The Eagles and Irish are taking a two-year break in their most recent non-conference football series, but when will the FBS' two Catholic universities meet again on the gridiron?
While Notre Dame is headed to the ACC this fall, the Irish won't start playing five ACC football programs a year until the 2014 season. Starting in 2014, Notre Dame will play five ACC schools a year, with every ACC team facing the Irish at least once in a three-year period.
With no games scheduled over the next two seasons, Boston College and Notre Dame are set to resume the Holy War rivalry in 2015 (Chestnut Hill), followed by games at Notre Dame (2016, 2018) and back on the Heights in 2019. With Notre Dame's new ACC scheduling deal, the status of BC's non-conference series with the Irish is a bit up in the air. I'd imagine that BC and Notre Dame will agree to fold the remaining dates into the league's scheduling rotation, meaning the Eagles will only face the Irish once every three seasons (and once every six at BC).
So when will BC and Notre Dame renew hostilities on the gridiron?
That is a question that Atlantic Coast Convos' John Cassillo attempted to answer, figuring that Boston College and Notre Dame would keep their pre-scheduled date in 2015 (at Boston College). Here's the proposed sched:
2014: Syracuse (neutral site), Pittsburgh, North Carolina, at N.C. State, at Georgia Tech
2015: at Boston College, Wake Forest, at Louisville, Clemson, Virginia Tech
2016: Syracuse (neutral site), Miami, at Florida State, at Virginia, Duke
The second Syracuse game in three years (in 2016) raises an interesting question about how this setup is going to work going forward. With the Irish's ACC schedule rotation, each three-year cycle will have one extra spot. How does Notre Dame use this extra game?
Will the Irish attempt to protect its rivalry with Boston College (ND leads 13-9), ensuring that Division I-A college football's two Catholic universities will meet two out of every three years on the gridiron? Or would Swarbrick opt to protect Notre Dame's series with Pitt, one that has just a bit more history behind it (Notre Dame leads the 68 game series 47-20-1). Notre Dame and the ACC could also decide to just rotate the extra game and fill it without any rhyme or reason.
If Notre Dame does decide to protect its series with BC, the Irish and Eagles could fit in the remaining games in the two program's non-conference series in 2015 and 2016 (first three-year cycle) and 2018 and 2019. But if they don't and Notre Dame only hits BC's sched once every three years (and campus once every six), Bates needs to start working the phones to beef up the Eagles' future non-conference schedules, ones currently light on marquee, BCS opponents.