After a three-win season - and with just two bowl appearances in the past five seasons - we aren’t in a position to be picky about which bowl BC goes to should they manage to elevate their play this year.
But being realistic, we know that regardless of BC’s record, they probably aren’t going to go to the “best bowl” available to whatever team has their record. Usually, it’s quite the opposite. So for BC fans, what we’re often hoping for is a bowl worth traveling to, in a destination worth visiting.
That’s what made the Pinstripe Bowl so exciting in 2014. It wasn’t the sexiest bowl imaginable, but it was in a location that was both accessible to our fanbase, and fun to travel to. With that in mind, here are my completely correct and objective rankings of ACC bowl destinations - based solely on the city, not on the quality of the game; and based on attractiveness to BC fans.
#1: Miami, FL - Orange Bowl
Okay, obviously if BC makes the Orange Bowl, that’s going to skew turnout numbers because it’s likely to be the biggest BC game in decades. But it would also be the perfect destination: someplace warm and worth visiting; on the East Coast, and close to many BC alums in Florida; and some place BC hasn’t been in a while. Without a doubt, Eagles would flock to Miami in huge numbers.
#2: New York, NY - Pinstripe Bowl
We might need to wait a few years before another return to the Pinstripe Bowl would be as successful as the last one, but as we saw in 2014, BC fans turned out in huge numbers to the Pinstripe Bowl. BC alumni from the New York area came out in force, while others traveled from around the country to spend time in NYC. Obviously, NYC is going to be an attractive destination for any fanbase, but particularly for a school in the Northeast.
#3: Annapolis, MD - Military Bowl
It’s pretty surprising that BC hasn’t played in the Military Bowl yet, given that it’s generally a “lower-tier” matchup and right in BC’s geographic wheelhouse. It will probably happen at some point soon... maybe even this year.
Annapolis obviously is in driving distance for a lot of BC fans, and seeing Annapolis would be a worthwhile trip for anyone. This would likely be a hit.
#4: Charlotte, NC - Belk Bowl
Depending on how much excitement is surrounding the program at the time, I could see BC fans turning out in force to Charlotte. It’s not far from some alumni bases in DC and New York, and is in a fun city that has become more of a destination in recent years.
#5: Nashville, TN - Music City Bowl
I haven’t been to Nashville yet, but I want to... and I imagine that’s the case for many of you as well. While this wouldn’t be an easy drive for most BC fans, it would be an attractive destination for all the non-football attractions that make Nashville a great city.
#6: Orlando, FL - Citrus Bowl & Russel Athletic Bowl
An excuse to bundle BC football with a family vacation? Sure, why not. Plus, Florida is always going to be an easy sell in the winter time. BC had a decent turnout when they were in Florida in 2007 and surely would for a return engagement as well.
#7: St. Petersburg, FL - St. Pete Bowl
See above, though without the as-easy access to Disney World. It should be noted that every BC fan who went to Tampa for the Frozen Four pretty much fell in love with the city, so if this game were in Tampa itself it might be higher on my list.
#8: Jacksonville, FL - Taxslayer Bowl
Jacksonville doesn’t have the travel cachet of Orlando or even Tampa, but it is in Florida and is on the East Coast. Still, we’re getting in to “see, BC doesn’t travel well because their smallish alumni base doesn’t travel long distances to unattractive destinations to attend lower-tier bowl games” territory.
#9: Arlington, TX - Cotton Bowl
Obviously, because it’s the Cotton Bowl, BC fans would turn out in big numbers. But destination-wise, we’re getting in to difficult territory here. There are a decent number of BC alums in Texas, and Dallas is probably worth a visit, but taking the quality of the game out of the equation, it’s not really a “drop everything to make this trip” kind of city. Unless you think I’m wrong and want to educate me accordingly.
#10: Detroit Quicklane Bowl
Detroit was much more fun than I ever anticipated it would be when I went for the 2010 Frozen Four, and is an easy enough flight from a Boston or a New York or a Chicago where many alums gather. Still, “let’s go to Detroit over the holidays” isn’t necessarily going to fire anyone up.
#11: El Paso - Sun Bowl
At least it would be warm out?
#12: Shreveport Independence Bowl
At least it’s not that far from New Orleans?