How big of a deal is the SEC and ACC’s new requirement that member schools play at least one non-conference game against a power-five opponent?
Seriously, don’t most big-time programs already schedule these type of games on a regular basis?
Here’s a look at the six power-five teams with the longest droughts in scheduling a non-conference game against another power-five program. The offenders are ranked by the length of the drought.
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five Opponent: Sept. 24, 2011 at Ohio State
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five, Regular-Season Win: 29-27 over Georgia in 2010
The last time Colorado scheduled a non-conference game against a power-five team was also the first year it joined the Pac-12.
The Buffs don’t have another big-league game scheduled outside of Pac-12 play until a road trip to Michigan in 2016. This date is followed up with a home-and-away series with Nebraska in 2018 and 2019, Minnesota in 2021 and 2022 and the Huskers again in 2023 and 2024.
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five Opponent: Sept. 17, 2011 at Georgia Tech
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five, Regular-Season Win: 28-25 over Georgia Tech, 2010
Kansas hasn’t had a power-five team on its non-conference slate in two seasons. All that changes in 2014 when the Jayhawks travel to Duke on Sept. 13.
The only other big-conference action on the Jayhawks non-Big 12 radar is Rutgers in 2015 and 2018 and Illinois in 2023 and 2024.
4. Texas A&M
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five Opponent: Sept. 1, 2011 vs. Arkansas at Arlington, Texas
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five, Regular-Season Win: 27-6 win over Clemson in 2004
The Aggies haven’t scheduled a power-five opponent in the regular season since their final year in the Big 12. What’s even more shocking is that Texas A&M hasn’t won a scheduled non-league game against a power-five team in 10 years. The Aggies are 0-6 since in such games since 2005, losing once to Clemson, twice to Miami (Fla.) and three times to Arkansas.
The Texas A&M brass has stepped it up and thankfully 2014 will be the final year of the drought. The Aggies have a 2015 date set with Arizona State in Houston, a home-and-away with UCLA in 2016 and 2017 and a blockbuster, two-game series with Oregon in 2018 and 2019.
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five Opponent: Oct. 9, 2010, at Iowa State
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five, Regular-Season Win: 68-27 over Iowa State in 2010
Though Utah played Pitt out of conference in 2011, the Panthers were still a member of the Big East then, not joining the ACC until 2013.
Ironically, the last time the Utes played a non-league game against a team in a power-five conference was when they were still Mountain West members. This was the same year that Utah also traveled to South Bend to play Notre Dame, a game it lost 28-3.
The Utes do have a home-and-away series scheduled against Michigan in 2014 and 2015, but after that they have no power-five members on their long-term slate.
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five Opponent: Sept. 9, 2009, at Wake Forest
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five, Regular-Season Win: 24-21 over Wake Forest, 2009
Not only has it been five seasons since Baylor scheduled a power-five team in the regular season, the Bears don’t have another big-time, non-conference opponent slated until they square off with Duke in 2017 and 2018.
That’s a total of seven years between the two games.
1. Texas Tech
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five Opponent: Sept. 27, 2003, at Ole Miss
Last Non-Conference, Power-Five, Regular-Season Win: 49-45 over Ole Miss, 2003
The last time the Red Raiders played a power-five team outside of conference play, George W. Bush was in the first term of his presidency and Steve Spurrier was the head coach of the Washington Redskins.
Not only did Texas Tech travel to play Ole Miss in 2003, it also hit the road to face NC State, a game the Red Raiders dropped 49-21.
The good news is the powers that be at Texas Tech have a home-and-away series booked with Arkansas for 2014 and 2015 followed by the same arrangement with Arizona State in 2016 and 2017.
The Red Raiders’ drought lasted ten years.