Monday, November 30, 2009
BC NEEDS A RIVAL
This was Rivalry Weekend in college football. In-state and border-state rivals faced off in games that fans look forward to all year. UCLA played USC, North Carolina played NC State, Clemson/South Carolina, Mississippi/Mississippi State, Oklahoma State/Oklahoma, Arizona/Arizona State, Florida State/Florida, Virginia Tech/Virginia, Kansas/Missouri, Utah/BYU, Texas Tech/Baylor, Washington State/Washington, Kentucky/Tennessee, Arkansas/LSU, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Rice/Houston, Texas/Texas A&M, Alabama/Auburn, Nebraska/Colorado, and Pittsburgh/West Virginia.
These rivalries often come with trophies held by the winning team, and cool nicknames like Bedlam, Backyard Brawl, Good Old Fashioned Hate, Border War, Egg Bowl, Iron Bowl, and Holy War.
Who did BC play this weekend?
Boston College doesn't have a local rival. They used to until Holy Cross went down to 1AA. Sure, Virginia Tech is a rival (for BS, but not for Tech). And Notre Dame/BC is a rivalry as well, but much more for BC than Notre Dame.
Last year I suggested BC find a new rival, and some BC putz claimed that Syracuse is their rival. Really? Well in football, BC is 10 times better, as is Syracuse in basketball.
Boston College does have a local rival, they just haven't played yet. It's the only other Division 1A team in New England: The University of Connecticut. Storrs is only 80 miles from Chestnut Hill. That's closer than most of those rivalries mentioned above.
It would be Big East vs. ACC (and ex-Big East), public vs. private, secular vs. Catholic, Hartford vs. Boston, and it could claim the average New England sports fans' attention for at least one weekend of the year.
The game could even be played at Gillette Stadium, so fans of both teams could tailgate (very few BC fans can actually tailgate because the campus has such a parking crunch). Tickets can be split between teams to fill the 68,000 seats at Gillette (UConn's Rentschler Field sits 40,000, BC's Alumni Stadium holds 44,500).
We can call it the Blackstone River Shootout.
Or come up with a better name.
It's worth a shot, and both athletic departments should look into it. UConn played Syracuse this weekend, and while that's a big basketball rivalry, it's just not the same in football. As a college football fan, it'd be cool to have a rivalry game to look forward to all season. Everytime Rivalry Weekend comes round, I feel like as a BC fan, I'm missing out.