At 3-3, 1-2 ACC and with six games to go, Boston College football fans are optimistic that this program can return to a bowl game for the first time in three seasons. Giving the ACC's two elite programs their best shot and watching the teams left on the schedule struggle in recent weeks are both a huge confidence boost to BC's bowl hopes. Who knew?
With both Clemson and Florida State now in the Eagles' rear-view mirror, Boston College can now turn its attention to the second half of the season -- needing three wins over the final six games to return to a bowl game.
Let's take a look at where each of the major college football websites project Boston College to be end up at the end of the season:
SB Nation: Music City Bowl vs. Auburn
ESPN (Mark Schlabach): No bowl
ESPN (Brad Edwards): Music City Bowl vs. Mississippi
ESPN (Adelson / Dinich): No bowl
CBS Sports: No bowl
College Football News: Advocare V100 Bowl vs. Arizona
Orlando Sentinel: No bowl
If at the beginning of the season someone told you BC would play Auburn or Ole Miss in Nashville, you would be ecstatic. That's exactly where SB Nation's Jason Kirk and ESPN's Brad Edwards have the Eagles playing this week.
Over at ESPN, Adelson and Dinich's bowl projections make little sense to me, starting with N.C. State to the Belk Bowl. The Pack do have three wins on the year, but have now lost each of their first three ACC games to start the season 0-3 in conference play. It's not as if those three losses have come to ACC elites either. After playing Clemson tough at home, State has now lost consecutive games to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem and Syracuse at home. Next up is Florida State, which will almost surely assure a 0-4 start to ACC play for the ‘Pack. While the schedule lightens considerably down the stretch, at least on paper, State does still has to travel to Duke and Boston College and play an ECU squad that pasted North Carolina a few weeks back. There are enough toss-up games left that 6-6 / 7-5 with 3-4 ACC wins isn't out of the question, but the reality is .500 in conference won't be good enough to get the Wolfpack into the Charlotte-based bowl given the ACC's bowl pecking order and selection criteria.
Duke needs just two wins to get to the six required to make college football's bloated postseason, but the Blue Devils have yet to play the top half of the Coastal Division (Virginia Tech, Miami). It seems to me that the N.C. State @ Duke game will make or break bowl eligibility for one of these programs, which makes both teams' inclusion in this week's projections a bit suspect.
I also don't see how you can leave off Boston College, which played two Top 5 teams tough and needs just three wins in six - and likely just two in the final five ACC games because ... New Mexico State - out of the bowl picture completely if you've been watching this program compete over the first half of the season.