Today we play a game of Toss Up, looking back at recent history of the Eagles and Irish series.
Toss Up - More dominant victory? 2007 (Boston College 27, Notre Dame 13) or 2008 (Boston College 17, Notre Dame 0)
Jeff: I think this is pretty much a no-brainer because a shutout is always sweet no matter how much our offense went super conservative and struggled to put points on the board. I would take losses in our remaining 4 games in exchange for a shutout on Saturday.
Brian: Are you crazy? A shutout against Notre Dame over wins in our remaining 4 games? What are those bragging rights over the Irish going to do for you after 2010? Nothing. Especially after losing to Central Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland! If we shutout Notre Dame only to finish the season 6-6 (3-5) and play in the EagleBank Bowl or GMAC Bowl, I will be severely depressed.
Anyhow, the answer to this question is indeed that the 2008 game was the more dominant victory, however it only gets the nod over the 2007 game slightly. It's true BC shut out the Irish last year, but remember that in the 2007 game, the Eagles led 20-0 early in the third quarter. The Irish only managed to score when Weis benched Jimmy Clausen in the third quarter, and again on a Matt Ryan interception. It's true a shutout is more dominant, but we certainly didn't look good doing it.
Toss Up - Better defensive touchdown? Paul Anderson’s 76-yard interception return for a touchdown (2008) or Josh Ott’s 71-yard "interception" return for a touchdown (2002)
Brian: While Josh Ott’s 71-yard interception (can you call that an interception?!) was a more defining moment in the history of the Holy War, with the Green jerseys and knocking off the No. 4 ranked Irish and all … I’m going to go with Paul Anderson’s interception last year. For one, it was a 5 yards longer than Ott’s interception catch. Two, Anderson had to navigate through basically the entire Irish offense. Anderson made 6 or 7 guys miss him as he found pay dirt. Ott didn’t have to beat anyone except for the quarterback. Three, Anderson had 2 interceptions on the day and the Eagles intercepted Irish QB Jimmy Clausen four times on the day, which was especially sweet given that we had to endure all the "Clausen for Heisman" talk leading up to this game last year. You can watch the Paul Anderson interception here. Unfortunately, you can’t watch Ott’s interception online since Hulu is only interested in posting BC-Notre Dame highlights in years that the Irish actually, you know, win.
Jeff: You must only be going with Paul Anderson because you were not at the game in 2002. The game in 2002 was especially sweet for BC fans because Notre Dame was undefeated and chose to wear the green jerseys. The Josh Ott play was also extremely unexpected because it was before our defense really got into the Spaz mode of always looking to score. Last year, Paul Anderson's pick 6 was just one of many interceptions on the team that led the nation in picks. Or just consider the fact that Notre Dame was unranked last year vs. #4 in 2002. The 2002 game was also on the road vs. last year being at home so that should count for something as well. Josh Ott in, 2002 without question.
Last one, and shifting gears to the conference and the Eagles' title game hopes ...
Toss Up - This year’s ACC Championship Game: All ex-Big East affair or something else?
Brian: Chances are really good of an All ex-Big East affair for the third straight season so I’ll go with this. In the Coastal Division race, I like either Virginia Tech or Miami (Fla.) to pull away from Georgia Tech and represent that side in Tampa. I’m not sold on Georgia Tech’s defense and although they probably have the easiest of ACC schedules left of the three, even if everyone wins out (very possible), I think you’ll see the Hokies or the Hurricanes atop the BCS Standings and heading to Tampa. In the Atlantic, I’ve already been yelled at by you suggesting that Clemson could very well go 6-2 or 5-3 and the Eagles going 5-3. That would give the Tigers the Atlantic Division. But chances are still good that the Eagles can get there given an easier remaining ACC schedule. Something would have to go seriously, seriously wrong for Maryland, NC State or Florida State to rise up and win this thing, and I think Wake Forest’s schedule is too tough (Miami, at Georgia Tech, Florida State) to take their Division title hopes seriously. Given the Eagles have as good a chance of any of them of representing the Atlantic, and both Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech are likely going to finish atop the Coastal, chances are very good for a Big East South Championship Game played for the third straight season.
Jeff: Simply put, 3 of the 5 teams potentially going to Tampa at this point (or should I still include Virginia?) are former Big East teams. I would say it will once again be an all ex-Big East team affair. Also, I am thrilled that it looks like Miami (Fla.) might be headed to Tampa this year instead of Virginia Tech.