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Boston College Football Schedule 2022: Winnability Index

Which games will be the easiest and the hardest for the Eagles to win?

1. Maine

Obviously, an FCS game leads off the list. Maine is considerably better than Colgate, BC’s FCS sacrifice from last year. They went 6-5 last year with some solid wins but also got blown out by James Madison and Northern Illinois. This is BC’s third game of the season, returning home after a road trip to Virginia Tech. The Eagles should be 2-0 entering this game and will probably look to keep things pretty vanilla before heading down to Tallahassee. Barring an all-time collapse, this should be the closest thing to a guaranteed win.

Winnability: 99%

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One could argue that this game might be more winnable than Maine, even though it’s on the road. The Huskies were absolutely abysmal last season, finishing 1-11 with their lone win coming by only six points against Yale. Their closest losses came by two points each against Wyoming and Vanderbilt in consecutive weeks. But every other game they lost by at least two scores, including two shutouts where their opponents score more than 40 points. The Huskies are making a fresh start with their program after hiring Jim Mora Jr. as their head coach but this roster suffers from a severe lack of talent. Unless Phil Jurkovec is injured again, it’s hard to imagine this being anything but a slaughter.

Winnability: 95%

3. Duke

Like UConn, Duke is moving on from a long-time head coach that helped bring their program to relevance. Mike Elko has a lot of experience coaching defenses in the ACC, so he might be able to get Duke turned around, but it will take time. Also like UConn, Duke’s roster is seriously devoid of talent. The Blue Devils’ primary offensive weapons either headed off to the NFL (RB Mataeo Durant) or transferred (WR Jake Bobo). As of right now, this is BC’s only guaranteed night game, scheduled for Friday, November 4th. The Eagles are better at every position group, so it’s hard to imagine a scenario where this game ends up a loss.

Winnability: 90%

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The rivalry between the Hokies and the Eagles has featured some very strange games over the last few years. BC opened their 2019 with win over Virginia Tech behind five turnovers forced by the defense. In 2020, those tables turned as the Eagles turned it over several times on the road. Finally, in 2021, Phil Jurkovec made his shocking return to the lineup while Va Tech’s quarterback was knocked out early in the game. 

This season, the Hokies are in the midst of a complete program teardown by new head coach Brent Pry. They lost many talented players to the NFL and the transfer portal. This will be the Eagles’ first road test and any game in Blacksburg is challenging, but BC has a major advantage in terms of talent, depth, and experience.

Winnability: 80%

5. Syracuse

For the first time since 2018, Boston College faces Syracuse in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles lost at Syracuse last year, reaching the nadir of their quarterbacking woes. This year, this game returns to its rightful place as the season finale. Ideally, Boston College will be entering this game with bowl eligibility already secured. 

Conversely, Syracuse could be looking for a new head coach by that time. The defense has some playmakers, and Sean Tucker is the best running back in the conference. Credit is due to Dino Babers for remaking his offense around Tucker, but this team suffers from a major depth problem across the roster. The Eagles should easily roll here to complete their regular season.

Winnability: 75%

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When this game was scheduled, many BC fans looked at it as an easy win. But Rutgers is no UMass or UConn anymore. The native son, Greg Schiano, has returned and is recruiting the Garden State extremely well. It’s a long, slow rebuild but such is expected considering Rutgers was one of the worst Power-Five programs in the country only two or three years ago. 

However, I would still posit that Boston College is more talented across the board than the Scarlet Knights. This will probably be a closer game than any BC fan would want, as the offense might need a few games to settle in with a new offensive line. But Jeff Hafley will have the boys ready to go in Week 1 for a quasi-revenge game for himself and Tem Lukabu, both having coached under Schiano.

Winnability: 65%

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7. Louisville

I’ll put this plainly: unless Lamar Jackson is the quarterback for Louisville, I will not fear or respect them as a team. Malik Cunningham still has not proven to me he can be a consistent threat with his arm. But his rushing ability still needs to be respected. The Cardinals have a very strong and experienced offensive line and their defense should improve form last season. However, BC still almost beat this team last year on the road with a banged up defense and Dennis Grosel at quarterback. Playing at home with Phil Jurkovec and an improving defense should get BC over the hump here.

Winnability: 55%

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This is the game upon which the whole season swings in my mind. As we have repeatedly discussed on this website and on the podcast, Florida State always presents a difficult challenge for BC given the caliber of athlete they recruit, especially relative to the ones that BC does. The Eagles have not defeated the Seminoles since the 2017 drubbing in the Red Bandanna Game. All three losses have been close but the Eagles had multiple opportunities to come back or put the game away. 

Florida State is still a shell of what it once was, but they remain a dangerous opponent. The Eagles should be relatively fresh coming off their game against Maine and should be riding a three game winstreak into this game. But this game should tell Boston College fans a lot about what to expect from the team in 2022.

Winnability: 45%

9. Clemson

Compared to previous seasons at this point and time, this has to be the highest winnability BC has for facing Clemson in the last decade. The Tigers are undergoing a major upheaval on their coaching staff, losing two major coordinators to other ACC jobs. They promoted from within almost across the board, which will be a very intriguing litmus test for Dabo Swinney. While they retain some elite defensive talent, especially up front, the quarterback and offensive line are still major question marks for this team. BC also finally gets Clemson at home for the first time since 2018. If the Eagles ever had a shot at dethroning Clemson, this would be the year. But, it is still Clemson.

Winnability: 40%

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Go inside, lock your doors, hold your family close: the time of the Demon Deacon is upon us. For this season, at least. To beat Wake Forest right now, you need to have an elite offense, a great defense, or both. Sadly, I don’t think BC has either at this point. Last year’s game should probably be thrown out, given that half of the Boston College team was stricken with the flu. 

Regardless, it was one of the few games in 2021 where the Eagles were totally outclassed on both sides of the ball. Now, maybe someone finally figures out the Wake offense and BC can copy that gameplan; maybe the Eagles’ offense reaches apotheosis and finally becomes all we have dreamt of. That’s why this has only the tenth lowest winnability on BC’s schedule. Additionally, BC is coming off their bye week facing Wake, so they’ll have an extra week to rest and prepare for their wacky offense.

Winnability: 35%

11. NC State

NC State continues to chug along its path of consistency, winning between 7 and 9 games exactly every year. Some expect them to take a big leap this year but I do not see it. They lost players like Ikem Ekwonu, Zonovan Knight, Ricky Person Jr., Emeka Emezie, and Daniel Joseph. They bring back most of their defense but their linebacking corps, their greatest strength, can’t stay healthy. Last year, BC hung with this team with Dennis Grosel at quarterback for a half before a handful of splash plays blew open the game. Regardless, BC still struggles against the Wolfpack, so the winnability is still pretty low.

Winnability: 30%

12. Notre Dame

In the last ten years, of Boston College’s toughest matchups, this one probably has the highest winnability. With Clemson at their lowest since Dabo took over and Wake Forest and NC State still solid despite losing pieces, BC’s toughest opponents all look relatively weak. Even Notre Dame is not their dominant self. Their quarterback situation is unresolved and they lost some of their best players to the NFL. Michael Mayer and Isaiah Foskey return, but the Irish do not look like the national title contender of years past. Nevertheless, this is still Notre Dame in South Bend and Marcus Freeman is a good coach. BC could add a major exclamation point to their season with an upset win over the Fighting Irish.

Winnability: 25%