Forecastin': A Look At Boston College's Optimal 2012 Football Schedule

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 25: Chase Rettig #11 of the Boston College Eagles looks to pass during a game against the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium on November 25, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Brian: With the calendar turning to January, we are about a month or so away from the ACC releasing the 2012 conference football schedule. With an assist from Heights & Lows, here's what we know so far:

-- The Eagles will play 12 games over a 13-week period from September 1 to November 24
-- The non-conference portion of the schedule includes Northwestern (away), Notre Dame, Army and Maine (all home).
-- BC's home conference games are Virginia Tech, Clemson, Maryland and Miami.
-- BC's road conference games are Florida State, Wake Forest, N.C. State and Georgia Tech.

Dates for the Northwestern (September 15), Army (October 6) and Notre Dame games (November 10) have been set, with only the Maine game TBA. That leaves us with the following schedule, with the ACC schedule and the Maine game left to be scheduled.

Sep. 1 --
Sep. 8 --
Sep. 15 -- at Northwestern
Sep. 22 --
Sep. 29 --

Oct. 6 -- vs. Army
Oct. 13 --
Oct. 20 --
Oct. 27 --

Nov. 3 --
Nov. 10 -- Notre Dame
Nov. 17 --
Nov. 24 --

Let's start penciling in ACC opponents, Jeff. What would be the optimal schedule for the Eagles in 2012? Go.

Jeff:

Sep. 1 -- at Georgia Tech
Sep. 8 -- Maryland
Sep. 15 -- at Northwestern
Sep. 22 -- Miami
Sep. 29 -- at Wake Forest

Oct. 6 -- Army
Oct. 13 -- Clemson
Oct. 20 -- BYE
Oct. 27 -- at Florida State

Nov. 3 -- Maine
Nov. 10 -- Notre Dame
Nov. 17 -- at N.C. State
Nov. 24 -- Virginia Tech

You asked what I would like the schedule to look like, not what I think is likely. My schedule will not happen because Virginia Tech annually plays Virginia the last game of the season annually, but I would love for BC to play VT in that spot. Since it would not be a division game, Virginia Tech might be looking ahead to the ACC Championship Game, leaving the Eagles with a better chance to snag the win.

The week leading up to the Notre Dame game is always a trap for BC. Rather than playing a league game, Maine would be a nice opponent that the Eagles can beat even while looking ahead to the Irish.

Our big conference games are Clemson at home and Florida State on the road. I would like BC to meet these opponents after bye weeks or after a home non-conference game.

I think playing Georgia Tech to open the season gives us as good of a chance as any to pull off the upset. Having extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech's offense can't hurt our defense and their new parts to their offense will not be clicking yet. Also, if BC loses, it won't take any air out of the sails of the fanbase, if there is any. If BC opens with a Wake Forest or Maryland and loses, the pessimistic fanbase will write off the Eagles and Spaz after just one game while the optimistic fanbase will have a lot of members turn to that pessimistic side after just one game. We need to avoid losing a game we're favored in to start the season as we did this year.

Brian: Personally, I don't like BC facing a Coastal Division opponent to end the season given the chance, however minuscule, that cross-divisional opponents face one another the following week in the Championship Game. I know that the ACC has tried to put BC-Miami at season's end when the Canes do rotate onto the football schedule, but having Atlantic vs. Coastal Division matchups on the final weekend of the regular season isn't a great idea for that reason.

I do, however, like when the conference backloads Atlantic Division games on the schedule, and I'd obviously prefer to play both Florida State and Clemson as late in the season as possible. BC has faced Maryland a few times over the years to end the season, so lets pencil in the Terps for the Thanksgiving weekend game.

I like the idea of opening up the season on the road for the obvious benefit of avoiding having a pre-Labor Day home game when students have yet to hit campus. Though instead of Georgia Tech, I'd prefer to open against N.C. State or Wake Forest, both of which are more beatable opponents than the Jackets.

Finally, I'm a big fan of establishing a set weekend for BC's cross-over divisional rival. I'd love to see Virginia Tech on the fourth weekend of September, establishing a tradition similar to the Third Saturday in October (Alabama-Tennessee). And if Syracuse happens to replace Virginia Tech as BC's cross-over rival in the future, then I'd like to see a similar tradition established against the Orange.

Sep. 1 -- at Wake Forest
Sep. 8 -- Maine
Sep. 15 -- at Northwestern
Sep. 22 -- Virginia Tech
Sep. 29 -- Miami

Oct. 6 -- Army
Oct. 13 -- BYE
Oct. 20 -- at Florida State
Oct. 27 -- Clemson

Nov. 3 -- at Georgia Tech
Nov. 10 -- Notre Dame
Nov. 17 -- at N.C. State
Nov. 24 -- Maryland

Pointless exercise? Certainly. But we'll see just how different the Boston College 2012 football schedule is in a few weeks.

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