Boston College Eagles: Recent tough luck with bowl games continues

Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

College football bowl season has not been kind to the Boston College Eagles the past five seasons.

Two losses, an opt out, and a game canceled halfway through the first quarter have all been part of Boston College’s recent bowl resume. And on Sunday, it was announced this year’s Military Bowl was canceled due to the Eagles having over 40 players on their roster unavailable due to a variety of reasons.

A Monday showdown with East Carolina never came to fruition for Boston College. The Military Bowl became what is at the moment five canceled bowl games in 2021 due to health and safety protocols.

Boston College (6-6) will have to wait until (hopefully) the 2022 season to get their first bowl win since a 36-30 victory over Maryland in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl.

A five-year bowl slump for Boston College Eagles

During this run of tough luck, Boston College has at least been eligible for bowl games, even if a win or loss wasn’t secured in some instances.

Back in 2017, a matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Pinstripe Bowl turned out to be their most competitive game. The Eagles came up just short, losing to the Hawkeyes 27-20.

Mother Nature interfered at the 2018 Servpro First Responder Bowl, with the game ruled a no-contest. It was a highly anticipated game with the Boise State Broncos, as both teams were evenly matched on paper. The game was called because of severe weather with just over five minutes left in the first quarter after the Eagles had taken a 7-0 lead.

In 2019, change was in the December air for the Eagles. A new coaching regime was about to take over and AJ Dillon had played his last game, choosing to skip the Birmingham Bowl (which was played in early 2020).

The highlight for Boston College that game was another weather delay due to lightning, though the game eventually continued. Much to the chagrin of the Eagles, the Cincinnati Bearcats were clearly the better team that day, winning 38-6.

Cincinnati, of course, has lost only one game since and is playing in the College Football Playoff semifinals on New Year’s Eve.

Boston College was bowl eligible after the 2020 season but chose to opt out.

There’s a certain disappointment that this year’s bowl ended the way it did, but it’s certainly understandable as to why it wasn’t played. And while there is a sadness around some players not getting one last shot for a victory, 2022 is already bringing with it some high hopes.

Boston College Eagles: A look ahead to ’22

It’s never too early to board a hype train. My ticket for the Boston College Eagles in 2022 has been punched. Except these great expectations were placed ahead of the 2021 season, too.

A year older and a year wiser, lessons have been learned. So no, it’s not to early, but a temperament is needed moving forward. But it is very tempting to glance at the tentative roster for the fall of ’22 and see a successful future for this program.

Two big names have announced a return to the program, staving off the temptation of the NFL one more season. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec made it known his intent to return to school not too long after the regular season had ended. And wide receiver Zay Flowers gave fans an early Christmas gift when he announced his return on December 21.

Jurkovec and Flowers are a dynamic duo that are cooking when healthy. An outstanding group of receivers is set to return and Pat Garwo III, coming off an excellent 2021, will attempt to ride that momentum into ’22.

Christian Mahogany, an all-ACC player on the offensive line, will lead a group that needs to replace a couple of standouts. The position group is always an asset for the Eagles and should be just as valuable in 2022.

Next. 3 Boston College Eagles standouts in 2021 regular season. dark

For now, we’re still nearly nine months away of meaningful football for Boston College. Spring camp and fall camp await prior, where practices will be the appetizer for what promises to be a quite delicious main entrée next football season.