Whether 7-2 or 2-7, whenever Notre Dame is on the schedule, people at Boston College notice. Students renting RVs and driving out to South Bend is something of a school tradition, but such expenses are hardly necessary when the game is at Alumni Stadium. Much like last year when these two teams met, the Eagles have very little for which to play, but in Notre Dame’s case, they’ve got a perfect season and potential national championship bid on the line.
After pulling another crazy win out of their posteriors on Saturday night, the Fighting Irish have improved to 9-0 and remain near the top of the BCS rankings. Such things cannot be said about the hosting Boston College Eagles, who were defeated by Wake Forest to fall to 2-7, eliminating them from bowl contention for the second straight year. The Eagles are almost certainly playing out the remaining few games in the tenure of head coach Frank Spaziani, who has guided the team to its worst stretch in over 15 years, while it is Notre Dame soaring high under Brian Kelly.
The bookies have recognized this and handed Boston College an embarrassing opening point spread: Notre Dame -20. It has fallen in early betting to -18.5. There’s no shame in losing to a good team, but that the Eagles are massive underdogs in their own building to a rival says a lot about this team, and none of it is good. Given how the Irish have had their close calls recently, a spread this big is intended to be just as much a statement of how bad BC is, not just how good Notre Dame is.
Boston College has not had success against the Fighting Irish since Spaziani was hired in 2009. The Eagles are 0-3 against Notre Dame in that stretch, with the most lopsided loss coming in 2010 at Alumni Stadium. That, for those who do not recall, was the night BC benched Dave Shinskie and Chase Rettig made his collegiate debut. Quite a lot has happened for the young man since then, who continues to mature into a respectable quarterback, though he did not have a great game against the Demon Deacons on Saturday.
Things have not gone well for the Eagles this year; they’re a frustrated team that only has their pride left. That is going to have to be enough for them as they face a team that is starting to believe they might be en route to a dream season. It will be a tough game