It was assumed for quite some time that Syracuse and Pittsburgh would find a way to extricate themselves from the Big East a year early in order to join the ACC in time for the 2013-14 season. Now that those moves have been finalized, we can now spend the next 11 months wondering what the Boston College football and basketball schedules might look like. Bonus: hockey too.
The 2013 football schedule probably won't change significantly from the projected future schedule, though we shouldn't assume that the same home-away and Coastal Division rotation will apply next season. If it did, BC would face Florida State, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest at home, while hitting the road to face Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. Add in an Atlantic Division game against Syracuse and BC is already up to its nine-game schedule for 2013.
The other scheduling note here is that Atlantic Division teams will have the extra home game in odd numbered years. Wanting to keep the divisional home-road rotation in tact as much as possible, this likely means that the Syracuse game will again be a road game (to balance the Atlantic Division schedule with three home games, three road games), while either the North Carolina or Virginia Tech game is switched to a home game. My guess is North Carolina comes to the Heights next season.
In non-conference play, the Eagles travel to Los Angeles to take on USC, while hosting Army (which we swapped home dates with) and Stony Brook.
Hypothetical 2013 Boston College Football Schedule
The conference will move to an 18-game conference schedule starting this season. When Syracuse and Pitt join the fold, the scheduling rotation changes up a bit. Teams will play their primary partner in a home-and-home every season -- that's Syracuse -- and we'll face the remaining programs four times in a three-year period.
My guess is we'll have a new scheduling model rotation which isn't based on this upcoming season's rotation. But given the past few seasons, here's an educated guess on the conference opponents BC will see twice starting in 2013-14.
Duke Blue Devils
Florida St. Seminoles x2
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets x2
N.C. State Wolfpack
North Carolina Tar Heels x2
Syracuse Orange x2
Virginia Tech Hokies x2
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The non-conference portion of the schedule is extremely difficult to project this far out, but there will likely be a few staples on the slate for next season. BC's probably still going to play Holy Cross, Harvard and Providence. Will probably play in a second tier, made-for-ESPN holiday tournament. I'd imagine the non-conference schedule will look something like this:
@ Holy Cross Crusaders
@ Providence Friars
Rhode Island Rams
USC Trojans (?)
Bryant Bulldogs / NEC
Boston University Terriers / Bucknell Bisons / Patriot League
ACC/Big Ten Challenge (pencil in either the Penn St. Nittany Lions or Nebraska Cornhuskers here)
Made-for-ESPN Holiday Tournament x3
No, not ACC hockey. Hockey East will be going a conference expansion of its own starting in 2013-14 with the addition of Notre Dame. The Irish will take the league to 11 programs as we await the vaunted UConn Huskies arrival the following season. The thought right now is that the conference will pare the league schedule down from 27 to 20 games for one season only before going back up to a 22-game slate when the Huskies join the fold.
Boston University Terriers x2
Maine Black Bears x2
Massachusetts Minutemen x2
UMass-Lowell River Hawks x2
Merrimack Warriors x2
New Hampshire Wildcats x2
Northeastern Huskies x2
Notre Dame Fighting Irish x2
Providence Friars x2
Vermont Catamounts x2
The Eagles will have 14 non-conference dates to fill -- 12 after accounting for the Beanpot Tournament. Like basketball, non-conference hockey scheduling is a bit hard to predict. But we do know that BC is likely to face Minnesota in 2013-14, possibly at home this time around. Given an extra seven non-conference games floating around, I wouldn't be surprised if its a two-game home stand against the Gophers.
Best guesses as to the rest of the sched:
Beanpot Tournament x2
Holiday Tournament x2
Minnesota Golden Gophers x2
@ NCHC Western Power (North Dakota / Denver) x2
@ Big Ten Hockey Conference Power (e.g. Michigan) x2
ECAC Program (Harvard / Dartmouth)