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Renewing Rivalries and the Big Finish

Brian: Scott Toole of wrote yesterday about how Penn State and Pitt should renew their rivalry on the gridiron. Penn State and Pitt have played 96 times, but not since 2000. Joe Paterno is pissed Pitt spurned his idea of forming an all-sports conference that would have taken Pitt, Boston College and Syracuse out of the Big East (then only a basketball conference). I think this is a pretty cool idea. For such a rich football history (96 games is a LOT of football games), I think it's time to bury the hatchet between the two in-state rivals.

Since both Pitt and Penn State are among two of the teams that BC has played the most over the years, this article got me thinking about Boston College football rivalries. Using the College Football Data Warehouse - a really cool resource if you haven't checked it out - I took a look at the most common opponents BC has faced over the years:

Opponent GP W L T Pct.
Holy Cross (I-AA) 82 48 31 3 0.604
Villanova (I-AA) 45 29 15 1 0.656
Syracuse 45 17 28 0 0.378
Temple 37 28 7 2 0.784
Army 36 24 12 0 0.667
West Virginia 33 11 21 1 0.348
Boston University* 32 27 4 1 0.859
Navy 29 18 11 0 0.621
Pittsburgh 29 13 16 0 0.448
Fordham (I-AA) 27 14 11 2 0.556
Miami Fla. 27 4 23 0 0.148
Rutgers 26 19 6 1 0.750
Massachusetts (I-AA) 23 18 5 0 0.783
Penn State 23 4 19 0 0.174
Detroit Mercy* 19 12 7 0 0.632
Notre Dame 18 9 9 0 0.500
Clemson 18 8 8 2 0.500
Georgetown (I-AA) 17 11 5 1 0.676
Saint Anselm NH* 17 11 3 3 0.735
Virginia Tech 17 6 11 0 0.353

I think it's time we renew our rivalries with some of these teams. And no, I'm not talking about West Roxbury HS (how did we lose to those guys?!). Three of those teams we already have current or upcoming series scheduled - Syracuse, Massachusetts, Notre Dame (if only for 2 more years) - and three ACC teams make the top 20 - Miami (FL), Clemson and Virginia Tech.

Saint Anselm is now in Division II so they are out, BU terminated their I-AA football program in 1997 and Detroit (now University of Detroit Mercy) has been sans a college football program since 1964. Jeff, would you like BC to schedule any one of the remaining 11 teams on that list in the near future. Is that something you might be interested in?

Jeff: No. I am glad we are playing Syracuse in the future and of course I hope we play Notre Dame in the future. However, I don't care to play any other teams on the list that are not in our conference aside from Penn State. I want to play Penn State because of geographic location and the quality of their program now, but not to build/continue a rivalry. Rather than play "rivalry games," I would prefer to continue to schedule two-game series with the Penn States, BYUs, Stanfords, and USCs of the world.

Brian: I think rivalry games are good for BC, as they are a football program without a whole lot of history or geographic rivals. Personally, I would like to see BC renew their series with both service academies - Army and Navy. Since the trend of scheduling I-AA opponents isn't going away anytime soon, I think scheduling Army, Navy or both is a respectable alternative to the MAC and I-AA games. Not to mention Navy runs a triple-option attack, so that is one more opportunity to get some reps in defending that unique offense (for the years when we play Georgia Tech from the Coastal).

If Gene isn't going to renew with Army and/or Navy and continue to schedule a I-AA team, why not renew with teams like Holy Cross, Georgetown, Villanova, or Fordham? BC and these schools have history, much more so than schools like New Hampshire (11 games all time), Rhode Island (7 games), Northeastern (4 games) and Hofstra (0 games).

Finally, let me say that I agree with you Jeff and love the idea of scheduling Penn State. If not Penn State, I would also like to schedule a Pittsburgh or a West Virginia, but with Syracuse already on the schedule for 8 of the next 10 years, I say we have no room for a second Big East team on the schedule. Hopefully, there is some truth to the rumor of a Penn State vs. Boston College football series, and that rivalry is renewed.

Big Finish

Brian: The $1 billion Boston College master plan was finally approved by the Boston Zoning Commission. The community staged a last ditch protest over the water supply?! Ok. Anyway, you excited? Great for the competitiveness of our baseball and softball programs, right?

Jeff: Of course I'm excited. Took way to long but it's definitely a good thing for the baseball team.

Jeff: Following up on our conversation yesterday about the ACC Atlantic Division favorite, give me one reason why NC State shouldn't be the favorite?

Brian: Among other reasons ... the schedule. At Florida State, at Virginia Tech, at Boston College. Three of their toughest ACC matches are on the road. It proved very tough to win on the road in the ACC last season and this season should be more of the same.

Brian: The ACC released its 2009-2010 bowl partnerships yesterday. The only change is the ACC dropping its affiliation with the H-Bowl in Boise and picking up the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, AL as the 9th bowl tie-in. The GMAC Bowl is scheduled for January 6 so BC doubled it chances to play in a January bowl! Do you like the changes?

Jeff: I am extremely happy that we dropped Boise and added another warm weather bowl, but the downside is that the matchup is against a MAC team.

Jeff: From the AP comes this story about how the Carolina Hurricanes were crushed when Chuck Kobasew wasn't available with the 15th pick of the 2001 NHL Draft. You surprised the Hurricanes wanted to draft Kobasew that badly?

Brian: Not at all. That BC championship team was stacked with talent - Kobasew, Kolanos, Gionta, Orpik and an Eaves.

Brian: ESPN's College Football Live will be ditching its usual format next week for a week-long series on Notre Dame football. Gross. Will you watch?

Jeff: I'm as likely to watch as I was before.

Jeff: Non-ACC baseball action this weekend with BC set to host Le Moyne on Saturday and Sunday. Where is Le Moyne? Do the Eagles get the sweep?

Brian: Yes, the Eagles will get the much needed sweep to bolster their NCAA tournament resume. Apparently Le Moyne is in Syracuse (had to look it up). The Le Moyne Dolphins? Really?? Lots of dolphins there in upstate NY?

Brian: Last one, Eagle Insider sat down with Gene DeFilippo on Wednesday and he was (again) quoted as saying "Some of our alumni want us to be Harvard Monday through Friday and Alabama on Saturdays." Are you as sick of hearing this saying as I am?

Jeff: NO! Absolutely not. This is the greatest point Gene ever makes and I support him beating it to death. We can't do it all.