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Hot takes on the 2022 Boston College football schedule

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 16 NC State at Boston College Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We have a schedule. And with that, we can truly begin turning the page from a rocky 2021, and look toward the return of (a hopefully 100%) Phil Jurkovec.

Quick reactions to BC’s 2022 schedule:

Week 1 Saturday 9/3 - vs. Rutgers
Week 2 Saturday 9/10 - at Virginia Tech
Week 3 Saturday 9/17 - vs. Maine
Week 4 Saturday 9/24 - at Florida State

Week 5 Saturday 10/1 - vs. Louisville
Week 6 Saturday 10/8 - vs. Clemson
Week 7 Saturday 10/15 - BYE
Week 8 Saturday 10/22 - @ Wake Forest
Week 9 Saturday 10/29 - @ UConn

Week 10 Friday 11/4 - vs. Duke
Week 11 - Saturday 11/12 - @ NC State
Week 12 - Saturday 11/19 - @ Notre Dame
Week 13 - Saturday 11/26 vs. Syracuse

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-There will be no false September confidence. BC’s schedules most years set them up to be sitting at a pretty good record at the 13 mark of the season. Between the annual FCS game, a MACrifice-tier opponent like UMass usually coming in September, and the ACC home schedule tending to be front-loaded, we sometimes get off and running and get a false confidence about how BC might handle the back end of the schedule. These games sometimes also feature BC laying beatdowns against inferior opponents that leave us with stars in our eyes.

With the exception of the Maine game, that’s probably not going to happen this year. The opening slate is much tougher.

The six-week stretch before the bye includes a group of ACC teams that BC went 1-3 against last year. Additionally, while BC will certainly be favored against Rutgers, they are a tougher early-season foe than Temple and will likely be a competitive game.

The pessimist’s take on this early season challenge is that if BC isn’t ready to go in September they might dig themselves a hole.

The optimist’s take is that if they can navigate through that stretch 4-2 - which will be challenging, but not impossible - they will be set up well to finish the season with a solid record. And we’ll have a pretty reasonable baseline of expectations for what to expect in the back half either way.

-The front-loaded home games are probably for the best from a fan standpoint. I was intrigued last year that we had more late-season home games than usual in the colder weather, but in football terms it didn’t make much of a difference (it didn’t help us /harm opponents other than maybe Virginia Tech), and in attendance terms it is undeniably more pleasant attending games in September and October. We don’t really know what attendance for three November home games would look like if the team is on fire, so I won’t make a guess.

-I like going back to having Syracuse close out the season. The problem with all BC “rivalry games” in football and basketball is that they’ve largely been attempts to make fetch happen. You have to kind of let fetch happen. BC-Syracuse isn’t going to become a true “Thanksgiving rivalry” overnight, but if they commit to this scheduling over 20 years, you’ll probably get at least one or two more D*amond F*rri incidents in each direction, and some good games. Then it can build in to a tradition. But it will take time. Syracuse is probably the best bet for this within the ACC, so let’s give it a shot and stick with it.

-The last two weeks could be a lot of fun. If BC is competitive next year as we think they will be, closing out with Notre Dame and Syracuse will be a lot of fun and add a lot of intrigue. Maybe BC goes in to that stretch 7-3 with a little bit of hype. Maybe they’re 5-5 but the two rivalry games add juice to just the regular quest for 6 or 7 wins. Maybe it goes sideways but they can redeem themselves with rivalry win(s). I like the way it sets up.

-Friday night meh. The Friday night issue has been discussed ad nauseum but having the Friday night game against Duke this year will almost certainly lead to a pretty weak crowd, and not a game likely to be high on the TV pecking order either. It kind of is what it is at this point, the TV deal is the TV deal and we’ve been pretty fortunate to mostly have attractive matchups. But speaking of...

-Maybe the Red Bandana game goes back to September. This is another topic that has probably gotten more digital ink than it needs, because the important thing is continuing to tell the story of Welles Crowther - not the timing of the game per se. But given that Duke is not likely to be a sellout crowd or a high TV ratings game, the timing might be right to move this tradition back to September. Wearing the red bandana jerseys against a tri-state area school like Rutgers that like BC, had many alumni personally impacted by 9/11, could be poignant. Obviously, I hope the program does whatever the Crowther family and his friends think is best to continue to share his enduring legacy.

-We are going to kick the crap out of UConn. That’s going to be fun, IMO.