After its first non-bowl season in 13 years, there's plenty of change going on. That puts the Eagles a little behind in the odds to win the BCS championship compared to other big schools.
USC has the best odds to win it all this year, at 4-1, followed by LSU at 9-2, Alabama at 11-2, Notre Dame at 25-1 and Virginia Tech at 28-1.
Boston College has 200-1 odds to win the national title.
The Eagles typically have a solid defense, and they should again even with the departure of linebacker Luke Kuechly, but the offense seems to drag the team down. It's no surprise that the offense is under construction, with a new coordinator.
Doug Martin is the man in the crosshairs now as the Eagles' offensive coordinator, and he made it quite clear in spring practice that he's going to do everything in his power to get this offense going. Much of that will have to do with the backfield, which has been inconsistent so far.
Quarterback Chase Rettig came to Chestnut Hill with plenty of credentials, but that he's an upperclassman and isn't entirely secure of the starting job shows he hasn't played to the level of expectation. As a junior, Rettig will be working in what Martin describes as a West Coast passing game, but if he can't grow, Josh Bordner will get a shot.
Without a doubt, the key to the Eagles' success will be quarterback play, and if spring practices are any indication, there's still plenty of work to do. Eagles quarterbacks combined for four touchdowns, five interceptions and a 53.7 completion percentage through spring.
The other concern in the backfield is the health of running back Montel Harris. Although he was tabbed the preseason Offensive Player of the Year in the ACC last year, he missed the year with a knee injury and was still absent through most of spring practice. He gave it a go the first day but was quickly shut down due to soreness in his left knee.
At one point in his career, Harris was considered to have potential to be one of the best backs in the country, but he's missed so much time that nobody knows what to expect. He was granted a medical hardship waiver to return for one more season, but some pundits question whether he'll ever suit up for the Eagles again.
If we're thinking positive and Harris makes it back, Rettig improves and Martin's new scheme works out, the Eagles will undoubtedly be better than their 112th offensive ranking last season. While it seems like a very low bar to meet, nothing is being taken for granted.
And while Harris earned an extra year of eligibility, the Eagles were dealt a blow when receiver Ifeanyi Momah was denied a sixth year. He likely would have been a big contributor, but he's gone now, and others will have to step up.
In spring practice, Spiffy Evans looked good, and he’ll continue to get more playing time with Momah gone. Another weapon that could help shoulder the load is redshirt freshman Brian Miller, who is a former tight end who now lines up outside. He's got a 6-foot-4 frame, which should help if Rettig misses on a throw or two. At his former position, Chris Pantale and Mike Giacone should get a chance to produce.
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