Boston College won their first eight games of the season while rising from unranked to #2 in the polls before a match-up with Florida State. A 27-17 loss dropped them to #8 and a loss to Maryland the following week dropped them to #17, though the won their last two games (against #20 Clemson and Miami) to win the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. In the ACC Championship Game, they faced off against #5 Virginia Tech, who beat them 30-16. This was the eighth bowl game of the decade for the Eagles. In Mark Dantonio's first season with Michigan State, he led them to their first winning season since 2003. They won their first four games of the season, but went 1-5 to begin conference play, before wins over Purdue and #22 Penn State righted the ship, though they finished tied for 5th with Purdue and Indiana in the Big Ten Conference. This was the fourth bowl game of the decade for the Spartans.