Back in February when the ACC’s football schedule was released, there were some folks down at Tobacco Road who seemed upset when the conference was referred to as “The Land of 8-4 Teams” and the propensity for league members to play at least one opponent that not long ago would be called “Division I-AA.”
The ACC will still be referred to here as “The Land of 8-4 Teams,” at least until it proves it can field three teams that crack the final top 15 teams (it hasn’t happened since 2004; the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC have all done it at least once in the last two years). But the knock on the scheduling isn’t that unfair compared to the rest of the country.
In fact, it’s easier to point out who isn’t playing a non-major conference and who is playing more than one. It really is that prevalent now in the 12-game-schedule era.
So, for the fun of it, here’s the list of teams that fall into one of those categories.
NONE (39): Akron, Alabama, Arizona, Bowling Green, Buffalo, California, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Fresno State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan, Michigan State, Middle Tennessee, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Texas, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Southern California, Stanford, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas-El Paso, Toledo, Tulane, Tulsa, UCLA, UNLV, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington
TWO (5): Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Western Kentucky
The number of major college schools playing just one program from the former I-AA? A whopping 76.
Broken down another way, there are 66 schools in the BCS-plus-Notre Dame nexus. Only 19 of them aren’t playing a former I-AA, and eight come out of the Pac-10 – where the league turned the extra game on the schedule into the opportunity for a true round robin and relieved the scheduling headaches the extra game has created.