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Boston College Vs. UMass Football, Or The End Of The I-AA Game?

In Blaudschun's Globe column on BC opting out of the "Commonwealth Classic," there was this bit of football scheduling news on a possible future Boston College vs. UMass football series.

With UMass moving to the FBS level in football, the Eagles and Minutemen will meet on the gridiron in a three game-series beginning in the fall of 2014, with two of the games expected to be at BC's Alumni Stadium and the third at Gillette Stadium.

The rumor that BC and UMass struck a deal for a three-game series has been out there for a while now, but has never been confirmed by either school. It will be interesting to see if BC's decision to opt out of an annual basketball game influences whether this deal will be finalized or not.

If, however, BC and UMass do finalize a deal for a three-game series, it will raise some interesting questions about the Eagles' future non-conference schedule. Possibly as early as next season, Boston College and the rest of the ACC will move from an eight-game conference slate to nine games.

Here are the next few seasons' tentative opponents with the UMass series penciled in:

2013 -- at USC, Army, Syracuse, Stony Brook
2014 -- USC, Army (at Yankee Stadium), UMass, Rhode Island
2015 -- Notre Dame, Buffalo, Army
2016 -- at Notre Dame, Buffalo, UMass
2017 --
2018 -- at Notre Dame, UMass

Should Syracuse extricate itself from the flaming wreckage of the Big East in time for the 2013 season (likely), BC would simply drop the Orange as a non-conference game and pick SU up as an ACC Atlantic Division game.

If Syracuse and Pitt don't arrive in time for 2013, they'll definitely be here in 2014. And then BC has a scheduling conflict with four teams slated for three slots. This may be a quick fix though considering Rhode Island is moving down to the reduced scholarship NEC starting in 2013 (max 40), so BC wouldn't be able to count a win over Rhody towards bowl eligibility anyhow.

In 2015 and 2016 BC's non-conference schedule would then be set with Notre Dame, Buffalo and Army in 2015 and Notre Dame, Buffalo and UMass in 2016.

Curiously absent from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 schedules? A team from the lower division Football Championship Subdivision. If this was done intentionally, good on ya BC. And if not, it's still pretty awesome. I'm wondering if DeFilippo will treat a game against UMass, Buffalo or Army as BC's de facto "I-AA" game and continue to schedule all 12 games against FBS competition.

Frankly, with a dwindling supply of New England I-AA teams to play anyway, I don't mind the loss of the annual I-AA game. And should college football change the current postseason format and incentive structure to reward SOS, well BC will be just a little bit ahead of the curve here.