Back in August, we learned that the Connecticut Huskies would replace Boston College as Army's opponent for its 2014 home game at Yankee Stadium. Presumably, BC asked out of this game in an effort to get back to playing seven home games a season. The cancellation of the Yankee Stadium game leaves an opening on the Eagles' 2014 schedule.
Boston College is currently slated to play at UMass in Gillette Stadium (August 30), host USC (September 13) and FCS Rhode Island in nonconference play. Within the ACC, the Eagles will host Clemson, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and ACC newcomer Louisville and travel to Florida State, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
On Wednesday, Syracuse completed its 2014 schedule with the additions of Villanova and Central Michigan, taking one less viable nonconference team off the board.
- Akron Zips (MAC) -- Right now the Zips are scheduled to face Marshall, Penn State and Pittsburgh in 2014. The games against Pitt and Penn State are both on the road. Without an annual home game vs. an FCS opponent yet to be scheduled and with just five home dates on next year's sched, I think it unlikely that Akron would agree to come to the Heights next season.
- Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC) -- Pipe dream. Ever since the NCAA moved to a 12-game regular season, the Tide have played a minimum of seven home games a season. Recently, the fourth non-conference home game has shifted from being a true road game to a season-opening made-for-TV game against a BCS AQ opponent. Next season, Bama will open the season against West Virginia in Atlanta. The other two non-conference games currently set are Florida Atlantic and FCS Western Carolina. The Tide is not traveling to Chestnut Hill in 2014.
- Appalachian St. Mountaineers (Sun Belt 2014-) -- Plucky Appalachian State will make the jump from FCS to the FBS's Sun Belt on July 1, 2014. The Mountaineers first game as a member of Division I-A? That would be at Michigan, the same program that Appy State famously upset back in 2007. Appalachian State will not be bowl eligible in that first year, but a win over the Mountaineers will count towards bowl eligibility as an FBS victory. Recently N.C. State feasted on this rule by scheduling transitional South Alabama along with an FCS opponent. The 'Pack didn't need the Ws, finishing the regular season at 7-5 both years, but only needed six to make a bowl. Other than the game at Michigan, the only other game Appalachian State has scheduled in 2014 is a September 6 game vs. FCS Campbell.
- Arkansas St. Red Wolves (Sun Belt) -- The Sun Belt's Arkansas State has 2014 dates with Tennessee (9/6), Miami (Florida) (TBA) and Utah State. Both games vs. BCS AQ opponents are road games. Without a date set vs. an FCS opponent, Arkansas State seems an unlikely candidate.
- Buffalo Bulls (MAC) -- Next season, UB has dates at Army (9/6), vs. Baylor (9/13) and vs. FCS Norfolk State (no, not the prison). The Bulls also have a future home-and-home with the Eagles starting in 2015-16, though this series has been on the books for what seems like forever. The series, originally slated for 2010-11, was pushed back to make room for when BC re-upped with Notre Dame. I could see BC and Buffalo working out a deal that moves the first game in this series up a year, resolving BC's nonconference scheduling conflict in 2015. Short of that, though, I can't see BC scheduling yet another home-and-home with the Bulls on top of its preexisting scheduling obligations with SUNY-Buffalo.
- Colorado St. Rams (MWC) -- The Rams face in-state rival Colorado on August 30 in Denver and also have games scheduled with Tulsa and at UTEP. No FCS teams scheduled and EVERYBODY'S DOING IT, right Enzo? That storied 2003 Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl rematch? Nope. Not happening.
- East Carolina Pirates (American 2014-) -- ECU already faces South Carolina (8/30), Virginia Tech (9/13) and North Carolina (9/20) in nonconference play next season. Scheduling a fourth BCS AQ opponent to round out the non-conference portion of the schedule is silly talk.
- Houston Cougars (American) -- Houston has just two nonconference scheduling obligations as of this writing -- 8/30 at UTSA and 9/27 at BYU. Though Houston has two openings right now, one will likely be taken up by crosstown rival Rice (see below). If the UH-Rice rivalry game is again played at the Texans' Reliant Stadium, Houston would have no nonconference home games, making a trip to Chestnut Hill unlikely. Doubly so without an FCS opponent scheduled at this time.
- Miami Hurricanes (ACC) -- Just, no. A nonconference conference game is truly a measure of last resort. While I'm as bummed as anyone about losing an annual game against Miami, this should only be entertained if the Canes are the only FBS opponent left with an opening. It won't come to that.
- Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders (C-USA) -- The Blue Raiders play at Minnesota (9/6), at Memphis (9/20) and vs. BYU (11/1) in 2014. No FCS opponents. Just five home games. Not happening.
- North Texas Mean Green (C-USA) -- Admittedly I'm starting to lose track of which conferences teams are in which conferences out of the Sun Belt, Conference USA and the American Athletic Conference. The general flow of programs goes Sun Belt > C-USA > American, and North Texas has graduated to C-USA beginning with this season. The Mean Green (awesome nickname, btw) will travel to Texas (8/30) and Indiana (10/4) as well as host SMU (9/6) in 2014. Is there room for a third road trip to face a BCS AQ opponent? Possible. To North Texas' credit, the Mean Green are one of the few programs that doesn't face an FCS opponent annually; choosing instead to play four nonconference games vs. FBS competition. North Texas has also recently had as few as five home games in a season. Traveling to BC would give the Mean Green just five home games in 2014.
- Rice Owls (C-USA) -- Rice goes to Notre Dame (8/30), hosts New Mexico State (9/6) and travels to West Point (10/11) in 2014, leaving one open scheduling slot. However, noticeably absent from the nonconference schedule is Bayou Bucket Classic and crosstown rival Houston. The two programs have played one another 40 times dating back to 1971 and every season from 1971-1995 and 1999-present, with the only break in the series coinciding with the dissolution of the Southwest Conference in 1996. This year marked the first season since 2004 where the two schools were members of different conferences (Rice in C-USA, Houston in the American). In each of the last two seasons, the game was played at the Houston Texan's Reliant Stadium. Unless there is some bad blood between Rice and Houston regarding the Cougars' departure from C-USA that I'm unaware of, I don't see why the Bayou Bucket Classic won't continue in 2014, which would take Rice off the table as a possible nonconference opponent.
- Southern Miss. Golden Eagles (C-USA) -- Southern Miss goes to in-state rival Mississippi State (8/30) and BYU (11/8) in 2014. No FCS opponents scheduled as yet, and crazy "Golden Eagle" nickname confusion if USM does end up traveling to the Heights next season.
- Stanford Cardinal (PAC-12) -- If I recall, the Cardinal had a nonconference home-and-home scheduled with BC for one of these upcoming seasons. 2016-17, I think? Ring a bell? Regardless, Stanford already has nonconference games set with Army (9/13) and at Notre Dame (10/4) in 2014. Stanford plays just four PAC-12 home games in even years, leaving the Cardinal with just five home games at the moment. SU will be looking for a sixth home game to complete the schedule, making a trip to Chestnut Hill in 2014 highly unlikely.
- TCU Horned Frogs (Big 12) -- TCU hosts Minnesota on September 13 and plays at cross-Metroplex rival SMU on September 27. No FCS opponent yet. Even with five Big 12 home games for the Frogs in 2014, ain't happening. Sorry, 74.
- Texas A&M Aggies (SEC) -- The Aggies go to SMU (9/20) and host both Louisiana-Monroe (11/1) and Lamar (TBA) in 2014. When your stadium seats 82.5k and is currently undergoing renovations that will make Kyle Field the third largest college football stadium in the country, it's just bad business not to max out the number of home games a season. Playing in 44,500-seat Alumni Stadium doesn't make any sense for A&M.
- Washington St. Cougars (PAC-12) -- Mike Leach and the Cougars play Rutgers in Seattle on August 29 and travel to Nevada on September 6. The lack of an FCS opponent on the nonconference schedule makes Addazio vs. Leach an unlikely matchup in 2014.
Getting a bit more creative with scheduling, the following teams have the opportunity to schedule a 13th game in 2014 by virtue of playing at Hawaii, though it's worth pointing out that they aren't obligated to schedule an extra game.
- Hawaii Warriors (MWC) -- Obviously, right? Hawaii currently has nonconference matchups with Washington (8/30), Oregon State (9/6), Northern Iowa (9/13) and at Colorado (9/20). As crazy as a matchup between the FBS' easternmost and westernmost programs is, could happen, right? Though I doubt Hawaii has an interest in traveling all that way, the BC return trip would give the program an opportunity to schedule a 13th game that season, which, would be kinda fun, no?
- Nevada Wolf Pack (MWC) -- Nevada goes to Arizona (9/13) and BYU (10/18) and hosts Southern Utah (8/30) and Washington State (9/6). For what it's worth, the last time Nevada was able to schedule 13 games in a season (2012), they settled on the regular 12. The 2010 season was the last time the Wolf Pack utilized the NCAA's Hawaii exemption. Don't see the Wolf Pack having any desire to come all the way out to Chestnut Hill for a Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl grudge match. Colin Kaepernick ain't walking through that door.
- Oregon St. Beavers (PAC-12) -- The whole point of the NCAA's Hawaii exemption is to allow programs to schedule a 13th regular season game, usually a home game, to offset the travel costs associated with traveling to the Islands. It wouldn't make much sense then if the PAC-12 Beavers used that extra game to travel cross-country to face BC, even with five PAC-12 home games in 2014.
- UNLV Rebels (MWC) -- Much like Nevada-Reno, Nevada-Las Vegas faces both Arizona (8/30) and BYU (11/15) on the road in 2014. UNLV hosts Northern Illinois on September 13 and Northern Colorado on the following weekend. Doubtful UNLV would hit the road once again using the Hawaii exemption.
- Utah State Aggies (MWC) -- The Aggies go to Tennessee (8/30), BYU (10/3) and Arkansas State (TBA) in 2014 with just one nonconference home game against FCS Idaho State on September 6. Don't see USU hitting the road for a fourth time in nonconference play.
- Wyoming Cowboys (MWC) -- Next season, the 'Pokes host FCS Montana (8/30) and FAU (9/27) and travel to Oregon (9/6) and Michigan State (9/20). Wyoming does have six home games already set in 2014, but using the Hawaii exemption on a road trip to Boston College again seems pretty unlikely.
Overall, the list of FBS programs that Boston College could realistically schedule to complete the 2014 schedule is a very small one; and one that gets smaller by the day. If I had to wager a guess, out of the above list, I'd have to go with Appalachian State or Southern Miss. Perhaps BC and Buffalo get a bit creative and push forward the first game of the home-and-home to next season. Unfortunately, scheduling any of those three programs will be met with a collective eye roll by both Boston College season ticket holders and BCI armchair athletic directors; all despite hosting USC and arguably the best ACC home schedule ever -- Clemson, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse -- in 2014.
Hopefully the program acts quickly to fill the 2014 scheduling hole and doesn't have to go the two FCS opponent route. Then again, maybe Elon is available.