If you (re)build it, they will come.
With apologies to that famous line from “Field of Dreams,” that’s what the Boston College football program has confirmed -- at least as it pertains to national TV dates.
In the final years of the Frank Spaziani era, national TV outlets wanted little to do with the moribund Eagles. And that was understandable, as they were a bad team that played uninspiring football.
But after Steve Addazio took over prior to 2013 and led BC to a 7-6 record (4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) and its first bowl berth since 2010 -- all while playing a vastly more entertaining brand of ball -- the networks apparently decided the Eagles are once again worthy of prime time.
The ACC announced its early-season national TV matchups for 2014 on Tuesday, and BC will find itself on screens in homes across the country in back-to-back weeks in September.
The Week 2 matchup against Pittsburgh -- an old Big East rival that’s now a new ACC rival -- on Sept. 5 will be on ESPN (7 p.m. ET), and the Week 3 matchup against USC -- which handled the Eagles easily in L.A. in 2013 -- on Sept. 13 will be in prime time on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 (8 ET).
Exposure like that is good for the program. It can help with recruiting, raising the profile of the school in the eyes of potential players.
But what would really help BC is not only playing on national TV, but winning on national TV.
Now it’s up to Mehdi Abdesmad (seen in the embedded tweet below sacking USC QB Cody Kessler) and the Eagles -- who will have to replace multiple starters on both sides of the ball, including Heisman finalist and Doak Walker winner Andre Williams and four-year starter at QB Chase Rettig -- to take advantage of the stage they’ll be given.
— BC Football News (@BCFootballNews) May 20, 2014
The foundation has been built, and the national TV games are coming. Whether BC can capitalize on them remains to be seen.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.