Just over a month ago, Rutgers and Boston College had announced a home and home series for the 2026 & 2027 seasons. This afternoon, Rutgers officially confirmed the series, while also announcing the schools will play two additional games during the 2019 & 2022 seasons.
Rutgers will host Boston College in 2019 & 2027, while they will travel to Chestnut Hill during the 2022 & 2026 seasons. The schools have met 26 times previously and played in the first ever Big East conference football game in 1991, with the good guys in Scarlet winning 20-13. Boston College does hold a 19-6-1 lead in the series that was first played in 1919.
The 2019 season was already shaping up to be a very challenging schedule, which I covered in detail here a few months ago. The interesting part with adding Boston College is that Rutgers had previously announced back in 2009 a home and home series with Miami. As late as 2014, Rutgers listed on their site here a road game with Miami on September 21, 2019. FBSchedules.com still lists the game as well here. However, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ Advance Media confirmed that Rutgers has cancelled the series and will be required to pay a $100,000 penalty to Miami. In the same article, Dunleavy highlighted this quote from head coach Chris Ash from last summer:
"When we look at non-conference games, there are two things I'm looking at: How do we schedule to get wins? And also games that challenge us and prepare us for the Big Ten."
While West coast trips early in the season were a staple in recent years, it seems that will not be commonplace in the future under Ash. The only exception will likely be the already agreed upon series with UCLA in 2020 & 2021. Rutgers also has Temple scheduled during those same seasons.
A few months ago, I also took a look at non-conference schedules for the next decade for the entire Big Ten East here. It’s always so difficult to predict how these non-conference games will play out so many years before they will actually occur. However, adding teams like Boston College and Temple seem to make sense for a program that has resided in the basement of arguably the best division in college football. They are credible non-conference games against teams that will be challenging, but winnable matchups.
Many fans, including our own Michael Voza, will be happy about playing away games that are easier to travel to. I do know of some fans that do not like playing against old conference foes and regional teams like BC, Syracuse and UConn. Personally, I don’t mind renewed rivalries with these schools and have plenty of friends who went to BC, which will make them spirited games for me and those fans in a similar situation. How these regional matchups impact recruiting is hard to say. I think it probably has a little impact positively for the winner and negatively for the loser. The fact that the first series is set three seasons apart though, dilutes that impact somewhat in my opinion.
What do you think? Sound off in the comment section regarding regional games, this specific 4-game series with Boston College, and Ash’s scheduling philosophy in general.