GREENSBORO, N.C. — Predictably, the members of the Atlantic Coast Conference media Monday selected the Boston College football team to finish last in the Atlantic Division.
The Eagles went 2-10 last season (1-7 in the conference) under former coach Frank Spaziani.
The prediction came as no great shock to first-year BC coach Steve Addazio, but it still didn’t sit well.
“You got to go play a season, that’s why you play the games,’’ Addazio said. “We came off a 2-10 year and we haven’t done anything yet. So we got to go out there and we’ve got to play well and give people a fair assessment of where we are.
“Is it something we want to see? No, we don’t want to see that. But is it realistic? Yeah. I mean, what do you judge it off? You judge it off what you saw at the finish last year. Well, the finish wasn’t real good, so we’ve got to change that and that’s what I’m looking forward to.’’
Addazio expected to bring the preseason poll up with his team when it gathers for the start of camp Aug. 4.
“You’re talking about competitive people,” he said. “I’m competitive and our players are competitive. You think it feels good to see that? No, it doesn’t feel good, nor should it. And that’s what you’re striving to change and that’s what we’re working on right now — to change that.
“If we don’t like where we are, then we’d better do something about it.’’
Senior quarterback Chase Rettig said the team needs to put its best foot forward Aug. 31 against Villanova in the season opener at Alumni Stadium.
“The big thing is that we want to win the opener,’’ Rettig said. “The last few seasons we haven’t won the opener. We’ve had really good games, and people have played really well, but we just haven’t won the game.
“So the big thing would be winning the opener, then scratch and claw to get bowl-eligible to get back to where we were when we had our bowl streak [12 straight from 1999 to 2010].’’
Full ACC preseason poll: According to media members who attended ACC Football Kickoff. First-place votes in parentheses, with total points.
1. Clemson (102)
2. Florida State (18)
3. N.C. State
4. Wake Forest
7. Boston College
1. Miami (65)
2. Virginia Tech (27)
3. North Carolina (22)
4. Georgia Tech (6)
NCAA under siege
Echoing recent concerns voiced by Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, ACC commissioner John Swofford said Monday that the NCAA faced some seismic changes at its annual convention in January.
A fault line seemingly has developed between the five power conferences — the ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-12 — and the rest of the NCAA over their governance, and whether they should form a “super division’’ within the NCAA’s framework or break away from the intercollegiate athletic organization.
“If the five conferences were to break off, I mean, that’s a complicated move,’’ Swofford told USA Today. “You’d have to, in essence, duplicate the NCAA in some form or fashion, and then what does that mean for intercollegiate athletics? So if you’ve got another division, if that’s the answer within the NCAA, you can maneuver and find an appropriate way, I think, to address those kinds of issues.’’
The NCAA is under siege on several fronts, from the class-action suit brought by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon seeking compensation for the use of college athletes’ names and likenesses, to the internal controversy brought on by its enforcement division’s mishandling of University of Miami’s infraction case, to the frustration over the lack of movement on stipends for student-athletes.
Those issues could bring imminent changes to the NCAA. “I think that message has gotten through,’’ Swofford said.
With Syracuse and Pittsburgh joining the ACC this season, Addazio said he hoped the Orange, who host the Eagles in the season finale Nov. 30, would extend the natural rivalry the institutions shared as former Big East teams. “When I was at Syracuse, BC was an absolute rival game,” Addazio said. “It was posted as a rival game. It would be and it should be — and it will be.” . . . Clemson was picked to win the Atlantic Division while Miami was selected as the favorite in the Coastal Division. Clemson, which returns quarterback Tajh Boyd, who was selected as the preseason Player of the Year, was picked to win the conference championship game Dec. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.