Spaziani: We want to win the Orange Bowl


Spaziani: We want to win the Orange Bowl

The Boston College Eagles have set their hopes high at the start of training camp.

Head football coach Frank Spaziani put it all on the table: "We want to go to the Orange Bowl, and we want to win that."

It's not a prediction. Spaziani doesn't make predictions; he focuses instead on "affecting the future." And it starts with the first on his checklist of team goals -- the ACC Atlantic Division.

BC must beat out Wake Forest, Florida State, Maryland, Clemson and NC State for the division. That would lead to an appearance in the ACC title game. If all goes right in Charlotte on December 3, BC would land in the Orange Bowl.

He admitted it won't be easy, but says his players understand the work necessary to accomplish these goals.

"Where we finish up as far as what national ranking, I don't know. But that's what we're here for in this program; not to be mediocre, not to be in the middle of the pack," said Spaziani. "We're trying to be the best we possibly can be."

The Eagles finished 7-6 in the 2010 season, losing to No. 15 Nevada, 20-13, in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Sophomore quarterback Chase Rettig, running back Montel Harris and consensus All-America linebacker Luke Kuechly return to lead the team.

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply skating my lane today.

*A terrific piece on Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell getting on with his life after an MS diagnosis, and pushing to see if he can return to the ice.

*If the New York Islanders botch the hirings for people guiding the franchise, then John Tavares could be one of the next figures gone from Brooklyn.

*It’s been a rough go of it for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen over the past few weeks and that continued on Thursday night.

*Top NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick’s value comes from his two-way play, and that’s what teams are focused on rather than the injury issues.

*Mike Babcock talks a wide range of subjects with James Duthie during a 1-on-1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach.

*In his never-ending odyssey on the fringes of the NHL, Seth Griffith has been claimed by the Maple Leafs on waivers for the second time.

*Veteran forward Clarke MacArthur won’t be playing this season for the Ottawa Senators amid his concussion issues.

*For something completely different: Bill Belichick just being Bill Belichick at his press conference on Friday and that’s something we can all be reassured about.


Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had perfect attendance at Friday's practice, meaning they had all 53 players on their active roster present and accounted for at all three practices this week. 

Contrast that with how things have gone for the Steelers this week, and there is a stark difference. Star running back Le'Veon Bell missed each of his team's first two on-the-field workouts this week, and several Steelers players are dealing with a bug that seems to have circulated the locker room. 

The Patriots could have an interesting game-day roster decision to make should Chris Hogan (thigh), Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Danny Amendola (ankle) both be healthy enough to play on Sunday. They have not entered a game with five receivers in uniform this season but could potentially dress Mitchell, Amendola, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Michael Floyd.

Other players listed as limited participants in practice this week are Brandon Bolden (knee), Martellus Bennett (knee), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) and Jabaal Sheard (knee).