After putting a scare into the nation's top ranked team, Boston College (6-5, 3-4 ACC) finds itself more than a touchdown favorite for this weekend's regular season finale against Syracuse (3-8, 1-6 ACC). The Wynn Las Vegas has installed Boston College as a 10-point home favorite for its #OrangeEagle rivalry weekend showdown with 'Cuse.
Last year, BC was a slight, 2.5-point favorite on the road at Syracuse. The Eagles would lose, 34-31, on a late Orange touchdown which clinched bowl eligibility for Syracuse.
The Eagles haven't been this significant a home favorite in a conference game in seven years. One has to go all the way back to the 2007 regular season finale against Miami to find a home game where BC was more than a 10-point favorite (Boston College -14.5).
The opening line seems to reflect not only a BC team playing well, but also a Syracuse team that has more or less given up on the season. No longer in the postseason picture, the Orange played like it in a 30-7 loss to Pittsburgh. ESPN called their performance 'lifeless' and even the most ardent Syracuse supporters would be hard-pressed to argue with that. The SU offense scored just seven points, turning the ball over three times, while the defense gave up 256 yards on the ground even though Pitt RB James Conner played less than a half.
While BC is already bowl eligible and Syracuse bowl ineligible, this game still feels like a big one with little consequence, if that makes sense (and not just for the #OrangeEagle points). Having already taken two of the Atlantic Division's best down to the wire and notching a huge upset over then 9th ranked USC this season, Boston College is out to prove that this year's success is no fluke. Taking care of business against a reeling Syracuse program, improving its own bowl positioning in what's quickly becoming a crowded ACC bowl-eligible field, holding off Penn State for this year's Lambert Meadowlands Trophy and sending the seniors out with a win are all on the line this weekend vs. the Orange.