Boston College finishes up the home part of its 2017 schedule on Saturday afternoon at 12, tangling with the 23rd ranked NC State Wolfpack at Alumni Stadium.
There is a good amount on the line for both teams in the contest, that said, how many will be on hand to witness what happens?
Let’s take a quick look at factors that might impact attendance:
Weather: In a word. Cold. College football in most parts of the country ends before the really cold weather sets in. Of course, you will see the occasional snow storm in Pullman, WA or in Cheyenne, WY (such was the case last Saturday night), but it is really, really rare to get something that moves the needle in terms of cold or snow for a BC home game. Saturday will push that boundary a bit.
Game time temperature is expected to be around 36 degrees, with a wind chill of 28. Local forecasts have called for record low temperatures in the teens with single digit wind chills on Friday night.
It certainly won’t make for tailgate weather in the way pretty much every home game this season produced.
That said, it’s also not arctic and it will be sunny. It just happens to be the first real cold stretch of the year.
Interest: Locally, per usual, that’s to be seen. Certainly if NC State had knocked off Clemson, the game may get more play, but this area doesn’t know or generally care too much about the world of college football outside of what Notre Dame does, so it becomes about the interest in BC.
Based on the way the Eagles are playing, that interest should be growing. How much is to be determined.
Importance: I believe this game is very important to both teams.
For BC, it’s obvious. Win and you become bowl eligible, with two winnable games left on the calendar and a chance not just to get into a post season game, but one of the higher tier bowls in the ACC bowl structure. Lose and although the bowl is still in play, some of those options may come off the table.
Also, as nice as the Eagle turnaround may be, there still are no marquee wins under their belt. This would mark the first win over a top 25 team this season and the first for the program since USC 2014.
Since that time, the Eagles have lost their last 9 vs ranked opponents.
For NC State, although the loss to Clemson was deflating, an FSU upset of the Tigers still leaves the Pack in position to play for the ACC title. They also are jockeying with Virginia Tech for slots in the bowl pecking order.
Intrigue: No question. Will BC sustain what we have seen prior to the bye week or has the magic worn off? The Eagles should rested and ready to go, so one would hope this would be a true test of where the program stands as we wind the season down.
Visiting Team travel: Never a big number of NC State fans in the house, but how many made plans for this game in advance or while the Pack were on their run. Reminds me a bit of BC 2007 and the Maryland game which followed the Eagles first loss at home to Florida State.
Game Time: Noon games can be brutal. It throws off everyone’s rhythm. Tailgates turn into brunches and the notoriously late arriving crowd will be even later than usual. The time also brings the weather into it, with it still being in the upper 20s when the gates open to campus.
Other Things: It’s a holiday weekend and although there are parades in some towns, when they moved the holiday to the actual day, it eliminated a lot of three day weekends for folks who may have decided to travel.
It’s Senior Day, which means the parents of the players and their families are likely to be there, but it is unlikely that brings others to the gates.
Last Five North Carolina State Home Games
2015 - November 7 - 28,533
2013 - November 16 - 31,262
2011 - November 12 - 33,712
2009 - October 17 - 35,261
2007 - September 8 - 42,513
We’ve seen this trend for pretty much every opponent, but for the first time in a long time, things seem to be on the upswing. Will it buck the trend?
So what do you think?
What will the announced attendance be for BC-NC State on Saturday?
This poll is closed
35,001 - 40,000
30,001 - 35,000
25,001 - 30,000