Boston College finished 4-8 and did not make a bowl game for the first time since 1998 last year. Coach Frank Spaziani enters his fourth year, and he needs to have a good season to silence the hot seat talk.
The 2012 schedule is a tough one for Boston College. The Eagles have their annual match-up with Virginia Tech out of the Coastal Division but also play Miami in the season opener and at Georgia Tech. The nonconference slate includes a trip to Northwestern and a home game against Notre Dame.
Getting back to a bowl game is possible, but it will be tough to get to six wins. Here's a closer look at Boston College's schedule:
Must-see matchup: Sept. 1 Miami
Boston College beat the Hurricanes 24-17 at Sun Life Stadium in the final game of the season for both teams, and now they will face one another in the first game of this season. This game could set the tone for the season, and with it being at home, it's one the Eagles need to win.
Upset alert: Oct. 6 at Army
This game comes at a tricky time for Boston College as it is sandwiched between a home game with Clemson and a road game at Florida State, the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. Army was 3-9 last year, but it did beat Northwestern 21-14 at home. With a tough schedule, this game figures to be a must-win if Boston College wants to get back to a bowl.
It's a breeze (easiest stretch): Sept. 1 through Sept. 15 -- Miami, Maine, at Northwestern
While this stretch comes with two tough but winnable games, it is one that will ultimately decide Boston College's season. The Eagles have a bye week in the fourth week, and if they enter that off week with anything less than a 2-1 record, all the hot seat talk surrounding Spaziani will ratchet up.
Brutal stretch: Sept. 29 through Oct. 20 -- Clemson, at Army, at Florida State, at Georgia Tech
This truly is a brutal stretch with three straight road games and games against three of the ACC's better teams. The Eagles lost by 22 at Clemson and by 31 at home to Florida State last year. This is the first game against Georgia Tech since 2008, but the Eagles do play Army, which also runs an option offense.
Sept. 1 Miami
Sept. 8 Maine
Sept. 15 at Northwestern
Sept. 22 OPEN
Sept. 29 Clemson
Oct. 6 at Army
Oct. 13 at Florida State
Oct. 20 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 27 Maryland
Nov. 3 at Wake Forest
Nov. 10 Notre Dame
Nov. 17 Virginia Tech
Nov. 24 at NC State
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.