Report: SEC to count games against independents as Power 5 opponents
The Southeastern Conference will now count college football games against Football Bowl Subdivision independents BYU, Army and Notre Dame as part of the league’s requirement that its teams play one team from another Power 5 conference each season, ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy reports.
The league's requirement to play at least one nonconference Power 5 school begins in the 2016 season. According to the report, Notre Dame has always been included as a nonconference Power 5 team by the conference, but now future games against BYU and Army will also qualify.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is the only other Power 5 league that has a similar requirement in scheduling schools from the other most successful conferences. Games against Army will not fulfill that requirement for ACC schools, according to the report.
BYU has games scheduled against Missouri in 2015 and 2020, LSU in 2017 and Mississippi State in 2016 and 2017. Georgia is scheduled to play Notre Dame in 2017 and 2019. Army has no games scheduled with SEC schools.
Big Ten teams currently play eight league games but will begin playing nine in 2016. The Big 12 and Pac-12 already play nine conference games, which has limited their options for scheduling nonconference competition. Like the SEC, the ACC plays eight conference games, with Notre Dame playing five games against ACC competition every season.
- Scooby Axson