Big Ten teams are officially disallowed from playing non-FBS schools starting in 2016.
The conference outlined its new scheduling guidelines on Friday. In addition to eliminating games against FCS-level opponents, Big Ten schools are required to play a non-conference game against a Power Five opponent.
“We have something called 1910," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said about the school's scheduling plan to begin next year. We think we have come up with a conference plan. We have one championship game, we have nine conference games. We have one intersectional game vs. an autonomous opponent and we have zero games vs. FCS. They are all vs. FBS starting in 2016.”
BYU and Notre Dame will count as Power Five schools.
Seven Big Ten teams (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Northwestern, Purdue and Rutgers) play FCS teams in 2015. The lack of FCS games will help the Big Ten's strength of schedule and national perception, but the gap between bottom-level FBS teams and top-tier FCS teams may be nonexistent.
The SEC mandated that its teams play a Power Five opponent starting in 2016. However the conference is keeping its schedule at eight games and hasn't barred its teams from playing an FCS opponent. The ACC is also staying at eight games and requires a Power Five opponent. The Pac-12 and Big 12 play nine-game schedules.
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