It's amazing how in college football, one game can completely change a season. Had Boston College won the ACC title game, they would be in the Orange Bowl, probably facing Kansas (which is a very winnable game). They could go on to be Orange Bowl champs, and maybe finish in the top 5 after everything is all said in done.
Instead, BC played like crap, racked up tons of penalties, squandered multiple red zone opportunities, had kicks blocked (and returned), went away from running the ball, and generally played horribly. This caused a loss to Virginia Tech. And now, BC finds themselves in the Champs Sports Bowl.
For those of you who might not know, college bowls are almost all associated with conferences. The ACC has several affiliated bowls, and there is a hierarchy to them. Here is what the hierarchy looks like:
1. The Orange Bowl: A BCS Bowl played in Miami since 1935. The Orange Bowl has doubled as the national title game twice, and is one of the most prestigious bowls in college football. The Orange Bowl will be on Fox this year.
2. The Gator Bowl: A Major Bowl played in Jacksonville since 1946. Along with games like the Cotton Bowl, this is one of the most coveted non-BCS bowls. It is played on January 1st, which is the most coveted date for a bowl game (except, of course, playing in the Championship Game). The Gator Bowl will be broadcast on CBS.
3. The Peach Bowl: Played in Atlanta since 1968, this game pits an ACC team against one from the SEC. This often leads to two powerhouses squaring off. Last year, Georgia played Virginia Tech. The year before, LSU played Miami. ESPN will carry the Peach Bowl.
4A. The Champs Sports Bowl: This game has been played since 1990. It's been played in two different cities (first Miami, then Orlando), and has had 8 different names, and 6 different major sponsors. It is not a prestigious bowl. Only recently has it been played after Christmas. This game is on ESPN.
4B. The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Presented by Bridgestone: This Nashville bowl game has been played since 1998, and has already been affiliated with four conferences. The ACC just recently became connected with this game. ESPN carries this game.
6A. The Meineke Car Care Bowl: This game has been played since 2002, and is already on its second title sponsor (it was once the Continental Tire Bowl). It's played in Charlotte and features teams from the ACC and Big East that were bowl eligible (over .500) and not much else. BC has won this game twice. This is another ESPN game.
6B. The Emerald Bowl: This game has been played since 2002 in San Francisco, but not in a football stadium. It's played in AT & T Park, home of the Giants. Both teams share the same sideline, split down the middle at the 50 yard line. BC has won the Emerald Bowl, but so have teams like Navy and Utah. The Emerald Bowl is on ESPN.
8. The Humanitarian Bowl: Who doesn't want to spend December in Boise? This bowl turns 10 this year. It's played in Bronco Stadium, which holds 30,000 fans. Bronco Stadium, by the way, is a campus stadium for Boise State. This game is best known as "that game on the blue field." ESPN 2 covers this game.
So why did BC go from a possible berth in the ACC's #1 bowl, to an invitation to the #4 bowl?
The Gator Bowl passed on BC because the Eagles just played a game in Jacksonville (and not too many BC fans showed up). Before the ACC title game, the Gator Bowl announced that it would not take the loser of the ACC title game. Virginia (ranked 20th) is going to the Gator Bowl.
The Peach Bowl decided to take Clemson. Clemson's campus is only 125 miles or so from Atlanta, so this makes a lot of sense.
So BC fell to the Champs Sports Bowl, which will be played Friday December 28th at 5 PM, right before the Texas Bowl and the Emerald Bowl. The Eagles will be playing the Spartans of Michigan State. MSU was 7-5 this year, and finished eighth in the Big Ten.
The good news is that BC should keep their streak alive. Boston College have won their last 7 bowl games in 7 years. Of course, all these bowl games have been those meaningless ones that you watch for 6 or 7 minutes until new shows come on the other stations at 8:00 PM.