December 29, 2008

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Boston College (9-4) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6) (LP Field Nashville, Tennessee December 31, 2008 3:30pm ESPN)

Tie Ins: ACC vs SEC #5

Dan: BC -4

I don’t expect this one to be very close. Vandy has lost 6 of its last 7 including Duke and Tennessee. BC has won 4 of its last 5. The Eagles should be able to control the line of scrimmage and push Vandy around.

BC 24 Vandy 10

Matt: Vandy +4

I’m going way out on a limb here, but everyone says that these bowl games come down to motivation. Well, Vandy hasn’t played a bowl game in decades and finally gets one right in their home town. Meanwhile, BC played for the ACC Championship in their last game and now has to deal with the disappointment of getting passed all the way down to a pre New Years Day Music City Bowl. I know Vandy has been playing terribly and doesn’t have the talent that BC does, but I think that they are fired up for this one and pull off the shocker. Plus, it gives a little extra incentive to root against BC.

Vandy 20 BC 17

Mike: Vanderbilt +4

To borrow a phrase from Doug: death, taxes and Boston College winning a low-level bowl in unimpressive fashion.

Boston College 17 Vanderbilt 14

Doug: Boston College -4

While I’m a little nervous about this pick considering that Vandy is playing at home and probably will be fired up about this game, I can’t pick against BC in a bowl game. BC has become “Pre Jan 1 Bowl Game U” in the last decade. They just show up at these lousy bowl games, bring zero fans, and then win. Vandy has played turrrrrible football in the second half of the season. BC is a physical team that plays more of an SEC style of football, so they should be able to push around Vandy.

One of the top 3 goals for Notre Dame next year should be to beat Boston College. I know that’s crazy to have as a team goal, but I really think that needs to become a top priority. Whatever we do as a team this offseason, we should be tailoring our plans partially around beating the Eagles. In other words, we need to get more physical and beat them at the line of scrimmage. If we do those things, we not only will beat BC but will probably match up better against teams like Pitt and Michigan State. While I would love to beat USC and win a BCS bowl game and all that, I really would like to go at least 2 out of 3 against the Pitt/MSU/BC group. Baby steps for this program is where my head is at.

In fact, my top four goals for ND for 2009 would be:

1) Beat Boston College
2) Win a January 1 or later bowl game
3) Blow out all the bad teams on the schedule\
4) Finish strong down the stretch (5-1 or 6-0)

Laugh all you want, but BC is a serious football school that we should not be taking lightly any longer. While the Hawaii game was fun, that type of game plan is not going to work against a smart, disciplined team like BC. They will double team our wide receivers like they did this past year, and make us beat them the old-fashioned way. We better be up to the task.

BC 20 Vandy 10

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