SEC says Notre Dame, BYU and Army will fulfill power conference scheduling requirement
Starting in 2016, the SEC will require all conference members to schedule one game a year against another power conference opponent. Notre Dame previously counted in that requirement, but now BYU and Army will also count.
Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com reports the SEC has decided to allow games against any independent program to count toward meeting the scheduling requirement for non-conference play. This is fantastic news for a program like BYU, which was previously given the same respect from the ACC and continues to maintain a footing in a changing college football landscape.
The ACC and SEC each require conference members to schedule one game per season against another power conference opponent. A handful of schools in each conference pull off meeting their respective conference scheduling requirements through cross-conference rivalry games (Florida vs. Florida State, Louisville vs. Kentucky, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, Clemson vs. South Carolina). The ACC has a scheduling agreement with partial member Notre Dame and recently decided to allow games against BYU to count, however, the ACC does not count games scheduled against Army as the SEC now will.
If you are wondering why Navy is not included in this mix of independent programs, then you should be reminded Navy will be playing as a football-playing member of the American Athletic Conference starting this fall. As far as the SEC scheduling is now concerned, a game against Army counts more in terms of strength than one against Navy. Technically.
The Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 do not have a non-conference scheduling requirement for their member institutions.