An open letter:
To Brad Bates, Boston College AD,
To Bernard Muir, Stanford University AD,
Up here in Chestnut Hill, this weekend's fiasco against Howard has put a spotlight on the 2016 BC football schedule. And rightly so. We're already well into the 2015 season, and yet the Eagles have not one, but two (!) open dates to fill for next year. Moreover, the Eagles lose an ACC home game with the Georgia Tech season opener taking place across the pond in Ireland.
What's a program to do?
With only 5 home games, BC has two options. Option #1 is to continue on with trying to schedule 7 home games, which will almost certainly result in yet another pair of FCS teams, and somehow make an already poor home schedule even worse. UMass, Buffalo, Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse, Howard Part 2, and Howard Part 3? Woof. It's not worth it.
Option #2 is to make the best of a bad situation. And that starts with acknowledging that with only 3 ACC home games, trying to scrape together a 7 game home schedule with teams worth seeing is just not going to happen this year.
But what could happen is this: BC could accept the the idea of a 6-game home schedule, fill the 6th road game with a marquee date, and set up a future marquee home game, all at once.
Stanford is the answer.
No BC fan would begrudge Brad Bates for having 6 home games in 2016 if he lined up a home-and-home with Stanford. And there's a golden opportunity for both schools to get it set up at the eleventh hour.
The Cardinal, like BC, have five home dates set up—and a less-than-stellar lineup of opponents. USC (great!), Washington State, Oregon State, a team from the PAC12 south, and...Rice.
With 9 conference games, Stanford's non-conference slate is typically Notre Dame, a local low-level MAC-type school, and a peer Power 5 team. But where are they going to find a Power 5 opponent with less than a year's notice—and one that needs to be a home game to give them 6 games in Palo Alto?
Boston College is the answer.
Not only is BC a Power 5 opponent, but Stanford and Boston College are the perfect opponents for each other. It's a coast vs. coast, private school vs. private school, academic power vs. academic power matchup. These two schools are as peer as it gets (other than, you know, Stanford's recent football success).
And it just so happens that both schools have an opening in week four of the season, September 24th, 2016. Ed. Note: The originally suggested date was week two, September 10th, 2016, but readers pointed out that playing in Ireland and California in back to back weeks was not feasible. Thanks to MattBC03 and BCIJeff for the observation!
It makes too much sense. There's no excuse for it not to happen. And to make it easier for everyone, we took a real, honest-to-goodness football game contract (really!) and modified it for a BC/Stanford matchup.
That's right. A real, fully vetted legal contract, ready to be executed by the big men on campus. No blanks to fill in, no lawyers to consult, it's all there, in black and white, waiting for a pair of John Hancocks to seal the deal.
It's even drawn up on legal-sized 8.5x14 paper, so you know it's legit.
Brad, Bernard, there's no doubt that both BC and Stanford are in a bit of a pickle for 2016. But both institutions, brothers in the very small world of private academic powers with aspirations of athletic excellence, have an opportunity to scratch each other's back.
Both schools would have an all-important 6th home game, Stanford would sweeten its 2016 home slate with its usual Power 5 matchup, and BC would have its first marquee home-and-home feather in its cap under the Bates administration.
Print it out. Sign it. Shake hands.