In the long history of Villanova Football, there is one school that has often stood out on the schedule. The Wildcats used to face Boston College in a big time annual rivalry game, and to date have played more games against the Eagles than any other opponent, save Delaware. That rivalry, which ended when Villanova dropped football temporarily in 1980, will be renewed over Labor Day weekend.
For both schools, it will be a blast-from-the-past, and for Villanova, a reminder of what could have been. As Villanova moved away from the sport, BC became the little-Catholic-school-that-could in the 1980s, behind the heroic arm of Doug Flutie.
The last time the two teams met in 1980, the Wildcats were the victors, grabbing a 20-9 win at home. Future Hall of Famer Howie Long anchored the defense for 'Nova that season playing alongside Joe Arcidiacono, father of the current VU hoops point guard, Ryan.
BC leads the series between the two schools 15 - 29 - 1.
Villanova was originally-slated to open the 2013 season with a trip to Heinz Field to face former Big East rivals, Pittsburgh, but that game was officially taken off of the schedule over the weekend. Pitt's new conference, the ACC, wanted to send Florida State to open the season at their newest member in a made-for-TV event on Labor Day, forcing the Wildcats to look for other options.
This late in the game, very few FBS opponents were available at all, and even fewer were looking for an FCS team to play on Labor Day weekend. Boston College had been slated to host new CAA member, Stony Brook, but that game was dropped from their schedule in favor of bringing the Wildcats up to Boston for the first time since 1979.
The ACC reportedly stepped in to help Pittsburgh and Florida State rearrange their schedules to free up the spot, helping put together the Villanova/Boston College game in the process.
The last time Villanova had an FBS opponent cancel on them at the last minute was 2006, when Auburn received a late offer to open their season against Washington State on national television. ESPN stepped in back then to help facilitate finding a new opponent for Nova, which ended up in a trip to Orlando to face UCF.
The result this time around, however, couldn't have been better. The Wildcats will now play an opponent that they have a tremendous amount of history with in a game that will hold much meaning for the many alumni who played in, or watched the Villanova/Boston College rivalry in the past.
ACC FB sked change: Stony Brook replaced by Villanova in opener at Boston College. Seawolves now plan home opener 8/31 vs. TBD. #SBAthletics— Greg Logan (@GregLogan1) February 25, 2013
For more on the Boston College Eagles, check out SB Nation's BC Interruption, with stories on this game here, and here.
Football schedule completed
After facing Boston College, the Wildcats will stay on the road in Week 2, heading to the Bronx to face Fordham of the Patriot League in the return-leg of a series that started last season on the Main Line.
With only 11 games on the schedule, the road-weary 'Cats will take a breather in week 3, before hosting Stony Brook in a rematch from last season's playoff game. It will be their CAA and home opener. Stony Brook may come in a little salty, especially after being bumped from Boston College's opener in favor of Nova.
The 'Cats complete their non-conference schedule one week later, with a visit from cross-town rivals, Penn, on September 28th, and take another bye week on November 16th, to prepare for their rivalry game against Delaware.
2013 VILLANOVA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
|8/30/2013||Boston College||Boston, MA|
|9/21/2013||Stony Brook||Villanova, PA|
|10/5/2013||William & Mary||Villanova, PA|
|10/19/2013||New Hampshire||Durham, NH|
|11/2/2013||James Madison||Harrisonburg, VA|
|11/9/2013||Rhode Island||Kingston, RI|
View BC Interruption's coverage of the game.