A couple of scheduling updates for your Wednesday afternoon.
According to the indispensable fbschedules.com, New Mexico State's return trip to Chestnut Hill to take on the Eagles is, as of this moment, still on the books. The Aggies are scheduled to complete the back end of a home-and-home with a return trip to the Heights on Saturday, October 17, 2015.
Needing to schedule 12th game to complete the 2013 schedule in a pinch, Boston College scheduled a home-and-home with New Mexico State that sent the Eagles to Las Cruces last season with a return trip to Chestnut Hill tentatively scheduled for 2015. The Eagles struggled with the Aggies for much of the game before pulling away late, winning 48-34.
While the game is still scheduled for next season, New Mexico State is going to have to drop a non-conference opponent from next season's schedule. The Aggies, preparing for life as a Division I-A independent, went out and scheduled a bunch of games for 2015 and beyond. After getting scooped up by the Sun Belt Conference, however, N.M. State will have to drop one of these opponents on next year's sched to get down to 12 games next season.
09/05 - at Florida Gators
09/19 - UTEP Miners
10/03 - at New Mexico Lobos
10/10 - at Ole Miss Rebels
10/17 - at Boston College Eagles
Of those five opponents, given the sheer distance between the two schools, BC makes the most sense to drop. However, the school might not be willing to buy out of the Chestnut Hill return trip. New Mexico State probably isn't going to push off games against local rivals UTEP and New Mexico though and I'm sure Florida and Ole Miss are giving the Aggies a sizable chunk of change for a one-off home game. So we'll have to wait to see if the Aggies do actually make the trip to Chestnut Hill after all.
If the BC-New Mexico State game is played as scheduled next year, the Eagles would likely complete the 2015 schedule with a home game against an FCS opponent. From the Colonial Athletic Association, the conference BC almost always schedules from for its annual FCS game, only James Madison, Maine, Stony Brook and Towson have yet to schedule games against FBS opponents.
The other bit of scheduling news comes out of Amherst / Foxborough, where UMass prepares for life as a FBS independent by announcing the addition of 19 games to their future football schedules. The additions include a four-game, home-and-home series with BYU and Army, home-and-home series with Appalachian State, Charlotte, Hawaii, Ohio, and Troy, and a single game at Tennessee.
Boston College and UMass still have two previously announced games left on their 2-for-1 scheduling agreement. The Minutemen will travel to Chestnut Hill to take on the Eagles on September 17, 2016 and September 1, 2018.
UMass' four-game series with BYU is the most interesting of today's developments. The Minutemen will travel to Provo to take on the Cougars on October 8, 2016 and November 18, 2017, with BYU making return trips to Gillette Stadium on November 10, 2018 and November 23, 2019.
The guys over at Vanquish The Foe believe this is a sign that there's no future games on the horizon with Boston College. The mid-2000s home-and-home between BYU and Boston College was popular amongst both fans and players, and BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall and AD Tom Holmoe have been outspoken in their desire to schedule another home-and-home with BC.
Of course, it's entirely possible that BYU ends up buying out of one or both games at Gillette, or that an FBS football conference throws the UMass program a lifeline, forcing the Minutemen to reshuffle its scheduling agreements beyond the 2016 season. It's also entirely possible that the program drops back down to FCS after a failed two-year FBS Independent experiment. But for now, VTF is convinced this rules BC out from appearing on a future Cougars football schedule in the foreseeable future. That's pretty disappointing.