The college football landscape continues to change as news broke yesterday that the Idaho Vandals will be dropping out of the Sun Belt and will be moving to the FCS level in 2018. Also this morning news broke that New Mexico State and their glorious Aggievision, who were voted out of the Sun Belt this winter, could be the next to sail away from the world of the FBS. While Sun Belt news may not appear to effect Boston College, it actually does in a number of ways. The biggest could be the domino effect that could send BC opponent UMass in a variety of different directions.
The Minutemen are not immune to football controversy right now, as a number of influential faculty members are again pushing to have the program leave the independent ranks and go back to FCS football. Clearly if that happens it could cause shockwaves in BC's future scheduling. Right now the Eagles need UMass to fill out their schedule, with future opponents such as Holy Cross and Richmond already on the docket for FCS opponents, losing the Minutemen at the FBS level would mean BC would need to cancel these opponents and have to find another FBS opponent, which seems like a good thing, but we've seen how difficult scheduling FBS opponents has been lately. There is no way BC would schedule two FCS schools again right?
If UMass figures out a way to join the Sun Belt, which would probably be a best case scenario for them, there will also be the need to trim their schedule down to fit the SB opponents they would be required to fit. This would directly impact BC as well, because you have to ask yourself: to fit this schedule which games will the Minutemen cancel? A game against BC, or a game against an SEC opponent like Florida/Georgia etc that is paying them very good money? You have to imagine that the Eagles would lose that battle every time.
Finally, when Idaho leaves FBS football, there could be a few more opponents that open up that Boston College could poach. In 2018 Idaho has a game against the Florida Gators, and 2019 they open the season against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Currently BC has Purdue in 2018, and Notre Dame in 2019, but if the school is serious about upgrading the out of conference schedule, the Gators and PSU would both be huge gets. Now Idaho may keep both on their schedule, but canceling the matchups are at least a possibility.
Idaho is leaving, and this certainly won't be the last domino to fall.