Which Five Power Schools Won’t Face a Power Opponent in Non-Conference Play in 2016?

By Amy Daughters -

Last week we highlighted the 14 Power programs who have two Power foes scheduled out of conference in 2016, this week we look at the flip side of the same coin.

If that was the honor roll, this is the naughty list.

The only Power teams the schools listed below will face are their fellow conference members, or future bowl partners.

It’s at least a one-win advantage over the rest of the field.


2016 Non-Conference Opponents: Northwestern State, SMU, at Rice

All-Time Series Records:

  • Northwestern State (4-0), last played in 2014.
  • SMU (38-36-7), most recent loss 1986, 12-0 since.
  • Rice (48-30-2), most recent loss 1992, 7-0 since.

Baylor hasn’t played a Power team out of Big 12 play since 2009, when it edged Wake Forest in the season opener in Waco.

That was also the last year the Bears finished under .500 (they went 4-8) and missed the postseason. They’ve played in six consecutive bowl games since.

Future Non-Conference Power Opponents: Duke (2017-18), Ole Miss (2020), and Utah (2022-23). Baylor also has BYU (2021-22), but as of now the Big 12 does not consider the Cougars a Power foe.

Boston College

2016 Non-Conference Opponents: at UMass, Wagner, Buffalo, UConn

All-Time Series Records:

  • UMass (19-4), most recent loss 1978, 8-0 since.
  • Wagner (0-0), never played.
  • Buffalo (6-2), most recent loss 1969, 2-0 since.
  • UConn (4-0), last played in 2004.

If Boston College was in the Big Ten, its game with UConn would satisfy the requirement of playing a Power team out of conference play. As of now, the ACC only counts BYU and Notre Dame as such opponents.

The Eagles did square off with No. 5 Notre Dame last season in Fenway Park and hosted No. 9 USC the year before. In fact, 2016 is the first season Boston College hasn’t faced a team from a Power league since 2006 when it played Central Michigan, BYU (still a Mountain West member then), Maine, and Buffalo.

Future Non-Conference Power Opponents: Notre Dame (2017, 2019, 2022 & 2025), Purdue (2018 & 2020), and Ohio State (2023 & 2024).


2016 Non-Conference Opponents: Rhode Island, Ohio, at Memphis

All-Time Series Records:

  • Rhode Island (0-0), never played.
  • Ohio (0-1), only-ever meeting in 1967.
  • Memphis (0-1), only-ever meeting in 2015.

Not only has Kansas not posted a winning record since 2008, it hasn’t won a football game since November 8, 2014 when it beat Iowa State at home in Lawrence.

Maybe the Jayhawks deserve a break.

Kansas lost at Rutgers last season and at Duke in 2014. Before that, it’s most recent non-Big 12 Power foe was Georgia Tech in 2011, another road trip resulting in another loss.

Future Non-Conference Power Opponents: Rutgers (2018), Illinois (2023 & 2024).


2016 Non-Conference Opponents: Howard, at Florida International, at UCF

All-Time Series Records:

  • Howard (0-0), never played.
  • Florida International (4-0), last played in 2013.
  • UCF (0-0), never played.

With back-to-back games in September at FIU and UCF, Maryland will play its own version of Spring Training in 2016.

The Terrapins did play at West Virginia last season and doubled-up in 2014 with both the Mountaineers and Syracuse. You have to go back to 2010 to find a season without a Power-conference foe. Maryland played Navy, Morgan State, West Virginia (still a Big East member then) and Florida International that year.

That team went 9-4, the best finish for the Terps since 2006.

Future Non-Conference Power Opponents: Texas (2017 & 2018), Syracuse (2019), West Virginia (2020 & 2021), and Virginia Tech (2026, 2027, 2028 & 2029).

Washington State

2016 Non-Conference Opponents: Eastern Washington, at Boise Stat, Idaho

All-Time Series Records:

  • Eastern Washington (1-0), only-ever meeting 2012.
  • Boise State (4-0), last played in 2001.
  • Idaho (61-8-2), most recent loss in 2000, 8-0 since.

Fresh off its first bowl victory in more than a decade, Washington State won’t face a school from a Power league outside of Pac-12 play for the first time since 2011 when it played Idaho State, UNLV and San Diego State.

The Cougars did open the 2012 season with a loss to BYU, but that was its second season as an independent.

Since then, Washington State lost at Auburn (2013) and split games with Rutgers (2014 and 2015).

Future Non-Conference Power Opponents: BYU (2019, at this time the Pac-12 doesn’t have any scheduling mandates, so it’s unclear how this game counts) and Wisconsin (2022 & 2023).

As a note, Purdue plays Eastern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Nevada in 2016. Despite the fact that the Bearcats hail from the American Athletic, the Big Ten has deemed them a suitable Power opponent. For that reason, the Boilermakers technically don’t qualify for this list. Purdue last played a Power team in 2015 when they lost 51-24 to Virginia Tech.

  1. Kyle
    May 24, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I don’t have a big problem if they are at least playing one road game non conference

  2. Dave
    May 24, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    As usual Baylor has the weakest OOC schedule.. To call Duke and Rutgers P5 teams is technically correct, although their lifetime records of achievement are negigible.

  3. Josh
    May 24, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    By definition Wazzou doesn’t play a Power 5 out of conference, but people aren’t exactly clamoring to play Boise on the blue.

  4. lost in Va.
    May 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    no excuse for Maryland not to schedule “up”…

  5. Joe
    May 24, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    So, let me get this straight… An ACC, Big 12, Pac 12 and Big Ten school don’t play a Power 5 opponent out of conference?

    If the SEC tried this you people would have a fit.

    Just another reason the SEC is the best league on the planet.

    • Travis B
      May 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Umm several SEC schools HAVE done this for years, hence why they started their new mandate of one P5 opponent required in 2016.

      Still with 4 OOC games, the entire conference (besides UGA) still has 3 easy cupcake games so there really isn’t much to brag about when it comes to OOC scheduling for the SEC.

      Your constant SEC homerism in regards to acting like the conference is flawless is very humorous. Keep it up! ;)

    • Travis B
      May 24, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Ohh and FYI, the ACC’s mandate starts in 2017.

      B12 and B10’s start as soon as possible. Due to some teams already finishing a few of their future schedules with only having 3 OOC games, they are exempt from those seasons but moving forward must comply.

      The B10 has already went back on some requirements of their mandate to help out a few smaller schools which is a complete joke and has already been noted on this website.

      PAC has no mandate but most of their teams already follow it regardless. There are a few schools from time to time who don’t though.

    • kevin Kirkland
      May 24, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Mississippi State also plays ZERO P5 schools OOC. This site needs to be a bit more conscientious. The ACC and the SEC are the only leagues who still play eight conference game schedules. And both the ACC and the SEC load up on FCS opponents, BUT the SEC annually plays FEWER P5 opponents in their OOC schedules many of which are played in neutral sites…and the SEC plays 50% more non-P5 FBS foes most of which are at home. No one plays fewer P5 opponents than the SEC.

    • Day
      May 24, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      BYU is considered a P5 team to some conferences, the Cougars are a tough team & very hard to beat in most cases. Of course you mention how the SEC loads up on FCS teams, yet I count four FCS ABOVE that are also playing, BIG & Big 12, btw, all conferences do it. Neutral Site games have no bearings on outcome & here we go again with 8 game conference, I give up.

    • Mark Evans
      May 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      The SEC schedules are not that overwhelming…relax. The SEC had a good yeat after being clowned the season before.

    • Joe
      May 25, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Yep. This article isn’t about the SEC. Because everyone in the SEC is playing a tough out of conference schedule in addition to the most difficult conference slate in the nation.

      The other conferences come close, but they still have teams not carrying their weight. But whatever, they play nine conference games, right?

      All the arguments against the SEC being the best conference in the country are irrelevant. But keep trying to make them. It only makes you look silly.

    • Mark Evans
      May 25, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      It does not mean the SEC is NOT going to schedule a FCS team LOL

  6. kevin Kirkland
    May 24, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Mississippi State doesn’t play a P5 OOC…they play at BYU…but if you’re counting BYU, u should count Boise. Mississippi State and BC each play 8mgame conference schedules…to me, playing ZERO OOC P5 opponents is a bigger deal than a Big 12 or PAC 12 school who already play 9 conference games.

    • Day
      May 24, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Of course this article fails to bring up any SEC schools, there is always someone that is going to complain about it. BYU is considered a P5 team to some conferences plus they play a hard schedule, year in-year out. The article is not about the SEC or 8 game conference yet some people can just not let things go, Boise St is a great team but not considered P5 but they do bring their A-Game all the time. Wash St has it hard this year with E.Wash & Boise St, they will not be easy wins.

    • Travis B
      May 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Day, and most comical of all is if you look at the comments, it was the SEC homer who brought up the SEC in an article NOT about the SEC.

      Kinda funny and ironic huh? And people wonder why the crap gets old?

      Now the whining definitely goes both ways, but some of the homers don’t realize that most of us non-homers enjoy SEC football and think it’s great. Some just can’t even handle the thought of hearing one sentence that slightly suggests the SEC isn’t number one at something. To them, it’s SEC #1 at everything, no debates, no questions, they are right, you are wrong, other logic and perspectives don’t matter, and don’t even think otherwise!

      That’s what annoys me personally. I love the SEC and I think top to bottom, the competition is awesome! But I disagree with the way some of these fans go about it in proclaiming this conference as flawless!

  7. Day
    May 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Travis, it does go both ways. My comment was in relation to Kevin mentioning that MIss St plays BYU. There are so many articles that have nothing to do with the SEC yet the SEC gets bashed. It may have something to do with some people that come on here with different accounts but are the same person luvs to brag about how the SEC is overrated, 8 game conference schedule, OOC games…etc. That stuff gets old too. Now I think you have SEC fans that come on that are so over the SEC bashers that they feel they have to point things out. When this article came out, I was going to be a smart ass & say “Where are the SEC teams at?” Just meaning that people luv to bash the SEC teams for OOC yet every SEC team including Vandy has a P5 opponent. I am an SEC homer, I will always defend the SEC as much as I can but I luv watching all other conferences play as well, BIG, Big-12, Pac-12 & ACC, basically if there is a college football game on & I am at home, it will be on my TV. I have no control over schedule making or deals, no control over where games are played & if the SEC is play a FCS, G5 or cupcakes/cream puffs/loser team as so many come on here & like to disrespect the smaller teams as easy wins. Fans will brag about their conference if it is good, all fans do it. I have noticed on here that the NON-SEC fans are the same way though with the “no debates, no questions, they are right, you are wrong, other logic and perspectives don’t matter, and don’t even think otherwise!” If people want to waste their life complaining about something they have no control over, let them! I was the only SEC fan that came on here 2yrs ago & congratulated The Ohio State for winning a national championship, that’s the type of person I am, I did not attack their OOC schedule or the teams in the BIG, they won it, good for them. Yet not one person can come on here besides SEC fans & give Bama props for winning one last year, that is funny to me. Not to mention winning 4 NC in 7 years but if I bring that up the bashers will come out & say how the BCS was full of BS. Ohhh well.

    • Travis B
      May 25, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      BAMA was by far the best last year and it showed. I actually
      might not have done it on this website but I congratulated every BAMA fan I knew, in person, and online! I hope you see my point as I see yours.

  8. Sport
    May 25, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Keep in mind some programs get left in a bind, when they get cancelled on. For example in the not too distant past Georgia and Kansas St cancelled on Oregon. And recently Texas A&M cancelled a 2018-19 home and home with Oregon. So the Ducks are trying to find a OOC P5 matchup for 2018. (The Ducks covered 2019 by visiting Auburn in Arlington).

  9. Travis B
    May 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Maybe a good idea for an article Kevin Kelley and Amy Daughters?

    An article on TOTAL P5 opponents on each P5 team’s schedule. Meaning conference games plus OOC P5 games. So you would go through and add up each team’s P5 games. Then go through entire conferences and take the number of P5 opponents for an entire conference divided by the number of teams in the conference so you get an average per conference. Also, for consistency, you should probably just include ND & BYU for everybody, even conferences that don’t technically “claim” them so that the data is consistent and not left open for debating.

    Maybe you’ve already done this in the past? Not sure but it’s an idea. I am interested…

    • Kevin Kelley
      May 27, 2016 at 10:59 am

      I can pass this along to her. I typically don’t write articles like this as I am involved in site admin, working on the schedules, etc. Amy comes up with her own topics.

  10. bill
    May 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Memphis and Boise are tougher opponets than most ACC and B10 teams would be…so the article really is pretty meaningless

  11. Andrew
    June 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    FYI, the Big 12 DOES consider BYU a P5 for the Baylor-BYU series. While not officially declaring BYU a P5, this game will be considered P5 for Baylor.

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