(An outsiders musings about what is happening at Boston College, aka The Heights)
Almost every indicator points in their direction.
They are well rested--coming off a bye week.
They have more incentive--they are one victory short of being bowl eligible.
They are playing at home.
The weather--prediction is for overcast skies with temperatures in the high 20s or low 30s.
They are facing a team that has to be emotionally and physically drained after back to back losses to Notre Dame and Clemson.
They are facing a team that has very little incentive--it already is bowl eligible with six victories.
What Boston College does not have in its game on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium against North Carolina State is an edge in talent.
The Wolfpack has talent on both sides of the line of scrimmage that is equal or better than Coach Steve Addazio's team. Which is probably the only reason why NC State is a narrow favorite.
But college football, as much as any sport, is filled with intangibles.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
BC comes into the game off a bye week, still savoring a three-game winning streak that has taken them from a 2-4 start with a bleak outlook on the remainder of the regular season to a 5-4 team filled with a sense of confidence after victories over Louisville, Virginia and Florida State.
""I'm hoping that we'll be able to maintain momentum,'' said Addazio earlier this week. ""And maybe come out and have a little bit more staying power out there, because maybe a little more rested, maybe the legs are a little bit better.'''
The obvious goal is to get to 6 wins which would guarantee the Eagles a bowl bid. The when and where will be determined. The only thing that appears certain is that BC will NOT be making a return trip to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, since the ACC and the bowls are hesitant to bring back schools to the same bowl two years in succession.
Depending on what happens after NC State against UConn and Syracuse, BC could finish anywhere from 6-6 to 8-4, with the Military (Annapolis), Pinstripe (New York), Independence (Shreveport, La.) and Sun Bowl (El Paso, Tx.) as the most likely landing places.
But that is premature speculation until the issue with NC State is decided. A loss on Saturday could reopen all the pessimistic chatter from earlier in the season, with even Addazio's future open to speculation if the Eagles crash and burn with three consecutive losses.
Addazio's attitude is to look at short term goals and projections. "We're like roll up our sleeves and go to work,'' he said. ""We've got a really good football team coming here and we've got to find a way to win this football game. And beyond that, you know any of that stuff (projections of the future). And that's kind of been our m.o. this year. And we'll just kind of keep swinging.''
Addazio says BC's mindset is that the Eagles are in the ""one game season'' phase.
It is not as severe as "win or go home'', but getting to victory No. 6 is the first tangible goal within reach of the Eagles this season.
Whether the Eagles can pull it off on Saturday remains a question in which the answer isn't certain, despite so many signs pointing in the Eagles' direction.
The lightly regarded, much maligned Boston College basketball team makes its season debut Friday night against Maine. Since this is still a good news weekend for the Eagles, here's an early guess.
With a non-conference schedule that is not overly taxing, Coach Jim Christian's team has enough talent in the backcourt to come into the New Year and the heart of the Atlantic Coast season with at least 10 wins. That means winning 5 of 18 ACC games can get them to .500.
Probable? Probably not. Possible? Let's say Yes for a program and a coach that could use some good news coming their way.[/membership]