As we countdown to kickoff in September, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each week over the summer. SU will finish its 2017 regular season when it plays Louisville on Nov. 25.
HOT SEAT?: One of the largest questions at Boston College this season centers around the job security of head coach Steve Addizio. On a scale of one to five, five being “gots to go,” Addizio seems to be somewhere in the vicinity of 3.5. On the one hand, Addizio has guided Boston College to three bowl games in his four years at Chestnut Hill, including a late-season surge last year, culminating in a win in the Quick Lane Bowl over Maryland. On the other side has been a true struggle in ACC play, with a grand total of two ACC wins in the last two seasons, including an ugly 3-9 record in 2015 and 0-8 in conference play. And not for nothing, but the 2016 season included three wins against Swiss cheese competition in Umass, Wagner and Buffalo. If the Eagles regress this season, suddenly, that number may be ratcheted up to 5.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Another ACC team. Another quarterback battle. This one is between Darius Wade and Anthony Brown. We’re now in August, and there’s still no definitive answer. Both signal callers are splitting reps between the first and second teams, and neither has truly distinguished himself ahead of the season opener against Northern Illinois on Sept. 1. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler wants to open up the offensive playbook a bit, which would seem to give the advantage to Brown, a dual-threat quarterback. Running backs Jon Hilliman and Davon Jones return in the backfield, but don’t be surprised if AJ Dillon (someone who Syracuse previously recruited) get reps in, as well. Dillon was a late coup for the Eagles, after Michigan seemed to be in the driving seat for his services. On defense, SU fans should be familiar now with DE Harold Landry, who led the nations in sacks last year with 16.5. He was a legitimate NFL prospect, collecting AP All-America Second Team honors.
PREDICTION: Boston College seems to have an opportunity to grab three more non-conference wins, with games against Northern Illinois, Central Michigan and Connecticut. With coin flip games against Wake Forest, Virginia, NC State and Syracuse, there’s a decent shot at another six-win season and a bowl game appearance. Is that enough to appease new athletics director Martin Jarmond? It’s unclear, but falling short of that benchmark may bring change to Chestnut Hill. SYRACUSE 31, BOSTON COLLEGE 24.