Can Miami and Florida State return to their winning ways? Can Duke end its nation-leading losing streak in 2007? Will Wake Forest be able to close out its record-breaking season with an Orange Bowl win? Our ACC notebook addresses those questions and much more.
Like a lot of teams in the ACC, the Eagles (9-3, 5-3 Atlantic Division) had a season of what-ifs. BC had command of the Atlantic Division in late October after impressive victories at home against Virginia Tech and on the road against Florida State. But the Eagles followed with losses to Wake Forest and Miami down the stretch and saw their BCS bowl hopes fade away. To add insult to injury, the Eagles were bypassed by both the Gator and Chick-Fil-A bowls and wound up in the Meineke Car Care Bowl for the second time in three years. The most frustrating aspect of the season for BC was that its three losses came by a total of 12 points. The good news? The Eagles have won nine games for a school-record third consecutive season. A win in the bowl game against Navy would give BC 10 victories in a season for only the third time in school history and would extend the Eagles' bowl winning streak to a nation's-best seven in a row.
MVP: Despite playing with a group of inexperienced receivers and a lackluster running game, quarterback Matt Ryan led the ACC in passing average (245.5 ypg), total offense (242.2 ypg) and ranked second in touchdown passes (14). Not bad considering that Ryan, a junior named to the All-ACC first team, played virtually all season hindered by leg injuries that forced him to miss one game.