How Does Boston College’s USC Win Change the Bowl Math?


Before Boston College’s USC win on Saturday, it looked like an uphill battle to make it to bowl eligibility. How did things change thereafter?

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Following the loss to Pittsburgh, a reasonable analysis would have had the Eagles at 2-2 going into the Week 5 game against Colorado State, a 12:30pm game that still can go either way but should see the Eagles as favorites. That would have assumed a loss to the Trojans and a win over the Black Bears.

Now, after Boston College’s USC win, the situation has definitely improved. Putting that game in a vacuum — which is to say, we will not assume “they beat USC therefore they can and will beat most if not all of these other guys” because that is not necessarily true — the numbers look better.

Since they pulled one huge upset already, nobody is to say they can’t do it again, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

One might have suspected that the Eagles had to steal one of the Pittsburgh or USC games to really make their case. They could have gotten there without either one, but the math would have been a lot more stressful. Getting the victory over USC puts them in a position to go into the Colorado State game 3-1, already half-way to eligibility, and with the further potential of going to NC State in October sitting at 4-1. From there, despite the difficulty of the schedule in the second half, two wins out of seven would be doable.

Boston College’s USC win last weekend has afforded them the opportunity to have a nice 2014 with a postseason game; all the Eagles have to do is win the games they need to win (like Maine, Wake Forest, and Colorado State), then take a few of the toss-ups like NC State or Syracuse. Four out of those five put the Eagles over the top, and all are going to be winnable when they happen.

The USC game looked like it might be another stark reminder of how far this team has to go, but instead, it gave the Eagles both confidence and breathing room in their schedule.