Boston College Notes - 10/13/2003
The crucial portion of Boston College’s season will occur over the next four weeks. Not that anything is certain, but the Eagles are very likely to end the season with a win over Rutgers, followed by a loss in the season finale at Virginia Tech. Between now and then, BC will play four games that will define their season. Those four opponents will be Syracuse on the road, followed by home games against Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. If BC can win three of these four games they will likely finish the regular season at 8-4 and head to a fifth consecutive bowl game. A 7-5 record probably gets the Eagles into a bowl game as well. The games played among Pittsburgh, Syracuse, BC and West Virginia will be particularly interesting as these teams fight for positioning (probably third place) in the Big East. The conference standings are important because, in large part, they determine who goes to which bowl games. Non-conference games will also play a role because overall record is as important, if not more important, than conference standing. Syracuse and BC have lost just once in conference play and each has a remaining game with Notre Dame. Pittsburgh has lost twice out of conference. West Virginia has lost three times outside of the Big East, which will put them at a disadvantage when bowl resumes are considered.
There is a chance that the third place team in the Big East will earn itself a trip to the Gator Bowl. Obviously, the Big East champion gets an automatic BCS slot but the Big East may also get one of the two at large BCS slots if the loser of the November 1st Miami-Virginia Tech game finishes the season with only one loss (assuming that the winner of the Miami/VA Tech game wins the Big East). If the Big East gets two BCS bids, that opens up the Gator Bowl (reserved for the 2nd place team in the Big East) to the third best Big East team. It also means that the conference gets one extra guaranteed bowl spot (provided that enough teams have the minimum requirement of six Division 1A wins).
The irony of this is that BC could knock itself out of the Gator Bowl by beating the Hokies in the season finale on November 22nd. Here’s how:
As you can see, the Eagles would have essentially knocked themselves into a less desirable bowl by winning the game. A scenario such as this, though unlikely, is one of the many reasons why I despise the BCS system.
This week’s BC-Syracuse game will feature two of the nation’s top three rushers. Boston College’s Derrick Knight currently leads the nation in rushing yards (886) and rushing yards per game (148). Syracuse’s Walter Reyes is third in rushing yards per game (144), third in rushing touchdowns (11) and second in yards per carry (6.7). Do either of these guys get even a mention for Heisman Trophy candidacy? Of course not. If both of these backs rush for 300 yards this week, you still won’t hear about either one of them. The definition of the Heisman Trophy should be changed to “most outstanding player in college football on a popular team.” Oregon State’s Steven Jackson, VA Tech's Kevin Jones and Michigan’s Chris Perry are often mentioned as Heisman hopefuls. Here are the numbers:
I’m not sure how to feel about BC’s impending move to the ACC. This could turn out to be a very good move or a very bad move, but I’m not sure that Boston College had any choice but to accept the invitation. Had they said “No” to the ACC, there is a very good chance that one of the other Big East schools would have said “Yes.” Add to that the possibility of Syracuse or Pittsburgh becoming the twelfth member of the Big Ten and crushing Big East football beyond repair. I was never in favor of joining the ACC without Syracuse, but thanks to Mike Tranghese's mismanagement, Big East football is a sinking ship. It was time to jump in the lifeboat. Boston College is swallowing its pride by accepting the ACC's offer after the way they were treated. On the other hand, it would be difficult to remain in the Big East after the frivilous lawsuits and angry words uttered by hypocrites who were upset because the ACC was not interested in them. In other words, BC was forced to choose the lesser of two evils. They chose the situation with the bigger upside. The following is my breakdown of BC’s decision of whether or not to join the ACC.
To read my more detailed comments on ACC expansion (from this past summer when Syracuse was included)
please click HERE.