29 days until the ACC: Pitt renews battles with Boston College
While it won't happen in 2013, Pitt fans can look forward to renewing the rivalry with Boston College in just under a month. The Panthers and the Eagles have clashed 29 times on the football field, with Pitt holding a 16-13 lead. They first met in 1959 in Chestnut Hill, a 22-14 Pitt win, but the series really took off in 1970, when both sides met almost every year until 2004, BC's final year in the Big East.
Boston College is often known as "O-Line U", with their ability to produce talented NFL linemen, such as Tom Nalen, Ron Stone, Damien Woody, Dan Koppen, and Chris Snee. All have multiple Super Bowl rings. But those aren't the only players that the Eagles are known for. Players like Doug Flutie and more recently Matt Ryan and BJ Raji once called The Heights home.
Recently, BC has struggled on the football field, after appearing in a bowl game for 12 consecutive seasons. They've since gone 6-18 in the final two seasons of Frank Spaziani as their head coach, losing to teams like Army and Duke. But they did beat
Randy Edsall's dream job Maryland both years. Steve Addazio, recently the head coach at Temple, has moved north to coach the Eagles. In case you're wondering, there is a Pitt connection on the staff, as special teams coach Sean McGowan spent 3 years at Pitt as a graduate assistant under Walt Harris from 1999-2001.
On the court, Pitt holds 29 wins over Boston College to go along with 17 losses. The Panthers have won the last 6 meetings against the Eagles, the last being in 2005. Like football, BC has struggled in recent seasons after having success in the Big East. They made the NCAAs in 3 of their first 4 ACC seasons and the NIT in 2011. But the past two seasons have seen the Eagles finish with losing records, although things do appear to be improving. The Eagles nearly knocked off Miami and Duke at home a year ago and ended the season winning 4 of their final 5. A young roster that returns many players from a year ago, including ACC Rookie of the year Olivier Hanlan, could challenge for a postseason bid this upcoming season.
While Pitt doesn't feature an NCAA hockey team, Boston College has arguably the best college hockey program in the country, with 5 national championships and multiple NHL picks, including current Penguin Brooks Orpik.