Nevermind the fact that the Eagles need to win two of their final three games to become bowl-eligible: the college football blogosphere is all in agreement. Boston College will be playing in the San Francisco Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl nee Emerald Bowl opposite the Nevada Wolfpack.
At least, so says ESPN's Heather Dinich, SI's Stewart Mandel and the Globe's Mark Blaudschun. It would mark the second straight year the Eagles were shipping off to San Francisco, and the third time in the last eight seasons.
Most college football prognosticators have BC as the ninth bowl-eligible team coming from the ACC. The problem is that this season, the ACC only has eight slots. The ACC has a conditional agreement with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl that if they can't fill up their slots (Pac 10 vs. WAC), then they would take a ninth bowl-eligible ACC program.
The BC defense going up against Nevada's pistol offense would actually be a pretty compelling matchup. The only snag in your bowl game holiday travel schedule plans is that this year's game is on January 9, the next-to-last day of the college football season and well past the traditional holiday bowl season. It's highly unlikely that fans would travel back to San Francisco for an early January bowl game against a WAC opponent, especially with the way this season has been going. Nevada has been playing entertaining, sol football this season, having already knocked off Cal and three Mountain West opponents. Still, I don't have to tell you Nevada doesn't have nearly the cache as USC did for last year's Emerald Bowl.
Also, don't think the irony of "BC hasn't played in a January bowl game" is lost on us by sending us to San Francisco on January 9. Haha. Yeah, not funny.
Yet because there seems to be a near consensus that this will in fact happen, it probably won't. There are a few scenarios where BC will be spared of an early January, cross-country trip to San Francisco. One such scenario is the ACC only ends up with eight bowl-eligible teams instead of the expected nine teams. The ACC teams that are expected to become bowl-eligible but still need a win are Georgia Tech (5-4), Clemson (5-4) and BC (4-5). If one of those two teams fails to become bowl-eligible and BC does, then BC would fall to the seventh or eight slot and be headed to either Shreveport, Louisiana or Washington, DC.
CollegeFootballNews.com outlines this scenario in their Week 10 projections, leaving Clemson out (assuming they lose their final three games -- but to Wake Forest?) and finishing 5-7. CFN has the Eagles off to Shreveport to face Air Force. Maybe a slightly more compelling matchup on a more manageable date (December 29), but is Shreveport really a better destination than San Francisco?
Of course, all of this is still conjecture at this point, and won't mean anything if the Eagles don't take care of business this weekend in Durham.