Boston College Football: Top 5 Storylines for 2013
Boston College has struggled to fit in the ACC culture.
Always feeling like the odd team out in Chestnut Hill, Mass., perhaps no team will benefit from expansion more than the Eagles.
The inclusion of the New York and Pittsburgh markets help increase marketability, but will it increase win totals for a team that fell to a pathetic 2-10 last season?
Boston College is a bit of reclamation project with a new coach, new staff but an experienced quarterback and wide receiving corps.
Will the Eagles soar back into competition in 2013 or will they be grounded once more?
Let's find out!
5. Who Will Be the Defensive MVP?
Most experts explain their reasoning for having Boston College pegged for another awful season in 2013 on one word: defense.
Without a doubt, there are multiple question marks at just about every level of the defense.
The defensive line lacks the speed to get to the quarterback and the secondary was lit up. 448 passing yards by Florida State, 367 by Clemson and 293 by Wake Forest all spelled doom for the Eagles in 2012.
If Boston College is going to have a defensive renaissance, it will probably have to revolve around the return of defensive back Al Louis-Jean Jr.
While his freshman number of 15 tackles and one interception certainly do not seem hopeful, Jean is one of the most talented kids on the roster.
A former Rivals second-team All-American and all-Massachusetts selection, the rising sophomore has plenty of time to grow into a potential shutdown corner.
Until that happens though, Boston College will continue to search for big plays on the defensive side of the ball.
4. Recruiting a Winner
Thank goodness for Syracuse and curse Frank Spaziani I guess.
Anyways, that means the Eagles are really trying to build for the future and that means winning the recruiting battles. When the results on the field are not satisfying, fans can try to find solace in the Scout and Rivals rankings giving them hope for the future.
Fortunately for Boston College, new coach Steve Addazio has already given fans some hope for the future this very summer.
As opposed to his predecessors (picture left), Addazio is trying to rack up the commitments early and already has a top-25 class on his hands (albeit early on). Last year their class was 87th and 63rd in 2012.
That aggressiveness garnered the attention of Sports Illustrated and it gives Boston College what it needs most, publicity.
We all know that perception is reality in college athletics. New coaches have to try and change the culture and Addazio already appears to be doing that before the Eagles have even played one game under his tenure.
If he can keep that fire and passion, Boston College will find its way back into contention in no time at all.
3. Running with the Eagles?
We all know that unless you are Mike Leach, you are going to have to run the ball at some point to keep defenses honest. At the very least you have to have an intermediate passing game, which means a strong tight end or a rusher than can catch the ball on a dump-out route.
Unfortunately for coach Steve Addazio, Boston College does not have a proven player at either the running back or tight end position.
The departure of Rolandan Fitch after the very first spring practice was an unexpected blow but not nearly fatal considering his key turnovers in 2012.
That leaves Boston College with Andre Williams, who led the team in rushing in 2012 but did not have a single yard from scrimmage on the ground in the final five games of the season.
His health and his durability will be important because they need him desperately in 2013. His toughness will be critical, but an injury would really limit what the team can do on the ground.
If Boston College wants to be able to relieve pressure off their quarterback, it has to be able to give Chase Rettig options.
Right now those options still appear to be limited.
2. Steve Addazio: Form vs. Function
With the firing of Frank Spaziani, Boston College has maintained its tradition of hiring coaches whose names are hard to spell with former Temple coach Steve Addazio.
After bouncing around the NCAA with coordinator roles at Florida, Indiana and Notre Dame, Addazio gets a BCS gig with a rather empty cupboard.
Most importantly, his style conflicts directly with what he has been given. Addazio has publicly stated that he wants a ball control, pound-it-out offense that can shorten the game and provide for some potential upsets.
The problem is that Boston College's best player is a strong-armed quarterback who throws too many interceptions and his starting running back quit during the first spring practice.
Just how much will Addazio have to bend without breaking his philosophy in 2013?
Obviously he cannot ignore that the talent on offense remains with the passing game, but how does he manage that within his vision of success?
Until Addazio gets to bring in his own players, he must adjust, and the results are going to be difficult to predict.
Judging him early on may be unfair, but it also will be a testament to how he deals with adverse circumstances and opportunities to compromise.
1. Chase Rettig Show
One of the bright sides of a disappointing 2012 was the emergence of quarterback Chase Rettig.
The rising senior blossomed for 3,060 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Compared to the 3,198 yards and 18 touchdowns he racked up in his freshmen and sophomore campaigns combined and you see the growth spurt. While his 13 interceptions can seem rather alarming, you have to consider just how much he had to force the issue with a lack of playmakers on the ground.
Rettig was not afraid to put the offense on his shoulders, and he showed poise considering the complete imbalance on offense sans a rushing attack.
As a senior, Rettig knows that he must lead the team to victory, and with most of his weapons back, he might have one of the best quarterback statistics in the conference.
Alex Amidon certainly hopes so as he builds off a season with over 1,200 receiving yards and eyes a potential spot at the next level.
No matter how things shake out, Boston College's hopes go about as far as Rettig's arm can take it.