Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Notre Dame and BC: the future

Do we have a future with the Irish? I've been asked question by a few different people this week and with our current series with Notre Dame nearing an end and no future games with the Irish yet on the books, it is a legitimate concern. Gene has made a few statements acknowledging talks with Notre Dame. He usually adds some caveat that although we would like to play Notre Dame, we don't "need" them. That's not true. I haven't heard much from the Notre Dame administration but if you ask any Irish fan, he or she will be quick to tell you how little they need us. That is also not true. The reason I think the series will pick up in the near future is that both programs need each other. Let me explain.

Notre Dame's scheduling issues

There are so many unwritten rules and competing priorities surrounding Notre Dame football that it is hard to keep track. But know this, the most important things to them are their independence and their revenue. In order to maintain their independence and revenue stream they need to schedule a variety of solid opponents. Independence complicates scheduling though. Let's take a stab at an Irish schedule and its limitations that will force them back to the table with BC:
-- 3 Big Ten Games (Michigan, Michigan St, Purdue). Those three are probably not moving but complicate things by the Big 10's refusal to move them to later in the season. Notre Dame needs to play someone in October and November every year.
-- Navy, USC and Stanford. These three are not going anywhere and have definite places on the calendar.
-- 3 mandated Big East games. This helps with Notre Dame's scheduling a bit since they can dictate the who and where with many of the Big East teams. What complicates things though is NBC (the major revenue stream) wants quality opponents and good TV ratings. Some Big East teams can deliver that. Some cannot.

That leaves three slots to fill every year. Notre Dame won't play a DIAA team out of pride. They won't add another Big East team for fear of being too dependent upon the Big East and losing leverage. Although they played Nevada this year and San Diego State last year, Notre Dame will not load up on mid majors. Even with those limitations, there are still dozens of teams the Irish could play. But the challenge is that fewer are willing to play them these days. There is very little incentive for a tough non-conference schedule. That more than anything will limit the Irish's potential partners and keep BC in the conversation.


The other factor that will keep BC relevant is Notre Dame and NBC's need for neutral site games. The school and the network are starting neutral site games so that NBC can pick up an extra game that is technically not a Notre Dame home game. Even fewer schools are willing to do this. Also ESPN and most conference deals don't allow for neutral games to be shown on a rival network if the game is played within the conference's territory. For example, Notre Dame is playing Washington State later this month in San Antonio. The Pac 10 and ESPN would not allow WSU to play that same game in Seattle or LA or any other Pac 10 territory. Would BC play Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium or the Meadowlands? Not every year but certainly once or twice. Would the ACC and ESPN allow it? Technically the New York City area is not part of the ACC's TV territory so there is not much they could do to stop it.

So all that background is a long way of saying, Notre Dame will need a school like BC that is willing to play them on their terms. I am not suggesting that BC would or should agree to a series that doesn't include some games in Chestnut Hill, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a series that went like this South Bend-Chestnut Hill-Yankee Stadium-South Bend-Chestnut Hill-Yankee Stadium.

Why would BC agree to something like that? The answer would be pretty obvious to those who sat in Alumni Stadium for the NC State game.

BC still needs Notre Dame to generate fan interest


I hated typing that sentence but it is true. We are not selling out conference games. While some of it is certainly about the economy and some of it is about the tumultuous offseason, like it or not there is still a large portion of our fan base that is passive and really only cares about Notre Dame. If you are reading this blog now, you are more than likely a die hard, passionate BC fan. Now think of some of your BC friends who have casual interest in BC. Could they tell you who Montel Harris is? Could they name our current head coach or even our last one? Now if you offered those same friends BC-Notre Dame tickets would they be back to Boston in a minute? Will they be watching this weekend? It's sad, but true. We have thousands of great fans. We just don't have enough. That is not going to change overnight. Until we change the culture we need to schedule wisely and generate interest. So for now we still need Notre Dame.


What do I expect?

What I've just laid out is pretty accurate, yet neither side will be this candid. What predict will happen is that BC and Notre Dame will probably schedule a 1-1-1 series in the near future to start in 2014 or 2015. Both sides will build another break into the schedule and then add another 1-1-1. That will probably go on until the college football landscape changes or either party has a better alternative.

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53 Comments:

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Richard said...

BC really needs some alternatives as far as getting to the game. I like literally 8 miles away and its about 2 hours for me to get there (and awful getting back from the games). Part of it is the horrendous Green Line, which pales in comparison to any of the others. Part of it is Brighton and Newton and their absurd parking policies. Part of it is BC and their astronomical pricing policies. Something's gotta give, here. Until that happens, people are going to stay away.

It's actually easier to get to Fenway and/or park there. And cheaper!

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Sr.Atlanta said...

I intensely dislike (I've taught my kids not to use "hate" so I need to set the example) ND but AtlEagle makes some good points especially the fact that most BC fans (the ones that read this blog excluded) are fly-by-night at best!

Nonetheless, let's kick some Irish ass on Sat!!

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger RFH said...

I can't say I disagree with any of this but I would be disappointed if the annual series continues. It's time to broaden our horizons. The problem is that ND has to be replaced with a quality BCS conference opponent every year, not another mid-major.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger BCMike said...

Great article, Bill.

I had thought there might be hope after the USC games, and this goes give me some.

I think it's a good rivalry and I'd love to see it continue.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger bigdaddyderste said...

Sparse attendance is a direct result of how unpleasant BC makes the game day experience. Even worse than the parking problem is the gestapo atmosphere at Shea Field. The whole ticket punching idea is nothing short of harassment of the best of the alumni and students-those interested in supporting the school and the team. The State Police in the parking garage was the most negative experience I've ever had in the last twenty years. Gne needs to remedy the situation or attendance will continue to be an issue.

 
At 7:27 PM, Blogger will the thrill said...

Richard: I live 175 miles away and make it to 4-5 games every year. Your complaint is going to fall on deaf ears aside from the fact that you are righ that parking on campus is too limited. But even considering that, traffic is always going to be a problem.

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger bcphilly said...

as i've iterated before , i agree with bigdaddyderste , the gameday atmosphere at chetnut hill is getting worse by the season , scratch that , by the game ...it's just not enjoyable anymore with all the obstacles thrown up by the university ... i've been to many away games and it is remarkable the stark contrast to gameday festivities and atmosphere ... something has to change or the attendance issue will only get worse ... look at all the tickets that were available on line for the FSU game a couple weeks ago ... 2 years ago you couldn't get 1 ...

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

I agree with bigdaddy 100%. I flew up for the FSU game, and the attendance was brutal (weather wasn't that bad during the game) and the tailgating situation was worse. How about a Newton Firefighter ordering a long time season ticket holder on the 6th floor of the parking garage to shut off his generator?

GDF - get this figured out. The attendance at the NC State game was a disgrace. BC has the reputation as a poor fan traveling team - well now we can't even get fans to attend our home games. And the reason everyone vacated the stadium long before the game was complete was probably so they could tailgate a little longer than the allotted 1 hour.

What do you think, Gene? This is directly in your lap. And by the way, why can't Flynn Fund donors have at least a cold picnic type tailgate on the Brighton Campus?

Tell me why I should renew my season tickets when I can buy a good seat for any game individually - without donating to the Flynn Fund. The tailgating situation is a disgrace - so why should I continue giving? What's your argument? I have trouble giving my seats away - this is really sad.

Fans want to go to a game, support the players and enjoy themselves with long time friends before and after, etc. Can they do all of that now? NO.

Play Notre Dame anywhere - Foxboro, Yankee Stadium. Heck, Gene, you couldn't even fill up Alumni for the game last year! Maybe you are the problem, Gene - why don't you consider your options at this point? Square the situation away for BC fans, or maybe find another job? The Newton, Brighton, Brookline neighbors are not your friends anyway - you should be setting policies to protect your fan base!!!!!

How can we ever recruit a player if he knows he'll be playing in front of an empty stadium?

Go BC - Beat ND!

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Please pardon me for venting - but this is a serious problem - the game day experience at the Heights is not worth the effort for more and more fans! Get on this Gene - your future depends on it.

How bad is it when we're not even talking about the game in South Bend. Come on BC - let's take the lead in this series right now and win again next year - in case we don't play the Fighting Irish for quite awhile in the future.

43 degrees and rain for Saturday. Let's go Tranq - open it up enough for the hogs to pave the way for Harris. How is Haden? Long, sustained drives and we'll beat these guys - these media darlings - our previous road games notwithstanding.

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Speaking more broadly than the BC-alumni-football realtionship, BC's relationship with its alumni in general is not that great. They do ask me for money quite a bit and I give them plenty.

I live in greater Boston, and have gone to quite few alumni events. They just are not good. BC just does not really know how to relate to its Alumni and bring people together. The same can be said for the BC Club in downtown Boston -- a good place to bring people you know; not a good place to connect with fellow alums and BC.

So, the blindness as to the bad tailgating and not great pre-game atmosphere, is probably part of BC's general dysfunction with its alumni.

 
At 8:13 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Jimmy Neutron Clausen has never thrown a TD pass agaisnt BC and has a combined 23 QB rating in his two games against BC.

GO BC!!

(and let's learn a few lessons about tailgating, great alumni relationships, and a great alumni community when we are in South Bend! As to that stuff, ND does it right!)

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger CT said...

I second what BCMike said...good post, ATLEagle. Some informative stuff in there.

Do people write to GDF or otherwise let him know about the beastly tailgating situation? I'm sure he knows, but does he continue to get inundated and what are his responses to these concerns?

We can go 'round and 'round about the causes of non home sell-outs, but let's get to the brass tax:

Notre Dame sucks.

There are very few programs who don't "need" ND on their schedule. That program epitomizes cache. And cash. I think there's something special about these two Catholic schools playing. I think it's good for us and, while they would probably never admit it, good for them. If nothing else, it's wonderfully competitive and that should count for something.

I just thought of something...Notre Dame still sucks.

However, scheduling should be done to broaden our brand name and gain name recognition in markets that otherwise are oblivious to us. ND plays on the west coast ostensibly to maintain a recruiting edge over midwestern schools out there. Playing CMU is great, but if the program were to advance at some point, we need to look above areas where we would compete for kids who are looking at MAC schools and such.

You want to get into the south in other ways than just regional TV? Look for an SEC team. Travelling to Auburn or Georgia would do wonders for BC's cache down here. Or go out west and play a Pac-10 school.

The games will be tougher to win than CMU (no disrespect) but would, I think, pay off down the road, just as the conference switch has and will.

My $.02

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Northeastern
Kent State
Wake Forest
Florida State
North Carolina State
Central Michigan
UNC

This is strange home schedule and there are 3 games that are interesting. 600 miles to Kent State from Boston, just does not add up to a rivalry.

We need ND, Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers for two games a year

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

People in the northeast are very provincial so Gene needs to play to that. Better to play Rutgers, UCONN, Pitt and other schools nearby than Central Michigan (even though CMU may be better than all of the aforementioned teams). Also, it sounds like the tailgate situation must get better. I think it has more to do with the Nazi neighbors than with the AD or BC. They have had a knife at BC's throat for decades. But, it's time to tell the neighbors to shove it and allow BC to have a true college atmosphere. For Chrisesakes, it's 6 Saturdays a year!

As for Saturday, BC has a very tough challenge in Notre Dame. Here is the gameplan. BC must generate long, sustained drives to keep the potent ND offense off the field. Run it down their throats a la NC State and try to catch them in their blitzes. Defensively, they must limit the big plays, keep everything in front of them and try to force Claussen to make mistakes. CT, I guarantee he will end his no-TD streak this weekend. But, if BC can hold ND to 24 points or under, I believe BC will win. They score more and BC goes down.

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger matthew said...

I think our D needs to generate a huge play this week... maybe even 2. For the past couple of years we have, perhaps, taken for granted the big defensive play. We haven't had much of that this year. Our turnovers created are way down. Also, it seemed like we had a pick-6 every week last year! A defensive score + at least 2 turnovers this week, and I like our chances.

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Having ND on the schedule this decade has been great for the program. Since they are consistently overrated, and we keep beating them, its been good for the rankings and good for support. As far as the tailgating scene goes, I don't think GDF has much to do with it. He's getting squeezed by the city and Fr. Leahy. Father believes that drinking of any kind (especially by the students) is the root cause of all evils at BC. This is no exaggeration - he says it all the time. The oppressive rules we find at the tailgates come from the city (late opening, early closing of Shea, hiring of the Staties) or from FrL (donation seating, tailgate pricing, arresting 20 year olds drinking beers with their alumni parents). I'm no GDF apologist, and he should definitely try pushing back, but you cant fight the power. He's got too good a gig to give it up over a couple of disappointed alumni like us. Maybe getting a double-eagle mayor would help? We should find out Flaherty's stance on tailgates...

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger J Mac said...

As a season ticket holder, I'm getting more and more frustrated by the BC in-game experience. Lets be honest folks, no where else in the country do people sit in relative silence (outside of the student section). If they weren't using a sound system to make the band/students audible all over Alumni, you would be able to hear a pin drop. I wonder if GDF has given thought to creating more tradition. So many songs and chants that students have (i.e. the first down chant) that BC could try to infuse into the rest of the fan base. As for tailgating it sucks, but now that we have won our battle against Brighton perhaps we can start to make things more pleasant. Bottom line we have a long way to go and unless a recruit shows up for FSU, Va Tech or Notre Dame home game... they will be highly disappointed.....

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger John said...

Those of us who read this blog know that having Notre Dame on our schedule, at least at this point, is probably doing more harm than it is good anymore for the program. Ten or twelve years ago, when BC was becoming what it is today and Notre Dame was, well, Notre Dame, having them on our schedule, and often beating them was a good thing, giving BC the opportunity for national coverage that it may not otherwise have. Today, however, things have changed. Most of us here expect us to win this game and wouldn't at all consider it an "upset" if and when we do. Yet still having ND on the schedule will continue to perpetuate the "Fredo" persona. ND thinks it is better than us and will always think that no matter what, nothing we do nor any number of games we beat them in will ever change that, so why bother with continuing to schedule them when all it is really doing is leaving "little brother" in "big brother's" shadow.

The problem is, as has been stated, that the vast majority of BC fans still consider ND our biggest rival, despite our past and present history with teams like Virginia Tech and Clemson, and make a point of making it to that game. Part of it is the tradition of traveling out to South Bend for the game. If we could turn that dedication and focus to games like Clemson or VT, then the average BC fan would make the effort to go to those games instead of ND. The other problem is truly how similar the schools actually are. Both attract the same type of student, academically, socially, etc. and more often than not you will find a family that has one child at BC and the other at Notre Dame (I can think of at least three off the top of my head that I know personally) so those families are going to make a big deal out of the BC-ND game. This fact is something we can't control, both of these schools as two of the top Catholic universities are going to continue to attract the same type of student and will thus always be competing with each other in that arena, which then trickles over into sports as well.

Although we here realize that ND has little effect on our schedule and whether or not we make it to the big prize, the ACCCG, most fans are still going to circle the date of the ND game on their calendar. This is something that is imbedded in the BC culture and is going to take some time to wear off. ND is a good rivalry game because we represent the last two Catholic schools with D-I football and I would like to see it continue, but BC fans need to stop considering the be all end all game and the sole measure of how our team is doing.

That being said, I really like BC football and I really hope we beat ND anyway.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger PJC said...

You are off on a few things:

1) The three Big 10 games will be a fixture but Purdue and MSU are coming off the schedule for a few years during the next decade.

2) Stanford comes off the schedule in 2011 or 2012. The previous athletic director considered them a permanent fixture but that mindset has changed with the new athletic director. ND will probably play them occasionally but they will not be an annual fixture.

3) The three game Big East deal is dead. I'm sure ND might play three Big East teams on occasion but it will more often than not just be Pitt and perhaps one other team.

With that said, I think ND and BC should play somewhat regularly but not every year (to be honest, the only teams I think ND should play every year are USC and Navy). At least two times per decade and perhaps four. There are so few schools that give a crap about big-time football and academics and those schools should stick together. ND, Stanford, BC, Vanderbilt, the academies (close enough to big-time football), Duke (ditto), Wake Forest, UVA, and perhaps a few others need to strive to play each other regularly.

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger BCDoubleEagle said...

Daniel: "Maybe getting a double-eagle mayor would help?"


Will you be my campaign manager?

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger conlonc said...

good read Bill, I learned a lot from that. Funny enough there was a Notre Dame add down the side banner as I was reading the comments. Almost barfed.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger ObserverCollege said...

Look, you people need us. But you're all uppity about your place in college football.

A 1-1-1 series. Uh, no. Try this 17-year series on for size, listing out the site of the game:

ND-Yankee-ND-Chicago-ND-Rentschler-ND-Orlando-ND-Foxboro-ND-Chicago-ND-Yankee-ND-Houston-ND.

We only take 9 home games out of 17. We give you FOUR games within a 4-hour Greyhound bus ride from your campus. The others are in places where you're trying to break into recruiting, like Orlando and Chicago, or already have, like Houston (at least according to my sources).

But, you know, it's up to you. We're committed to helping you, but as they say, we can only lead a horse to water. You have to decide to drink.

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger b said...

ObserverCollege,

Your elitist and snotty post says it all. And that's exactly what's wrong with ND fans. If that's the case, we'll kindly say no thanks to your "help." Good luck this weekend.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Alex L. said...

Observer College is the perfect comic relief.

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Erik said...

In the yeeeear two THOOOOUUUUsand

In the Year Twoooo Thoouu SAAAAND

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger campy said...

OT: Dinich now predicts that BC will win the Atlantic. Good sign or bad?

Sorta on-topic: Try to make the trolling a little more subtle, OC.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

The HD prediction is neither a good nor a bad sign. Its meaningless given the uninformed source.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Franz said...

Michael wrote: We need ND, Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers

I like these teams forming the foundation of our out of conference schedule.

I know the idea of playing UConn is a anathema to many hardcore eagles because of the messy breakup with the Big East. But, UConn would be the ultimate good for New England Game - the proximity, only two FBS teams in New England, the bad blood, this game would be an instant rivalry true rivalry that we could use. Let bygones be bygones and play the Huskies.

Syracuse is happening. And it would be fun to beat up on Rutgers again.

I have no problems with a 1-1-1 w/ ND. The idea of a traveling game with the two Catholic FBS schools would be good at promoting the Catholic Identity of BC across the country.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

I think OC might've gotten one of those "100% Online" certificates in negotiation that ND is advertising in the banner above.

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger will the thrill said...

Do people actually not realize that ObserverCollege is kidding? I know ND fans can be great examples of self-parody, but he's obviously a dig at pompous ND fans. I do think the idea of ND playing BC at Rentschler, when ND refuses to even play UConn there (no games in CT in that series) is partiularly hilarious.

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Eagle1 said...

Will:

He's kidding, but not. Make no mistake about his ND loyalties. He worships ND like Weis worships the buffet at Denny's. Believe it. Watching BC beat up on ND time and time again has sent him over the mental edge.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Alex L. said...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FBC_UCONN_STABBING_BC_FLOL-?SITE=FLPET&SECTION=HOME

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I am glad we're playing Syracuse but have no interest in playing UConn.

We are better off for having no ties to them.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Kevin, your sentiment is exactly why we should play them. We all hate them. It's a win win for BC. It's a quick rivalry because of the bad blood. We get a relatively soft local opponent that we get less crap for scheduling than Northeastern or UMASS. Despite not being on the T their fans will travel more than Northeastern so it should be a sell out or close. And it gives us an opportunity to reaffirm to New England recruits that we are the best choice for them. Also, it gives us a chance to remind Jim Calhoun every year of our existence and make him stew a little more.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger morrina said...

Poor game day atmosphere and the police state mentality is definitely a problem. I suspect it is a combo of giving in to neighbors and Fr. Leahy's ultra-conservative rules. The environment at BC has become a police state, with campus police having the authority to go off campus and raid privately rented apartments with no search warrant. I've heard from other fans that the new Shea Field rules is the last straw. It's a sad state of affairs. This team is overacheiving in front of empty seats. I'm not sure it helps to write letters to the athletic dept. I've done so about poor basketball attendance, and was led to believe my voice was being heard, only in the end to feel that I was simply being patronized. Perhaps we need to organize. I'm tired of it, and it's getting worse every year.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger morrina said...

Dan, I agree in principle (and I HATE YUKON!) But, what worries me is that we'll see the same thing that happened in men's basketball with Providence. Because of the poor work of the AD, they can't fill the seats and the opposing fans swoop in and take over. It was embarrassing when Conte was FILLED with PC fans like it was a home game for them.

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

A neutral site against Notre Dame would be embarrassing. The last thing we need is 40,000 ND fans in YANKEE Stadium showing up 5,000 BC fans. Sad but true.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger mmason said...

Enough of this "Fredo" talk. Basta! ND is older than BC, therefore we're "Michael", they're "Fredo"--yes, we're family, but does that make G'Town "Sonny?" Bottom line: ND needs us and BC needs ND. It's a no brainer for a dozen reasons. COUNT'EM. The first three reasons: It Has Draw. It's the Holy War, it's tied at 9 to 9, and there are two trophies! The Irish and the Leahy Trophy. It's an undeniable curiosity. The Game's already on and it's too late to quit. 4th reason: Money. People will always pay to see this game--even the cheap BC alums who, even with viagra, still clearly don't get BC football. 5th: The two largest Catholic universities in the world (BC now being the largest, ND being the rural college and BC the urban university) each have a long national collegiate football tradition, and share the Frank Leahy thing. The Pope Bowl must be played, like a moveable feast, and annually would be best. Ask the Holy Father, he'll agree. 6th: Mutual Dislike, jealousy, bordering on hatred(Sure, they hate us now--what better reason for a rivalry?) And why? Because our Flutie trumps their Gipper, Rockne and Hornung and I'll raise you their Bettis, and still win. We've been better at this game than they have for years and it's a family thing, a sibling rivalry--and don't let ND kid you--we're the younger brother who's ben to war, and they're Fredo who can't leave the farm. 7th :Vengeance-- We've beaten them 6 straight and 7 of 9. 8th: Envy: Now we've got the Matt Ryan legacy as well, and 20 plus guys in the NFL who may not do calculus but they're pros in the Bigs. What's ND got? Brady Quinn...and vague memories of Rocket Ishmail, and Lou Holtz weekly spazzing out and near death when they lose.) 9th: Prestige: After the Catholic connection, there's our ACC position--beating us counts for something and they need quality chances at wins outside the Big Ten. We're champs and they're not. We're not going away EVER.10th: Network Pressure: NBC thinks the BC/ND game is a good thing --or so I've read--and don't want it to go away, either. ND's NBC numbers haven't been that great for other games outside of USC, and ours has some resonance. In what rivalry in the last 25 years has BC made it to the cover of SI for beating any other ranked team in college football? 11th & 12th: Smart Vision--After all the oldsters are gone, we'll be in the future, peopled by millions who don't know Gipper from Flipper. BC will become the more prestigious university by virtue of it's modern achievements, slick urban appeal with a touch of ivy, dominance in all sports, highly touted academics and diversity, as well as its urban position in a major metro Boston market with no other college competitor. Forget about Rutgers and UConn--Nobody knows who they are west of the Mississippi, trust me. We need to play Stanford and USC regularly, schedule a Colorado or a Texas every few years, and go on becoming the great nationally acclaimed university we are. The Future Is Ours. (Who wants to live in South Bend?)
GO EAGLES! GO BC! CRUSH THE IRISH!
(Sorry for the long post but I'm an old Eagle 3000 miles away from BC, and think ATL is right on most of the time--even if he is just a kid.)

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Franz said...

Few Topics.

UConn - I'm sorry, but not wanting to play the Huskies because a fear that too many Connecticut fans will show up is the same family as being a coward. Like the Georgia - Georgia Tech Game, there is nothing wrong with a game being about clean, old-fashioned hate. In fact, hate makes for some awesome football games. And that is what we have with Yukon. Hate.

Generating Fan Greater Interest: How do we generate Subway (School of Greenline?) Alumni? We have to get games that generate enough interest that we get the people of New England to take a partisan voting interest in us. What other games besides ND could create non-alumn fans willing to go to the games? We have plenty of low intensity fans (see our High TV rating), but we need a way to turn them from people who say they like BC to identifying themselves as Eagles (and go to bowl games) even though they did not attend BC. You know, how most SEC / Big 12 fan bases work. I don't think it is going to be about marketing, it has to be about the product on the field.

Tailgating: Build the bridge across comm ave.; Open up the Brighton Campus to tailgating. ASAP.

I-AA - If we are going to continue to play FCS schools every year, we should seriously figure out what Fordham is doing with their football program. They have decided to give out Scholies so they can play FBS opponents. By doing so, Fordham is effectively leaving the Patriot League. (They will play their Patriot League Schedule, but results will not count in the standings and results) I can not think of a reason to leave the Patriot League unless they are seriously considering making a run at returning to Big Time football. A Fordham-BC football game, two Jesuit Schools, another Boston - New York sports rivalry, would be good. Let's play Fordham.

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Mark said...

The post is good, but leaves out the fundamental problem of ND scheduling BC.

Under Kevin White Notre Dame created a 7-4-1 scheduling philosophy. That is, 7 home games, 4 road games, and 1 neutral site game. Jack Swarbrick replaced White last year but is committed to the scheduling model. Notre Dame fans hate it, but they don't care, it's about dollars and cents. As Master P said: "If it don't make dollars, then it don't make sense."

Because of this, ND can no longer pick up an opponent that will not accept playing the Irish in ND stadium with no return date. BC is not willing to agree to this, nor should they. This is why the mid majors have started showing up on the Irish radar. In a year in which BC is home, ND also has MSU, USC, and Navy at home with Michigan, Stanford, Purdue and Pittsburgh on the road.

There are your home and home teams for the rest of the 7-4-1 schedule. So BC can be a home team with no return date (a la this year) or a neutral site game (ND is playing Washington State in San Antonio for completely transparent reasons.)

Next year ND is playng Utah, BYU and Tulsa back to back to back. Why? Because those teams will not demand a home and home series. As a Notre Dame fan I find this ridiculous. However, this is the REAL reason ND and BC will not meet again.

As a previous poster explained, ND does rotate some series' such as Michigan State and Stanford, but those will be replaced by Big East teams. Notre Dame does not want to go to Boston, when it can go to Tampa, get an easier game against USF and recruit Florida kids.

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Darius said...

The truth of your post is evidenced by the lengthy discussion it has spawned. There is a lot of value in playing Notre Dame, more than there would be in playing a no-name. It's the best of both worlds, really--a big-name opponent AND a guaranteed win! : )

Know what I got out of that Wegman article on scheduling? Oklahoma's looking for a game. Let's get on that already.

Dropping ND to add the likes of Oklahoma would be wonderful. Dropping ND to add another MAC-type team would be reprehensible. Dropping ND to play a combination of those two options would be inferior to keeping ND. I like the 1-1-1 solution. I'd like to see 1-1-1-OFF every four years. It gives every class of kids at each school a chance to go to the other at some point their four years. It keeps the rivalry active, but gives a bit of a break to help prevent it from getting as stale as it now seems. And it opens up at least some scheduling flexibility for each school.

Next: The gameday experience at BC is awful. It's already been well-described ad nauseum, so I won't rehash the specific aspects. But I'll add my own perspective: I live in the rural midwest, pretty far from anywhere of note, so whenever I want to see a BC game, I have to do some travel planning. If not for all the friends back in Boston that I'd still like to see occasionally, I wouldn't bother with home games at all anymore. Because that's what they are: games. I go to Boston College to see a game. I go to Notre Dame, or an ACC school, or another away matchup to have a good time, the full experience. Tailgating, enjoying the whole day. BC games were a far better experience 20 years ago, and not just because I was 20 years younger. If the GameDay experience CAN change at BC, it needs to. Because when your school's fans would rather go to their opponents' stadiums than your own, that's saying something.

Richard--2 hours for 8 miles? How about a bike? Cut that time in half or better. I'm only half-joking.

mod--Clausen has done poorly against BC, but so had Tyrod Taylor until a few weeks ago. ND has plenty of weaknesses, but Clausen is not one of them. Their "defense" is a big, BIG liability, though you'd never know it by reading their message boards. (They think it is ""almost as good as VTs") Given this, BC should hang with or beat ND regardless of what Clausen does. But... getting some pressure on him wouldn't exactly be the worst idea in history. The lack of a pass rush all year is a significant problem, and I hope it is being fixed this week.

Michael and Eagleboston: we don't need UConn. Ever. That's a game with all the upside of the annual "good for New England" game and a whole lot more downside, like having to deal with obnoxious fanbase and the school's demand of a return trip to their crappy "home" field so our fans can have bottles and cans hurled at them in the parking lots. Plus, they sued us, remember? Why reward that with a pact that gives their program far more than it does ours.

matthew--turnovers ARE way down. Going back to an earlier point, I attribute this to the lack of pressure on the quarterback. Pressure generates mistakes. BC simply has GOT to get some push on the line and get someone into the backfield to force ND into sloppy passing or ball-securing.

John--good point about the divided families. I know a few myself, and this game is a very, very big deal to each of them.

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger customerservice said...

I am going to the BC/ND game this weekend (have also been to every BC home game this year and have season tix). I can’t get people to go with me for most games (must be my pleasant disposition and sparkling personality) and have had to dump my extra tix for $10-$20 on average (face is $45). On more than one occasion this year someone saw me selling tix and actually gave me their extra tix to sell b/c they didn’t want to be bothered.

I love tailgating and this will be the first game at which I have really had the opportunity to tailgate at this year (sorry, fan fest does NOT count) - I think that says it all. Used to have a group of 10+ people who wanted to tailgate and go to games until 2006 but they got sick of the hassle and mean spirited attitude of the BCPD so now it’s usually just me and my imaginary friend who I lovingly refer to as “snuffy” (aka snuffaluffagus).

Please, please, please - we need to do something about the tailgating situation. I hate to say it but that's what makes the college football experience so great for folks that are not die hard fans. No tailgating means no casual fans.

Maybe we can put a letter together and get alumni to sign it to put the pressure on Gene (I know the Newton/Brighton folks make it difficult but it's time for some push back to the extent possible).

I can just picture it now, I am walking around campus before a game asking people to sign the letter and it then being confiscated by the BCPD (and when I ask why it is being confiscated, much like the street sign they confiscated from my dorm back in the day, they will simply respond with the proverbial “because we said so” and give me a look like I just committed a major felony for daring to question them).

Or maybe I'll just run for Mayor of Newton now that Mayor David Cohen is finally giving up his crown… ahhhhh!

BC 38 ND 27

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger BCDoubleEagle said...

We are not the only ones with tailgating issues:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=reilly_rick&id=4577871&sportCat=nfl

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger CT said...

No to a UConn game. It helps their program by playing a big-time program and does nothing for us...what, cost us that great recruit from Hartford? Let recruits continue to think we're the best program in the northeast and give them no reason to change their minds. Perception is everything. Even when it's true.

Best post/responses in awhile.

Would like to see the ND game continued, but there is now an opportunity to get creative. ND is fiercely independent to preserve its historical rivalries, which, as they stand, give them a geographic reach in recruiting. I mean, South Bend sucks. Indiana is flat and plays bball.

Good contributions from the ND fans.

It was said that northeasterners are provincial, so we should schedule UConn, Syracuse, or Rutgers. My mind thinks...all the more reason to open up and go outside the region for another big boy program. That, to me, is precisely the point in the switch to the ACC. If we wanted provincial, what's more provincial than the Big East (at least in football)?

I disagree with the idea that having ND on our schedule hurts us. Yes we win all the time recently. There's no better way to disabuse them of the notion that arrogance comes with a shamrock. And, really, what are they uppity about? Having a special BCS rule and getting spanked by someone they have no business playing? Beating Hawaii? Their bball or hockey programs--neither of which have proven as successful as BC's of late?

The ACC rivalries will develop, but they take time. History. Compelling events. Four years in does not history make. Thank you, Yoda.

Two last points: ND is special. No matter what we say to disparage them and their porous defense, Rick Mirer, Ron Powlus, the corn fields and ghettos of South Bend, their arrogance, their ND'ness...ND has its name. Nothing wrong with circling the date, b/c their are very few programs with that kind of resonance...and thus all the hate. They've earned it historically, if not recently. And earning it means they get to keep it when times are tough.

Speaking of which, somebody said "rivalry hate" is okay. I completely agree. Hate is an important part of sports. I know we're not supposed to use the word, but I hate phonies like ARod and Brett Favre, Kobe, the NY Mets, SEC fans, and communism, to name just a few. Hate makes me feel better and gives me a rooting interest. But discretion being the better part of valor, I say you stand behind principle by not scheduling UConn and, as good Catholics, turn the other cheek. Let UConn hate us. If, by extension, we can serve as that object of scorn, our reward comes in heaven. Where we won't see many of them.

 
At 4:23 AM, Blogger Coast said...

mmason- I admire your optimism, but I think you exaggerate quite a few things in BC's favor, but I'm sure you're having fun with it, so what the hey.

I also think it's funny that Notre Dame's relationship toward/ treatment of Boston College is exactly the same as Boston College's relationship toward/ treatment of UConn, but there is a lot of blindness toward that.

The only difference is fewer games and no Catholicism.

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

Please remember that the Big East Conference - Notre Dame's home for all sports except football - does not want the Irish playing BC. The Irish only make concessions when there is no cost to them (small stadium in Boston is a negative) and the Irish basketball program needs the Big East much more than the conference needs them. It is also convenient for Notre Dame to skip the Eagles as BC has beaten Notre Dame recently. I'm pretty sure BC does not regret moving to the ACC even with the negative of losing ND as an oppenent.

 
At 6:56 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but the Catholic rivalry aspect of the BC-Notre Dame rivalry is not a compelling reason to continue the series. When DeFilipo decided to move BC to the ACC for all the reasons he has sold to the BC community, he turned his back on not just Notre Dame but also Georgetown, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall, and Villanova, all solid Catholic universities. BC is the only Catholic institution in the ACC.

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Let me note something very obvious that has not been mentioned.

The Catholic powers that be -- the priests that run BC and ND, as well as interested bishops etc. -- probably have a large impact in deciding if the games continue or not. I am sure GDF takes his marching orders from on high and not the other way around when it comes to BC v ND.

This is not Georgia v Georgia Tech, or Texas v Oklahoma or some other secular combination.

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger Darius said...

Coast--can you explain that parallel? Because I can't see ANY similarities between ND-->BC and BC-->UConn. Seriously, not one. The only things BC has in common with UConn are: (1) they are within 100 miles of each other, so that fit within the same general "New England" category, even though they're even not in the same state; (2) they were in the same basketball conference for about 25 years and the same football conference for 1 year. They're very different types of school and have no shared tradition or historical relationship as institutions. Seriously, I don't see it. Enlighten me, man.

Is it that BC thinks they're better than UConn at football? That might have been a similarity, except that what defines the BC-ND attitude/friction is ND's hollow arrogance in the face of continued BC dominance, whereas UConn has never--not once--beaten BC at football, possibly because UConn has only been playing in the same NCAA classification for a few years. Again, clue me in on what bonds BC and UConn the way that ND and BC are tied.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger Coast said...

Okay, Darius. I'm talking about the arrogance with which one university handles another university.

I'm talking about the cocky, uppity university "A" who does not consider university "B" a rival, who in the face of potentially losing face and traditional position in the rivalry will not play "B."

School "A" believes school "B" is a fine school, but not really the same animal. School "A" says "B" is the backup school.

I'm talking about school "A's" fans who think scheduling "B" will somehow elevate school "B," that it helps school "B" and not school "A." That school "A" has different recruiting targets and profiles than school "B," so what's to gain from playing "B?"

I'm talking about school "A" traditionally having more clout in certain areas than school "B," but school "B" is on the rise, and in order to avoid playing them, well, we'll just nip that in the bud and still roll on our name value.

You can see all of those BC-UC perspectives in the above 49 comments.

UConn is not as crappy a program as it used to be. BC owned UConn. I think the results would be much, much closer, if not reversed, now. I don't think BC wants to lose their New England clout if UConn consistently proved to be a better football program.

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger CT said...

Coast, legitimate points, except you lose me when you say, "I think the results would be much, much closer, if not reversed, now. I don't think BC wants to lose their New England clout if UConn consistently proved to be a better football program."

Just chalk it up to a difference in opinion but there is little evidence that UConn would reverse anything. UConn is 4-15 vs. ACC opponents or future ACC members (BC, VTech) since 2000.

Plus you have the animosity of UConn bball after the conference switch (boo hoo), and, quite frankly, the lack of class shown to BC fans by UConn supporters.

It'd be another story if UConn had beaten us 6 straight times and 7 out of 9 (to make the BC-ND comparison) and we still kept this attitude. They didn't. They won't. Bad analogy.

Win the Big East and play us in the Orange Bowl (one day).

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Coast said...

UConn didn't take 7 of 9 and 6 straight for a good reason-- because BC will not play them. Consider this to be the ND-BC situation if ND had nipped BC in the bud a few years ago.

Let's look at that UConn record against the ACC. From 2000-2008, you are correct in saying UConn is 4-15 against teams currently in the ACC. However, we can break that down further.

UConn has only played UM, VT, and BC while the three were members of the Big East. UC is 0-2 against UM, 0-1 against VT, and 0-4 against BC. Together, they are 0-7 against that BE/ACC trio. Against the "original" nine-member ACC, UC is 4-8.

---

From 2000-2004, BC was in the Big East and UC was independent, joining the BE in 2004.

During this period:

BC vs ACC9: 0-2
UC vs ACC9: 2-3

BC vs UM, VT: 1-7
UC vs UM, VT: 0-3

BC vs UC: BC leads, 4-0.

---

From 2005-2008, BC was a member of the ACC and UC was a member of the BE.

During this period:

BC vs ACC9: 17-9
UC vs ACC9: 2-5

BC vs UM, VT: 4-4
UC vs UM, VT: ---

------

During that same 2005-2008 period, we can look at common ACC opponents between the two schools.

2005: none
2006: WF 21, BC 14. WF 24, UC 13.
2007: BC 38, WF 28. WF 24, UC 10.
2008: NC 45, BC 24. NC 38, UC 12.

What does this tell us? BC, on paper from 2005-2008, was better than UC. BC, more often than not, should beat UC. However, you don't know it for sure until you play the game. I do not think BC wants to chance their status as top program in New England, real or perceived, with a series against UConn in the future. Until the games are played, perception is reality.

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger CT said...

I actually don't disagree with you, Coast. It goes to my original point, BC has little to gain from playing UConn, and perception may drive a large part of that equation. You certainly searched long and hard for validation in those stats. Fair enough. The most vital stat in my opinion: BC vs. ACC9 vs. UConn vs ACC9. 17-9 vs. 2-5. Transitive results in football are common to cite but rarely make a difference and hardly ever make intuitive sense. Larger bodies of evidence are more persuasive, no?

Look, we don't know, but we can draw reasonable conclusions. BC has proven to have a better program than ND over the last decade, for example. That's a fact. I'd argue that BC plays a tougher schedule.

One can't disprove a negative. I can't refute "we don't know unless we play it out," unless we schedule UConn. BC hasn't played USC, but what if we beat them (by chance)? Probably wouldn't, but we don't know.

UConn has made strides. I agree, and I think I said as much earlier, that BC likes that perception of being better, and can't go anywhere but down in that regard. We've earned it by beating UConn every time we've played them. The rest is irrelevant.

No offense, but I'd much rather play a big boy program and lose than play UConn and win. BC should be about expanding its brand name west of the Mississippi, not augmenting it in the northeast. It's a national university in the students it attracts (does BC need more CT applicants? I think not), it should be so in the football programs we play. Again, if ND can still do it, and we've proven to be at that level and above, why not us?

 

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