Maybe Penn State is on a future Boston College football schedule. Maybe not. Either way, the Nittany Lions should be given the two program's history as long-time Eastern independents (unfortunately, a series historically dominated by Penn State, but still). This got me thinking -- what are some other non-conference opponents that aren't on a future Eagles schedule that should be?
Here are a few suggestions. Leave yours in the comments section.
Yes, I know. Man suggests thing that will benefit him. But Stanford has become the standard-bearer for elite academics / football success in recent years. BC could do a lot worse than to emulate Stanford's blueprint for success. Boston College AD Bates was on-hand to see just how successful this past season's BC @ USC game was with thousands of Eagles fans making the trip to southern California. Have to think a similar trip to the Bay Area would be just as, if not more, successful; particularly given the area's growing alumni presence.
Boston College and Stanford have faced one another four times previously in two home-and-homes in 1979-80 and 2000-01. The home team has won every game. Inking a future home-and-home may prove difficult, however, as Stanford plays Notre Dame annually and has four and six future games with BYU and Northwestern, respectively. That's on top of a nine-game Pac-12 conference schedule, leaving little room for other non-conference opponents in the foreseeable future.
Based on the success of last year's BC-USC game, it probably makes sense to put West Coast trips to Los Angeles and the Bay Area back in the rotation. Amazingly, Boston College and Los Angeles' other college football team have never faced one another on the gridiron. That boggles my mind. Like, how is that even possible?
UCLA will come east for the first half of a home-and-home with Virginia this year. The Bruins also have a home-and-home scheduled for Rutgers in 2020-21. UCLA has maintained an aggressive non-conference scheduling philosophy in the past, with the Bruins set to face Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, LSU and Michigan in future years. UCLA is also famously one of only three programs never to have faced an opponent from the lower subdivision, so there's a bit more scheduling leeway even with the Pac-12's nine-game conference schedule. Likely BC's only chance of every playing in the Rose Bowl.
Like UCLA, the Gophs are another team that has never faced Boston College. A bit strange given how frequently these two kindred hockey spirits face off on the ice (31 times with the all-time series at 16-12-3 Minnesota). While the prospects of a football / hockey doubleheader weekend are tantalizing, it's ultimately unlikely given the Big Ten's rigid non-conference scheduling policies provide little/no overlap with the college hockey season.
A Minnesota home-and-home seems unlikely, however, as the Gophers avoided scheduling BCS non-conference opponents in recent years. New coach Jerry Kill isn't a fan of facing BCS AQ opponents until the "program is ready." The school inked home-and-homes with North Carolina (2013-14) and Texas (2015-16) under the previous coach/AD, which have since come off the books (though Minnesota-Texas was officially cancelled due to an impasse over video rights). A home-and-home series with Oregon State in 2017-18 remains, for now. The Big Ten's move to a nine-game conference schedule also complicates things further.
Sure they might not count towards the ACC's new non-conference strength of schedule scheduling component, but that shouldn't prevent BC from inking another deal with the Cougars. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall has made it no secret that he'd like to see the Eagles on a future Cougars schedule. Given BYU's scheduling flexibility as one of the few remaining FBS independents, you can see why a trip to the Heights becomes attractive.
The two schools have only faced one another three times (only one home-and-home), though as recently as 2005-06. The Eagles won a double overtime thriller in 2006, 30-23, just one week after upsetting 18th ranked Clemson the week before; again in double OT.
Given the history between Boston College and Army, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Black Knights back on the schedule in relatively short order. It makes too much sense. BC has faced Army more times than any other FBS opponent not named Syracuse (38 games, 25-13-0 BC). Michie Stadium is one of college football's greatest venues and BC fans packed the place to the tune of 9-10k fans in 2012 (in the game-that-shall-not-be-mentioned-here). Given the general proximity between the two schools and Army's scheduling flexibility as one of the nation's few remaining independents, a future series could be easily arranged.
Bates and the athletics department did get out of this year's BC vs. Army Yankee Stadium game to ensure at least seven home games a year for the first time in four seasons. I'm not sure if there's any hard feelings between the school and the Military Academy as a result of the Eagles bailing (BC was replaced by UConn for Army's Yankee Stadium opponent this coming season). Army AD Boo Corrigan was the next BC athletics director ... until he wasn't. Not sure if that plays into things either.
Much like Army, the Eagles have quite a bit of history with the other eastern U.S. service academy a bit further down I-95. The Eagles and Middies have faced one another a total of 29 times (18-11-0 BC) but none as recently as the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl; a game which, if we're being honest, Navy should have won. One has to go back to 2002 for the last time BC and Navy faced off during the regular season, a 46-21 BC victory up in Chestnut Hill.
A future non-conference series with Navy seems unlikely, however, due to the Midshipmen's impending move to the American Athletic Conference in 2015. Once Navy begins playing an eight-game American Athletic conference schedule along with rivalry games against Army, Air Force and Notre Dame, there doesn't appear to be much room for any other FBS non-conference opponents; let alone BC.