The first game of a six-game deal between the BYU Cougars and Notre Dame Fighting Irish is set for this Saturday in South Bend. But with Notre Dame's recent scheduling agreement with the ACC, Cougars fans are wondering how this will affect the remaining games in the series. While Cougars football coach Bronco Mendenhall doesn't know what will happen with Irish-Cougars going forward, he is looking for good opponents to fill BYU's 12-game independent schedule -- specifically name-dropping Boston College.
"We were looking for good opponents and good partnerships. I don't know certainly that it was a deal-breaker if it didn't happen [the Notre Dame-BYU series]. I wanted the game. I thought it was a nice, intriguing game, and some similarities between the two institutions," he said. "I would like to get something similar with Boston College or the military academies, etc. I think they are good games and they bring interest, so it was just the first one that happened."
This isn't the first time that Mendenhall has stumped for a BC-BYU series and probably won't be the last. So where does Boston College's new Athletic Director sign up?
Boston College and BYU last met in 2006, a 30-23 overtime victory by the Eagles. The season before, BC traveled to Provo to open the season and came away with a 20-3 victory over the Cougars. The only other meeting between the two schools was the 1985 Kickoff Classic in the Meadowlands -- BYU won 28-14.
Looking at the two program's future schedules, BYU has 1-2 openings in 2013 (depending on whether the Cougars take advantage of the NCAA's Hawaii rule), four games available in 2014 and plenty of availability beyond that. BC has an immediate scheduling need to fill a hole in next year's schedule left by the conference's decision to stick to an eight game conference schedule and one opening in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Given the Cougars' current scheduling flexibility as an independent and the fact that it's Mendenhall who is publicly expressing interest in a BC-BYU series, Bates can probably wait to make a move until a new head coach is installed before working out a deal. But I hope this does, in fact, happen. Bates could do a lot worse than inking a few football series with football independents like BYU, Army and Navy given BC's long history as an independent.