The 2014 version of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge will expand to 14 games -- two more than the previous challenges -- with the debuts of Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten and Louisville in the ACC. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the Boston College Eagles have been left out of this year's matchups. Oh.
Here are this year's matchups:
Tuesday, December 2
No. 21 Syracuse Orange at No. 24 Michigan Wolverines
Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 8 Louisville Cardinals
Pittsburgh Panthers at Indiana Hoosiers
North Carolina State Wolfpack at Purdue Boilermakers
Illinois Fighting Illini at Miami Hurricanes
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wednesday, December 3
No. 2 Duke Blue Devils at No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers
No. 18 Michigan State Spartans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
No. 25 Iowa Hawkeyes at No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels
No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers at Maryland Terrapins
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Northwestern Wildcats
Virginia Tech Hokies at Penn State Nittany Lions
It's unclear why Boston College was left out this year, seeing as they didn't finish last in last year's conference standings. Virginia Tech earned that dubious distinction for the second straight season. Perhaps BC asked out in an attempt to dumb down the schedule in Jim Christian's first season at the helm, or perhaps ESPN simply changed the participation criteria yet again for next year's Challenge.
The Eagles have a 6-2 record overall in the Challenge and own the third best winning percentage in Challenge play among teams that have participated in more than one event. This will be the second time that the program will sit on the sidelines for the Challenge. Boston College sat out the 2005 Challenge in their first year as members of the ACC.
BC getting excluded from this year's Challenge is mildly disappointing, but let's also not pretend like the Eagles were going to draw anyone other than Rutgers, Nebraska or Northwestern, either. Look for BC to replace the ACC/Big Ten Challenge game with a cupcake-y school from New England when next year's schedule is released.