Jeff: Ok, Brian. Six games left in the season and BC's toughest games are behind them and they survived with a 4-2 record. We are currently 2.5 point favorites against NC State. If lines were put out in Vegas today for the rest of our games, I'm guessing we would be favored at Maryland and in our other two home games. BC would be an underdog at Notre Dame and something like a pick 'em at Virginia. Let's assume that the Eagles will win at least 4 more games this season. Which four, in order, would you like to see the Eagles win? All four ACC games virtually guaranteeing them a trip to Tampa? Beat Notre Dame and who cares about the rest? What games you got?
Brian: You are correct in saying that BC will be favored in four of their final six games. As of this week, we would be an underdog at Virginia of the +2.5 or +3 point variety. And we stand to be a 8 or 9 point underdog when we travel to South Bend (as of this week). A USC blowout of the Irish paired with a BC victory this weekend may very well bring this line down significantly, but right now we are looking at being more than a touchdown underdog vs. Notre Dame.
As for the games I most want to see the Eagles win, here’s my list, starting with the game I want to see BC win the most:
- NC State - If the Eagles have any hope of getting to the ACC Championship Game for a third straight season, it has to start this Saturday. Tom O’Brien is 0-2 against his old squad and in no way do I want to see this record go to 1-2. This is probably one of the most winnable games left on the schedule and we can’t afford a letdown here. If Duke could blow these guys out on the road …
- At Maryland - I would absolutely love for the Eagles to travel down to College Park and take out the Terps. Revenge is a dish best served cold. There are plenty of players on this current team that remember Maryland upsetting a Top 10 ranked Eagles team in 2007. A win in College Park would likely end an absolutely miserable season for the Terrapins, and also likely end Ralph Friedgen’s stint at Maryland.
- North Carolina - While the Eagles haven’t had the opportunity to play the Tar Heels much since joining the ACC, UNC has been somewhat of a thorn in the side of the Eagles the past few seasons. North Carolina remains the one team that the Eagles haven’t beaten since joining the league, and I’m eager to strike the Heels off the list of teams that BC hasn’t defeated in ACC play.
- At Virginia - This game is shaping up to be a fairly good game if Virginia can keep its offense rolling. Surprisingly, BC and Virginia haven’t seen much of each other historically. BC leads the all-time series 3-0 but will be making their first-ever trip to Charlottesville in November. If we can win my top 3 games, and get just a little bit of help from Clemson and Wake Forest, we will likely be able to wrap up the Division title without winning this game. However, a win would help the Atlantic Division salvage just a little bit of dignity against the Coastal Division (Atlantic is currently 0-5 vs. the Coastal).
- At Notre Dame - Yes, I realize I’m going to this game and I will be in a pretty foul mood on the bus trip back to Chicago if we can’t knock off the Irish for a seventh straight time. But nowadays the Eagles have bigger goals in mind than simply beating the Irish. As you know, we are actually in a conference and the Eagles’ goal year in and year out should be to win the Atlantic Division and get another shot at winning the ACC. The goal isn’t simply to beat Notre Dame. Even if the Eagles lose to Notre Dame, we’ll get them next year in Chestnut Hill to even the series at 10 as we say farewell to playing the Irish in football after 2010.
- Central Michigan - The only reason I would even consider having this game higher on the list is for momentum going into the bye week. Plenty of ACC teams have much more embarrassing non-conference losses than BC, and losing to arguably one of the five best non-BCS conference teams – even at home – wouldn’t be nearly as bad. Central Michigan is a dangerous team and they have already proven that they could hang with the big boys with a 29-27 win at Michigan State. The Eagles will have to have a good day and the home Shinskie will have to show up to beat the Chippewas.
Jeff: How bad would Notre Dame have to lose and how big would BC have to win for the Eagles-Irish game to be a pick 'em or for BC to be slight favorites? This might only be possible with a Clausen injury which I am certainly not hoping for, basically just thinking out loud. On to my list.
- NC State - I am going to agree with you for my #1 and go with NC State also. The Tom O'Brien factor alone gets the NC State game high on the list at the beginning of the season. Now that BC is coming off of such a terrible loss at Virginia Tech, next week would be pretty miserable if the Eagles cannot bounce back on Saturday.
- At Notre Dame - We might not win the division or we might go to the ACC Championship Game by only winning 3 of 4 more games (mathematically, we could win 2 of 4 ACC games and still go to Tampa. Not that that would be very fun). But rather than winning conference games which only truly matter if we win other conference games later and go to Tampa, I would like to see BC beat Notre Dame on national television and end the talk of Notre Dame going to a BCS bowl and Clausen being a strong Heisman candidate. This might be our only nationally televised game left this season. Notre Dame has to be near the top of your list at the beginning of the season and it still should be.
- North Carolina - This will be the only other game I'll be attending this season unless we make it to Tampa so I'd really like to see a win after attending both the Clemson game and the Virginia Tech game.
- At Maryland - Whether the Maryland game is the last game before a bowl game or before the ACC Championship Game, we need a W here to have a good taste in our mouth going into the next game which is sure to be a challenge.
And that's it. The board only has four slots. I beat you at food chain, the game that doesn't even crown winners!
Your thoughts? Which remaining games do you want to see the Eagles win the most?