On Tuesday, the Minnesota Golden Gophers football program announced several changes to their future football schedules, including the cancellation of a home-and-home series with North Carolina in 2013 and 2014. The Gophers were slated to go to Chapel Hill in 2013 and host the Heels in 2014.
While no reason was given for the cancellation, according to The Daily Gopher, it was no secret that Coach Jerry Kill got out of the Carolina series so that the Gophers could have an extra home game in 2013 against a more favorable opponent. Like a bunch of ACC programs, Boston College needs one more opponent to fill out the 2013 schedule given the move back to eight conference games. Might Dr. Bates put in a call to Minneapolis?
The idea might seem a bit farfetched when you consider the Gophers just paid $800,000 to get out of their home-and-home series with North Carolina. Why would Minnesota want to ink another home-and-home series with another ACC program?
Both BC and Minnesota have an immediate scheduling need for 2013. Sounds like Minnesota is looking for a home game, despite already having three home non-conference games scheduled (UNLV, Western Illinois and San Jose State). Minnesota also needs one more game in 2014, however BC's non-conference schedule is set with home games against USC and Rhode Island, a neutral site game vs. Army at Yankee Stadium and a road game against UMass at Gillette. Minnesota is full up on non-conference opponents in 2015 and 2016, but has two openings in 2017. Similarly, BC's 2017 non-conference schedule is wide open save for a FCS home game against Richmond.
What I'd propose is for the Eagles to go to Minneapolis in 2013 with the return trip slated for the 2017 season. This gives the Gophers a fourth non-conference home game against a more favorable opponent (year 1 of a new HC). It satisfies an immediate need for Boston College (a 12th game for the 2013 schedule) and gets the program to the Midwest in a year where they aren't making the trip to South Bend, Evanston or a MAC school.
Minnesota could make the return trip several years later in a season that winds up being more beneficial to both programs. This would give both programs more time to rebuild and have the return game scheduled in a year where both programs need to schedule more than one remaining non-conference opponent. For a school that has more than its fair share of history with BC on the ice, the two programs have never met on the gridiron. Though a football-hockey doubleheader is likely out of the question given the Big Ten's rigid non-conference schedule, Boston College-Minnesota football still beats playing a team from the MAC or a second FCS school next season.
If you're still on the fence about this idea, one final point that may potentially sway you here -- Minnesota Gophers football's new outdoor stadium, TCF Bank Stadium, sells beer. Drops mike. Walks away.