As the divide between the Power Five and Group of Five Conferences grows ever larger, football programs are scrambling to schedule teams that will make them appear as competitive as possible in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee. On Tuesday morning, Boston College took that first step.
BC Athletics confirmed that Director of Athletics Brad Bates has scheduled two games for the Eagles against the Big Ten Conference’s Purdue University. The Eagles will travel to West Lafayette, Ind. to take on the Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on Sept. 22, 2018. Purdue will then visit Chestnut Hill on Sept. 26, 2020. The department has not yet responded to a request for comment.
This will be the first meeting between the two programs, who both have all-time records of .500 against the opposing conferences. BC is 37-37-1 against teams that play in the Big Ten. Its most recent matchup was the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl, a 31-30 loss to Pennsylvania State University on a missed extra point in overtime. The last time the Eagles had a Big Ten team on their regular season schedule was in 2012 when they fell 22-13 to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Purdue is 14-14-2 all-time against teams from the ACC. Its most recent matchup came this season in a 51-24 drubbing at home by Virginia Tech.
Under head coach Darrell Hazell, the Boilermakers are a mere 6-30. They have finished with the worst record in the Big Ten in each of his three seasons at the helm.
The announcement provides more clarity to the Eagles’ future schedule well into the future. BC now has three games on the schedule in 2018 and 2020. The Eagles will play the University of Massachusetts, an FBS independent, and College of the Holy Cross, an FCS team, in 2018. They will play Holy Cross and Ohio University, a Mid-American Conference school, in 2020. Bates will likely need to schedule one more game against a non-conference opponent in each of those seasons unless the ACC moves to a nine-game conference schedule in the near future.
Purdue will be the first non-conference Power Five program scheduled by Bates during his three-year tenure as Director of Athletics—BC’s games against the University of Notre Dame and The Ohio State University were organized under previous Director of Athletics Gene DiFilippo. In the last few seasons, the Eagles have been plagued by broken contracts, most notably with the New Mexico State University, forcing Bates to add Howard University, a weak FCS program, to the 2015 schedule. Bates, however, has moved in a more positive direction in future scheduling as of late, securing spots against the University of Connecticut for 2016, 2017, 2022, and 2023.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor