Jeff: Two games left and BC heads to Tampa. So I figured I'd check out The Heights to get an idea of how big the students think this game is. I saw one article referencing a must-win and another titled "A Tale of Two Games." I figured this must be what I was looking for - an article talking about BC winning its next two games and going on to Tampa. But no, the article talks about the Washington-Washington State game and the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game. At this point, I double-checked to make sure I was on the correct site and unfortunately, I was. BC can't be the top story in the city because of the professional sports hype, but now is it not even the top sports story on campus? This is very sad. Student basketball tickets did not sell out this year. The student section at hockey games has been criticized by other Hockey East fans. Do the students as a whole, not just the few die-hards, only care about the Boston College vs. Notre Dame football game and nothing else this year?
Brian: Jeff, apparently you were looking in the wrong place. The first article you saw – the must-win – was the article about the BC-Wake game. Although I agree with you that the coverage of this game hasn’t been what it has been the last three weeks. That probably has something to do with the fact that we have played Clemson, Notre Dame and Florida State in the last three weeks, and little Wake Forest this week. Covering a football game between two of the smallest ACC schools must not generate a lot of media buzz, especially with headlining games like #2 Texas Tech at #5 Oklahoma, #14 BYU at #7 Utah, #20 Pitt at #19 Cincinnati and #15 Michigan State at #8 Penn State.
Jeff: I'm not talking about a national newspaper, I'm talking about the BOSTON COLLEGE STUDENT NEWSPAPER.
On to the not-so-hyped game this weekend between Wake Forest and Boston College. Here are the various Atlantic Division race scenarios. Stick with me.
The two crucial games in the Atlantic Division are the Eagles game against Wake Forest and the Florida State-Maryland matchup. If the Eagles and Terrapins win, next week’s Maryland-Boston College game would be a virtual Atlantic Division championship game. The winner would go to Tampa.
If the Eagles win but the Terrapins lose to Florida State, the Eagles would go to Tampa if they beat Maryland next week. If BC loses to Maryland, Florida State would represent the Atlantic Division.
With a loss to Wake Forest, the Eagles are eliminated from winning their second straight ACC Atlantic Division title. A Maryland win coupled with an Eagles loss gives the division to Maryland this weekend. A Maryland loss and an Eagles loss would send Wake Forest to their second ACC Championship game appearance.
Jeff, give me your keys to an Eagles victory.
Jeff: I defer to Eagle in Atlanta and his keys to victory.
Brian: In the notes section of this article, Jeff Smith is listed as doubtful for tomorrow’s game with a hip flexor. Harris and Robinson will handle kickoff duties. Will we miss Smith on kick returns?
Jeff: Unfortunately, no. Smith has been one of the few disappointments this year and has not really been much of a threat on kickoff returns and a virtual non-factor in the offense after the Kent State game.
Brian: Forecast is for 45 degrees, mostly sunny with little chance of precipitation. Does the weather play a factor tomorrow?
Jeff: Absolutely not.
Jeff: The Boston Globe says Notre Dame needs to earn its way back into a New Year’s Day bowl game. Brian, your thoughts?
Brian: The article is right on the money, but there’s really nothing to be done about it. Notre Dame will continue to go to bowls they don’t deserve to play in and the Eagles will continue to get passed over by bowls that they should be playing in. The only way to solve this problem with the current college football postseason format is to win games. Take the decision out of the bowl selection committees’ hands.
Brian: Matt Ryan’s highlight of every week is watching HBO’s "Entourage." But if he misses the latest episode on Sunday, apparently he watches the rerun that airs on Friday evenings. What? $72 million can’t buy you TIVO, DVR or the HBO On-Demand package??
Jeff: That is simply pathetic, Matty.
Jeff: ESPN is always criticized for having an east coast bias. However, no one can make that complaint this year. We know the Pac-10 has been terrible in football this year and things are looking no better in basketball. Perennial powerhouse Arizona lost at home to UAB the other night in the preseason NIT. Last night a ranked USC Trojan team lost to Seton Hall. UCLA, who has made it to three straight final fours and was on most people list to return to another, lost to Michigan last night. Is it possible that PAC-10 basketball will be as bad as PAC-10 football this year?
Brian: The conference has lost a ton of talent in this year’s NBA Draft. O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, the Lopez twins, Jerryd Bayless, and Ryan Anderson represent 7 of the 30 kids taken in the first round. Add in 5 second round Pac 10ers and there was certainly a mass exodus of talent. Very possible that Pac 10 bball could have as bad of a year as football.
Jeff: Most of those players were one and done though, shame on the Pac-10 if they are as bad in bball as football this year.
Brian: Georgia Tech cleared up the Coastal Division race last night giving the Baby Canes a good licking in Atlanta – 41-23 (the final score wasn’t nearly indicative of the beatdown Paul Johnson’s kids gave Shannon and the Hurricanes). With the Coastal Division picture a little clearer(?), who ya got representing the other side in Tampa?
Jeff: It's basically down to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech has Duke and Virginia left and if they win both they will head to Tampa. But, if Virginia can pull off the upset, Georgia Tech is the leader in the clubhouse in the division, already at 5-3.
Jeff: Last one, Eagle in Atlanta, Alex at bcallaccess and Heather Dinich are all predicting Wake Forest to score 17 points in a BC victory. I am predicting Wake to not score a single touchdown. What's your prediction?
Brian: The Eagles are averaging 26.8 points per game while giving up 16.9 points per game. Meanwhile, the Deacs are averaging 20 points per game and giving up 18.5. I think - for once - HD might be onto something. I know Raj says we don’t get full credit for math equations, but if you take the average of the teams points per game, you come out with 22.65 Eagles – 18.45 Deacons. The last few Eagles-Deacons football games have been anything but predictable, so I am going to go against this trend and go with a terribly predictable final score – Eagles 23, Demon Deacons 17. Yes, that is three field goals for the much maligned Steve Aponavicius, who is a perfect 4-for-4 in field goals on the road.
Jeff: My final is Boston College 31, Wake Forest 6.
Brian: I'll give a little DAP to Jeff for putting a halt to my three week win streak last week with an impressive 4-1 mark. I again pick first this week as I'm still in second place, now 4 games back. I want to go on record and say I LOVE my picks this week and fully expect to go 5-0. Translation: I'm probably looking at a 1-4 week ...
- NC State +11 at North Carolina
- Tennessee at Vanderbilt -3
- Washington -7 at Washington State
- Texas Tech +7 at Oklahoma
- Michigan State + 14.5 at Penn State
- Boston College +2 at Wake Forest
- Pittsburgh +6 at Cincinnati
- Indiana +11 at Purdue
- Michigan at Ohio State -20.5
- Air Force +20 at TCU