For quite some time now, Boston College has listed Rhode Island as its annual FCS opponent on the 2014 schedule. That appears to have changed, with the CAA Rams replaced by fellow conference member Maine on BC's schedule next season.
There has been a lingering question of whether Boston College and Rhode Island would keep its 2014 game on the books for a few years now. Back in 2010, Rhode Island announced plans to leave the Colonial Athletic Association in favor of the lower scholarship Northeast Conference (NEC). A charter member of CAA Football, URI's decision to drop down to the NEC came after geographic neighbors Northeastern and Hofstra dropped their football programs following the 2009 season.
A move from the CAA to the NEC meant an FBS team' svictory over the Rams would not count towards the six needed to become bowl eligible, making it likely that Boston College would cancel the first meeting between the two programs since 2008 and second since 1917.
URI made an about-face just two years later, spurning the NEC and electing to stay in the Colonial. School officials cited the CAA's additions of Stony Brook and Albany -- two geographic neighbors to go along with Maine and New Hampshire -- as the primary reason for staying in the CAA.
Still, Rhode Island has been one of the worst programs in CAA for several years running. This season, the Rams are 3-8, 2-5 CAA with wins over Albany (19-13 OT), Central Connecticut State (42-7) and Richmond (12-10). Rhode Island is coming off a 45-0 home loss to BC's season opening opponent Villanova and finishes the regular season this weekend up in Orono vs. the same Black Bears team that will replace them on Boston College's 2014 schedule.
The series with BC, one that dates back to 1909, has been similarly lopsided. Rhode Island has been shut out in five straight meetings, including a 42-0 drubbing in 2008 -- the only meeting between the two since World War I.
Conversely, Maine is one of the FCS's top programs this season. The Black Bears are 9-1, 6-0 CAA on the year and ranked 6th among FCS schools. Maine's lone blemish on the year a 35-21 loss to FBS Northwestern where the 'Cats needed a pair of defensive TDs to escape with a win. Boston College leads the all-time series vs. Maine 4-3, but has won four straight including both meetings (2006, 2012) since the divisional split. Maine last victory in the series is a 14-0 victory in 1915.
The addition of Maine to the 2014 schedule gives Boston College three non-conference games to go with USC (9/13) and at UMass (8/30). The Eagles are still searching for a fourth non-conference game; likely a home game.
Hat tip: MattBC03