SEC OKs independents for quota

Games against FBS independents BYU, Armyand Notre Damewill now count toward the SEC's requirement of playing one nonconference Power 5 team per season, sources told ESPN.com.


Beginning in 2016, the SEC will require its league members to play at least one nonconference Power 5 team. Notre Dame had always been included as a nonconference Power 5 team by the SEC, but the league recently decided to also allow games against BYU and Army to count, sources said.


The SEC and ACC are the only Power 5 leagues that require their league members to play at least one nonconference Power 5 opponent. In January, the ACC changed its stance to allow games against BYU to count toward its requirement. However, games against Army will not count toward the ACC's requirement, a source said.


While the SEC will require its league members to play at least one nonconference Power 5 team starting in 2016, the ACC's requirement doesn't begin until 2017.


Like the ACC, the SEC had a change in philosophy on counting games against BYU toward its nonconference Power 5 commitment.


One reason for the SEC's change was three of the four remaining Power 5 leagues (Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten) play nine conference games or will begin to play nine conference games, meaning fewer opportunities outside the league, a source said. The ACC has eight league games but also has five games annually against Notre Dame.


Three SEC schools currently have future games scheduled against BYU: Missouri in 2015 and 2020, Mississippi State in 2016 and 2017 and LSU in 2017. Georgia will play Notre Dame in 2017 and 2019.


No SEC teams currently have any future games scheduled with Army.





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