Playing Spoiler

The Boston area is home to the World Series champions and an undefeated pro football team. It could also, for the first time, be home to a college football team playing for the BCS championship.

First-year coach Jeff Jagodzinski, quarterback Matt Ryan and the rest of Boston College try to continue their perfect season Saturday when they host Florida State.

Oddsmakers from have made Boston College -6.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday's game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 81% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston College -6.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

The Eagles (8-0, 4-0 ACC) are ranked second in both the AP poll and BCS standings for the second consecutive week thanks to a come-from-behind 14-10 win over then-No. 8 Virginia Tech on Oct. 25. After being frustrated by a stingy defense for most of the night, Ryan threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final 2:11 to lift Boston College to its first 8-0 start since 1942.

"Well, you know there's still time left on the clock,'' said Ryan, who likely cemented his status as a top Heisman Trophy contender despite throwing a pair of interceptions earlier in the game. "You know you still have a shot and you still got a chance. We've been in this situation so many times through the course of the year in practice and we've prepared ourselves really well.''

With only Ohio State in front of them in the rankings, the Eagles are in position to play for their first BCS title if they can win their four remaining regular-season games and the ACC championship contest. Playing in the same region as the Boston Red Sox, who won their second World Series in four years on Sunday, and the NFL's 8-0 New England Patriots is a situation their coach welcomes.

"If you are mentioned in the same breath as the Boston Red Sox and the Patriots and the Celtics, I think it's nothing but positive," said Jagodzinski, who is the first BC coach to begin his career with eight straight wins since Joe McKenney led the Eagles to a perfect 9-0 record in 1928.

Ryan also continues to build his case for becoming the Eagles' first Heisman winner since Doug Flutie in 1984. The senior passed for 285 yards against Virginia Tech - his third straight game throwing for at least that much. He has 19 TDs and only eight interceptions this year to go with a 61.0 completion percentage and a 304 yards-per-game average.

"You have to play well and you have to continue to win,'' Ryan said of his Heisman hopes. "If it works out, it'll be great. If not, hopefully we can continue to win games.''

Ryan led the Eagles to a 26-16 win over the Seminoles at Tallahassee on Oct. 26, 2006. His numbers were pedestrian, as he went 16-for-26 for 262 yards and one interception, but BC's defense forced three turnovers in the victory.

However, Florida State (5-3, 2-3) is the last team to win at Boston College, having beaten the Eagles 28-17 on Sept. 17, 2005, at Alumni Stadium. BC has won 16 consecutive home games since then.

The Seminoles avoided a third straight loss with a dominant 25-6 home victory over lowly Duke last Saturday. Florida State gained a season-high 534 yards while limiting the Blue Devils to 49 yards in the first half and 222 overall.

Now, the Seminoles face a daunting final four games of the regular season, with road games against No. 11 Virginia Tech and No. 18 Florida sandwiched around a home matchup with Maryland - which beat Florida State in 2006.

"We've got Boston College away, Virginia Tech away, Maryland here and Florida away so you've got your highest-ranked teams ahead of you," said Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden, whose 371 career wins are two more than Penn State's Joe Paterno for the all-time lead.

"Of course, Boston College is No. 2 in the nation so it gives us a chance to be the spoilers. You can remember how many years where we were ranked one, two, three, four and they would come in and be the spoilers. Well now, the opportunity is in our hands."

Bowden had to deal with some controversy this week, suspending backup quarterback Xavier Lee for two games for violating the team's class attendance rules. The junior started three games for the Seminoles earlier this season, but Bowden gave the job back to Drew Weatherford prior to last week's win.

Weatherford completed 35 of 47 passes for 339 yards and a touchdown against the Blue Devils. The completions and yardage were both season highs for the senior, who has thrown for 981 yards, five TDs and one interception in six games this year.

Redshirt freshmen Christian Ponder and D'Vontrey Richardson back up Weatherford during Lee's suspension.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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