On Sunday, the SEC announced that it was sticking with an eight-game conference schedule, all but assuring that the ACC will vote on doing the same. Howevah, with the introduction of a new strength-of-schedule component, SEC programs will need to schedule at least one major conference program (or Notre Dame) every season starting in 2016. Gotta make up for that lost TV inventory that a ninth conference game represents somehow ...
Of course, the SEC doesn't need to schedule ACC teams. But as the only major conference likely to stick to eight conference games -- especially in light of the conference's scheduling arrangement with Notre Dame -- teams in the ACC and Notre Dame remain the most viable options in terms of satisfying this new scheduling dictum. The SEC stopped short of a formal 8+1 scheduling agreement with the ACC, but for all intents and purposes, the ACC will be the first port of call for SEC programs.
Four of the SEC's 14 programs -- Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina -- are set, so long as they continue their annual rivalry games against in-state ACC opponents Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Clemson, respectively. But that leaves 10 SEC programs looking for non-conference games against major conference programs.
Unfortunately, Boston College likely is NOT at the top of any SEC athletic directors list. BC would likely want a home-and-home, and I'm not sure how many SEC programs will sign up for playing in a small-ish, outdoor stadium in the "cold" (even if its going to be played in September) against a program which they share little to no history with; one that's been VERY good at home over the last decade plus -- 64-25 (.719) at home since 2000.
Still, if an SEC program that doesn't already have an annual rivalry game against an ACC opponent is looking for a home-and-home, here are some of the Eagles' top options:
Tennessee Volunteers (10 meetings all-time, 2-8 BC): The Volunteers are the one SEC program that Boston College has faced more than a handful of times, so the two programs share a bit of history. That shared history goes back to BC's 1941 Sugar Bowl 19-13 victory over Tennessee to cap off the Eagles' perfect 1940 season. Tennessee is also the last current SEC program to ink a non-conference home-and-home with Boston College (1987-88). BC rarely, if ever, pulls recruits out of Tennessee, but it's one of the few states near the ACC's geographic footprint that the program rarely gets to outside of the occasional Music City Bowl appearance. BC's athletic director and head coach both have #MACtion roots, as does Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. Win win?
Vanderbilt Commodores (3 meetings, 2-1 BC): Boston College has won both regular season meetings against the Commodores. Nevermind that both came during the Kennedy administration. And who doesn't want payback for the 'Dores inexplicable Music City Bowl victory over Boston College in 2008? Like BC, Vanderbilt is a fine academic institution playing in a major market (Nashville). If the Wake Forest-Vanderbilt series was still active, the Commodores would likely be out. As it stands, Vandy is one of the few SEC schools that represent some sort of fit with BC in terms of inking non-conference scheduling deals.
One factor likely holding up a possible BC-Vanderbilt series is the fact that the 'Dores just played in Massachusetts this past season (@ UMass) and return to Foxboro for another game against the Minutemen in 2018. Assuming that UMass is still a member of Division I-A.
Texas A&M Aggies (4 meetings all-time, 3-1 BC): The Eagles and Aggies have met on the gridiron four times previously, but none as recently as 1982. I was 9-months-old. If the A&M-Texas Cold War continues, why not head down to College Station for a game and host the Aggies on the return trip? Boston College hasn't pulled a recruit out of Texas since, like, 2008. What better way to kickstart a Texas recruiting pipeline than a home-and-home with the Aggies?
Ole Miss Rebels (4 meetings all-time, 0-3-1 BC): Apparently Boston College has never defeated the Rebels of Ole Miss. Sure, the two programs haven't met since 1951, but whatevs. Have you ever tailgated in the Grove? No? Well then, this is a no-brainer. Mississippi and Mississippi State are apparently the two SEC schools that have ducked scheduling BCS AQ opponents the most since 2008, so let's remedy this situation as soon as possible.
Alabama Crimson Tide (4 meetings all-time, 3-1 BC): Death sentence? Hardly. Apparently Boston College has a winning record against the Crimson Tide, so that's a thing. That's something that a one-off meeting can't even take away from the Eagles!
So what other SEC programs? Boston College has only ever played Auburn (3 games), Florida and LSU (2 games) and Kentucky (1 game) in program history and has yet to face Arkansas, Mississippi State, Missouri or South Carolina. But there's a first time for everything, right? What SEC programs would you like to see on a future Boston College football schedule?