The Holy War resumes Saturday after a two-year hiatus with an Irish "home game" at Fenway Park in Boston.
Boston College and Notre Dame met every year between 1992 and 2012, with the exception of 2005 and '06. Notre Dame leads the overall series 13-9, with the Irish winning the past four games dating back to 2009.
The Irish haven’t always been so dominant against the other Catholic football school, however. The Eagles won six straight between 2001 and '08 and have been a thorn in the side of highly ranked Notre Dame teams on several occasions throughout the years. Most recently, in 2002, the undefeated Irish suffered their first loss to unranked Boston College in Tyrone Willingham’s first season, just one week after beating Florida State.
Perhaps most memorable of all was Notre Dame's meeting with BC just one week after an epic No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown against Florida State that went the Irish's way. That year, the 12th-ranked Eagles came to South Bend and ruined Notre Dame’s championship hopes with a last-second field goal. The Eagles would again beat a highly ranked ND team in 1994, cementing the rivalry in the hearts of fans from both schools.
BC is scoring an average of 17.3 points per game compared to ND’s 36.2. They are 3-7 with wins against Maine, Howard and NIU, all at home. They have losses to Duke, Clemson and pretty much the rest of the ACC. The Irish shouldn’t have a problem matching up with this team if they play to their potential.
While today’s College Football Playoff might have eliminated the controversy caused by the Eagles' defeat of the top-ranked Irish back in 1993, a Notre Dame loss this year would again spell doom. The Irish simply can’t afford to lose another game after their close loss at Clemson. Even if they win out and beat Boston College and Stanford, the luck of the Irish will need to be on ND’s side to make the final four.
Unless all hell breaks lose and the Big Ten, ACC and SEC cannibalize each other, the only hope for the Irish is if a one-loss Big 12 champ gets left out. The most compelling team from the Big 12 will likely be Oklahoma if it beats Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State in successive weeks to close out the regular season.
The best-case scenario for the Irish is for Oklahoma to lose to TCU, then beat Oklahoma State. If the committee leaves ND out for a Sooner team that lost to the same Texas squad Notre Dame destroyed, the injustice might hurt just as bad as Florida State being chosen over Notre Dame in 1993. Boston College can play the spoiler, but ND should pull this one out.
Prediction: Notre Dame 35, Boston College 17.