The Big Ten is joining the ACC and SEC in mandating that teams play at least one team from a Power 5 Conference each year. However, sounds like the conference is willing to make a few exceptions for teams they think are on-par with other Power 5 non-conference opponents, according to ESPN. The league has approved UConn, Cincinnati and Army as "power 5" conference opponents from a strength of schedule perspective, and more could be on the way.
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.
It doesn't take a math major to see that this could give programs like Boston College even more difficulty in fulfilling the ACC's strength of schedule requirement (beginning in 2017). Unless the ACC follows suit and starts granting exceptions to the Power 5 conference strength of schedule requirement, this could leave less desirable Power 5 conference teams struggling to ink home-and-home agreements with other Power 5 conference teams.
With the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 all at a nine conference game schedule, there's really only room for one non-conference home-and-home series with a Power 5 conference each season. Power 5 conference teams basically plead poverty if they can't get seven home games a year, and with just four conference home games each year, there's little/no room to entertain going on the road for a home-and-home with a Power 5 conference program.
The math simply doesn't work. If each Power 5 conference team has to schedule one Power 5 conference school each year, when programs like Notre Dame and BYU fulfill the requirement for more than one program each year, the demand begins to seriously outstrip supply. Throw teams like Army (with complete scheduling freedom as one of the nation's last remaining independents), UConn and Cincinnati into the mix, and we'll end up with a situation where several Power 5 conference opponents will struggle to land non-conference home-and-homes with fellow Power 5 teams.
Unless the ACC follows suit here and starts granting exceptions to the strength of schedule requirement, programs like BC could feel the pinch of scheduling that much more in the future.