Thursday, January 29, 2015

Football releases 2015 schedule

The ACC and BC finally released their 2015 schedule. The only real news on BC's front is that New Mexico State is officially out and replaced by...Howard. This is not a good schedule. It doesn't line up well. It doesn't help sell tickets. The only thing it does well is set BC up for a true transition. We are breaking in a new, young QB and a new play caller. The team will be fairly young. This soft schedule enables them to bottom out, yet still keep up momentum and still continue winning.

September 5 -- Maine
September 12 -- Howard
September 18 -- Florida State
September 26 -- Northern Illinois
October 3 -- at Duke
October 10 -- Wake Forest
October 17 -- at Clemson
October 24 -- at Louisville
October 31 -- Virginia Tech
November 7 -- NC State
November 21 -- Notre Dame at Fenway Park
November 28 -- at Syracuse

Home Sweet Home
BC will play seven home games and a game at Fenway. That leaves only four true road games. And the first road test doesn't even come until October. BC wasn't great at home this past year, but that doesn't mean playing at Alumni is not always preferred. As the roster matures, the home-road will be less of an issue, but for now it is a good thing.

Brad Bates is going to take heat for scheduling this game, but it is not all his fault. Addazio wanted a light schedule too. When New Mexico State bailed on their return game, that left BC scrambling. We didn't want to buy an expensive home game. We didn't want to travel. We didn't want to face a traditional power. So after not being able to find a lower-level FBS school, we were forced to look to FCS again. With some of our other FCS games, you can spin the matchup as a regional rivalry or traditional opponent. This isn't. Howard won't sell any tickets and won't bring any juice. This is a glorified scrimmage. But if that is what Addazio thinks we need to build the program, let him do his thing. Playing two FCSs also makes bowl eligibility that much more difficult. We now have to win seven regular season games.

Scary October
On the surface, the toughest stretch is at Clemson, at Louisville and then playing VT at home on Halloween. BC needs to get win one of those. A three-game losing streak going into the final month could be a huge momentum killer.

FSU Friday
I think BC fans have accepted the idea of an annual Friday game. However, hosting the most exciting opponent on a Friday upset some ticket holders. There is not much BC can do on this front. Per contract BC hosts a Friday game every year. Also per contract, every ACC team has to play a certain number of Friday games over the life of our ESPN TV deal. It was just a matter of time before the 'Noles were slotted for one of our Friday games. Ideally the Friday game would always be Labor Day Weekend or the Friday after Thanksgiving. That will happen soon, but for now this is just part of the new reality of college football.


Matt said...

BC has no business scheduling more than 5 home games. There is simply no demand for mediocre college football in Boston, and it is embarrassing to have a half-empty stadium against Maine, Howard, and NIU. The necessity of ONE of those games is debatable. Three is absurd.

Moreover, why BC would schedule FSU on a Friday night is beyond me. Think getting to Chestnut Hill on a Friday afternoon is easy? Look for another half-empty stadium (and tailgate lots) even though we're playing one of the best teams in the country.

We should be playing 7 road games, scheduling OOC games against schools in Texas and the West Coast. Demanding a home-and-home is absurd...why would ANY school want to play in Boston? We should be marketing to recruits in those states, with the promise that we will be playing in their backyard once a season so their families can come to the games.

Unless there is some big recruiting hotbed in Northern Illinois that I am unaware of, on some surge in demand for small-school football in Boston, this schedule simply BC hubris...and an unwillingness to recognize that we have very little to offer.

mod34b said...

Howard #$#%!&#@! . . . good lord.


Last year Howard played Rutgers, and gained 427 yards against RU.

RU hung on to beat Howard 38-25

So I would think twice about this comment: "Howard won't sell any tickets and won't bring any juice. This is a glorified scrimmage."

Yes, this game is as uninteresting as could be, but not a gimmee.

JBQ said...

There are flaws in the schedule but that appears to be what Addazio wanted. He wants to build the program by playing "cupcakes". Northern Illinois may have a little more icing than BC wants. I agree that Florida State on a Friday night is a disaster for fan support. Access to the Heights in daylight is troublesome. I presume that the game will be a good payday. Very easily, BC cold be shut out of a bowl because of needing 7 wins. Actually, "it all depends on what the meaning of 'is' is". Will leftie Wade develop quickly? Will Robinson do well in the Spring? Will Flutie get frustrated just "holding for extra points"?

Tim said...

Yes. BC should adopt a sort of barnstorming mentality. After all, our most significant wins always seem to come on the road anyway (Miami '84, ND '93 and '02, VT '03 and '07, WVU '04, Clemson '07, etc.).

Hoib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoib said...

I said it in the leadup to the Pinstripe, and I'll repeat it. I think we should play SU in NYC every year.

CT said...

The schedule is silly, what with the Howard game and ten weeks without a bye?

I just read all the comments on BCI. Wow. Arrogant would be too kind to those guys.

They have no idea. First. FSU was told by the ACC that they had to play on a Friday night. They don't want a home game on Friday in Florida. Hello high school football. People in Mass don't care about HS football, at least not like they do in the south. Fisher doesn't want to ruin his ties to the best schools in FLA by playing on a Friday night in front of a sellout crowd.

BC screwed the pooch on this one. I don't even care about bowl eligibility. They're paying Howard to come in and get beat and it does nothing for them. This is not an SEC school playing two cupcakes, because SEC teams don't need to enlarge their footprint. Schools like ALA and LSU play one good P5 team to open in areas that affirm their dominance, not enhance it. Everybody in GA knows about Saban. He doesn't need to play the kickoff classic.

We just got done asking, "Colorado State who?" Then we got beat at home. I kinda thought that moving to the ACC was not ONLY about money but also about familiarizing the brand south of NJ.

It appears I was wrong.

Next year could very well be a nine or ten win year and feel no more validating than a Pinstripe loss to a mediocre Big Ten team. What exactly is the point?

EL MIZ said...

doesn't Umass count as a D1 game? why not just schedule them? this Howard matchup really has me scratching my head. why was New Mexico State allowed to wiggle out of this game?

Bates needs to do a better job of setting up an improved schedule. why not a game against Army?

eagleboston said...

I predict 6-6.

Tim said...

Why not just leave Sept. 12 open so you have extra time to prepare for FSU? Instead we play Howard, then we have only a short week to prepare for one of the biggest games of the year. Are we contractually required to play 12 games, or could we have left Sept. 12 open and only played 11 games?

SaturdaysOnShea said...

I have to wonder if the reaction to the Howard game would be this visceral if we were playing a team like Holy Cross, Fordham, or Georgetown. A game the whalepants could happily hang their hat on.

My gut tells me it wouldn't and a game like that would be "good for Jesuit schools."

Its unfortunate we have to play Howard and I think Bates really missed on this one. Any argument outside what this game means for eligbility, is irrelevant. It sucks but we will only continue talking about it if we finish 6-6 next year. 7-5 or better and it will be a footnote.

Firday night FSU is terrible but I imagine Bates had nothing to do with it and it was dictated by the ACC. Although played up here, where most high school football is played on Saturday, I am sure FSU is not happy about losing viewers and having recruits miss watching their game even on TV.

We have to get away from thinking that getting a game scheduled is as simple as picking up the phone to the AD at Army, UMass, Alabama or Mizzou and saying "Wanna play on this date?" I am sure Bates tried to schedule a lot of other schools before he had to settle for Howard and if he didn't that's a major issue.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Scheduling Howard will make BC a laughingstock in Boston. Very bad marketing of the program locally. No excuses for the AD.

There is no shame in playing Northern Illinois. They are a legit and very tough program. Unless they are having an off year, it will be competitive.

Good for New England games against the likes of Maine are stupid. Only UConn and UMass pass the straight face test.

Getting 6 wins on the backs of cupcakes is no accomplishment. The fact that others do it is irrelevant. Play a real scrimmage if you need the practice. I don't want to pay to see a scrimmage.

Hoib said...

ACC should play 9 league games, like 3 of the other 4 bid 5 leagues, and therefore reduce the need for these awful games. You'd hate to see one of our top guys get hurt in a meaningless game like Howard.

mod34b said...

S-o-S - doesn't BC have a common heritage with other Jesuit schools and many common bonds? What relationship does BC have with Howard?

Matt said...

If the Howard game were to be played in DC instead of Chestnut Hill, I think the attendance would be the same.

SaturdaysOnShea said...

Mod- Thank you for making my point. Playing a Fordham or Gtown would leave us in exactly the same position as playing Howard. We would still need to win 7 games to reach bowl eligibility. But clearly the out cry would be far less.

Lenny Sienko said...

Can somebody check to see if BC has ever played a football game against an Historically Black College ("HBC") in the past?

I don't think it will hurt recruiting to get our school before a completely new audience.

We should do our best to welcome Howard and its alumni and friends.

I would like to see more BC presence in the DC/DelMarVa area.

I don't see the problem.

mod34b said...

SoS -- I did not understand your point the first time or the secomd time.

What exactly are you trying to say?

SaturdaysOnShea said...

Mod- People seem to be having a visceral reaction to Howard being scheduled. The arguments against Howard are wide ranging, but the only relevant argument against playing Howard is that it means we have to win 7 games and not 6 for bowl eligibility.

I am suggesting that if we were to play a Fordham or a Georgetown, the reaction would not be as negative because, as you say, we have shared bonds, even though the result would still be that we need to win 7 games and not 6.

My ultimate point is that whether it's Howard or Fordham doesn't matter, we would still need to win 7 games, but that if it was Fordham instead of Howard, people would be more okay with it.

emnoon said...

Boston College should immediately set up a regular series with BYU. The ACC will now count it as a P5 opponent and BYU has publicly stated in the past they want to do it

bceagle93 said...

Haven't seen this mentioned yet so I will -- my biggest issue with the Howard game is that it is on 9/12, the logical home date for the "Red Bandanna" game.

After the boost we got in the stadium with USC in town, I'd be all for scheduling an ACC rival or name non-conference opponent on that date going forward.

Maybe it's just me, but it just seems like such a waste scheduling a weak opponent then.