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Feb
01
2015

#BYU to Count as Power Five Conference Football Opponent for #ACC

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Good afternoon, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.  We hope you got the chance to watch a feast of college basketball this Saturday – and there’s one more game coming up on Sunday, February 1, 2014 as Miami takes on Florida State.

Let’s talk some college football:  In May 2014, the ACC made the decision to stay at an eight-game conference schedule, but require teams to play a Power Five non-conference opponent each year beginning in 2017.  That meant that ACC teams would have to find a team to play from the SEC, the Pac-12, the Big 10, or the Big 12 conferences.  The ACC then made the decision in spring meetings last year that the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars, an independent football program, would not count as a Power Five Conference opponent.

The ACC’s stance, however, changed very quickly in one year.  As first reported by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy:

ACC teams that play BYU now will be able to count that game toward the ACC’s requirement of playing a nonleague Power 5 team, sources told ESPN. This is a change in philosophy for the ACC. At last year’s spring meetings, the ACC announced games against BYU would not count as a Power 5 opponent. Starting in 2017, ACC teams are required to play at least one non-league Power 5 team.

BYU, which played Virginia in both 2013 and 2014, will now count as a nonleague Power 5 opponent for the ACC, according to sources.  The reason for the change was because three of the four remaining Power 5 leagues (Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten) play nine conference games or will be going to nine conference games, meaning fewer non-conference opportunities, a source said. Also, the ACC believes games against BYU — which has gone to ten consecutive bowl games under coach Bronco Mendenhall — would help the league’s overall strength of schedule, a source said.

This is very smart of the ACC for four reasons.  First, as reported by McMurhpy, there are fewer opportunities to schedule Power Five opponents due to the nine-game conference schedules for the teams in the Big 12, Pac-12, and Big Ten.  Second, BYU fans travel well.  For those ACC programs that are doing somewhat of a reset and trying to increase their ticket revenue, BYU fans will sell a lot of those seats.  Third, yes, I’ll say it – it looks petty by the ACC not to count to count BYU as a power opponent alternative for scheduling purposes.  We’re quite sure that the BYU Cougars used that as a lack of respect prior to the game vs. Virginia in Provo, and in a sweep of Georgia Tech in their 2012 and 2013 games. Fourth, Provo, Utah, is terrific city – a great road trip for any ACC fan.

Friend of @AllSportsDACC, Matt Zemek (@SectionMZ) brings up terrific, salient point that this decision by the ACC is significant in that it gives the BYU Cougars direct access to the New Year’s Six Bowl Slots.

In short, we think we it’s good that the ACC revisited this decision.

Have a great time watching the Super Bowl!!

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