Jeff: In an off-season that has been mostly disappointing due to the basketball team continuing to lose players, the baseball team getting snubbed for the NCAAs, Mark Herzlich's return still not 100 percent and Dave Shinskie not showing great improvement at the Spring Game, great news finally comes out of Chestnut Hill. Notre Dame is back on the schedule for six more years and there is no reason not to think that the Eagles and Irish will not continue to renew after that since they worked out their differences this time. How surprised are you that Notre Dame is back on for 2011 and how excited are you about this news?
Brian: I'm pleasantly surprised a deal got done. I'm especially surprised since, as we noted a few months ago, the deal doesn't involve BC playing in a neutral site location. GDF stood pat on renewing the rivalry and having the games played in South Bend and Chestnut Hill, and Swarbrick and DeFilippo came to their senses and an agreement. Overall, it's great news for BC. BC and Notre Dame playing is certainly good for Notre Dame and for college football, but it's more important to BC to keep the Irish on the schedule.
I also think that, as you point out, this is a great sign for Notre Dame and Boston College to renew after 2019. Regardless of whether Notre Dame is in an athletic conference in 10 years, or BC is in a very different looking conference, I think this deal is a good sign the two teams will continue playing each other past 2019.
Jeff: Make a prediction. What will the series record be in the now next seven games scheduled between these two teams?
Brian: If I had to make my finger-in-the-air estimate, I'd say Notre Dame is still on top when we get to 2019. I think BC wins this year, knotting the series at 10 a piece, and BC might beat the Irish again in 2011 and/or 2012. But longer-term, I don't see the Notre Dame program being as down as they have been over the past decade. If I had to wager a guess, I'd say the Irish will be leading the all-time series 14-12 after the 2019 season. But at the end of the day, the casual BC fan doesn't care what the record is ... they just want to see the Eagles and Irish continue to square off on the gridiron.