Boston College Eagles
Head Coach: Steve Addazio
2018 Record: 7-5, 4-4 Conference
Bowl: Cancelled (First Responder Bowl)
O/U 6 wins (O -115; U -115)
Make 4 Team Playoff: +40000
The Boston College Eagles started out with things going quite well, a top-20 AP ranking, Gameday returning to the campus for the first time in nine years, and things were a-buzzing. Unfortunately, that was more or less the beginning of the troubles, as Clemson handed it a 7-27 loss which was followed by three more losses to end the season on an 0-4 skid. That, too, came after winning its first four ACC contests. Weather cost it a Bowl appearance.
Boston College still has yet to win more than seven games under head coach Steve Addazio, and making six bowls in seven years might not be enough for either him or the fan base at this point. With several key losses, it will be hard to even match last year’s win total, as well.
Scot Loeffler leaves as the offensive coordinator, as he became the head coach of Bowling Green this offseason. Addazio made the choice of bringing on Mike Bajakian, the former QB coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has his work cut out for him.
The Eagles lost four offensive starters, but it does return experience on its OL. Ben Petrula made Honorable Mention All-ACC last year and he shifts from right tackle to left tackle this season. Adazzio likes what surrounds him too, particularly Alec Lindstrom who will line up at center.
The line will be counted upon heavily to do the blocking for Heisman candidate AJ Dillon. Dillon rushed for 1,108 yards last year and 10 TDs while earning a spot on the All-ACC team. He can bear to improve as a receiver, as he had just eight catches for 41 yards last year. Behind him, there is some talent too, in the form of Travis Levy and David Bailey.
QB Anthony Brown returns to the offense, as well. His No. 1 receiver is Kobay White. Brown is a decent passer, but he needs to improve to get the most out of White and company. Elijah Robinson will start at the other WR position, but both Levy and Ben Glines are going to see some throws, as well. The pair will come out of the backfield to create some more threats for Brown.
The Eagles lost All-ACC tight end Tommy Sweeney, but it returns a host of experienced TEs for its two-TE sets. Korab Idrizi and Hunter Long are the main two, but there are several others in the mix because Boston College likes two TE sets.
Bill Sheridan was promoted from linebacker coach to defensive coordinator. Jim Reid was demoted to defensive end coach. This was largely because Reid’s defensive teams never quite stacked up to what they were “on paper.” However, this year only five Eagles return with experience as a starter, and Sheridan figured there were only four locks to even start defense-wide, which included Tanner Karafa, Max Richardson, Isaiah McDuffie, and Brendan Sebastian.
The defensive line is where this defense may be the weakest. Karafa is the only returning starter to it, and the Eagles lost both its ends (Zach Allen and Wyatt Ray) to the NFL. Brandon Barlow should start at one end, and sophomore Marcus Valdez will likely start at the other. TJ Rayam also figures to be the starting tackle next to Karafa.
The secondary loses key performer Hamp Cheevers. He tied for the national lead in interceptions and declared for the NFL. Safeties Lukas Denis and Will Harris are gone, as well. Sebastian is the best returning CB, and Tate Haynes will likely start at the other corner. Haynes is a great athlete so his potential should be fairly high.
Danny Longman and Grant Carlson return as kicker and punter. The return game suffers the loss of Michael Walker, who led the nation with 1,294 return yards last season. Glines will likely handle kick returns this year, while Jason Maitre will be the punt returner.
The Eagles should be decent offensively at least, with Dillon back in the fold and a stronger and rebuilt offensive line. The defense is a bit of another story, however. The Eagles might scratch its way to a Bowl appearance again after missing out due to the weather cancellation in 2018, but this team probably cannot make much bigger waves with such an inexperienced and still-to-be-decided defensive unit.
Prediction: 5 wins (under)