Good news coming out of South Bend this week with the announcement that Notre Dame has extended our series with Boston College by adding six games between 2011 and 2019. Looks like Boston College is coming to Notre Dame in 2011, 2016, and 2018, and Notre Dame will be going to Boston College in 2012.
I know Notre Dame fans are complaining about so many games with BC, but I don’t have a problem with a longer series with BC (and I’m not generally a fan of the long series and was a huge critic of the long extension with Purdue). Whether people want to admit or not, BC is a good series. The games are meaningful, BC plays good football and helps our schedule strength, it’s a good game for east coast exposure, and BC is ALWAYS willing to play us in October and November.
Question for you critics of this series. Would you rather see us play more Tulsas and Western Michigans in November than BC?? Didn’t think so.
Maybe it’s an uncomfortable thing to acknowledge (especially since they’ve built things up while we have floundered in the last 15 years), but BC has a quality football program. Since they joined the ACC in 2005, here’s what they’ve done:
2005 – 9-3 (5-3)
2006 – 10-3 (5-3)
2007 – 11-3 (6-2)
2008 – 9-5 (5-3)
2009 – 8-5 (5-3)
I mean, that’s pretty darn good and they’ve done it in the ACC. If you can win 8-9 games a year playing in the ACC, you’re a pretty strong program. No one is going to question whether Boston College is any good like they would with UConn or even a team like Utah because at least BC has to play some quality competition in the ACC.
If you schedule BC, you’re probably going to play a borderline top 25 team that wins 8-9 games. Heck, other than Michigan and USC, BC is probably the third strongest program on our 2009-2011 schedules. Maybe Pitt instead, but we’re splitting hairs there.
Boston College has found a niche as a blue collar, hard-nosed team that recruits a lot of undervalued 2 and 3 star guys who buy in to the system and contribute by their senior year (or sometimes not until their 5th year). It doesn’t seem to matter who is on the roster. They’ll play good defense, not beat themselves, and try to win the line of scrimmage. I’ve said multiple times on this site that I wish ND play more like BC plays.
Plus, they have sort of an “Anytime, Anywhere” philosophy when it comes to playing ND, so they’ll always play us in October and November if we want. They are one of the few schools outside of the Big East who has actually shown a willingness to play us later in the year.
We bend over backwards to let Purdue dictate the terms on when we play them (even though they jack up the prices for that game) and yet people can’t stand the thought of six games with BC in nine years?? That makes no sense to me.
Purdue is a complete joke program, we already play two other Big Ten team a year, and they play in the same state where we already play 7-8 games a year. If we took a ten year break from Purdue, I wouldn’t slightly miss it. And yet we let them demand a September date on our schedule every year. If you’re mad about playing somebody, be mad about paying Purdue.
Plus, does it get any better than a road trip to Boston for an ND game?? You get to visit a world class city, stay down by the park, walk around downtown, hit up some great Irish bars, and then head over to Chestnut Hill. If I have a choice between going to Boston for a game or freaking West Lafayette, I’m going to Boston. Sure the stadium stinks and the tailgating is weak and they have piped in crowd noise and a microphone on their band, but it’s still a good place to visit for an ND game.
Now I realize that I’m presenting somewhat of a Kevin White-esque false choice between BC and Tulsa/Western Michigan, and I do agree that it would be great for variety purposes to get someone else form the ACC besides Boston College. I would love a November home and home with Clemson or Georgia Tech or maybe an SEC team like South Carolina or Arkansas. If we could replace BC in 2014-2015 with one of those schools, I would do it in a second.
Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Schools don’t seem to want to play us late in the conference season.
Considering all of our late problems scheduling quality competition in November, we should be welcoming this game. When pundits look at an ND-BC matchup, they aren’t pooh-poohing it like they would if we’re playing Navy or Army or some other “buy game.” This is a legitimate home and home series.
One other thing to address: the rivalry aspect. Let’s be honest, Boston College has become a rivalry game. For the most part, I consider BC to be a big game on our schedule. Two Catholic schools, similar student bodies, always a big road trip for the BC students, generally competitive games, lots of ND fans in New England, lost of back and forth between the fan bases, and lots of guys on both rosters who seem to know each other off the field. Maybe we didn’t recruit any of the BC guys, but there are always a bunch of BC guys from the same Catholic schools (e.g. St. Xavier, St. Ignatius, Moeller in Ohio) where we recruit. It’s a bigger game for BC and probably always will be, but it’s been a fairly big game on our end as well. That goal line stand in the 1998 game was one of our more memorable wins in recent memory. And even though we lost both games, the 2002 and 1993 games were big games on our schedule with big time crowds.
In addition, can we stop with the "Boston College fans are classless" nonsense?? There's that word again. CLASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSY. CLASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My least favorite word associated with ND sports. Classy=6-6 and home losses to Navy and tickets lying on the ground for November home games and tee times on Saturday afternoon at Warren. Classy is a word for losers. I'll be the first to admit that I have family with Boston College ties, and the word "classless" is not something I would associate with them. Every fanbase has clown fans (including our own), so painting with the broad brush is a little much. Instead of whining about Boston College fans being classless after beating us, how about we go out and beat them four or five times in a row?? That will quiet them down in a hurry.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the 2011 and 2012 schedules with BC in there. I added BC to the open October 8 spot in 2011 and October 13 in 2012.
S03 SOUTH FLORIDA
S10 @ Michigan
S17 MICHIGAN STATE
S24 @ Pittsburgh
O01 @ Purdue
O08 Boston College
O15 Army (neutral site)
O22 SOUTHERN CAL
N12 MARYLAND (FedEx)
N26 @ Stanford
One game TBD
That’s not great by any stretch, but it’s certainly better than the 2010 schedule and actually has a surprisingly decent slate of mid-level teams. Instead of playing all these chump mid-majors like Tulsa/Western Michigan/Army, we’re only playing one real laugher game in 2011 (Army) at a neutral site so far. Here’s how it compares to 2010 right now (still one game to add)
@Boston College BOSTON COLLEGE
@Michigan State MICHIGAN STATE
ARMY (neutral) ARMY (neutral)
UTAH MARYLAND (neutral)
TULSA SOUTH FLORIDA
WESTERN MICHIGAN ??????
We’re trading South Florida and Maryland for Tulsa and Utah, and we still have another game to schedule to replace the Western Michigan game. Assuming Swarbrick can find a half-decent team for that spot, this schedule will be better than 2010. At least we’re making more of an effort. The neutral site game is better, South Florida is a pretty good “buy game,” and BC adds another solid name.
Would it be great if that 12th team was a quality program or a heavyweight?? Sure, I’d love to see it. Put a big game in there for November against someone new and fresh (Wisconsin, Clemson, Tennessee, Oklahoma State), and it would be a great capper on the schedule. But even if the game is somebody like TCU or Syracuse, I could live with that. How about West Virginia?? That would be a nice game.
09/01 - @Navy (Dublin, Ireland)
09/08 - PURDUE
09/15 - at Michigan State
09/22 - MICHIGAN
09/29 - STANFORD
10/06 - Miami (Soldier Field) (not confirmed)
10/13 - @Boston College
10/20 - PITTSBURGH
10/27 - @ Oklahoma
11/10 - ARMY
11/17 - WAKE FOREST
11/24 - @ Southern Cal
2012 looks fantastic if the Miami game actually goes down. Best schedule we’ve had in a long time. 3 really strong road games (BC, OU, USC), a great neutral site game (Miami), only one real breather game (Army), and 4 heavyweights (USC, Miami, OU, Michigan). That might be the toughest schedule in the nation in 2012, but I don’t mind it. We’re Notre Dame. We should occasionally play a top 5 type schedule. The fact that Michigan is our 4th biggest game on that schedule is a sign that we are playing some serious competition that year. Plus, BC, Pitt, Sparty, and Stanford in the middle.
Honestly, this is how an ND schedule should look like. I’m ok with toning it down to only play 3 powers a year, but the schedule should always pass the eyeball test. That’s a phenomenal schedule on paper, and no one could possibly question our schedule in 2012. If we go 10-2 that year, we’re going to get a lot of respect from the college football world. Ultimately, that’s what I want.
Anyway, save your complaining about other things with regards to Notre Dame football. BC is a good addition to the schedule, and I’m happy to play them.