Last month, it was learned that the Big Ten Conference approved four teams that would count as Power Five opponents for scheduling purposes — Army, Cincinnati, Navy, and UConn.
Those four teams joined BYU and Notre Dame, as well as the 64 teams in power conferences, as acceptable opponents for their strength of schedule mandate.
Today ESPN reported another addition to the list of teams deemed acceptable to play by the Big Ten — the Air Force Falcons.
Air Force will count as Big Ten Power 5 opponent requirement. It was previously reported that Army and Navy would also fulfill obligation.
— Brian Bennett (@BennettESPN) October 8, 2015
Air Force is 36-32 over the past five seasons, including 2-2 this season. The Falcons have played in a postseason bowl game in seven of the last eight seasons.
Michigan is scheduled to host Air Force in 2017, but the Wolverines also open that season against Florida in Arlington. So it’s likely that another school made the request to have Air Force included.
Big Ten senior associate commissioner Mark Rudner said last month that teams will essentially be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
“If someone comes to us with a request, we’ll evaluate it,” Rudner said.
Here’s an updated look at who each conference can schedule, per reports:
Any team from the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC, plus BYU and Notre Dame.
Big Ten (2016+)
Any team from the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC, plus Air Force, Army, BYU, Cincinnati, Navy, Notre Dame, and UConn. No FCS opponents.
Any team from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-12, plus Army, BYU and Notre Dame.
The Big Ten is evidently going to cherry-pick who their members can play and have it count as a Power 5 opponent. Beyond ridiculous.
— FBSchedules.com (@FBSchedules) October 8, 2015