- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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If you’re just joining us, this series looks at the unranked teams in the ACC as either contenders or pretenders heading into the 2013 season. Florida State and Clemson are not included because they are the only two teams from the ACC expected to be ranked this preseason. Those rankings automatically qualify them as contenders.
Boston College? I think it is safe to say the Eagles are the longest of long shots.
Why they're a contender: The Eagles have some talented players returning in quarterback Chase Rettig and receiver Alex Amidon, and that at least gives coach Steve Addazio something to work with in his first season. Even though Addazio prefers to run a spread-option offense with a heavy focus on running the ball, he has said he would cater to the strengths of the players he has on his roster. Right now, his best player on offense is Amidon. Last season, Amidon was one of the top receivers in the ACC with 1,210 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. Rettig threw for over 3,000 yards and 17 touchdowns, so he certainly has the capability of getting the ball down the field, although his accuracy must be improved. Linebackers Steele Divitto and Kevin Pierre-Louis also return as the top two defenders on the team.
Why they're a pretender: Where shall we begin? The Eagles had no running game last year and need major improvement from their offensive line. Addazio wants to establish the run first, but that might be difficult to do consider the shape the run game was in last season and many of the same players return. As mentioned above, his offensive philosophies do not necessarily jibe with the players he has on the roster, so how will all that play out during the season? The defense was one of the worst in the nation last year, ranking No. 100 in total defense. Boston College had a measly six sacks all year. That is not a typo. New defensive coordinator Don Brown will no doubt bring a much more aggressive scheme and much more energy, but does he have the players to get immediate results?
Final verdict: Pretender. I don't think there is an immediate fix for the Eagles that would take them from two wins to Atlantic Division contender in the span of a year. There are too many holes Addazio has to fill to turn around a program that has fallen on hard times in recent years.
More in this series
5hAndrea Adelson and Austin Ward
18hAndrea Adelson and Austin Ward
1dDavid M. Hale