STATE COLLEGE PA - NOVEMBER 27: Running back Joe Suhey #37 of the Penn State Nittany Lions scores a touchdown during a game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 27 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Brian: With the ACC moving to a nine-game football schedule, the number of non-conference games against teams from major conferences will likely continue to decrease for Boston College. I'd imagine BC will continue to prioritize playing Notre Dame (21 games all-time, 9-12 record), but will fill the remaining two with teams from the MAC, Conference USA and I-AA.
That means that you can more or less kiss non-conference games against Northwestern, Stanford, Penn State and USC goodbye in the future.
Here are the teams from non-ACC BCS AQ conferences that BC has played the most all-time:
33 -- West Virginia Mountaineers (11-21-1)
26 -- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (19-6-1)
23 -- Penn St. Nittany Lions (4-19-0)
12 -- Connecticut Huskies (10-0-2)
10 -- Tennessee Volunteers (2-8-0)
7 -- Cincinnati Bearcats (4-3-0)
6 -- Louisville Cardinals (3-3-0)
6 -- Michigan St. Spartans (4-1-1)
Any casualties on this list in your mind? What non-conference series against BCS AQ opponents will you miss the most when the ACC moves a total of 9 of 12 regular season games in-conference?
Jeff: I do not think that it is completely goodbye to the home and homes with USC, Penn State, Stanford, BYU, and others. First of all, Notre Dame has shown it will not commit to continuously scheduling the Eagles which will leave GDF or whoever trying to fill two or three year holes here and there. And with the ACC and other conferences moving to nine conference games, the BYU's of the world will have a tougher time getting BCS conference teams on their schedule. You would think BC would be able to make something happen there more easily than in the past.
If these home-and-home non-conference series are dead though, you know that I think that Penn State is the biggest casualty. BC should be calling PSU at least semi-annually to see if they have any openings or foresee any openings in their future schedules in order to get another home-and-home set up. Also, scheduling a home and home with Penn State would be such a win with the fans that losing a potential W with a MAC school would be worth it.
It's the games against Northwestern, for example, that would really make little sense in the future. Playing Northwestern when you already have nine conference games pleases few people. Fans and alum in Chicago already have the opportunity to see BC play at Notre Dame regularly and Northwestern's program's reputation is such that beating them is not a huge accomplishment and a loss is not necessarily understandable even though they have had success more recently.
Brian: I agree that Penn State will be the biggest casualty, but would also like to make the case for Rutgers. BC does have four games coming up against Army, but with the importance of New Jersey for recruiting and the number of alumni that either come from or currently live in the New York metro area is large, I think it's important to remain relevant in New York / New Jersey going forward.
Syracuse might very well be the most popular college basketball team in NYC, but I have a hard time believing that Orange football really lives up to its "New York's College Team" marketing slogan. Playing Penn State is very important to remaining relevant in this area, but so is Rutgers.