BC bowls over Miami--and Yes, it is a big deal--for now
Boston College became bowl eligible on Friday night with a 27-14 victory over Miami.
Normally, that's a big yawn for a team which had been to a bowl game in 4 of Steve Addazio's first five seasons at The Heights.
And, as we have learned about the Eagles, winning six games doesn't mean there will be many more. Under Addazio, the Eagles have never had better than a 7-6 record.
So what's the big deal?
First, the victory came over Miami, which is always a big deal at BC, dating back to the epic "Hail Flutie'' victory over the Canes' in BC's 1984 Cotton Bowl season. Throw in QB Doug Flutie winning the Heisman Trophy and BC beating Houston in the Cotton Bowl and you have the top highlight package for BC from the last 75 years. The Eagles' win on Friday was only their sixth against the Canes in 30 games.
Although there is a BC-Miami rivalry because of that game, the two schools only play sporadically. They are in different divisions in the 14 team Atlantic Coast Conference. Prior to Friday night's game, BC had not played the Hurricanes since 2012
But what was special about Friday night's win, which elevated BC to 6-2 overall, was when it came. BC had not become bowl eligible in OCTOBER. since 2009.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Normally, with road games at Virginia Tech and Florida State and home games against Clemson and Syracuse, BC fans should mute their celebrations a bit. But this is not an average year in the ACC.
Virginia Tech has already lost a mind-boggling game to Old Dominion and is coming off a lack-lustre 49-28 loss at Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
Yes, the Eagles' game next week is in Blacksburg, but BC has offensive weapons which can produce points and yardage and the defense came up with three big plays against Miami which proved the difference.
Normally, winning a game at FSU would be more of a wish than anything, but like Virginia Tech, FSU looks average at best.
Beating Clemson anywhere will be a challenge, but beating Syracuse in the annual regular season finale (at home this year) is a reasonable expectation.
If you do math with an optimistic eye, you can see 8 or even 9 wins. A realistic viewpoint would be to settle for 7 wins during the regular season, with the hope of breaking the 8 win barrier in a bowl game.
What is missing this season is the worry factor.
The tension of becoming bowl eligible is now gone. For historic reference, BC won its sixth game last season on November 18, it won's its sixth game two years ago on Nov. 26th, in 2014 on November 1 and in 2011 on Nov. 16th.
And having reached the 6 win mark on national television against Miami makes it even more special. ""We had a mindset as a program, as a team, in all three phases that we were going to attack with everything we had, empty the chamber'' said Addazio. ""
The Eagles did that early and often on both sides of the ball. The return of a healthy AJ Dillon (sprained ankle) was significant. The sophomore running back was a force from the start, rushing for 149 yards and scoring a TD. The Eagles took what had been the No. 1 defense in the country and piled up more than 400 yards in total offense. They won with straight running and passing plays, they won with trick plays and they won with defensive big plays (a pair of interceptions and a goal line stand in the second half).
""We beat a good football team,'' said Addazio. "That's a good football team. They've got some very talented football players.''
Addazio is partially correct. Miami has some talented players, but it is undeveloped or under developed. Over their last 11 games Miami is a very, very ordinary 5-6.
The bottom line is that it is not even Halloween and BC is a very good spot. But the Eagles know they can lose focus and direction quickly if they lose their next two games to Virginia Tech and Clemson.
But for now, why worry about what might spoil the dream. Let the Eagles and their fans soar a bit.[/membership]