The Boston College Eagles are the 69th best team in the nation to start the season, according to a preseason power poll from SB Nation. The mothership has the team as part of its "Tier 5," which means they're shooting for the top 40 and "that's perfectly ok."
BC ranked just behind Texas Tech, Houston, East Carolina, Temple, Utah State, and Western Michigan. They were just ahead of Colorado, Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, and Toledo.
SBN refers to that tier as a "fun combination of risers (Kentucky, WKU, Georgia Southern, and Colorado) and fallers (Memphis, Duke, and BC, at least temporarily)."
While we like to acknowledge the Eagles as a rising power within the ACC, I think, at least to start the season, we all are perfectly fine with that ranking. The majority of us are predicting this team to finish either 6-6 or 7-5 this year, so it's impossible to put them with programs most likely to win eight games—programs like NC State, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Maryland.
Some other observations about the rankings:
- Florida State fell to 17th, out of Tier 1 altogether and into the second tier, which is a group of teams that "could easily be contenders with a couple of happy answers." I think we can all agree FSU is taking steps back at major skill positions, something that will hurt them entering the year. If the replacement questions come up positive, they're right back in the national title hunt. Otherwise, they're out.
- Clemson is a surprise to be in the third tier, where a "top 15 performance would not be surprising." They're joined in that tier by Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Miami. I know a lot of people who are much higher on Clemson, but the offensive line woes and the fact that Deshaun Watson was injured last season keeps them out of the top tier. As for Miami and Virginia Tech, I know people who are incredibly high on them this year, which makes absolutely no sense given that they've found ways to totally mess it up in the past couple of years.
- Pitt, NC State, and North Carolina are all in the fourth tier, capable of being a top 25 team. Looking at all three of those teams, they all do something exceptionally well but are unlikely to win 10 games. No argument here.
- Syracuse and Wake Forest are all the way back in Tier 7, which is described with simply a :( —perfectly summarizing how people probably feel about those teams' prospects this year. Excuse me while I laugh at Syracuse, who was entering last season as a sleeper to challenge for the Atlantic Division crown.
- Outside of the ACC, UMass clocked in at 114th, a massive improvement over their past years where they were the consensus worst team in the entire FBS. Good news! You're not the worst team! In fact, you've managed to up your score to the 11th percentile! UMass football is now the equivalent of watching that kid in your class who got a 37 on an exam. You know he tried really hard and maybe can make it up in the future, but because he tried really hard and still horrifically failed, you can't laugh at him. It just makes you sad.
- Speaking of a baby taking its first steps, UConn is 120th. They're worse than Hawaii, who is rumored to axe their program; Kent State, who went 2-9 last year and lost to BOTH UMass and Miami (OH); and Army, who lost to Yale. I think Army only won three games last year. Let's see...they beat Ball State, they beat Fordham (hey Fordham was #7 in the entire FCS), and they beat...hmm...UConn. Hey UConn! Army beat you guys last year! Wow. That had to hurt, didn't it?
- For the record, we have no problem laughing at UConn.
- Your worst teams in FBS? Charlotte (first year in FBS), UTSA (good athleticism but are just starting out in FBS), and New Mexico State. Fact: Aggievision actually finishes higher in the power rankings than the actual football team.