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Boston College vs. East Carolina: Military Bowl Final Thoughts & Prediction

Time to finish the season on a high note

NCAA Football: Florida State at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, wow, football! Remember football? It’s been a month since the Eagles last took the field but like everything these days it feels like it’s been an eternity. Given the current state of — <gestures wildly> — it’s at least a little bit fortunate that we’ve even gotten here and that the game’s going to happen.

To be fair, I suppose it’s always possible that the game gets SERVPRO’d between now and tomorrow... but hey, we could also get hit by a meteor or something that ends all of human existence, too. Gotta think positive!

EDIT: Lmao, Jesus... well, nevermind.

WHO

Boston College Eagles (6-6, 2-6-0 ACC)
vs. East Carolina Pirates (7-5, 5-3 AAC)

WHAT

The 2021 Military Bowl presented by Peraton

WHERE

Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Annapolis, MD

WHEN

Monday, December 27th, 2021
2:30pm EST

RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT WIKIPEDIA FACT ABOUT ECU

Wikipedia claims that a surgeon at East Carolina “performed the first minimally invasive, robotic-assisted, mitral-valve heart surgery in the United States,” which, while cool, still sounds like something that belongs in the Oddly Specific subreddit. That’s sort of like me saying that I was the first Connecticut-born male under 20 to perform a For Boston solo on the trumpet at the end of a Boston College Hockey victory at Agganis Arena on a Saturday evening from Section 110.

Also apparently Vince and Linda McMahon went to ECU. As the most interesting thing in a not-particularly-interesting Wikipedia article they really buried the lede by putting it as the second to last sentence on the entire page.

CURRENT ODDS

Our friends over at DraftKings have a full slate of betting options available for the Military Bowl. We’ve got a full recap for you over here, but here are where the odds currently sit:

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Point Spread
Boston College -3 (-105)
East Carolina +3 (-115)
Some slight movement toward the Eagles as DraftKings was paying even money for BC -3 at the start of the week.

Over/Under
O 53.5 (+100)
U 53.5 (-120)
Pretty decent movement here — hope you got your Over bets in on Tuesday when the O/U was sitting at 51.5.

Moneyline
Boston College -145
East Carolina +125
Again, very slight movement toward BC as the week has gone on with the opening line coming in at -140.

PROJECTION

Using Bradley-Terry ratings (aka KRACH, for you college hockey fans) as a predictor, we can get a projected result for this game. We found a site here that did the math for us. Note that both teams are missing a win in these ratings — they factor in FBS games only. KRACH shows BC at 76th with a rating of 78.512 and ECU at 66th with a rating of 105.391.

Uh oh. We can already see where this is going. To figure out odds of Team A winning, you just do A/(A+B) with the ratings. That gives us BC win odds of 42.69% and ECU odds of 57.31%. Yikes. Hate to say it, but KRACH really likes ECU to win straight up.

LAST TIME OUT

Boston College stumbled to end the regular season, getting beaten pretty badly by #17 Wake Forest 41-10 and losing all four quarters by at least a touchdown each. Oops.

East Carolina’s season ended in a pretty similar fashion, with the Pirates getting beaten pretty comprehensively 35-13 by undefeated #4 Cincinnati. At least ECU was leading at the end of the first quarter, though. Small victories!

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

Get a bowl win! No, a Military Bowl victory isn’t going to be remembered forever in the annals of Boston College football history. No, another 7 win season isn’t going to excite anyone. This is all just about having a fun non-conference game to give us one last hurrah on the season. But the Eagles haven’t won a bowl since 2016 against Maryland (unless you count the Definitely A 7-0 Win against Boise State in 2018) and have (officially) won just one bowl in the last 13 years.

*The official position of BC Interruption is that this was Definitely A 7-0 Win

Unimportant games or not, that’s pretty depressing. Let’s at least end the year with a dub for once.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will we get a 2022 fireworks preview? There’s a little bit more excitement around the bowl now that star QB Phil Jurkovec and star WR Zay Flowers announced that they’ll be back on the Heights for the 2022 season. Will the PJ-to-Zay connection get a jump start on next season down in Annapolis? You can try to resist it all you want, but a big game from the duo would get the 2022 ACC Championship hopes started a little early.

THE SMALLER QUESTION

Which star on the flag is East Carolina? East Carolina is not a state.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

Cookies for DAYSSSS

Christmas cookies probably aren’t an exclusively Italian thing, but I can pretty much guarantee that if your name ends in a vowel, you left this weekend’s family parties with more cookies than you would ever possibly know what to do with.

Hopefully you’re either working from home or able to take the day off to watch BC in the Military Bowl. If so, be sure to keep in mind that by law, all holiday Weight Gain Exemptions extend well into January, and that as a grown-ass adult, you are well within your rights to eat cookies as a meal. Trust me, reader, you have earned it.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

Ruen Brothers — Genevieve, Come Out Tonight

Stars are out tonight, temporary cold
Tie a ratty scarf around you, got to love Mondays
Bring me daylight, and then let it go
Got my heart upon your sleeve
Where we can plant the seed, watch it grow

Deep cut for you this week; a great song from a band with a rockabilly sound. And a bonus OH GOD, GENEVIEVE triggering for anyone who was at Boston College in 2008. Bet you haven’t thought about that in about a minute.

PREDICTION

Say what you want about Boston College, but we’re pretty good at winning games against mid-major conferences. This game is probably even, and the odds definitely suggest as such. But here’s the thing — any advanced metric or ranking system or stats-based projection is going to be based on 34 of a season that didn’t have Phil Jurkovec playing in it.

No, PJ didn’t have a great end to the regular season, but he’s had a month to rest up and work some strength into that injured hand. Plus, his 2023 NFL Draft campaign is officially underway. I’m expecting a very fun, somewhat high-scoring affair on Monday afternoon. Give me Boston College with the 41-31 victory with a PJ-to-Zay score with exactly 1:00 on the clock to ice the game late.