Could BC be a glutton for more punishment?
On Thursday, the Vanderbilt Commodores football program cancelled two upcoming matchups with the Northwestern Wildcats for 2013 and 2014. The 2013 game was scheduled for September 14 in Nashville. The 2014 game would have been played on September 13 in Evanston. This leaves Northwestern in a bit of a bind, needing to find a 12th opponent for both the 2013 and 2014 schedules on short notice.
Understandably, Northwestern is a little peeved that Vanderbilt -- with five non-conference games scheduled in 2013 -- decided to drop the 'Cats in favor of games against Ohio State, UMass, Wake Forest and Austin Peay. Northwestern valued its series with the Commodores as they are two like-minded Universities, a scheduling philosophy that AD Jim Phillips and coach Pat Fitzgerald have rigidly stuck to in constructing the future Wildcats football schedules.
Could Northwestern strike a similar deal with another like-minded University for 2013 and 2014?
As we know, Boston College has an immediate need to fill a hole left in the 2013 schedule after the ACC decided to stick with an eight game conference schedule. BC and Northwestern just finished up a home-and-home series with the 'Cats taking both the 2011 and 2012 meetings. All-time the Wildcats hold a 4-1 edge in the all-time series.
This is just the type of series that I'd like to see Dr. Bates ink, particularly in a year where the program doesn't get to the Midwest to play Notre Dame or a MAC program. Since Northwestern was going to Vanderbilt in 2013, bring the 'Cats back to Alumni Stadium next season and make the return trip to Evanston in 2014. BC would have to push back and/or cancel a game on the 2014 schedule to accommodate the 'Cats, but doesn't sound like very heavy lifting (see ya, Rhode Island?).
Or, since BC would be left with just five home games in 2014, have the Eagles travel back to Evanston next season and bring Northwestern to the Heights in 2014. That would make the Eagles' 2013 and 2014 non-conference schedules look something like this:
2013: @ USC, Northwestern, Army, Stony Brook
2014: USC, @ Northwestern, vs. Army at Yankee Stadium, @ UMass
I wouldn't exactly be heartbroken if BC pushed its I-AA game with Rhode Island to the following year. The program probably has less flexibility with the game at Gillette vs. UMass, but I'd imagine there's a price to push that game out too.