2009 Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Boston College

In one of the fastest rising rivalries in college football, the Virginia Tech
Hokies will host the Boston College Eagles for homecoming this Saturday in a
critical ACC match-up. The Hokies and Eagles will meet for the fifth time in the
last 28 games, so obviously both teams know each other extremely well. However,
attrition, injuries, and illness have given both teams a different look this
year. Will the Eagles be able to extend their three-game regular season winning
streak over Tech, or will the Hokies continue their momentum from winning a
second straight ACC championship over BC?

When the ACC expanded in 2004 by adding Virginia Tech, Boston College, and
Miami, the expectations were that Florida State and Miami would dominate their
divisions and place the ACC in the national football spotlight. However, the two
teams with the best records in the ACC following the expansion are the two teams
that will meet this Saturday – Virginia Tech and Boston College. While the FSU/Miami
rivalry may garner more national media attention (or even VT/Miami), the biggest
rivalry in the ACC has actually become the Virginia Tech/BC game.

The national college football media (i.e., ESPN) still overlooks the
significance of this game in the ACC race, leaving the game for the weekly
Raycom/ISP ACC broadcast. If the media (and fans) step back and take an
objective look at this game, the VT/BC game this Saturday may be the most
significant ACC game this year, or at least second to the VT/Miami game. Boston
College has quietly gone 4-1 this year and, more significantly, 2-1 in the
relatively weak Atlantic Division. A win over the Hokies would firmly place the
Eagles in control of a third straight division championship.

Even without a victory over Virginia Tech, BC would still look to be the
favorite in the Atlantic Division with remaining home games against UNC and N.C.
State, and road trips to UVA and Maryland. Could we be looking at a third
straight ACC Championship Game match-up between the Hokies and Eagles? But I am
getting way ahead of myself.