They say that hope springs eternal. Lately, that has not been the case surrounding the Boston College football team as they’re 2-7 overall and, dating back to the start of 2011, have gone 6-15. When the Fighting Irish are on the schedule, however, Boston College fans always want a reason to believe.
I’d like to give you one, and I’m not going to dissuade you from rooting for your team or hoping for the big upset, but I do have to maintain an air of impartiality.
How Boston College Will Win
The Eagles can win this game if they do what all of these other teams who played Notre Dame close did not: find a way not to screw up a low-scoring game. Low-scoring is what it will have to be, because ND’s defense is probably going to be very unkind. The Eagles not only have to face an elite defense, but they do so having not been greatly effective on offense over the last several games. Notre Dame’s offense is only average (overall, but are good at rushing); to win, the Eagles will need to find a way to finally stop a good running game. If they do that, they may have a shot. BC does need several things to break their way, probably not the least of which is luck. That has been almost universally on the side of Notre Dame so far this season, if their multiple close wins are any indication.
How Notre Dame Will Win
Notre Dame will win the game if their defense plays like it’s second in points allowed in FBS and the BC defense gets thoroughly gashed on the ground (which would not be the first time). That wouldn’t just be a recipe for a loss — it might be a recipe for Notre Dame to cover that enormous spread. If the Irish play their game and don’t screw around, the fact is that they will probably win.
Notre Dame cannot afford to take BC or any team lightly, because (1) they are playing for a national title and (2) the Eagles now have nothing to lose and a home game against a bitter rival. On the other hand, Boston College has lost to far, far worse teams than Notre Dame this year and don’t appear much closer to figuring out their problems. The Irish have just gotten by frequently enough in the last month, which is why I am inclined to believe that they don’t cover the spread, but logically, the statistics and the odds favor them by a decently-sized margin. Anything can happen in games like these so one can’t rule out the possibility of an upset, but it is more unlikely than likely. I’m 7-for-9 on these picks this year, so I’ve got a good batting average, but of course I’d like to be wrong on Saturday.
STG Outlook: Notre Dame at Boston College
• Score Estimate: Notre Dame 21, Boston College 10 (ND by 11)
• Highly unlikely that both teams will score 30+ points
• Some chance Notre Dame will cover spread (-19), but unlikely
• Notre Dame has won three in a row against Boston College
• Notre Dame won the last meeting at Alumni Stadium, 31-13, in 2010