Six down, six to go (or seven, for the optimistic folk) for the Boston College Eagles during their 2013 football season. In the preseason, we ranked all twelve games in order of difficulty. Without a doubt, some of those guesses were reasonable while others appear to be less so, knowing now if certain teams unexpectedly turned out to be good or bad.
How have the Eagles done so far with those teams which they have played, and what does the remaining schedule hold as this team attempts to find six wins?
The following chart represents the 2013 schedule with current wins and losses, displayed by preseason difficulty rank. If a game has not yet been played, the Soaring to Glory line estimate is shown.
If we were to re-rank the games, first, we would keep the top three as-is. They were all difficult games, and it says something that the Eagles played as decently as they did against two of them (Clemson and Florida State).
The new #4 would be the Virginia Tech Hokies, now ranked. They have rebounded from last year’s “rock-bottom” season and are back to form — though rock-bottom for them is going 6-6 plus a bowl win over Rutgers.
An improved Maryland Terrapins team would be the new #5, jumping up from eighth. That game is on the road, though in an environment in which the Eagles have not recently been intimidated.
North Carolina falls to sixth in the new difficulty ratings. The Tar Heels have not played well at all this season, but this game is still somewhat mysterious for the Eagles. Boston College has limited history with North Carolina football since joining the conference and it is a road game, after all. North Carolina will probably be a very slight favorite next week, but if they lose badly to the Miami Hurricanes tonight, it won’t help.
The Syracuse Orange remain at #7; this is a road game, but a fairly even one. North Carolina State drops from sixth to eighth as the Pack have been shaky so far this season and the Eagles are at home.
Wake Forest remains at #9, Army slides up to #10, and Villanova slides up to #11. This leaves the easiest game as being New Mexico State, an FBS team in name only. Former Eagles offensive coordinator Doug Martin inherited a mess out in Las Cruces. Sure, it’s a road game, but the Aggies are legitimately one of the worst teams in the country. They’re sixth from the bottom in points scored and at the bottom in points allowed; an absolutely dreadful New Mexico Lobos team recently dropped 66 points on them.
In the new rankings, therefore, Boston College has yet to play the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 12th-most difficult games on their schedule. Whereas the first half of the season was very polarized — either played very tough or much lighter opposition — this part is much more centered. There is a path to six wins for this team, and as a matter of fact, there are probably several. Any combination of three wins will have these kids playing in December.
Considering that New Mexico State is likely to be one, that means the Eagles will have to win two out of those remaining five to play in the postseason. In order of likelihood of victory, those games are:
• NC State (H)
• Syracuse (A)
• North Carolina (A)
• Maryland (A)
• Virginia Tech (H)
Which should make sense because that’s the order in which we just re-ranked them. Taking the top two would do it, but as long as they get to their total of six, nobody is going to complain about how they did it.