As we welcome a new year, ESPN Boston writers have checked their crystal balls and are making some bold predictions. Here are three for Boston-area colleges:
1. Charley Molnar and UMass win more than one game. The transition to Division I-A was never supposed to be easy, but things were incredibly difficult for Molnar and the Minutemen in 2012. Their first win didn’t come until Week 10 against Akron, and there wouldn’t be another one as they finished 1-11 (1-7 in the Mid-American Conference).
Attendance at Gillette Stadium suffered as a result.
Things should get better in Year 2 at the BCS level. Molnar and his staff have had a year to recruit talent to fit the level, and the players on the roster have a better idea of what it takes (on and off the field) to compete.
That should translate into more than a single victory in 2013.
2. BC wins more than two games. Nine days after new athletic director Brad Bates fired Eagles football coach Frank Spaziani, he hired Steve Addazio to lead the program. The fiery former Temple head coach and Florida offensive coordinator (and interim head coach) continues to remodel the BC program, starting with new coordinators Ryan Day (offense and quarterbacks coach) and Ron Brown (defense).
While by no means facing an easy task rebuilding the BC program, it would be shocking if Addazio didn’t squeeze at least three wins out of the Eagles’ roster in 2013.
3. No Massachusetts teams go dancing in March. For four of the six Division I men’s basketball schools, this isn’t going out on much of a limb. Boston University isn’t eligible for the America East postseason since it’s leaving for the Patriot League in 2013-14, so an NCAA berth is a long, long shot. It’s been a long time since Holy Cross (2007) and Northeastern (1991) made the Big Dance. Boston College is mired in a rebuilding phase, last making the tourney in 2009.
UMass (last in the Dance in ’98) and Harvard probably have the best chance, but even they face long odds. UMass has to contend with an improved Atlantic 10, now featuring No. 25 Butler and Virginia Commonwealth. Harvard is trying to contend without stars Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry, and may not have the depth and experience to beat teams like Princeton.
Check out ESPN Boston's 13 predictions for 2013 by CLICKING HERE.