POINT/COUNTERPOINT: Will BC Football Make a Bowl Game
BC Schedule Is Too Big Of An Obstacle
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 01:09
Although the Boston College football team has already matched its win total from last season by posting a 2-1 record, it is still not prudent to consider the Eagles a lock for a postseason bowl just yet.
In fact, based on the team’s play so far, and especially against USC last week, it is most prudent to predict that Eagles will miss out on one of the 70 FBS bowls once again.
Had the Eagles at least put up a decent fight against USC last Saturday, the outlook for the rest of the season may be a little brighter. USC demonstrated, however, that loading up the box on defense could effectively shut down the BC run game, which had been great in the first two games.
Given that Chase Retting has proven he simply isn’t the type of quarterback that has the tools or receivers necessary to take over a game, loading up the box will consequently result in the entire offense being shut down. This much was clear by BC’s ability to score just seven points on Saturday.
To be considered for a bowl, a team must finish the season with at least a .500 record. While there are circumstances when a 6-7 team could be given a bowl bid, that usually only happens in the event that a 6-6 team loses in their conference championship. Given that BC is in the Atlantic Division with No. 8 Florida State and No. 3 Clemson, that won’t happen.
Additionally, in May, the ACC announced that for the 2013 season there would be eight bowls available for ACC teams to take part in, along with the potential for a ninth conditional slot.
Thus, if BC is to be given bowl consideration the team has to have a record of 6-6 and be one of the top eight teams in the conference. Looking ahead at the team’s final eight games, neither of these criteria are locks.
Jameis Winston and Florida State are the Eagles’ next opponent, coming to Alumni Stadium two weekends from now, and should bring the Eagles’ overall record to 2-2.
With the next two games after that being against Army, who the Eagles should beat, and Clemson, odds are that the Eagles will be 3-3 at best with a 1-2 conference record halfway through the season. After this point, assuming that BC has not lost to Army and been winless for its last four games, things get more interesting.
On Oct. 26, the Eagles will play North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Though the Tar Heels are currently only 1-1, they are led by one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the ACC, Bryn Renner, who will give the Eagles a lot of trouble.
That game is no where close to being considered a given for the Eagles, whose linebacker core got banged up against USC last weekend, and neither will its next game against Virginia Tech, currently 2-1 with their only loss being to No. 1 Alabama.
Eight games into the year, the Eagles could easily be two games under .500 with an overall record of 3-5, with four of those losses coming against ACC opponents.
Luckily for the Eagles, they face off next against New Mexico State in what should be an easy win. With three games left to go in the season, look for the Eagles to need two more wins in order to hit the target record of 6-6 for bowl eligibility.
Considering that the Eagles will be facing NC State, Maryland, and Syracuse, the first two being teams that are 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, and taking into account how much the team struggled when put against its first serious competition of the season, the team simply cannot be expected to win two out of their last three and should finish 5-6 at best.
Although the Eagles will improve on their disappointing two-win season a year ago, they will ultimately end up falling just short of making a bowl game.
The team is scheduled to face much more skilled offenses and defenses than those of Villanova and Wake Forest showed, schemes that more closely resemble the ones used by USC, to fluster the Eagles into struggles on both sides of the ball. Right now there is no need to make plans for a return to a bowl game at the end of the season.