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Does Expansion Talk Help BC Recruiting? and the Big Finish

Brian: Interesting article on the ESPN Big East blog a few days ago. Brian Bennett discusses whether the recent expansion rumors are negatively impacting programs’ college football recruiting efforts.

Here is what one recruit had to say about whether Big Ten expansion rumors are affecting his recruitment:

"The Big East basically is not going to be a football conference any more unless there is a chain reaction of all the CAA 1-AA teams moving up to Conference USA and Conference USA moving to the Big East. From there, the Big East teams are going to the Big Ten. Some are going to the SEC. Some are going to the ACC. To me, football is football. It doesn't really matter what conference you're in. You're all trying to accomplish the same goal and get to the national championship."

BC’s longer term conference affiliation seems more certain than programs like Syracuse, Connecticut, Rutgers and Pittsburgh, who have been rumored to be among the Big Ten expansion candidates. Given that Spaziani and the Eagles football program are typically competing with these schools for regional talent, do you think this can give BC a leg up in recruiting? And do you think recruits are taking expansion rumors into account when making their decision?

Jeff: Recruits are absolutely thinking at least a little bit about expansion rumors when making decisions of where to accept a scholarship from. Think basketball for a second. Don't you think that many ACC recruits have picked an ACC school over another conference school just for the chance to play at Cameron Indoor or the Dean Dome? In football, don't you think some recruits go to Vanderbilt and Mississippi State just to get to play in Death Valley, the Swamp and Bryant-Denny Stadium?

In a way, this might actually be helping UConn, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Syracuse because some high school kids are having dreams of playing at the Horseshoe, Big House, or in Happy Valley. However, it certainly is not a factor for every recruit either. There are some recruits that are going to go to Rutgers or any other school regardless of what conference they are in and who is on their schedule. But for the percentage where conference and scheduling matters, BC might have the upper hand right now with the majority. Kids know they'll get a chance to play at Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech and other good football schools if they come to BC.  Certainly nothing is set in stone for the next six seasons a recruit might be here, but we know the ACC won't dissolve as the Big East might. This has to help BC at the moment, even if it is very very slight.

Brian: I have a feeling the effect is much more significant than you are suggesting. I'll concede that getting a chance to play in some of the bigger football stadiums in the Big Ten could be a draw to some recruits. But there's so much uncertainty surrounding these Big East schools and defection to the Big Ten that nothing really is a guarantee at this point. Sure, a Rutgers or a Syracuse might move to the Big Ten, increasing the exposure of playing football at that school, but all four of these programs aren't moving to the Big Ten. A recruit would be taking a gamble by signing on the dotted line for one of these schools. You could wind up playing against storied football programs like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, or you might end up playing on Wednesday nights against East Carolina, Central Florida, Memphis and whoever else the Big East gets to backfill to become members of their football conference.

Uncertainty can be a powerful tool in recruiting, especially when it comes to football. Just look at the recruiting situation at Florida State after Bobby Bowden was pushed out, I mean, retired. Jimbo Fisher benefited from one of the best Florida State recruiting classes in years, in part because recruits could now be more certain that they're coach would stay at the school for all 4-5 years. I think the same can be said for these expansion rumors. The longer this situation persists (and Boston College largely stays out of the rumors), the more it can be used to the program's advantage on the recruiting trail.


Big Finish

Brian: The College Football Hall of Fame recently announced their 2010 class of inductees. Who’s the greatest BC football player NOT enshrined in the Hall?

Jeff: The popular answer has to be Matt Ryan.


Jeff: Will the baseball team win today AND win the tiebreaker to win Division A in the ACC Baseball Championship?

Brian: The Eagles have been playing good baseball in the Championship. I don't want to jinx anything.


Brian: There’s a strong possibility Clemson QB Kyle Parker could leave school after this season to play baseball. How significant a loss would this be to Clemson and their hopes of repeating as Atlantic champs?

Jeff: I've said many times before but you don't listen that Kyle Parker will lose the starting job by the end of the season anyway. No effect.


Jeff: More baseball. With BC's win yesterday, have they done enough to make the NCAAs?

Brian: Certainly one more win couldn't hurt, but with an RPI of 40 and a SOS of 14, I think BC is one of the best 64 teams in the country. But I also know little about the selection process.


Brian: Pat Forde recently leaked Phil Steele’s preseason top 25 rankings on Twitter. BC’s 2010 schedule includes three teams in his top 25 – Virginia Tech (#13), Notre Dame (#16) and Florida State (#20). Your thoughts?

Jeff: Notre Dame? Really?


Jeff: Jared Dudley has been helping the Suns get to the NBA Finals. What are the chances J.J. Reddick and the Magic get there as well?

Brian: If the Suns can win the last two games, Dudley will play opposite either Reddick or Shelden Williams. Both former Dukies.


Brian: Last one, HD runs through the week 1 ACC football schedule and counts down the team most likely to lose in week 1. Given the (mostly) uninteresting lineup of week 1 cupcakes, the question is which program is least likely to lose?

Jeff: Boston College.


Enjoy the holiday weekend. Go Eagles!