The ACC is set to rubber-stamp their eight-game football scheduling format today, and that includes a requirement to play a power five non-conference opponent each year beginning in 2017.
With that requirement, ACC teams will need to schedule a game against a team from the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC. Notre Dame will also fulfill the power five requirement.
BYU, also an Independent like Notre Dame, will reportedly not count as a power five game for ACC teams.
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 15, 2014
It’s hard to understand why BYU won’t count as a power five game while at the same time the conference is mulling playing non-conference games against each other.
If strength of schedule is the biggest factor, BYU offers more than at least four teams that finish at the bottom of the standings in any given season. And that goes for the other power conferences as well.
In the last ten seasons, BYU is 87-40 overall and has an average Sagarin rating of 31.3. Here is there yearly breakdown with Sagarin rating in parantheses:
- 2013 – 8-5 (35)
- 2012 – 8-5 (26)
- 2011 – 10-3 (34)
- 2010 – 7-6 (45)
- 2009 – 11-2 (15)
- 2008 – 10-3 (32)
- 2007 – 11-2 (17)
- 2006 – 11-2 (13)
- 2005 – 6-6 (55)
- 2004 – 5-6 (41)
Of course there may be other factors at play here, such as BYU possessing their own television rights. Also, many teams likely don’t want to travel to Provo for a return game.
The SEC has also added a strength of schedule requirement just like the SEC. They have not yet made an official statement on BYU counting as a power five opponent, but Brett McMurphy says an SEC spokesman told him the Cougars would not count.
Whatever your position on this issue, the fact remains that ACC and SEC teams can and should schedule future games against BYU. Although they won’t satisfy the power five requirement, the Cougars still provide a challenge and will help schedule strength.