BC notebook

Eagles’ fate in division in Clemson’s hands

Fate in division rests with Tigers

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / November 15, 2009

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - With Clemson’s 43-23 victory over North Carolina State yesterday, another window closed on Boston College’s chance of winning its third straight Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division crown.

Although the Eagles did their part with a 14-10 win over Virginia, all the Tigers have to do to clinch the division title is win next Saturday’s home game against Virginia.

Even if the Eagles win their final two games of the regular season, against North Carolina and Maryland, the best they can do is finish with a 6-2 record in the ACC. If Clemson beats Virginia, it will also be 6-2, but the Tigers will win the tiebreaker because of their victory over the Eagles in September.

So, where will the Eagles do their bowling if they get closed out of the ACC championship?

The Chick-fil-A Bowl, which will be played in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve, sent a representative to yesterday’s game between BC and Virginia at Scott Stadium. But the Chick-fil-A, which has the first pick of ACC teams other than the conference champion, is unlikely to take the Eagles no matter how they finish the season.

With a pool of five teams - Georgia Tech (which clinched the Coastal Division title with a win over Duke yesterday), Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Boston College - to choose from, the Eagles would appear to be a long shot to merit consideration.

Which leaves the Gator Bowl (probably not, since Notre Dame is expected to receive a bid to the game, which would be a rematch), the Music City Bowl (unlikely, since BC went there last season), the Meineke Car Care Bowl (a possibility, although that bowl would prefer an ACC team with Carolina proximity), and the Emerald Bowl against a Pac-10 team (which remains the most logical game available for the Eagles).

Man of the century
With 151 yards yesterday, Montel Harris eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier. “That was my goal for this season, and I accomplished that,’’ said the sophomore, who has rushed for 1,081 yards. “Thanks to the offensive line. They have been blocking hard all year.’’ . . . The Eagles finally ended their drought on the road with yesterday’s win. They hadn’t won a road game since last Nov. 22, a 24-21 decision at Wake Forest . . . The Eagles had a balanced attack, with 156 yards rushing and 147 yards passing . . . Although Eagles linebacker Mike Morrissey made the potential game-saving tackle by stopping Virginia quarterback Jameel Sewell at the 12-yard line in the closing seconds, the public address announcer credited the tackle to freshman phenom Luke Kuechly, which prompted some kidding from Morrissey. “I told him that if Virginia stopped Montel, they would give [Kuechly] credit,’’ said Morrissey with a laugh.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at