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'Underrated' BC picked for 3d in ACC Atlantic

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  July 26, 2010 05:56 PM

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GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Boston College is gaining in popularity among the media covering the Atlantic Coast Conference. Coach Frank Spaziani's Eagles were a solid pick for third place in the media's preseason poll in the ACC Atlantic Division, just behind No. 2 Clemson and preseason favorite Florida State.

The poll, which was released this afternoon, listed Virginia Tech and FSU as the preseason favorites to win their divisions, and Virginia Tech was the solid favorite to win the ACC title game over FSU in Charlotte.

It should also be noted that the Eagles have done better than the preseason predictions in each of their previous four seasons in the ACC.

FSU quarterback Christian Ponder was an overwhelming pick over Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams as the ACC preseason Player of The Year. BC linebacker Mark Herzlich was the 8th choice, while BC running back Montel Harris also received a vote and was in a tie for 10th place.

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The Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on New Year's Eve has the No. 2 choice of any ACC team (after the conference champion which goes to the Orange Bowl). BC has been the ACC runner-up twice in its five years in the conference but has never received a bid to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl CEO Gary Stokan said that the bowl would certainly consider a BC team which had a competitive record this season, but offered this clarification about ticket sales -- or lack of them, which is generally considered as a BC negative.

"We look at lot of things involved,'' Stokan said this afternoon at the ACC football kickoff meetings. "I have about 15 different criteria on a grid I have in my office with all things being considered, such as record, injuries, how a team is playing and ticket sales. It's a factor, but not the overriding one.

"What we ask any school, including BC, is how many tickets they think we should allocate to them. Say it's 5,000 and BC is allocated 12,000 tickets. With that figure (5,000) we can then make plans to sell the extra tickets locally or allocate them to the SEC school (the other school in the ACC vs. SEC matchup).''

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BC coach Frank Spaziani met with the media today and said that like everyone else he expects Herzlich, who is making a comeback from bone cancer, to be available and ready to play against Weber State on Sept. 4th in the Eagles' home opener.

But Spaziani has other concerns, particularly on the defensive line where his two starting defensive tackles Kaleb Ramsey and Damik Scafe are very questionable for the start of training camp.

"Both situations are in flux,'' said Spaziani.

Scafe is dealing with a back problem, which has plagued him for most of the spring. A lack of depth in the defensive line could tilt the decision to switch wide receiver Ifenayi Momah to the defensive line, although no final decision has yet to be made.

"Our situation at defensive line is every bit as delicate as it was at QB last season,'' said Spaziani.

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