In an effort to boost its teams' non-conference schedules, the Big Ten is banning teams from playing FCS teams and is mandating they play at least one Power 5 team per year. However, there are other good teams outside the Power 5, many of which would be much stronger tests than Kansas.
So the Big Ten has decided to make some exceptions, but it appears those exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Teams like Notre Dame and BYU are guaranteed to get exceptions, but teams have to ask for exceptions for teams they think are on-par with other Power 5 teams, according to ESPN. For instance, UConn, Cincinnati and Army have all been approved, as they are on future Big Ten schedules.
Rudner added the league would evaluate any other non-Power 5 schools -- programs in the AAC, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt leagues -- brought up by a Big Ten school and decide whether they would count as a Power 5 opponent based on their RPI rankings in recent years and other factors.
Lots of people have criticized the Big Ten for not adding non-powers with better track records than UConn, such as Boise State, to that list, but there's probably a reason. Perhaps nobody has asked for Boise State to be excepted yet, despite Michigan State having a future series with BSU. It would stand to reason that the Broncos would count.
We knew this system was going to be arbitrary and confusing, and it appears that's exactly what is happening. Some teams should get exceptions, but where is the line drawn? If Army gets an exception, it appears most FBS teams would fit the bill, as Army has only made one bowl game since 1996 and is currently No. 112 in the F/+ ratings. As more teams get retroactively added to the approved list, we'll find out more.
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