Thursday, December 13, 2007

What to do with the open date in 2008

Gene held another chat yesterday. Most people seemed caught up in the bowl/travel issue. What caught my attention was the confirmation that Army asked out of our game next year. The Black Knights change of heart gives BC an interesting opportunity. Does BC use the open date to take on a big fish? Or does Gene find a lesser opponent to help our young team pad its resume? Here are the two sides...

Marquee Game
A few notable teams like Alabama and Louisville are also looking to fill holes in their schedule. Taking on a high-profile program has clear advantages. TV coverage is assured. You can sell it to recruits -- "We play in the ACC and take on anybody. This year we're playing Alabama." A win generates buzz and changes perceptions. Losses still count, but there is a modicum of respect by just taking on a tough team. If BC were to sign on for a well known program, we would probably play them on the road and get a future return game at Alumni. Why not do it? Because the risks aren't necessarily inline with the rewards. A loss wouldn't count in the ACC standings, but it would impact our potential ranking and our bowl eligibility. As Ohio State and Kansas showed this year, sometimes winning generates more buzz than playing a challenging schedule.

Cupcake Game
MAC teams, Sun Belt teams and some WAC teams would gladly play BC...especially if we come to them. The downside of these games is that the payday is smaller, the wins are not respected and you open the door for an embarrassing loss. Think of Central Michigan in 2006 (who proved to be good) or Ball State in 2004. Both teams gave us real scares. Kent State will probably give as all we can handle next season. When BC pulls those games out all we get is a W. We don't generate any buzz. If we lose, we get laughed at and it makes our bandwagon a lonely place.

What would I do?
I would find a winnable game. As I wrote earlier in the week -- and it wasn't a popular thing to post -- I think next year will be a challenge. Our defense will be good. I think our offense will struggle. Our line will be filling two open spots and the production from our QB is completely unknown.

What do I think will happen?
Based on his willingness to play USC and the comments I've heard through the grapevine, I think Jags would sign up for a game with Alabama in a heartbeat. I think Gene might be a different story. He is almost as invested in Jags succeeding as Jags is. Giving BC an easier game during a transition year continues the program's momentum and helps us get back into a bowl. I know Gene would also love to get another home game. My bet is we'll play another MAC team. We'll probably win and very few non-BC fans will even pay attention.

Although our opinions won't decide this game, I would love to hear what you guys think. Leave your thoughts in the comments.


BCDoubleEagle said...

Schedule Alabama or other big name quality opponent. (1) Our OOC games have no bearing on our bowl situation, because we are doomed to lousy bowls unless we win the ACC. (2) Since ND is a joke, we have no marquee OOC opponent next year. (3) This will be our only chance to play a good OOC opponent, since it won't happen in a bowl game unless we win the ACC. (4) I'm sick of Directional Michigan / The U.S. _____ Academy / New England Conservatory of Music all-stars / and all the other pathetic teams we've been playing.

LAEagle said...


p.s. atl - you left out vtech, who would be playing for the nc had they not scheduled lsu...

Joe Bags said...

I agree with bcdoubleeagle, specifically because of point #3. If, as you're predicting, BC will struggle to get bowl eligible next year, then that means if they do make a bowl it will be in Boise or San Fran, which gives us roughly a 75% chance of seeing BC play another mid-major in the bowl game (since the Pac-10 only seems to have a team eligible for San Fran 50% of the time).

As a fan, I'd rather have a big game against a football factory with a great game day atmosphere that BC will probably lose instead of going 7-5 and making it to another crappy no-win situation bowl game against WAC State University. Maybe Gene, the coaches and players don't look at it the same way, but I don't care about the bowl streak anymore.

Unknown said...

I'm with Jags - I'd play USC if BC could. I like to see challenging games against big name schools.

BBBC08 said...

About the prediction for next year. 7-5 doesn't sound unreasonable, but could you break down possible wins/losses anytime soon? Or is it way to early?

Thanks for all the great work, keep it up.

Eagle in Brighton said...


I'm all about keeping the record respectable, but bowls are essentially irrelevant unless we are in the thick of ACC Championship contention.

Even with a possible rebuilding year on the horizon, I'd love to see Alabama on the sched: I think the play anyone, anywhere mentality would be abreath of fresh air for the program, and really seems to jive with Coach Jag's personality and coaching style (ie USC...which is an awesome move, I might add).

Alabama has TV appeal, recruit appeal, fan appeal...Flip has to make that happen if it's available.

ToTheHeights said...

Bring on a big time program. I'd love to travel to Tennessee to see BC play on the checkerboard or Bama to see BC play the tide. The heck with being bowl eligible. Let the Big Ten play soft schedules.

X said...

CNNSI On Campus takes a shot

05Eagle said...

You don't build a football program by adding another Directional-State to the schedule. If BC wants to continue to build the program and generate more fan support they have to take advantage of opportunities like this and add a game against a quality opponent from a quality conference. I second all the thoughts about attending a BC game in SEC country. It would be great for the team and the fans to experience that kind of atmosphere.

eaglephile said...

Ultimately the experience of playing on a national stage against a traditionally strong OOC team in a hostile environment can only help a team in the big picture.

I say that the more competitive the teams we play OOC can only make us that much more prepared for our ACC play.

Even if we lose OOC, our main objective is getting to Jacksonville (or Tampa, or Charlotte, or wherever the ACC decides to host the championship game).

If we play tough competition such as Bama or Louisville we will be more prepared for our conference play, which is all that ultimately matters.

BCDoubleEagle said...

One more comment in favor of a marquee opponent. There's a very good chance BC would WIN (see Notre Dame 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007; Penn State 2003, 2004; Georgia 2001; BYU 2005, 2006; etc.). It's not like it's a guaranteed loss.

Darius said...

I've long been a critic of Gene's chicken-poop scheduling. Sometimes he's lucked into legitimacy, like with BYU last year, but he is so insistent on bowl-eligibility and home games that it hurts the ability of the program to take the "next step" as perceived by the nation's college football fans. I agree with those who say a big name opponent helps our image. I agree with those that say "who cares about the difference between 5-7 or 6-6, or between 7-5 and 8-4, because I agree with the sentiment that we're not going to a good bowl without a breakthrough year anyway. I agree with those that say we can beat the majority of marquee opponents. As for the notion that losing to a big name opponent could cost us a big bowl or a title shot, I maintain that my previous statement holds DOUBLY true then: if we're that good to be in contention for a title shot, then we ought to be able to win a big OOC game like this. I have little pity for VT--they have no one but themselves to blame for laying such an egg in the LSU game; moreover, as it played out, losing their very winnable game against BC in Blacksburg is what ultimately kept them out of the title game. About Louisville: where's the harm in scheduling them? I know it's Big East, and we're supposed to be punishing the Big East by ignoring them, but they WEREN'T Big East--they really had *nothing* to do with that terrible falling-out between BC and the BE. Furthermore, you want to talk about teams that'll be struggling next year? Their 2008 will be worse than their 2007, especially without an experienced, talented quarterback to keep them in games their defense is blowing. Talk about a winnable game... it's the best of both worlds: looks legit; isn't.

Big Jack Krack said...

I agree about playing an SEC Team - Alabama, Tennessee, etc. I think that would be great.

I would not like us to play any Big East Team (Louisville) unless it made sense from a potential rivalry standpoint. Rivalries can be based on proximity.

Syracuse (hopefully they will get that program back on track) or as much as I hate to say it, UCONN or Rutgers.

I found it interesting a few years ago when a very tough BYU came to Chestnut Hill, and many fans didn't get pumped up about it and just figured it to be another (boring) win.

We need OOC games that get the juices flowing. Alabama and Tennessee type teams fill that bill. Can you imagine the trash talk if we scheduled UCONN? I don't think Gene will do it, but who knows.

I'm sick of the MAC Teams, etc - no disrespect. Season ticket holders find it easy to skip games at home like that.

Big Jack Krack said...

I have also realized over the past 3 years since we joined the ACC with a Championship Game, I get much more excited about regular season games.

Getting to the Orange Bowl or earning another BCS Bowl would be fantastic. Otherwise, these lesser bowls are like exhibitions - nice to win.

Good marquee OOC games would be great.

While ND is dumming down their schedule, we can beef ours up.

Brian said...

bcdoubleeagle - I agree with you. Small point of clarification though. UGA in 2001 was the bowl game, not a scheduled OOC game.

ToTheHeights said...

Big Jack, I am completely against EVER playing UConn or The State University of New Jersey. The fans of these teams (for the most part) are classless an unappreciative of college football (See Rutgers v Navy this year or BC vs UConn in 03).

I do not want to subject our fans to their abuse and I would never be excited to play these two programs, regardless of how hyped they may be.

I much rather play against any other BCS conference. Even playing WVU wouldn't excite me.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Anyone but the Big East (except for Syracuse; that's a fine matchup in my mind if they can turn their team around).

I'd be disgusted if we ever schedule a team like UConn.

Brian said...

Bring on Syracuse. This is one of our oldest football rivalries and it will be great to see the rivalry renewed. And they weren't exactly against us moving to the ACC, considering they were in discussions to move as well.

Also, agree with Big Jack Krack. Let's strengthen our OOC schedule while ND's schedule softens. Have you seen their schedule for 2008? They are playing all the JV teams and BCS conference bottom feeders from 2007 (all CAPS teams for emphasis).

Michigan, @ Michigan State, Purdue, STANFORD, UNC, SYRACUSE, SAN DIEGO STATE, Navy, PITTSBURGH, us, So Cal

Really guys? Taking a queue from Kansas and Ohio State's scheduling playbook, eh?

dixieagle said...

I would love to see us play Alabama (I'm down here in Mobile.) The game day atmosphere in Tuscaloosa is mind-blowing, and I would not at all presume that BC would lose. 'Bama fans here actually respect BC; there was some conjecture here earlier in the year about a BC-'Bama matchup and it was said that in order to attract an opponent of "that caliber" (us!) it would have to be a home and away. This would be fun and exciting and really take things to an different level, even if Alabama is in a bit of a funk at the moment. To he** with the Big Least - don't want anything to do with them.

Big Jack Krack said...

totheheights and eagleinbrighton:

You are both right and I agree with you and Brian. Syracuse makes sense - no other Big East teams.

I was thinking more about "rivalry and proximity" rather than on the actual opponent.

UCONN and Rutgers do not fit the bill. I must have been ill.

I think we're picking back up with Syracuse in 3 or 4 years - maybe we could do it sooner.

Otherwise, let's get 'Bama or Tennessee.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Win or lose; the SEC is where BC should be at in terms of scheduling and exposure.

tweigman said...

I am in absolute agreement with the preponderance of those expressing their opinions here. Play someone real -- like Alabama -- or some other BCS member. Adding another MAC game would be a joke.