The Big Ten and SEC have done it in some form or fashion. So has the ACC. Now, the Big 12 is following suit.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the Big 12 announced that, moving forward, it will require its football programs to play at least one non-conference game per season against a team from a Power Five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ASEC). Football independent Notre Dame would also fill that requirement.
Additionally, teams are barred from scheduling more than one FCS team per season. The conference’s release did note, however, that “[t]his new scheduling requirement does not impact existing non-conference game contracts.”
“Schedule strength is a key component in CFP Selection Committee deliberations,” commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “This move will strengthen the resumes for all Big 12 teams. Coupled with the nine-game full round robin Conference schedule our teams play, it will not only benefit the teams at the top of our standings each season, but will impact the overall strength of the Conference.”
Five of the conference’s 10 teams already meet that requirement through most of the next decade. West Virginia has at least one game scheduled against Power Five teams from 2016 through 2025; in six of those years (2018, 2019, 2021-24), two of the Mountaineers’ three non-conference games are against Power Fives. TCU and Texas have future Power Five games scheduled from 2016-24, while Iowa State and Kansas State have teams from the power conferences scheduled each year from 2016-23 and 2016-21, respectively.
Oklahoma is loaded up through the 2028 season with Power Fives, the lone exceptions being 2020 and 2023-24.
Then there are the likes of Kansas, with just three Power five teams on future schedules through the 2024 season, and the team that many are naming this directive after, Baylor. The Bears have scheduled four games against Power Five teams through the 2024 season; conversely, there are 12 Group of Five teams and four FCS teams over the next nine seasons on the slate. Iowa State (eight) is the only Big 12 school that has more FCS games scheduled than BU.
Oklahoma, TCU and Texas do not have any games scheduled against FCS teams for at least the next 10 years.
This season, Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State were the only Big 12 schools that did not play a Power Five team out of conference in the regular season.