It can't be labeled as a "rivalry''' game because Boston College and Missouri are meeting for the first time in football when they clash at Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

And the return meeting for BC is not scheduled to be played until 9./14/24, so the chances of any sparks igniting will be minimal.

But we live in a social media dominated world, which is why the mid-week remarks of Eli Drinkwitz about facing the Eagles' for the first time ever created a swirl of activity in the twitter world.

So much so that, Drinkwitz called BC coach Jeff Hafley afterwards to put the remarks in their proper context.

What started the process was Drinkwitz lamenting that the Tigers would be playing a non-conference game out of their geographical footprint.

""This is by no means  any knock on Boston College, because I hink it's a great game  and it will be a tremendous test,'' Drinkwitz said in his Tuesday press conference. "Us traveling to Boston is going to be a very difficult test. If had my pick of it, would love to play a regional match up that was more of a rivalry game that would be a little more exciting for recruits to watch from a TV perspective.  I don't know the last time Missouri signed a kid from the great state of Massachusetts.''

The schedule was put together before Drinkwitz was hired last season and the Tigers do play more regional non conference games next season against Kansas State and Middle Tennessee.

While the words did not seem all that inflammatory, it peaked Hafley's interest when he heard from the BC fan base AND also received a call from Drinkwitz on Tuesday night explaining himself.

As he has done since he arrived at the Heights two years ago, Hafley maximized his opportunity with a text book response at his press conference on Wednesday.

""If he really didn't want to come to Boston, he should have called me up (which he did after the fact) and asked me and would have gotten on a plane and flew out to Missouri to play,''said Hafley. ""I don't care where we play I don't. The football season for me is about getting our team games getting better every day and having a great time doing it with each other.''

Hafley has done that in concise fashion since he replaced Steve Addazio following the 2019 season.

He dealt with COVID issues last season and still produced a 6-5 season.

This year started with great expectations because Hafley had a core group of veterans such as QB Phil Jurkovec and a pair of above average recruiting classes to build a foundation for the future.

The schedule, which has not been strenuous thus far--Colgate, UMass and Temple--produced the expected 3-0 start, which is  

still BC's best start since 2007 when the Eagles, led by QB Matt Ryan, won their first 8 games and climbed to No. 2 in the country.

""He's had two remarkable recruiting classes,'' says former BC player Pete Cronin, who has watched the development of the program as the analyst on the Eagles' radio network. ""The key is that he has NFL guys (his staff) teaching NFL theatre school and the kids are picking up on it.

""He runs a completely diverse offense and defense and has  given a vision that they go on to the next level.''

Cronin also sees a bigger difference.

"It's in the culture,'' he said. "College football has so many ups and downs. But he (Hafley) has instilled a steadier atmosphere, which can be really hard to do,'' 

What you have is a plot with many twists, including the absence of Jurkovec, who may be out for the season with a wrist injury suffered in the Eagles win over UMass two weeks ago.

Back up graduate senior Dennis Grosel proved he could fill in last season as a  back  up for Jurkovec and now is being asked to play a bigger role.

Add the midweek stir prompted by Drinkwitz' comments and you have a intriguing story line.?

"It's like a murder mystery novel,'' said Cronin, "you don't know how it's going to end.''