In light of the news regarding Hofstra's decision to drop its football program amid high costs and low interest, BC is left without an opening day opponent for next season. As I mentioned yesterday this is the 2nd time in 3 years that an opponent has backed out of an agreement to play the Eagles. Last time, it happened during the season beforehand which gave the Eagles a little more time to find a replacement. As a result, they were able to pick up a mid-level 1-A team in Central Florida, rather than a 2nd 1-AA team (note: I refuse to use the FBS/FCS terminology).
This time though, considering that Hofstra is a 1-AA team, it would seem more realistic that AD Gene DeFillipo would go out and simply replace Hofstra with a team that was previously on the Pride's schedule. However, there is still a potential 1-A opponent on the horizon that is in a similar situation to the Eagles, which would draw a great deal of intrigue, considering the history and back story associated with it.
With the earlier news of Northeastern folding it's own football tent a few weeks back, the UConn Huskies are also looking for a new dance partner. Coincidentally, they also are looking to fill their opening weekend slot (September 4). DeFillipo is on record as saying that he would NEVER schedule UConn in any sport as long as he remained the athletic director at BC because of the very public and very ugly way that things ended between the Eagles and the Big East (UConn specifically). UConn head football coach Randy Edsall is on record saying that he would love to play BC in what would be a match-up of the only 2 1-A programs in New England.
The bad blood goes back to a lawsuit filed against BC and the ACC on behalf of the state of Connecticut (representing the University and several other Big East schools) for their "abandonment" of the Big East. The lawsuit cost nearly 2 million dollars in taxpayer money and was an incredibly petty temper tantrum based on the premise that the Eagles (along with VaTech and Miami) were "conspiring" to weaken the Big East. Eventually, the lawsuit was settled out of court, though BC was able to win judgments in the case to avoid paying an exit fee to the Big East.
Personally, I am in favor of this particular move. UConn at the time of the lawsuit was not yet associated with the Big East in football and therefore, nobody on that staff had a hand in the lawsuit, nor did they decree that they wouldn't ever play the Eagles in football because of the nature of their divorce from the Big East. In fact, Huskies coach Randy Edsall has been adamant that he would love the opportunity to pit his team against the perennial northeast football power. Having said that, I also would not under any circumstances play this game anywhere but Alumni Stadium. Playing against UConn in football is one thing, but stepping onto that campus following the turmoil is quite another. In no way does UConn have the cache to ask for a home game or a neutral site, nor should they have the nerve to ask for either scenario. I personally believe that if UConn were willing to play a no-return game against the Eagles at Alumni, Gene would listen to that offer.
What about you, the reader? What would it take for you to agree to schedule a game against UConn? Leave your comments!