How ACC scheduling decision affects BC

May, 13, 2014
May 13
7:27
PM ET
The ACC announced on Monday its intention to remain at eight conference games a season, plus one nonconference matchup against a “power five” conference team or Notre Dame, starting in 2017.

ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson had the story on the decision in the ACC blog:

Some schools, like Miami and NC State, wanted nine conference games to have the ability to play more league teams, balance out conference schedules, and create more appealing matchups. Scheduling power nonconference opponents has become increasingly difficult not just for ACC athletic directors but for ADs around the country. Adding that ninth conference game would have created inventory while also providing more frequent matchups between rotating crossover opponents.

Perhaps the ACC will make a different decision somewhere down the line. The truth is, 2014 will be a test case for every conference in America. How do leagues that play eight conference games fare in the College Football Playoff vs. leagues that play nine conference games? How does all of that impact strength of schedule, especially for leagues with challenging nonconference opponents? Will the ACC be viewed favorably or unfavorably when judged against a team from the Big Ten, for example?


The vote was 8-6 in favor of the status quo, according to Adelson, so it was far from a sure thing. But for now, the ACC won’t follow the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 in playing nine-game conference schedules.

So what does that mean for Boston College? More tough road matchups.

Last year, the Eagles traveled to USC to play the Trojans. This year, the Eagles will enjoy the home part of that home-and-home series. In 2020, the Eagles will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to play Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes. And in 2021, Ohio State will come to Chestnut Hill.

With the new requirement that each ACC team plays at least one nonconference game against a team from a power five conference (or Notre Dame), the Eagles will have to find more matchups against teams from the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 or SEC. And that means they’ll have to continue to go on the road, at least if they want to get the cream of the crop to Alumni Stadium down the line in a home-and-home.

Here are BC’s future nonconference commitments, as previously reported:

Boston College's future "power five" nonconference opponents
Year Opponent Conference Site
2014 USC Pac-12 Alumni Stadium
2015 Notre Dame Independent Fenway Park
2016 TBD TBD TBD
2017 Notre Dame Independent Notre Dame Stadium
2018 TBD TBD TBD
2019 TBD TBD TBD
2020 Ohio State Big Ten Ohio Stadium
2021 Ohio State Big Ten Alumni Stadium
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.

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