Two days after Boston College football climbed back into the AP Top 25 for the first time in five weeks, the program took an ever bigger step: On Tuesday evening, the Eagles made their first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings, clocking in as the No. 22 team in the nation, the highest BC has been ranked in any poll since 2008.
Every season, the 13-member CFP committee—which consists of one current athletic director from each Power Five conference, former coaches, players, administrators, and a retired member of the media—releases its Top 25 weekly rankings throughout the back half of the regular season. Strength of schedule, team records, head-to-head results, and eventually championships all factor into the committee’s decisions. But unlike the AP or Coaches Poll, the CFP committee doesn’t employ computer rankings to establish hierarchy. The top four teams in the final rankings are seeded in that order for the playoff. Since the CFP was instituted back in 2014, the Eagles have posted a 30-29 overall record, finishing 7-6 three separate seasons.
There are five ACC representatives in the first edition of this year’s CFP rankings, featuring one more than this week’s AP Poll. BC is located three spots ahead of UVA, whereas it is positioned behind the Cavaliers in the AP Top 25. Syracuse—listed at No. 22 in the AP Poll—jumped to No. 19 in the CFP rankings. And then North Carolina State was added to the mix at No. 21 after missing out on the AP Top 25 for the first time since Week Five. As expected, though, Clemson remained at the two spot, trailing behind reigning national champion Alabama.
Whether or not the Eagles make a home for themselves in the CFP rankings is likely dependent on their matchup with Virginia Tech this weekend. A win over the Hokies could propel BC into the top 20, but a loss would probably cut the program’s stay inside the poll short. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Eagles currently have a 45 percent chance to make the playoff if they run the table.
All season, BC’s accomplishments have been traced back to its 2008 counterpart—the last Eagles team to crack the AP Poll and make it to the ACC Championship. Tuesday, however, is a first.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor
Graphic by Andy Backstrom / Heights Editor