Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Boston College Eagles (2007)

Let's look at one more Boston College bowl team before the Pinstripe Bowl ...

The 2007 BC Eagles were the best of times and the ... well, not the worst of times, but at the least, they left a gnawing feeling of what might have been. With senior quarterback Matt Ryan at the helm, the Eagles were ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation, their highest ranking since 1942, right before they were knocked off by Holy Cross in a mega-upset. Ryan set single-season records for passing yards (4,258) and touchdown passes (28) and emerged as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. (There was even a "Ryan for Heisman" blog; you can still visit it here. I still can't believe Matty Ice was only seventh in the balloting.) 

Matt Ryan didn't get the Heisman,
but he did get his own action figure.

The Eagles also beat Miami for the first time since the "Hail Mary" game in 1984. BC won 11 games, the most since the undefeated 1940 team, and finished No. 10 in the AP poll, No. 11 in the coaches poll, the program's highest ranking since '84.

But ... BC dropped three of four games late in the season, including a loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC title game. Instead of the Orange Bowl (the destination for the ACC champ at the time), BC found itself in the Champs Sports Bowl (the bowl that used to be the Tangerine Bowl, discussed earlier in the week). And first-year coach Jeff Jagodzinski was fired after the 2008 season when he defied BC's orders and interviewed for the vacant New York Jets coaching position.

That said, it was still a memorable season and the '07 Eagles deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the 1940 and '84 teams in discussions of the best in school history. And an 11-3 record is never anything to sneeze at.

Running back Andre Callender, top, and quarterback Matt Ryan
in action during the Champs Sports Bowl, a 24-21 win over Michigan State.
This was the eighth and final win of BC's incredible 2000-07 bowl victory streak.

As for the uniforms ... BC streamlined its look under new coach Jagodzinski. The funky slanted numbers remained, but without the busy multiple outlines used from 2001-06. Gold numbers replaced white on the home jerseys. And in a first, white pants were used, primarily on the roads. The Eagles continue to wear all-white on the road to this day. An eagle head replaced the soaring eagle on the sleeves. As you can see, BC wasn't afraid to mix 'n match.

You can read about the uniform change here.

For '07 only, a small black patch was worn on the left sleeve; unfortunately, I have no idea what it stood for or for whom it was chosen to commemorate. 

BC was hoping for the Orange Bowl, but had to settle
for the Champs Sports Bowl.

Again, thanks to Reid Oslin's unbelievable Boston College Football Vault, the source of much the info here. There are very few books out there on BC football, and this one almost singlehandedly makes up for the lack.

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