One thing I do admire is the persistence.
"The [Weber State] game is not expected to be a sellout, as only 35,000 tickets have been sold, according to BC officials. BC could probably have a guaranteed Labor Day weekend sellout every year if it picked a geographic rival, such as Connecticut, to open the season. Other geographical rivals from different conferences — such as Clemson-South Carolina, Florida-Florida State, Iowa-Iowa State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and Louisville-Kentucky — either begin or end the season. BC officials refuse to consider UConn as an opponent, however, so Eagles fans see teams such as Weber State and Kent State."
Emphasis added. Apparently the newly revived BC-Syracuse series schedule to be played at the end of the regular season doesn't register on Blauds' radar.
There are so many things wrong with the above paragraph I don't even know where to begin. For one thing, Blaudschun overlooks the fact that BC has already accomplished scheduling their own end-of-season geographical rival game similar to Clemson-South Carolina, Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech. That game is scheduled with Syracuse, a more traditional, former Big East foe than Connecticut is or ever was.
Further, with the renewal of the Syracuse and Notre Dame series, BC now plays four former Big East-ish opponents on a semi-annual basis -- Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Miami and Notre Dame. If BC really wanted to schedule any more former Big East opponents, the school shouldn't have left the conference in the first place.
Scheduling UConn might help boost attendance for BC's season opener, but there are several, much better options to help BC boost attendance. Eagle in Atlanta recently touched on two of those solutions.
The first one is to open the season on the road. As ATL points out, as long as school doesn't start back up until after Labor Day, attendance for a pre-Labor Day home opener will always be light. BC doesn't quite get this right in time for the 2011 season, as the Eagles open up at home against Northwestern on September 3. School doesn't start until that Tuesday, September 5.
The other one is to schedule the I-AA game over Parents Weekend. Assuming that an annual game against a team from the lower division is an inevitability, you can't possibly expect BC's annual I-AA game to sell out. Only if that game is scheduled on Parents Weekend will a game like that come close to selling out. BC does get it right next year, scheduling I-AA UMass on October 1 next season. I would imagine the school will schedule Parents Weekend for that first weekend in October to coincide with that game.
The other unique factor that definitely plays a part of BC's weak ticket sales for this weekend is the opponent. The Eagles were put in a tight spot when Hofstra cancelled their football program and backed out of this weekend's date. Needing an opponent, GDF took Weber State's call, a program located 2,400 miles from Chestnut Hill in Ogden, Utah. In any other season, a local I-AA team is going to bring more fans to Alumni Stadium, as UMass is sure to do next year.
Clearly, it's disappointing that more fans won't be in attendance tomorrow as Mark Herzlich makes his return to the field for the first time since beating Ewing's Sarcoma. But to suggest that UConn is the answer to BC's attendance issues is quite the stretch. It's certainly not the first time Blaudschun has used his beat to push for a BC-UConn football game, and I'm sure it won't be the last time.