Most of the Power Five conferences have put in a clause requiring their schools to not play FCS teams any more but also to schedule one team from another Power Five conference.
There have been a few exceptions such as the independents being included, mainly because of BYU, but other schools have been sprinkled in and most notably that is the Big Ten who has four schools that are in a Group of Five conference that count as a power program.
That league has now decided to add Fresno State, according to the Star Tribune. The Bulldogs join a group that includes Air Force, Cincinnati, Navy and UConn from the Group of Five and also independent schools Notre Dame, BYU and Army.
When the Big Ten announced what schools would count as a Power Five opponent, Big Ten senior associate commissioner Mark Rudner said that more Group of Five teams could be added on a case-by-case basis.
“If someone comes to us with a request, we’ll evaluate it,” Rudner told the Indianapolis Star.
In the Star Tribune article, Gophers head coach Tracy Claeys did confirm that the Big Ten would allow the Bulldogs to count as a Power Five out of conference play.
“Otherwise we wouldn’t have done that,” Claeys said. “[The Big Ten] has to approve it.”
This rule seems more of a joke, at least with the Big Ten, by being able to basically ask the league if Team A or B counts toward their requirement. Sorry, but Fresno State should not count since they have not been an elite non-power program for the previous few years, so having them included seems like a loophole.
Here is what the Power Five conferences consider a Power Five opponent for non-conference opponents.
ACC (2017 and beyond)
Any team from the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC, plus BYU and Notre Dame.
Big 12 (2017 and beyond)
Any team from the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC, plus Notre Dame.
Big Ten (2016 and beyond)
Any team from the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC, plus Air Force, Army, BYU, Cincinnati, Fresno State, Navy, Notre Dame, and UConn. No FCS opponents.
SEC (2016 and beyond)
Any team from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-12, plus Army, BYU and Notre Dame.