Over the past four seasons, no sport's undergone more drastic changes than baseball. While the major driving factors for new leagues revolved around football and basketball, new teams with new affiliations greatly and deeply impacted some of the ancillary sports. That is perhaps none more evident than with America's Favorite Pasttime.
For the Atlantic Coast Conference, it meant an ultra-competitive league. Adding Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, the 12-team league swelled with the second place team from the old Big East and one of the nation's most traditional programs. This year, the removal of Maryland might mean the league loses one of the top four teams from last season, but a slot opened up for Louisville, a perennial national power.
The ACC remains at 14 teams this year despite last year's Atlantic Division runner-up departing for the Big Ten Conference with the addition of Louisville. The Cardinals advanced to Omaha last season as one of the nation's top national seeds, hosting both a regional and a super regional. At 50-15, they're a national powerhouse, and they find a home in the Atlantic Division as an annual opponent of Boston College.
The addition of Louisville is one of the highlights of the 2015 BC baseball schedule released this week. Their first conference games with the Cardinals are on the road on the back end of a 15-game road trip to open up the season as BC attempts to qualify for its first conference tournament since 2010.
As part of that road trip to start the season, the Eagles will play their first ever games at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge against the LSU Tigers. After opening up with four games at USC Upstate against Wofford, Xavier, and the Spartans, BC will head to Louisiana to take on a team expected to challenge for the College World Series. The Tigers are the preseason fourth-ranked team, having led the NCAA in baseball attendance for 18 straight seasons.
The road trip ends with BC's first six conference games at Florida State and Louisville. They'll return home for a road game at Holy Cross before finally opening up home play with defending Northeast Conference champion Bryant on March 18th. Home ACC play starts two days later when NC State travels north to play BC at Shea Field.
Of the 55 games on the schedule, 23 are at home with 15 games across two home stands. Beanpot play kicks off the first, nine-game stand with Northeastern traveling across the city before Clemson arrives to continue ACC play. BC will host Rhode Island and Harvard before facing off with Georgia Tech.
Their second, shorter home stand comes at the end of the season with two games against Hartford, one against Maine, and their final ACC series against Notre Dame. The series against the Irish will end the season.
BC draws an incredibly tough crossover slate against ACC opponents, with Georgia Tech and North Carolina highlighting series against Coastal Division opponents. BC will travel to Virginia Tech and host Duke as part of their other crossover series, meaning they miss third-ranked Virginia, 14th-ranked Miami, and Pittsburgh.
Non-conference play is rounded out with the Snowbird Classic to start the season, where BC will play Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota State, Kansas, and Villanova in Port Charlotte, Florida.
The April 11th game against Clemson is designated as the Third Annual Wounded Warrior Project Game, while the Fourth Annual ALS Awareness Game is slated for the following weekend, on April 18th, against Georgia Tech.
As part of their quest to reclaim the New England baseball landscape, BC will also play multiple games against Northeastern, Connecticut, UMass, Harvard, and Dartmouth. Those games will be scattered throughout the schedule in addition to the Beanpot Championship rounds. Those games are slated for April 22nd at Fenway Park.
Full schedule can be found by clicking here.