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Sports Illustrated Ranks Boston College's Conference Realignment Value

Pat Forde broke down the "desirability" of every Power Five school in terms of the value they would bring to a new conference.
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With conference realignment dominating sports talk for the past month, the future of the ACC and specifically schools like Boston College have become a hot button item. Will the conference be able to stay afloat, and if they don't where would the Eagles find a home? A

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde decided to look at each school and rank their desirability. He did this recently releasing "Desirability Ratings" for each school. This formula measuring the conference value of each Power Five school based on five factors:

  • Football ranking: "a five-year average of the Sagarin ratings from 2017 to '21, using only the current and future Power 5 schools"
  • Academic ranking: "the most recent U.S. New & World Report's national universities rankings, released in 2021"
  • All-sports ranking: "the Learfield Directors' Cup Division I standings for the 2021-2022 academic year, which rates performance in 19 sports"
  • Football attendance: "an average of home-game attendance from 2017 to '21, tossing out '20 since that season was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic"
  • Broadcast viewership: "total number of football games that drew one million or more viewers from 2017 to '21"

Boston College is dead last in the ACC at 62. They are just behind Syracuse at 60 and Louisville at 55. Of course a lot of this is connected with BC's inability to take the next step. Since 2017, the Eagles have never won more than seven games, and have one bowl victory. Being what some consider "mired in mediocrity" has definitely led to lower television viewership and lagging attendance. 

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But football isn't the only program hurting BC's "value". The Eagles are near the bottom, finishing 66th in "all sports rankings". There are certainly multiple non-revenue programs that are bringing the school's ranking down in this regard as well. If you look at those programs, many of whom fell to dead last in the ACC, this number makes a lot of sense. 

For now, conference realignment looks like it may have slowed down for the time being. But like a shark waiting in the murky deep waters, it is waiting, and could strike again at any time. But there is still time for Boston College to make themselves more attractive in this ever changing landcape. A big football season certainly would be a boost, and if Earl Grant and Joanna McNamee can get the basketball programs humming that would help as well. 

2022-23 looks to be a very important year for all BC athletic programs.