To say Boston College's turnaround under Coach Tom O'Brien was a slow, methodical march, would not only be an understatement, but also would define the demeanor and tact of the coach himself. TOB remained unflustered as criticism built around him after his first two seasons on the job replacing Dan Henning, yielded identical 4-7 records.
The 1999 season started with little fanfare, BC squeaking by a decidedly un-Art Briles like Baylor team in overtime at Alumni. But the Eagles held fast and made solid if unspectacular improvements. Wins over Navy, Rutgers and Northeastern followed and BC sat at 4-0 heading into what appeared to be a sure win at Temple. The Eagles though would drop that game, and follow that one up with a win over Pitt and a tough three point defeat to a decidedly un-Jimmy Johnson like Miami team.
Still at 5-2, there was definitely the feeling a bowl was there for the taking. BC knocked off Syracuse in the Dome, and when BC buried Don Nehlen and West Virginia, BC found itself ranked for the first time since the opening game of the 1995 season at #25 and bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.
BC's next game found them travelling to Notre Dame to face an Irish squad lead by Bob Davie, who needed to win both their remaining games to be bowl eligible. At 5-5, ND still found itself a small favorite against the visiting Eagles who were lead by QB Tim Hasselbeck, RB Cedric Washington and DT Chris Hovan.
The Eagles would fall behind 14-0 in the first quarter before rallying behind Hasselbeck's three touchdown passes and a TD run to drop the Irish, 31-29, breaking a four game losing streak to ND.
Enjoy the game!