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Boston College Football Scheduling: Playing Power 5 Conference Strength Of Schedule Matchmaker

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Home-and-homes with Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, perhaps?

Wesley Hitt

On Monday, Georgia Tech announced that it had moved a home-and-home with Ole Miss back five years to accommodate playing other Power 5 conference opponents (which I read as "Ole Miss just beat BAMA, maybe we should hold off on playing the Rebels until they suck again").

The Yellow Jackets and Rebels will now meet during the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Georgia Tech and Ole Miss were scheduled to play in 2017 and 2018, but the Rebels accommodated Tech's request to move the series back so the Jackets could schedule other "Power 5" games in those seasons. Georgia Tech will host the Rebels in 2022, and the Yellow Jackets will make the return visit to Oxford in 2023.

This news got me thinking about the ACC's (and SEC's) new strength of schedule requirement. Beginning in 2016 (SEC) and 2017 (ACC), both conferences have adopted a new strength-of-schedule component that requires all member schools to play at least one Power 5 conference opponent, or Notre Dame, on an annual basis.

Boston College will need to schedule at least one Power 5 conference opponent in years when the Eagles don't play Notre Dame as part of the ACC's scheduling deal with the Irish. With all but the first three-year cycle with Notre Dame set, we don't know what years BC will need to schedule at least one Power 5 conference opponent, but 2018, 2019 and 2020 are probably decent guesses (BC's only other scheduled Power 5 conference opponent is the 2023-24 series with Ohio State).

So let's play matchmaker.

Here's the Power 5 conference opponents scheduled by the ACC over the next few years, per

ACC 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Boston College Notre Dame @ Ohio State Ohio State
Clemson @ Auburn
South Carolina
@ South Carolina
@ Notre Dame
Duke @ Northwestern
@ Notre Dame
@ Northwestern
@ Baylor
Florida State Florida @ Florida Florida
Georgia Tech @ Georgia Georgia @ Georgia Georgia @ Georgia Georgia Ole Miss @ Ole Miss
Louisville Kentucky @ Kentucky
Notre Dame
Kentucky @ Kentucky @ Notre Dame
Miami @ Notre Dame @ Rutgers Rutgers @ Michigan State Michigan State
North Carolina @ Illinois California @ California
N.C. State Notre Dame @ Notre Dame West Virginia @ West Virginia Mississippi State @ Mississippi State Notre Dame
Pittsburgh Penn State
@ Oklahoma State
@ Penn State
Oklahoma State
Penn State @ Penn State
Syracuse Notre Dame @ LSU @ Maryland @ Penn State Penn State
Virginia @ Oregon Stanford @ Stanford Illinois @ Illinois
Virginia Tech Tennessee
@ Notre Dame
West Virginia @ Wisconsin Wisconsin
@ Michigan
@ West Virginia
Penn State
West Virginia
@ Penn State
Wake Forest @ Indiana

Obviously, the programs with longstanding season-ending rivalry games against in-state SEC counterparts--Clemson (South Carolina), Florida State (Florida), Georgia Tech (Georgia) and Louisville (Kentucky)--are in great shape going forward, and really don't need to do anything other than re-up those series to satisfy this requirement.

Other programs--notably Virginia Tech and N.C. State--have aggressively worked to fill the future schedules with Power 5 conferences opponents from the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12.

Still others, like BC and Wake Forest, have quite a bit of work to do to satisfy the strength of schedule component in years when they don't draw the Irish.

Here's a look at the SEC's Power 5 conference scheduling obligations starting in 2016:

SEC 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Alabama USC
Arkansas @ TCU TCU @ Michigan Michigan Texas
Auburn Clemson @ Clemson
Florida @ Florida State Michigan
Florida State
@ Florida State
Georgia Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame
@ Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Notre Dame
@ Georgia Tech
Kentucky @ Louisville Louisville @ Louisville Louisville
LSU Wisconsin Syracuse Penn State @ UCLA @ Arizona State Arizona State UCLA
Mississippi State @ Kansas State Kansas State @ N.C. State N.C. State @ Arizona Arizona
Missouri Purdue @ Purdue
Ole Miss @ Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
South Carolina @ Clemson Clemson @ Clemson
Tennessee Virginia Tech West Virginia USC USC
Texas A&M UCLA @ UCLA @ Oregon Oregon Notre Dame
Vanderbilt @ Georgia Tech

Other than the SEC programs with annual ACC rivalry games, I was surprised to see a lack of progress towards satisfying the new strength of schedule requirement; especially given that it kicks in a year earlier than the ACC's.

It also looks like the ACC is far more willing to schedule more than one Power 5 conference opponent in a given season (which makes sense given the league's scheduling arrangement with Notre Dame). From the SEC, only Florida (2017 vs. Michigan and Florida State) and Georgia (2017 and 2019 vs. Notre Dame and Georgia Tech) have scheduled multiple Power 5 conference opponents in the same season up until this point.

Long story short, there are a number of available SEC opponents over the next few seasons where a home-and-home with Boston College would be mutually beneficial in satisfying each conference's new strength of scheduling requirement.

If Bates isn't on the horn with Ole Miss (2016, 2018, 2019) and Vanderbilt (2018, 2019, etc.), I'd be pretty disappointed. Let's make it happen.