Since Boston College became a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005, it has performed far above expectations — particularly for the last two seasons, when it won the Atlantic Division title and advanced to the conference championship game.
In preseason polls, however, the Eagles always get overlooked — and this year, it's the same story.
But this year, there's no bitterness. There are no fans crying, "Snub." Simply put, there's not too much hope that the Eagles can plant themselves anywhere near the top of the conference standings in 2009.
After an offseason of turmoil in which BC lost its head coach, its most recognizable player and all of its experienced quarterbacks, the Eagles have been tabbed to finish dead last in the ACC's Atlantic Division in 2009. Florida State owns the Atlantic's top preseason spot, followed by Clemson, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Maryland and finally BC.
In the Coastal Division, Virginia Tech — winners of two straight conference titles — is tabbed as both the preseason division champion and the conference champion. The Hokies are followed by Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia and Duke.
Preseason Player of the Year honors go to Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer, a running back who earned the 2008 ACC Player of the Year nod. He started in 13 games for the Yellow Jackets and rushed for 1,395 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Eagles finished with a 5-3 conference record in 2008, good for first place in the Atlantic, but the offseason brought major personnel changes: Coach Jeff Jagodzinski was fired and replaced with defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani; quarterback Dominique Davis transferred for academic reasons; and ACC Defensive Player of the Year Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, and the last thing on his mind is playing in 2009.
Will all of the missing pieces building up, it's hard to imagine that BC can pull much magic out of its hat in 2009. But as the Eagles have proven before, anything could happen.