BOSTON — Does college football in New England mean as much as it does in other regions of the country?

Maybe not, given the dominant nature of Boston’s professional teams, both through their own play and the attention of the fanbase.

That doesn’t mean that there should not be optimism for the college football teams of the area, particularly with the region’s lone power-five school in the Boston College Eagles.

With a 23-14 win over the No. 17 Southern Methodist Mustangs in the 2023 Wasabi Fenway Bowl, the Eagles won their first bowl game since 2016 and won seven games for the first time since 2018.

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At the center of the program’s reviving year is transfer quarterback Thomas Castellanos. The dynamic sophomore tallied 268 total yards with two rushing touchdowns in the Fenway Bowl victory. His postseason performance helped him finish the year with the third-most yards by a Boston College quarterback behind program legends Matt Ryan and Doug Flutie.

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Given the potential of the program and various perspectives, the Eagles’ quarterback appreciates being overlooked as a program in college football, especially after ending the year by beating a ranked opponent.

“We definitely use it for motivation,” Castellanos told reporters after the win. “I like to be the underdog.”

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The 2023 season laid the groundwork for continued growth for the program. Under head coach Jeff Hafley, the Eagles sported a five-game win streak and snapped a bowl drought. With new improvements already coming to Chestnut Hill in the transfer portal, the 2024 season could offer real potential for Boston College.

“You guys will see,” Castellanos shared. “Next year will be special. Boston College football will be different.”

With Castellanos ready to run it back with the Eagles, Boston College should be in store for an entertaining 2024 season, hopefully with the attention of that region.

“It’s just the beginning,” Castellanos added.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images