In the grand scheme of things, it is a tiny footnote in the blueprint for the Atlantic Coast Conference college football season.

With spring football games being held across the conference this weekend, I tried to get into the mood by taking a look at Boston College's schedule next fall.

Let's start with more praise coming for second-year (and Jersey guy) Jeff Haffley's efforts at the The Heights, where he continues to energize a program which had become stagnant under seven years of Steve Addazio's leadership.

Although a 6-5 record appeared to be very similar to the 7 win ceiling Addazio's teams hit, the trending on the Eagles seemed all positive, led by a virtual COVID-free season.

The Eagles would appear to be trending in the right direction, led by Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec.  If you want a closer look, check out the Eagles' Jay McGillis spring game on the ACC network on Saturday morning.

But under the spring cover of optimism, which happens almost everywhere in college football, we noted this disquieting note about Boston College and its relationship with the ACC which began in 2005.

Sticking to men's college basketball and football, the two prime revenue producing sports, the Eagles' have been almost invisible, if not irrelevant in both sports.

For now, we will focus on football, with some  basic questions..

Where do the Eagles, who are a member of the ACC's Atlantic Division, fit?

Who are their rivals?

One of the key elements for any school is a rivalry, whether it is based on geographical data or competition.

Fans need someone to hate.  Auburn-Alabama,  Michigan-Ohio State, North Carolina-Duke, Texas-Oklahoma, Williams-Amherst.  

Go to any level.

When BC was part of the Big East, there were some natural opponents. Providence and UConn in basketball. UConn and maybe Rutgers or certainly Syracuse in football.

In football, even in the ACC and  at different levels which has BC  in an elevated spot because of its ACC affiliation, both UMass and UConn would appear to be natural bookend of the season rivals for the Eagles.

For a variety of reasons, that has not happened. The Eagles play UMass (in Amherst) in their second game of the season in September, but don't play UConn at all.

Instead they open with....Colgate.  ???

The ACC has tried to create some "rivalry'' games for the Eagles, using Syracuse and Clemson as test cases and going so far as putting the Syracuse-BC Atlantic Division game into a rivalry game weekend slot in November.

That disappeared a few years ago. 

The Eagles close their regular season schedule with a home game game against  Wake Forest on November 27th.  

A year ago, the Eagles finished their season (with a win) at Virginia.

It gets even more  bizarre when you look at the home and home process which has always been part of  conference play, where the sites of the games are alternated every year.

Well, with BC not so much. 

In 2019, the Eagles played road games at Clemson and at  Syracuse. 

In 2020,  the Eagles played road games at  Clemson and at Syracuse, with the leagbue office explaining that  COVID-issues forced a change in the  scheduling format.

Fair enough.  

Let's look at part of BC's schedule next fall.

Oct. 2--AT Clemson

Oct 30--AT Syracuse.

At some places, such developments would simply not be accepted, or accepted quietly.

At BC?


The ACC have been told that the ACC simply returned to the alternating format already in place for the 2021 season, which would have the Eagles on the road against Clemson and Syracuse.

Which brings us full circle  and focuses on one of athletic director Patrick Kraft's main tasks in football--non conference scheduling.

In an ideal situation,  the current four game non-conference slate would include at least two teams the Eagles should beat, one higher level money (Power 5 team) game  which should be a challenge and one tosss up game which will generate some interest.

Since BC is really the sole significant voice in New England college football, but also have a very tentative fan base, their non conference schedule should be fairly simple to put together.

Play UConn and UMass, the only two other FBS programs in New England, play a game against a New England FCS team (New Hampshire, Maine, URI) and then schedule one major upper tier Power 5 conference team.

Keep the flavor local, while trying to pile up some victories and give the fans a game every other year where a Michigan or a USC comes to The Heights.

 There really is one problem with that.

 No one really cares and in terms of the ACC, BC remains a non-entity. 

BC other than a small group of loyalists is an afterthought in Boston and certainly has been dropping rapidly in media consideration.

At a mid-week zoom call as spring practice ends this week, there were two reporters on the call.

 Which is too bad. 

The Eagles might have a pretty good product  in college football next fall, a team that might win more than 6 or 7 games and might even be fun to watch.