As someone whose fall revolves around the college football schedule, both BC’s and the nations, the offseason is often a time where I catch up on the happenings of the outside world that I missed from September through December. The college football offseason is usually quite dull, with recruiting and commitments being the only real event, and those things are often already hashed out in the regular season. However, this year BC has made headlines for a few different reasons.
First and foremost, I was inspired to write this article when news broke earlier this week that the Eagles would be battling the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech on the gridiron…in Ireland. Just yesterday it was confirmed that BC and GT would be the schools competing in the sixth edition of what is now considered the Aer Lingus Classic, a tradition that started in 1988 when the very same BC Eagles defeated the Army Black Knights.
BC will be playing on September 3rd, 2016 at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The Eagles will sacrifice a game in Chestnut Hill to play in Ireland, where they will be considered the home team. This will be the Eagles first trip back to Ireland since the inaugural game in 1988.
As a student and college football enthusiast, I absolutely love the decision by the BC high-ups to sacrifice a home game, and to make this game a reality. The excitement that will surround the game will be fantastic for BC football, and will help bring national exposure and recruits to The Heights. I expect that many students and alumni will be more than happy to make the trek across the Atlantic for a seemingly once in a lifetime opportunity to see BC play in Dublin.
This game will be yet another massive publicity event for BC football. This November, the Eagles will “travel” to play rival Notre Dame at Fenway Park in a game that will surely garner national spotlight. The spotlight being on BC is exactly what the team needs in order to boost support and to draw in higher ranked recruits.
Speaking of recruits, BC may have hit a huge diamond in the rough. Currently, 2016 high school graduate Anthony Brown is a Dual-Threat Quarterback committed to Boston College. Brown was just recently named a semi-finalist (top 30) for the Nike QB competition Elite 11. The Elite 11 series is an annual event that looks at the top eleven rising high school senior quarterbacks, and puts them to work to improve their college potential. The competition has a rich history of producing top-notch college QB’s.
If BC can get their hands on an elite dual-threat QB, the ceiling for Eagle football would rise significantly. Here’s to hoping that Brown continues to make headlines and stays committed to Boston College.
Brown won’t be playing this upcoming season (as he is still in high school) but the 2015 BC football season will have some interesting moments in it. BC made headlines earlier this year when the released schedule featured two FCS schools. The Eagles will open the season against the Maine Black Bears, and will then play the Howard Bison. Both of these games will be at Chestnut Hill. It is somewhat frowned upon to play an FCS opponent, but BC (and many national powerhouses) will schedule one game a year for what is usually an easy win.
The FCS is the new name for Division 1-AA. BC is a member of the FBS, or 1-A, the highest league of college football in which 127 teams compete. FCS teams are often smaller schools that play division one basketball, and play in the smaller division one league for football.
Due to a scheduling error with New Mexico State, Boston College was left with a week two hole in their schedule with only about a week left to fill it. The Eagles had already scheduled their game against Maine, who will be visiting Chestnut Hill for the second consecutive year. To fill the hole that New Mexico State left, the Eagles called up Howard and put a second FCS team on their schedule.
Playing one FCS team is often looked at as a cheap way to get an easy win (BC beat Maine 40-10 last year), but playing two is so looked down upon that the NCAA will often not count the second game toward bowl eligibility. BC might receive a special waiver that will count the Howard game due to its last minute scheduling, but it is still a bad situation for the Eagles to be in.
I am a huge opponent of scheduling any FCS opponents. The games are not usually stimulating, the win is not respected, the atmosphere on game day is unexcited and apathetic, and it does nothing to help national exposure. I was very upset to see BC schedule two this year, and think it will do nothing to help the future of Eagle football.
The BC football offseason has certainly been exciting this year. The addition of 26 new recruits, the promise of Anthony Brown, and the 2016 game in Ireland are all great news for football on The Heights. The 2015 schedule starts off rough, but home night game against Florida State in September and the Fenway game against the Irish will liven up the atmosphere on campus. Like always, I will be an emotional disaster during the season and cannot wait.