This week is the unofficial start of ACC football, as the media, coaches and select players head to Charlotte for the 2022 ACC Kickoff event. There will be a lot of interest this year in what commissioner Jim Phillips has to say about the state of his conference. For Boston College, they will be represented by head coach Jeff Hafley, quarterback Phil Jurkovec, defensive back Josh DeBerry and wide receiver Zay Flowers.
Here are five storylines to watch at the event that could be impactful for the Eagles
1. The Future of the Conference
Storylines at many conference kickoffs can be pretty generic and boilerplate for a typical year. This will not be the case at the '22 ACC Kickoff. All eyes are going to be on commissioner Phillips as he could give hints to the future of the conference. Going on the offensive and grabbing programs? Some sort of partnership to announce with the Pac-12? How about the state of negotiations with ESPN? Any hint at any of these would be huge news for the conference.
2. The Changing Landscape of College Football
Phillips may also address the aggressive additions by the Big Ten and SEC. Right now it looks like those two conferences have distanced themselves from everyone else. Hopefully the ACC commissioner addresses this. How does he see the future of college football? Will there be fundamental changes in the structure and set up not only of the conferences but of the college football playoffs as well?
3. Getting Rid of Divisions
Another big move by the conference this offseason was the removal of the Atlantic and Coastal divisions starting in 2023. In their place the conference put in a 3-5-5 model that would rotate five teams in each year, and give each team three permanent opponents on their schedule. Phillips may have some good insights on why this was instituted and what value it brings the conference moving forward. Jeff Hafley may also provide his insight and thoughts on how this will impact Boston College moving forward. And does he have any thoughts on getting teams like Duke, Georgia Tech, and others on the schedule more often, while having Clemson/FSU/Louisville less frequently?
4. The Offensive Line
One of the biggest question marks facing Boston College this year will be the completely new offensive line. The Eagles lost all five starters from last year, four to the NFL Draft, and one (Christian Mahogany) to a season ending knee injury. Four of the names expected to become starters are well known at this point: Jack Conley, Drew Kendall, Ozzy Trapilo & Finn Dirstine. But Mahogany's injury raises questions on who the fifth player is, and how the team's plan changed. Will Hafley give an update on some of the names to watch for? Will there be some insight given on how the line is looking, and how new offensive line coach Dave Deguglielmo is connecting with them? The line will be a storyline to watch all season, and it starts this week at ACC Kickoff.
5. Jurkovec's Last Stand
Quarterback Phil Jurkovec is now heading into his third and final season with Boston College after transferring in 2020 from Notre Dame. His first season was mostly positive, but the end of the year, just like '21 was marred with injuries. Now reportedly back at 100%, Jurkovec has one more chance to show that he is not only a very good quarterback, but an elite one. If he truly is an NFL caliber quarterback, and one that could be drafted in the first round, then this needs to be his year. He needs to play the full 12 games, and continue to grow and improve. The ACC Media Kickoff could be a great chance to hear directly from Jurkovec and his coach on what he has been working on, and his goals for the upcoming season.
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