Ever since Boston College became the 12th member of the ACC, the conference has used a three-year, rotating conference game model for setting its men's basketball schedule. Each year, a school plays a 16-game conference schedule that includes two primary partners and nine rotating partners.
If the ACC resets the rotation to start again for the 2011-12 season, the Eagles may very well get the benefit of a very, very favorable conference schedule.
If the rotation continues as it has for the first six years, BC will play the same schedule this upcoming season as it played during the 2005-06 and 2008-09 seasons. This includes and home-and-home series with BC's two primary partners -- Virginia Tech and Miami. Miami will be breaking in new head coach Jim Larranaga, while Virginia Tech loses some solid contributors to graduation.
In addition to Miami and Virginia Tech, BC would face these three rotating partners in a home-and-home series: Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and N.C. State.
Of the five programs that BC would face twice, there are three coaching changes (Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Miami), a Hokies team that loses a lot of talent and Wake Forest ... who is, well ... Wake Forest. That's a pretty, prettty, pretttty, prettttty good slate of 10 ACC games.
If that schedule wasn't favorable enough, BC would also benefit from playing Duke, Florida State and Clemson just once at Conte Forum. And outside of a road trip to UNC, facing Virginia and Maryland just once on the road seems fairly manageable too.
It should probably come as no surprise that two of the Eagles' best seasons in the ACC came in the two years BC played the 2005-06 / 2008-09 rotation of conference games. In those two seasons, the Eagles managed to compile a 20-12 record in conference play. For the other two sets of rotations, BC has compiled a record of 16-16 and 13-19. Small sample size and one of the best BC teams in recent memory aside, it's still clear the Eagles have capitalized on a favorable schedule that included facing Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and Clemson just once during the season.
Sure, Donahue may be without his top five scorers from last season, and walk-on Danny Rubin may or may not be the team's leading returning scorer with 4.1 points per game, but at least the schedule looks like it will break BC's way next season.