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Boston College Basketball: ACC Opponents Released for 2016-17 and 2017-18 Seasons

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston College Eagles recently announced, along with the Atlantic Coast Conference, the upcoming opponents for the next two seasons.

The new opponents list offers a reprieve from this year's gruesome basketball schedule. How much of a reprieve does it offer?

At first glance, the repeats, or teams that BC plays twice that aren't the set rivalry games [Syracuse and Notre Dame] are a lot easier. Instead of getting potentially two tournament teams in North Carolina and Clemson (according to Joe Lunardi's bracketology), BC will take on Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, two teams that reside in the bottom of the conference this year.

What does ultimately mean in terms of strength of schedule? A small, but noticeable change in opponents' winning percentage. This year, as of Feb. 16, 1:32 A.M., the combined ACC opponents' in-conference record was 131-96 (teams that played BC twice were counted twice. For example, UNC's 10-2 record was counted as 20-4). This results in a winning percentage of .577.

The record for the slate next year tells a very different story. Powered by Wake Forest's less-than-stellar in-conference record of 1-12 (2-24 in the aggregate), BC's in-conference opponent record is 119-108, good for a .524 winning percentage. While the change is small, it certainly helps to not have to play two tournament teams when it comes to ACC play.

The advantages to BC's new in-conference schedule also extend to road trips. Easily the most difficult part of BC's road schedule was the three game swing against UNC, Virginia and Louisville. BC will not have to play any of those three teams on the road, in notoriously hostile environments. BC will also not have to travel to Pitt, another difficult place to play, like they did this year.

Instead, the Eagles away-only schedule consists of Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Duke. While Cameron Indoor Stadium is certainly no bargain to play in, the other schools are not known for having particularly difficult crowds to play in front of.

Essentially, the Eagles will be granted an in-conference reprieve after playing a very difficult conference slate this year.