College football's bowl season has lost some meaning over the past decade with corporate tie-in's and the new Championship Game format, but can it still tell us which teams/conferences are under or overrated?
I've heard many say that over the years Notre Dame is always overrated going into their bowl game matchup. This is usually supported with the argument that they get to play in bigger bowl games than they deserve and usually come out on the losing side. Notre Dame was finally able to break their nine-game losing streak in bowl games this season.
If this philosophy holds true, is the converse accurate? Would the team with the nation's longest active bowl game win streak be the most underrated?
The fans at Boston College would have you believe so. The Eagles currently boast the nation's best eight-game winning streak in bowl games. Does this mean they have deserved more?
Year in and year out, the Eagles put out a good, if not great, competitive team. They play hard-nosed football with a stingy defense and a solid running game.
This isn't the type of football that makes you the lead on highlight shows. Therefore, BC is often left out of the mix when people think of quality, Top 25 programs. However, let's take a look at the resume.
BC went 9-3 this year in the regular season, before dropping a rematch with Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. In the previous four seasons, Boston College has had exactly three losses in each season. The 48 wins over the last five years makes BC a perennial power with still one game left this year.
There aren't a lot of schools out there that can boast 10 wins per season for half a decade. While this doesn't make BC the next USC or Texas, it does make them among the class of the ACC.
Could BC be a few seasons away from becoming the next elite program? Their current success can be attributed to intelligent coaching and recruiting. There are no top-10 recruiting classes for BC to build upon, just a solid foundation of taking fine student athletes that fit a system and develop into great teammates and competitors.
While they will need some stars to step up and lead the way (Matt Ryan), the team has proved they will always field a tough group of hard workers.
The question is whether or not BC has deserved better matchups during the past eight bowl seasons. While that is open for debate, I'd like to see some of the schools who are snubbed year after year get their shot.
I'd like to see Boise State play Michigan State on New Year's Day and TCU play Georgia on New Year's Day. Give some of these "non-elite" teams a chance to prove something.
The public deserves to see the games that will change perspectives. Who doesn't want another Boise State-Oklahoma matchup from 2007? I'd take a few Georgia-Hawaii 2008 clunkers every year to see one Boise State-Oklahoma caliber game.
Every year BC has to face off against an inferior opponent in their bowl game after an above average season. It's time to start rewarding programs like BC with marquee matchups even if they don't pull out the victory. At least we'll know if they are truly the nation's most underrated team.