On Thursday, HD gave us her first round of predictions or the ACC. The first two predictions immediately jumped out at me.
1. The ACC will have two teams in BCS bowls.
2. Miami and North Carolina will face a loss of scholarships and a postseason ban.
I suppose I could buy the first prediction, though history has been unkind to conference championship game runners-up. Florida State and Virginia Tech have been picked by seemingly every college football prognosticator and their little brothers, so if they meet in this year's title game, the loser may have a tougher time getting a BCS at-large. The Hokies could also get dinged a bit for a joke of a non-conference schedule, so there's another potential hurdle to overcome.
The second prediction seems equally plausible. I suppose the only thing that could derail a postseason ban for both Miami and North Carolina this season would be if it takes the NCAA a long time to wrap up its investigations into both programs.
After I read this, I realized that is a total of FOUR ACC programs that may not be available for one of the seven non-BCS bowl games with ACC ties this postseason. So with seven possible bowl spots for the remaining eight ACC programs, the wheels started to turn that this could turn into a golden opportunity for the Eagles.
If things play out the way HD predicts, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami and North Carolina will all be unavailable for the seven non-BCS bowls to choose from. Heading into the season, most agree that Virginia, Duke and Wake Forest will be bowl ineligible by the end of the year. That leaves just five programs for seven bowl slots.
The question becomes, of the five remaining programs, how high can Boston College rise up the ACC bowl team totem poll this season? As we are all aware, the Chick-Fil-A (nee Peach) Bowl is famous for passing over the 2007 Boston College Eagles, a team that finished the regular season 10-2 and was led by ACC Player of the Year Matt Ryan. Under the above conditions, could the Peach Bowl be forced into selecting the Eagles this year?
Certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. Especially when you factor in the BC Rule which states that the Peach Bowl has to take either:
a) the available ACC team with the best Conference record, or
b) a team within one win in the Conference record, or
c) a team with a difference of two wins in its Conference record if that team is ranked more than five spaces higher in the final BCS Standings than the team available with the best ACC record.
I mean, don't book your hotel rooms in Atlanta just yet, but how great would this be? In any event, if Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami and North Carolina are all unavailable for selection by the ACC's non-BCS bowls, the Eagles may find themselves much higher up in this year's ACC's bowl pecking order than they've grown accustomed to in recent seasons.