Former Boston College coach Tom O’Brien, now coach at NC State, can still remember the day it was announced that Boston College would leave the Big East to join the ACC.
The Eagles had to go on the road to play Syracuse, he said. Their plane had broken down, they got in at 4 a.m. for a noon game, and fans were throwing dollar bills at them as they left the stadium.
With the Big East’s policy that schools need to give 27 months notice before leaving the conference, O’Brien, speaking from experience, said it’s not going to be easy for newly added ACC members Pitt and Syracuse to be lame duck members of the Big East.
“It wasn’t fun, I can promise you that,” O’Brien said. “… From that point on, everybody in the Big East got together and did their best to make sure we didn’t win a football game in the Big East. It was everybody against BC in those days. There’s two of them. It’s not going to be an easy ride, especially on the road, but they chose their path just as Boston College chose our path.”
Funny how it happened to be the same one.
Current Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said he hasn’t put much thought into ACC expansion, but did note a few positives of the additions which will help bridge the geographical gap between BC and the rest of the league.
“There’s a lot to be said for traditions,” Spaziani said. “Certainly having schools that we’ve played and are in our area and have tradition, there’s a lot to be said for it, there’s a lot of benefits to it. I’ll leave it at that.”