Brian: I know that Boston College fans are more than a little disappointed that Florida State couldn’t pull off the upset in Death Valley on Saturday. But despite Clemson getting the win and taking control of the Atlantic Division race at 4-2, the Eagles still have everything to play for. Finishing the season at 3-0 will go a long way towards setting the foundation for great future seasons for the Eagles. Let’s also not forget that Clemson hasn’t necessarily "finished the job" when put in this situation in past seasons. If Clemson falters in Raleigh or against Virginia, the Eagles should be there ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
Jeff, we both know that the BC players pay attention to the rest of the teams in the Atlantic and their chances of making it back to Tampa. Do you expect BC to let this Clemson win affect them in their final three games of the season?
Jeff: No. I think if our players had just seen the final score of the game they might have said "Wow. Clemson just handled Florida State so they'll easily beat NC State and Virginia and head to Tampa while we have no chance." But since it was a bye week I would imagine most, if not all, of the team watched the Clemson game and saw that Florida State was leading at halftime and Clemson showed that they have plenty of flaws. I mean what do you take from the Clemson game as someone trying to handicap their chances to win the next two games?
... Clemson is a talented team, but not good?
... Clemson is a great team a few plays away from being undefeated?
... C.J. Spiller should be the unanimous choice for Heisman?
... Kicking extra points is not very important?
... Florida State is really, really bad?
I just don't know what to make of Saturday night's game. There were a ton of turnovers and the kicking was just painful to watch. Based on what I saw I would be surprised if Clemson lost to both N.C. State and Virginia even though neither of those teams are very good themselves. I also wouldn't be surprised if Clemson got some things clicking and won both easily.
The bottom line is Boston College is very much still alive.
Brian: Not only does BC still have to play for hopes of winning the Atlantic Division, they also should be playing for bowl positioning. In her latest bowl projections, HD has the Eagles playing in the Emerald Bowl vs. the Pac 10, with North Carolina and Wake Forest being selected before BC. If BC can finish at 6-2 in the ACC, however, they will force the Music City Bowl to take BC over both UNC and Wake Forest, as both teams won’t come within a loss of BC’s record in the ACC. The best Wake Forest can finish is 4-4 with wins over a Christian Ponder-less Florida State squad and Duke. The best North Carolina can finish is 5-3, but if BC takes care of business at home, the Heels ceiling is then 4-4, which also would be 2 games worse than BC's ACC record.
In addition, HD now predicts that Clemson will win the ACC. Isn’t this an overreaction to Clemson drilling a Florida State team that really can’t stop anything on D, and Wake Forest taking Georgia Tech to overtime? Your thoughts?
Jeff: I don't know if HD's prediction of Clemson winning the conference was so much a reaction to Clemson's win or Georgia Tech's inability to beat Wake in regulation (and put away Vanderbilt early the week before). Also, BC fans know how those rematches of regular season games go. Things seem to be looking good for Clemson.
As for the bowl positioning, as you said BC has a lot to play for. If they win out, they will go to the Champs Sports Bowl or the Music City Bowl. However, if the Eagles lose one game, they will probably fall to San Francisco as HD predicts. With three weeks left to play in the ACC and nothing determined yet, it's hard to imagine something won't get shaken up. Will is be the Coastal Division, Atlantic Division, or both? BC is certainly hoping it's the Atlantic.