If you're a Boston College football fan, there really isn't a whole lot to be rooting for come Sunday. The lone Eagle football alumnus, Kevin Pierre-Louis, a Seattle Seahawks linebacker, is on injured reserve and won't play. Nobody from BC is on New England, although the Patriots have a rich history of former Eagles, including Damien Woody and Dan Koppen, on their Super Bowl championship teams.
As a result, let's take a look at some of the Boston College football memories this game may evoke:
Russell Wilson Used Run With The Wolfpack
I mentioned it once already, but Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson started three seasons for North Carolina State before transferring his final year to Wisconsin. Recruited by Tom O'Brien, Wilson was creamed in his first two attempts against BC. In 2008, he went 19-for-33 for only 218 yards and a touchdown. His BC counterpart, Chris Crane, went 34-for-41 for 428 yards and two touchdowns. Crane also ran 11 times for 42 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles beat the Wolfpack, 38-31.
The next year, in 2009, the first year of Frank Spaziani as the BC head coach, the Eagles crushed NC State, 52-20. Montel Harris had five touchdowns, including three in the third quarter alone, to go along with 264 yards—a then-BC school record. Wilson gained 35 yards and a score on the ground, improving in the air by going 23-for-40 for 243 yards and a touchdown. He did throw a pick and, eventually, TOB yanked him for Mike Glennon.
Wilson's only win over BC came during his final year with the Wolfpack. Playing at home, NC State absolutely throttled BC, 44-17. Wilson was superb, going 38-for-51 for 328 yards and three touchdowns. His two interceptions were easily glossed over by the fact that Dave Shinskie went 7-for-24 for 89 yards, and Mike Marscovetra went 4-for-8 for 84 yards. Both BC quarterbacks threw a touchdown, but they combined for three interceptions. Wilson might've been pulled in this one, but it was only because the game was long over.
There is history there if you're a BC fan because Wilson quarterbacked NC State as they were hoping to trend up while BC was clearly trending down. His performances against the Eagles provide a nice little cross section of that era, the end of Jags and the start of Spaz.
Pete Carroll Impacted The BC Program
Heading into the 2009 Emerald Bowl, Boston College had the nation's active longest bowl winning streak and were 8-1 in bowl games in the 2000s heading into this game. In their 11th straight bowl appearance, Pete Carroll led USC past the Eagles, 24-13. Freshman quarterback Matt Barkley threw two touchdown passes to stake the Trojans to a 14-0 lead, but BC came back to score twice in the second quarter. After Dave Shinskie threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Rich Gunnell, the Eagles trailed into the locker room, 14-13 (thanks to a missed extra point by Steve Aponavicius on the first BC touchdown). USC made better halftime adjustments because Spaz was a bad second half coach, and USC scored 10 more points to finish with the result.
After the 2009 Emerald Bowl, Pete Carroll left for the Seahawks, and the NCAA came knocking with sanctions. USC ended up receiving a two year postseason ban, losing 30 scholarships over the next three seasons. Considered a "travesty of justice," the Trojans still don't have a full complement of scholarship athletes. Their first two seasons after the bowl ban included games against BC, and their first year following the scholarship reduction was this past season. That means the Pete Carroll era inadvertently helped cause the massive upset by Boston College this past year.
Robert Kraft is a Boston College Trustee
Crazy, huh? Turns out Bob Kraft is a member of the Trustee Associate Membership for 2014-2015.
The Patriots are one of a handful of teams to draft multiple Boston College alumni
He might not love BC alums as much as he loves Rutgers guys, but Bill Belichick has taken his steady share of Boston College athletes through the years. Since Belichick's come to New England, starting in 2000, the Patriots are one of only seven teams to draft multiple Boston College alumni. In 2009, the Pats were one of only two teams to take former Eagles, selecting Ron Brace in the second round after the Packers took BJ Raji with the ninth overall pick. Back in 2003, the Pats took Dan Koppen in the fifth round, one pick after Pittsburgh selected Brian St. Pierre. That's not including Woody, the first round pick in 1999.
In contrast, Seattle drafted only one Boston College football player since the turn of the century: Kevin Pierre-Louis.
The other teams taking multiple BC alumni:
- The Cleveland Browns selected three Eagles, one each between 2001 and 2003: Paul Zukauskas (7th round, 2001), William Green (1st round, 2002), and Antonio Garay (6th round, 2003).
- The New York Giants also selected three Eagles, all in high profile slots: Chris Snee (2nd round, 2004), Mathias Kiwanuka (1st round, 2006), and Andre Williams (4th round, 2014).
- Chicago's drafted two BC alumni: Marc Colombo (1st round, 2002) and Josh Beekman (4th round, 2007).
- Dallas took Sean Ryan in the 5th round of the 2004 draft, then took offensive tackle James Marten in the 3rd round of 2007.
- When Detroit took Nate Freese this past year in the seventh round, he was their second selection, joining Gosder Cherilus (picked in the first round in 2008).
- Green Bay's the final entrant in the sweepstakes, taking Will Blackmon in the fourth round in 2006 and Raji in the first round of 2009.
12 other teams have taken individual BC alums since 2000.
If Seattle Wins, KPL Will Tie BC With USC Among Champion-Producing Colleges
With five Super Bowl-winning alumni active in the NFL, Boston College ranks second among NCAA institutions behind only Southern California. If the Seahawks win the Lombardi Trophy, Kevin Pierre-Louis will become the sixth active Eagle in the NFL with a Super Bowl ring. It will break a three-way tie with Georgia and Oregon for second place.
Mathias Kiwanuka is the only member of the group with two Super Bowl rings. He won his rings in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI with the New York Giants. Mark Herzlich also won a ring for the Giants win in SB46.
Will Blackmon and BJ Raji won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers in 2010, and Jo-Lonn Dunbar won a single ring in 2009 with the New Orleans Saints.
The Kiwanuka win in SB42? THAT NEVER HAPPENED I SWEAR TO GOD IT NEVER HAPPENED WHYYYYYYYY.
Now that I've given you that bit of karma...
Who should you root for? I'm not sure, but it'll be a hell of a game come Sunday!