Mention the Boston College Eagles in relation to the college football world, and one thing comes to mind. Sports fans from all around will make reference to the 1984 game against the Miami Hurricanes. You know the story. The Eagles needed a touchdown to win the game.
A few seconds left on the clock. Flutie takes the snap, scrambles around, and tosses a very long pass into the end zone. Some guy (Gerard Phelan for you con-college football experts) caught the ball on what would be later labeled a “Hail Mary” pass.
The BC Eagles stunned the Miami Hurricanes 47 – 45. Fans, and not just the ones from Chestnut Hill, will mention this game as one of the best finishes of all time. However, wait, Boston College has established some college football prominence over the last few years.
All college football fans, and most definitely athletic directors, know the easiest way to obtain a bowl game at the end of the season. Schedule some cupcake team from the division 1AA level of course. Some division 1A college football programs schedule two of these “lower-tiered” teams in one season.
Placing these teams on the slate is a 100% guaranteed victory. Well, most of the time. I have a feeling that Minnesota (a la North Dakota State 2006), Michigan (a la Appalachian State 2007), and Mississippi State (a la Maine 2004) might disagree. Besides the games against division 1AA team Maine in 2006 and Massachusetts in 2004 and 2007, the last time the Eagles played a division 1AA opponent was before the 1990’s.
Very few college football teams can lay claim to that. The last bowl game loss the Eagles encountered was in 1999. From 2000 until the present, Boston College has defeated teams in bowl games from the Big Ten (Michigan State), PAC 10 (Arizona State), ACC (UNC) -when BC was a Big East member, and the SEC (Georgia) along with a list of victories over mid-major teams.
That’s eight consecutive seasons with a bowl victory. The Eagles were in the race for the ACC crown in 2005, 2006, and played in the ACC Championship Game in 2007. They have 64 wins over the last 7 seasons. Not impressed? You should be. There are only 12 BCS teams that have accomplished this, and Boston College is one of them.
I will admit that there is nothing magical about the number “64”. However, do you think that Cal is in there? Nope. How about Florida State? No. How about Tennessee? No. No Nebraska, Wisconsin, West Virginia, nor Penn State?
I am not saying that the Boston College Eagles were on the same pedestal as the Buckeyes or Trojans, but they are in the same company with these two teams along with Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, Auburn and Florida to name a few. I have no idea how they accomplished this.
Small private school up north where college football isn’t the mighty titan it is in Columbus, Austin, or Gainesville. If anyone were to ever coin the phrase "underrated BCS team" they would definitely have to have the Boston College Eagles in mind.
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