Unless your school is competing in the top tier, bowl games generally feel like a holiday bonus, one last game—often in an unfamiliar location, under the banner of a goofy corporate name, against an uncommon opponent—to put a bow on the season. Given the uncertainty entering the 2020 slate, a bowl berth seems like even more of a reward, not just for compiling a winning record, but for staying vigilant in the face of a pandemic. Keeping players and staff healthy for the entirety of an 11 game season was no small accomplishment.
Of course, a bowl appearance is still not a given for Boston College: 11 of the 43 scheduled games have already been scrapped, including a number of ACC tie-ins. As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to surge across the country, I think it’s fair to wonder if flying student-athletes and staff across the country for what amounts to a post-season exhibition game is superfluous.
This season already feels more complete than I ever suspected it could, so it wouldn’t be terribly disappointing if last week’s game proves to have been the last of the season. Should the Eagles accept a bowl invitation, I trust that the administration will continue to take every precaution to ensure the game is played safely, as the program’s record to this point hasn’t given me a reason to believe otherwise. Here’s a look at where various pundits project BC to land:
December 26th: Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl
Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL - Noon, ABC
Mark Schlabach, ESPN: BC vs. South Carolina
Bill Bender, Sporting News: BC vs. Oregon State
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: BC vs. Memphis
Brad Crawford, 247 Sports: BC vs. Kentucky
Stewart Mandel, The Athletic: BC vs. BYU
Raymond James is one of the few stadiums that still looks pretty handsome when empty. If we can ensure that the touchdown cannons will be at our disposal, I am all the way in on this. The name of the bowl is basically a full sentence, which is a tough look, but I kind of like the Boxing Day time slot. Five different opponents projected, typifying the crap shoot nature of this enterprise.
December 28th: Military Bowl Presented by Perspecta
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - Annapolis, MD - 2:30, ESPN
Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports: BC vs. Navy
Navy is currently 3-6 entering this weekend’s game against Army. Seems like it would be pretty hard to get revved about this match up, particularly at 2:30 on a Monday.
December 30th: Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, NC - Noon, ESPN
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN: BC vs. Maryland
College Football News: BC vs. Maryland
I actually enjoy this particular brand of mayonnaise, but shudder to think of an entire bowl of it. Does Luke Kuechly have something to do with this? By the way, Maryland has played a grand total of FOUR games this season. Honestly, what are we even doing out here?