Posted: 6:55 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2013
By Brian Favat
Long before the college football Holy War between Boston College and Notre Dame, Eagles football maintained a very different pair of Catholic rivals in Holy Cross and Villanova. So it's nice to see BC renew hostilities with their Augustinian brothers down I-95, even if the game is just one of the Eagles' annual FBS vs. FCS games.
Boston College and Villanova have previously met 45 times on the gridiron. In fact, the Wildcats are the Eagles third most often played opponent behind only Holy Cross (82 games) and Syracuse (46). The series dates all the way back to 1922, a 15-3 Boston College victory over Villanova in Chestnut Hill. The two programs would go on to face one another 44 times between 1923 and 1980, including every year from 1955-1980.
The series was discontinued shortly after the Division I-A / I-AA split in 1978 when Villanova's Board of Directors disbanded the program citing weak attendance and monetary reasons in 1980. The program would later be reinstated in 1984, but the two Catholic schools have yet to meet since (though I can't imagine why not).
'Nova has had quite a bit of success at the Division I-AA level since the program's reinstatement in 1985. The program has gone on to the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs 10 times since, including capturing the 2009 National Championship. Head coach Andy Talley is somewhat of an institution at the school. The 28-year coach of the Wildcats is 198-121-1 (.620) overall, the only coach the program has known since being reinstated in time for the 1985 season.
The all-time series hasn't been all that competitive towards the latter years of the series, with BC owning an 8-2 record during each of the last two full decades of the series. Though it's Villanova that has the last laugh, winners of three of the last five games in the series including the last one -- a 20-9 Wildcats victory; a WTF loss before WTF losses were cool.
Despite the fact that none of the players on either side were even born the last time these two programs faced one another, BC will be looking for a bit of payback in the 2013 season opener. Payback may be just a bit of a stretch, but the Eagles will in fact be looking to get back in the W column this season against the Wildcats.
It's unclear what Brad Bates has in mind in terms of the future of the annual FBS vs. FCS game. But if Addazio and the new administration wish to continue an annual game against a team from the lower division, it makes a lot of sense to rekindle these old football gridiron rivalries with Catholic schools like Villanova and Holy Cross (~2017).
Series History, via the indispensible cfbdatawarehouse.com:
Series: Boston College and Villanova have met 45 times. BC leads the all-time series 29-15-1
First Meeting: Boston College 15, Villanova 3 (Nov. 4, 1922)
Last Meeting: Villanova 20, Boston College 9 (Sep. 27, 1980)
Last Five Meetings:
L - Villanova 20, Boston College 9 (Sep. 27, 1980)
W - Boston College 34, Villanova 7 (Sep. 22, 1979)
L - Villanova 28, Boston College 16 (Nov. 4, 1978)
W - Boston College 17, Villanova 0 (Oct. 22, 1977)
L - Villanova 22, Boston College 3 (Oct. 30, 1976)