I know most of us have dabbled in poker in the past couple of years given it's popularity. Regardless of which you prefer with all it's numerous incarnations, have you ever just had this starting hand, that at the moment wasn't worth anything, but you knew. Just deep down you had this gut feeling that you were going to catch what you needed to make the nuts? The next two cards falling were going to make your hand and you knew it. Forget the odds, forget the percentages, and even forget just what the other people had in the hole. You knew that if you caught the cards you needed, nothing could beat you.
Welcome to Boston College football 2007.
I realize I've been remiss in posting, and for that I apologize. There is something very special brewing in Chestnut Hill, and you can smell it on the wind. So far, the recipe has been absolutely perfect. Toss in one experienced team, a top NFL-prospect quarterback and Heisman Candidate, a dash of a stout and opportunistic defense, a winnable schedule, and with just a pinch of some monumentous and unforseen upsets (thank YOU Stanford, Appalachian State, Auburn, South Florida, and Colorado) and that smell you have on the wind is a very tasty treat indeed.
I won't say it, for like a pitcher going for a no-hitter, the very utterance of the words in a sequence could jinx the whole thing. You let it sit on the side and for the life of you, you talk about the friggen weather. Or what the kids are doing in school.
But what we have here, gentlemen, ladies, fans and, of course, detractors.... is an opportunity. An opportunity that has not reared itself at Boston College since Frank Leahy left for Notre Dame. It is a gift. A gift of the football gods at this halfway point in the season, and we mere mortals do not know if this gift is a harbinger of things to come, or perhaps a vicious tease.
The albatross is flying with the ship. The question is, do we shoot it down or let it be? For the first time since I can remember, the fate of Boston College football at the mid-point of the season rests entirely.... in the hands of Boston College.
Perish the thought. Are you perishing it? Marvelous. Roll it around on your tongue, but dare not speak its name. For the cruel mistress has already shown her head this season. At the Big House. At Papa John's. Taking a vacation in Tampa, visited the Hollywood Hills, took in a game at the Swamp, and she decided to pay Dan Hawkins a visit since he called her down a little while ago. So let us do what BC has done for years and years. Let us remain as under-the-radar as much as we can.
For if Fate is poetic, and has a sense of humor and irony: Notre Dame will ruin the Eagles' season this Saturday. What? BLASPHEMOUS. How could the Irish POSSIBLY ruin this BC team? Look at them, they are mere 'echoes' of their former selves. Their record is worse than ALL OTHER I-A INDEPENDANTS! They were stomped at home by a Yellow Jacket team that was in turn stomped by a BC team in ATLANTA!
And yet, what did that BC team of '93 have to possibly challenge that ND team? that BC team had lost to a 2-9 NORTHWESTERN! And yet, they ruined Notre Dame's season. In '02 'Return to Glory' year, Willingham's Irish was undefeated, and BC was an underachieving 4-3. 14-7 to start the 'Willingham Slide' that has improved Washington greatly.
You can point to numerous examples in this series regarding who should have, and who didn't win. Notre Dame won over the Flutie teams in the 80s, when they had absolutely no business to be able to do that. This series (though soon to be stopped by the Irish, for inexplicable reasons which nobody is too sure of, but that's okay, BC found a more competitive replacement in USC) has produced some classics, great games, and results that make no sense.
I'll stick with the party line. Why shouldn't BC roll this game? Matt Ryan is the QB that Irish fans hope that Clausen will one day ascend to. The Irish lines are a mess, their running game is non-existant and facing a top-3 rush defense unit... but sometimes the party line doesn't make sense.
Four-in-a-row. Remember that. the Boston College class of 2005 did not lose to Notre Dame once in their time at Chestnut Hill. Is that a trend that can last forever? Maybe. Lord knows most men have lost their hair since the last time BC took down Miami. But I would expect the Irish might have a surprise or two in store for the Eagles during the game, who could be looking at that October 25th game in Lane Stadium. For as everyone knows, that game against Virginia Tech will announce to the nation if Boston College is a legitimate.... (DON'T SAY IT!) or simply another pretender in a season gone the way of the upset.
I don't see Boston College losing to Notre Dame. But I bet that Trojan Fans didn't see USC losing to Stanford.
So here it is Eagle Fans. We nailed the flop, and caught the turn... but will the river give us the nuts? Or will it be a blank? And how much are you willing to bet on it?
Enjoy the weekend.
To the students: Drive those RVs safely, and have a blast.