most of that time and so won't be able to post regularly.  I should be back online by April, in time for spring practice and the Spring Game.  The timing is probably pretty good since I anticipate there won't be much to write about through the winter months.

I look forward to getting back online in April and getting ready for the return of Boston College football in spring practice.  There's a lot that we fans have to look forward to in the coming months and SoS will be there to cover it and provide commentary every step of the way.

Take care and I will see you all back here in a couple of months.


Saturdays On Shea

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The BCS applied to the NFL Playoffs

The college football season ended just a few days ago when Alabama shut out LSU 21-0 in New Orleans. Whether or not you believed Alabama should have been their in the first place, it is hard to deny that they dominated the LSU Tigers in a fashion many didn't expect whatsoever.  It is hard to deny that Alabama has at least a claim at being the best college football team in the country right now, though Oklahoma State may beg to differ.

However, there certainly was a good amount of uproar surrounding the final BCS standings when Alabama was placed in the national title game over Oklahoma State, despite not winning its division, let alone its own conference.  Many made the argument that if Alabama wasn't even the best team in its conference, how could they be one of the two best teams in the country.  The biggest argument that the BCS executives had for their system was that the regular season mattered so much, a team had to be perfect to make it to the title game.  That argument was largely put to bed when Alabama was placed in the title game.  The public call for a playoff in college football has grown to its loudest point in recent memory.  Every major sport in the United States, college and professional, operates using a playoff to name its champion, except college football.  I understand the interest in keeping the traditions of bowl games alive, but college football is reaching a point where a playoff system is needed.  In this light, I began thinking of what if a BCS system was used to name the NFL champion and the two teams who would play in the Super Bowl.  The results were very interesting.

To name the top 10 teams I referred to the standings of the entire NFL on ESPN.  Using this the top ten teams of the NFL are:

1. Green Bay
2. New England
3. San Francisco
4. New Orleans
5. Baltimore
6. Pittsburgh
7. Houston
8. Atlanta
9. Detroit
10. Cincinnati

Using the BCS system to determine the Super Bowl champion, this means that Green Bay would meet New England in Indianapolis on February 5th.  Now in reality, we all know what has happened over the last few weeks.  #1 Green Bay and #8 Atlanta have both lost to #12 New York Giants, who will now face #3 San Francisco this weekend, a team who narrowly defeated #4 New Orleans.  Similarly, #14 Denver defeated #6 Pittsburgh in its first game.

The most important thing that I took away from this exercise was the success of the New York Giants so far this post-season.  In the BCS system, the Giants would not have even sniffed the national title.  This year the Giants have defeated both the #8 and #1 best teams in the NFL and will be playing the #3 team in the NFC championship game.  For comparisons sake, that is the same as Baylor defeating Kansas State and LSU to make it to the semi-finals of a playoff system against a #3 Oklahoma State.

The BCS is a flawed system but it is the best system, for better or worse, right now.  At the end of each season we know that the title game will be between the #1 and the #2 team in the country at the end of the night we will be able to crown an undisputed national champion.  However, a playoff system would achieve the same goal, without as much of the subjectivity of the current BCS system.  Who makes the playoffs will be based on wins and losses and who wins the title will be based on the team that can beat everyone else.

I don't mind the BCS.  As I stated above, it is a flawed system but the best one for right now.  For the most part, a team does need to be perfect to make it to the title game.  If Oklahoma State had beaten Iowa State then undoubtedly they would have made it.  It is exciting, over the course of a season, to see a team reach the level of perfection it needs to to make it to the title game.  With that all said, the writing is on the wall for a playoff system.  Most fans want it, many coaches and teams want it, and it is an equally indisputable way to name a national champion.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Luke Kuechly to enter the NFL Draft

Reports indicate that Luke Kuechly will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft early.  All this week, pundits were saying that the decision was a particularly difficult one.  It seemed that professionals were saying that his draft stock would never be hire, but at the same time it seemed that Luke felt that he had unfinished business left at BC.

As a fan, I am sorry to see him go.  Luke was a great football player, easily one of the best defensive players to ever set foot at Boston College and a BC Guy in the truest sense of the term.  However, I certainly cannot blame him for wanting to leave early for the NFL.  I think I speak for BC fans everywhere when I say good luck Luke, we are all excited to see you play on Sundays and look forward to seeing your long and illustrious career in the NFL.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bold Predictions for 2012

And so another year has come and gone.  I would dare say that most Boston College football fans are relieved that 2011 is behind and that we can look forward once again with hope for the 2012 season. The biggest news for 2012 is the addition of Doug Martin to the coaching staff as offensive coordinator.  Hopefully, Martin can take the talent that this BC offense most certainly has and turn it into a force to be reckoned with.  It doesn't hurt either, that Martin will be able to utilize Montel Harris and Ifeanyi Momah, both of whom have been granted medical hardship waivers and will return to play for BC in the 2012 season.  BC football fans have every reason to be hopeful, and every reason to dread the 2012 season.

With all that said, here are my bold predictions, some for BC and some not, for 2012.

1. Luke Kuechly will return to BC- I have no reason to believe that this will be so and expect to be proven wrong just as much as I expect to be proven right.  But Luke has been oddly quiet about whether or not he will enter the draft.  Both Matt Barkley and Robert Griffin have already announced their intentions.  I can understand if Luke is waiting until after the holidays or until after his surgery, but something tells me that the long silence bodes well for BC fans.

2. Spaz and Gene will both still be at BC for 2013- Much to the chagrin of many BC fans, I do believe that Spaz and Gene will both be back at BC for 2013.  I think that Spaz will find a way to win at least 6 games this in the 2013 season which will allow Gene to claim that things are getting better and that BC football is back on track.  This, in turn, will help save Gene's job and keep him as AD in 2013.  I do, however, believe that Gene will rule with less autonomy than in the past.  Ticket sales and Flynn Fund donations will both be down next year and I think that will be enough for the powers that be to realize something is wrong in the Athletic Department.

3. Montel Harris will break the ACC rushing record- With the better part of two years to recover and get back into shape, Montel will break the ACC rushing record this year.  Although BC has found suitable replacements for Montel at the running back position, and thus he may see less playing time, I do still believe that he will be hungry enough to play again that he will be running through opposing defenses

4. Chase Rettig will become the QB we all think he can be- Chase has shown flashes of brilliance over the two years that he has been the starting quarterback.  In this year's Miami game I think we saw what he is capable of.  I think that in his junior year Chase emerges as a great quarterback.

5.  BC will finish second in the Atlantic Division- Pending a victory over either Clemson or Florida State, either of which I certainly expect to happen in 2012, BC will finish second in the Atlantic Division to whichever of those two teams it doesn't beat.

6. BC will beat Notre Dame- By all rights BC should have won the game this year.  In 2012, with the game at home, I think BC pulls out a win.  ND has a brewing quarterback controversy, Brian Kelly is not experiencing the success I think he or ND was expecting, and the division on the team between the Kelly recruits and the non- Kelly recruits will become an issues this year, as the latter will be the upperclassmen. BC is also due for a win in this one.

And now for a few non- BC predictions:

7. The Heisman winner will again come from a team not in the national championship- Somewhere out there, right now, is the next Cam Newton, Robert Griffin, or Toby Gerhart... someone who no one has really heard of, but is going to have a break out year in 2012 and make all the difference for his team.

8. An ACC team will make a run at the title- Clemson and Virginia Tech almost backed their way into the title game this year.  Next year, I expect an ACC team once again to make a run at the title.  My gut says Virginia Tech, but probably only because they've been close for a few years now.

9. The Big East will release West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse- Expect the 27 month waiting period to be waived by the Big East and these teams make the jump to their new conferences.

10. An SEC team will NOT win the national title- For a long time I have said to friends and colleagues that a USC team, at its peak, would be the best challenger for the SEC in the title game.  I believe this will be the case in 2012 and USC will win the title over the SEC team.