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Boston College Football 2023: The Best-Case, Worst-Case, Most-Likely-Case, And A Hail Mary

BC Football 2023: The Best-Case, Worst-Case, Most-Likely-Case, And A Hail Mary

(Photo: BC Athletics, Anthony Garro)

The 2023 season will be the 125th year of intercollegiate football competition for the Boston College Eagles. Let's take a look at the different paths this BC Football team could take this season.

When we reviewed the scenarios last year there were a lot of mixed feelings but with high expectations surrounding the BC Football program. After two disappointing seasons in a row under Head Coach Jeff Hafley the expectations have dwindled, and BC Football Fans are now desperate to see the football program gain back some momentum. The pressure is not only high for Coach Hafley but for everyone associated with the football program, as the college football landscape becomes more chaotic every week and the future remains unpredictable. Boston College simply has to find a way to win a bunch of football games this year or risk putting the program on the losing end of conference realignment and having the inability to recruit the talent they need to complete at the Power 5 level.

Boston College Football Fans once had sympathy and understanding that 2020 was a year full of distractions (Covid-19), and that 2021 was a season ended by a fluke injury (Phil Jurkovec), but for the disaster that was the 2022 season the excuses don't matter anymore. It will now be Jeff Hafley's fourth season as the head coach, and there will be no room for excuses, BC simply needs to have a winning season this year.

Now, not everything looks hopeless, in fact, the hype and excitement among die-hards is high despite the expectations still being low. It doesn't make that much sense, but that's what it feels like to be a Boston College Football fan sometimes. But let us show you why you should be excited about this season.

The biggest reason is that Boston College has the easiest-rated schedule out of all Power 5 teams. This is the real reason why fans and some media have the ceiling for this team set so high. It's because if there is somehow significant improvement from last year, they have the opportunity to put up a huge amount of wins. The schedule is so weak that despite going 3-9 last year, Vegas expects the Eagles to win 5.5 games, and if you have been following this team in the offseason, you would think that taking the over is easy money.

Most of the media has completely underrated the potential of this football team. While, yes, Boston College did lose their star wide receiver Zay Flowers who rewrote the BC record book for receivers as the program's all-time leader in receptions, touchdowns, and yards. But what the mainstream media won't tell you is that this BC Football team is better at all the places that let them down last year, and not only are they better, BC now has depth at those positions.

Jeff Hafley listened to all of the criticisms last year and took advantage of the transfer portal. While no one could ever really replace Zay Flowers, Hafley brought in graduate transfer Ryan O'Keefe to help restore some of Zay's production. Ryan O'Keefe is a Two-time All-American Athletic Conference Selection who surpassed 1,000 all-purpose yards in each of the last two seasons, he was 20th in the nation in receptions per game (6.5) last year, and there have been reports that he is faster than Zay Flowers.

Fun Fact: Ryan O'Keefe received Zay Flower's blessing to wear the number 4 jersey this year, both of them want to start the tradition of the fastest wide receiver on the team getting the honor of wearing number 4.

Jeff Hafley also confronted the problem of the O-line which was the biggest concern in the offseason and the ultimate reason the season derailed last year. Jeff Hafley brought in two offensive linemen from the transfer portal, Logan Taylor and Kyle Hergel. But the most notable addition to the entire team this year is the return of star lineman Christian Mahogany who missed the entire 2022 season due to injury. Mohagany has already been named to the Preseason All-ACC Team and some projections have him being drafted in the first round of this year's upcoming NFL Draft. So, if you weren't paying attention Boston College just went from having one of the worst O-lines in the country, to at the very least the most improved and with a lot more depth.

Check out the other notable Boston College players on the Preseason Watch Lists.

Last year, 8 out of 12 regular season games were considered likely wins or toss-up games, and this year 7 out of 12 are considered likely wins or toss-up games, in the other five games BC is expected to lose. The interesting thing is while the momentum of this team is at an all-time low after last year's doleful performance, the expectations for wins are pretty similar because the strength of the schedule is so weak.

There is no room for excuses this year. Coach Hafley has the advantage, he has a more than manageable schedule, and he has his recruits and his scheme. It's his time to get in, get a bunch of wins, or get out.

2023 Boston College Football Team (Photo: BC Athletics)

Below are all the scenarios for the 2023 Boston College Football Season. The win probabilities shown are from the current 2023 ESPN Analytics.

2023 Schedule:

Week 1: Northern Illinois - FAVORITE 71%

Week 2: Holy Cross - WIN 94%

Week 3: Florida State - UNDERDOG 16%

Week 4: at Louisville - UNDERDOG 21%

Week 5: Virginia - TOSS UP 56%

Week 6: at Army - TOSS UP 52%

Week 7: ***BYE***

Week 8: at Georgia Tech - TOSS UP 37%

Week 9: UConn - FAVORITE 73%

Week 10: at Syracuse - UNDERDOG 19%

Week 11: Virginia Tech - TOSS UP 47%

Week 12: at Pittsburgh - UNDERDOG 17%

Week 13: Miami - UNDERDOG 25%

Worst Case: (5-7)

Not going bowling would be the worst-case scenario, especially knowing that Boston College has only competed in one bowl game in the past 5 seasons. If this happened, Jeff Hafley should and would most likely be fired at the end of the season. Anything less than a winning season would be depressing, embarrassing, and disastrous for Boston College. Embarrassing and depressing because BC will rarely ever see an easier schedule, and disastrous because the BC football program and the ACC are fighting for relevancy. The expectations are high, the strength of schedule is low, and unfortunately for Coach Hafley the capacity and excuse for L's exists no longer, Boston College has to find a way to have a winning season this year no matter what.

Luckily for BC Football Fans, the worse-case scenario is very unlikely compared to previous years. It will take a couple of bad losses and a lot of bad luck for this scenario to play out. While it is still very possible (as we saw last year), again given the strength of schedule, it would be a challenge to lose more than 7 games, hence why this scenario is very unlikely.

Most Likely: (7-5)

This scenario seems pretty likely, in fact, we were debating about predicting 8-4 as the most likely outcome. But going 7-5 seems more likely and would still be considered a successful season. This would mean that Jeff Hafley was able to take care of business, win most of the toss-up games (at least 3 out of 4), and steal at least one game as an underdog (1 out of 5). This would guarantee a winning season and give the Eagles the opportunity to play in a bowl and get to 8 wins for the first time since 2009. If you take an honest look at the 2023 schedule, the 7-5 scenario seems to be the most realistic and achievable.

Give or Take a Game:

(6-6) Would absolutely not be considered a successful season. While this 6-6 "Steve Addazio Scenario" is not the worst-case scenario, it honestly should be. If Hafley can't win more than 6 games then we might have to rename this scenario. This 6-6 scenario used to be the worst thing possible and now BC is happy to just reach above it, this has to change.

(8-4) Would be considered a very successful regular season. It is amazing how much a single game can turn the momentum around. Most people can't even remember the last time BC won 8 games in a single season (2009). This would be a significant step forward and would help out recruiting in a big way.

Best Case: (10-2)

If everything goes right, somehow this BC Football Team has the potential to be a Top 25 team by the end of the year. For this scenario to happen, Boston College would need to pull off at least three big upsets in the ACC along with winning all of their toss-up games.

BC has a chance at accomplishing this if the O-line is back to form as one of the top lines in the conference. When you look at the production returning on defense and offense, the only obvious question is how improved will the offensive line be. If the O-line can become one cohesive unit with the return of Christian Mohagany leading them at the helm, they could really take advantage of this weak schedule and turn this year into a special season for the Eagles.

This scenario is very unlikely but not as wild as you might think. There is a reason we put the ceiling win total so high. While everything would need to go right for this to happen, the practicality of pulling it off is a lot more reasonable knowing the soft schedule and the surprise factor that will be the O-line improvement.

Hail Mary: (12-0)

We call this scenario the "Hail Mary Scenario" because while the other scenarios are based on reality, this fantasy case scenario is extremely unlikely (close to impossible), but it allows us to reflect on the current state of Boston College. If you are a true BC Football Fan you know that while there is very little hope for an actual National Championship run this year, anything is possible, and at Boston College, Hail Mary plays & National Championships (1940) are part of our beloved history and sports culture.

For this scenario to work, Boston College will need to pull off one of the biggest upsets at home in Week 3 and beat Florida State. Now, before you say that this is impossible - you're wrong - because this will be a nationally televised game (on ABC) in front of a sold-out Alumni Stadium and it will be Boston College's Red Bandana Game. It was only in 2017 when BC hosted FSU for the Red Bandana Game and dominated them, beating them 35-3.

Crazier things have happened, and just imagine if BC pulls off this upset and starts 3-0, go ahead and take another look at their schedule and try and find their first L. If Boston College beats Florida State in Week 3, that means the O-line is back, the defense is finally up to Hafley's standards, and this team could actually go 12-0 realistically from then on out.

Most people are unaware, but there is a lot to get excited about for this upcoming 2023 football season. And while it might seem unwise to raise expectations in fear of being gutted by the misfortunes and pains that come with being a Boston College Football Fan. When Gerard Phelan caught Doug Flutie's Hail Mary pass for a touchdown in 1984, for a moment, Boston was a college football town. We all just need to stay loyal like Zay Flowers and Christian Mohagany (who both turned down NIL deals to stay at Boston College), for this moment will come again.

For Boston, for Boston!

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