Underrated Boston College aims high

Head coach Frank Spaziani's defense has kept the Eagles remarkably competitve in the past decade. Mark Goldman/Icon SMI

Ask a group of average college football fans to name the most successful programs of the past decade and you can expect to hear a dozen or more consensus picks. The Florida Gators, LSU Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans each played in multiple BCS national championship games from 2000 to 2009 and dominated the polls for most of the past 10 seasons. The Georgia Bulldogs, Virginia Tech Hokies and Oregon Ducks were consistently very good, if not elite. The Boise State Broncos, TCU Horned Frogs and Utah Utes led the way from outside the major conferences. The Miami Hurricanes, Florida State Seminoles and Nebraska Cornhuskers were exceptional in the early part of the decade, and the Alabama Crimson Tide came on strong at the end.

How many more programs would get mentioned before anyone even thinks about casting a vote for the Boston College Eagles? At least a few more from each of the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and Pac-10. Even in the ACC, the Clemson Tigers and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets would almost certainly join the others already mentioned before anyone would give the Eagles the nod. Look no further than the annual ACC preseason media poll, in which Boston College has consistently been projected to finish in the middle of the pack. Just as consistently, the Eagles have trumped annual expectations and placed first or second in the ACC Atlantic Division every year since 2005. They rank among the top 15 teams in college football winning percentage over the past 10 seasons (.675).

So, is BC a great program? If not yet, is it on the doorstep?