Where are the Eagles headed this week?
↑ Up from last week
↓ Down from last week
↗ Not bowling last week
← Same bowl as last week
BC becoming bowl eligible last week converted the final hold out, CBS Sports' Jerry Palm. Palm now has the Eagles as a Big Ten replacement team for the Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Rice. The Heart of Dallas Bowl actually isn't that bad of a spot for BC, all things considered. The game is played at the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day which is decent.
As you can see, this week's bowl projections are all over the place. Several publications dropped BC down a spot or two, which after winning seems a bit odd. However, there's a logical explanation to that. Most of that has to do with the Big 12 and the conference not being able to fill all its bowl games this season. The Big 12 will finish the year with six bowl eligible teams for eight bowl slots, freeing up slots in the Pinstripe Bowl in the Bronx and the aforementioned Heart of Dallas Bowl. Nearly everyone now has Notre Dame replacing a Big 12 team in the Pinstripe Bowl, meaning that the Irish won't be playing in the Shreveport, Louisiana I-Bowl. This is not at all surprising, but it's almost as if BC was being slotted into the I-Bowl specifically because Notre Dame could have been there. Now that the Irish are all but off the table, BC is seen to be a little less attractive for the ACC's number 7 pick after the BCS.
The award for the most interesting projection this week goes to College Football News (Scout.com), which has Boston College opposite Stanford in the Sun Bowl. As I've mentioned before, the Sun Bowl is one of the few games that worries less about fan travel. Between locals and servicemen and women from nearby Fort Bliss, the community does a better job of supporting the game than most. Opposite a Stanford team with a recent history of strong bowl game attendance -- the Cardinal sold out its allotment of 2009 Sun Bowl tickets, outdrawing Oklahoma -- the ACC opponent may be less important.
Couple things have to happen for BC to land in the Sun Bowl. The Eagles would more than likely have to win out to finish the season 5-3 in conference play. I also think Virginia Tech or Miami needs to win the Coastal Division over Georgia Tech or Duke. The reason for this is because ACC bowl selection rules state that the ACC Championship Game runner up can't fall further than #4 in the bowl pecking order (the Sun Bowl). The Sun Bowl isn't going to select Georgia Tech for a third straight season if it doesn't have to. There's also no guarantee that either the Peach or Russell Athletic Bowls are going to take Coastal Division champ Duke, which would land the Blue Devils in El Paso if they get passed over by the ACC's #2 and #3 selections. Still a bunch of variables and a lot of football left to be played, but the Sun Bowl isn't completely beyond the realm of possibility for the Eagles.