- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Since 2010, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia all have played BYU, one of the more challenging nonconference opponents across the country.
But after the ACC decided that playing BYU in the future will not count toward its new nonconference scheduling requirements, many wondered whether the Cougars would remain in the mix to play ACC schools.
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe told reporters in Provo, Utah, during BYU media day Monday that he still has had discussions with ACC athletic directors about scheduling future games.
As it stands now, Virginia remains the only ACC school with future games scheduled against the Cougars. In addition to their game this year, the two are scheduled to play again in 2019 and 2020.
BYU remains an independent, and its status as an independent is much murkier than Notre Dame. Coach Bronco Mendenhall made headlines recently when he said, "We would love to be in the Big 12." Only problem is the Big 12 has had no expansion discussion, and Mendenhall pledged his support Monday of remaining independent.
If BYU ever moved into a power-five conference, obviously its status would change. But for now, independence has not automatically upgraded BYU from that standpoint. Notre Dame is the only independent treated as a power-five equal, though you could argue the Cougars deserve to be counted as a power-five opponent based on their on-field results.
Since Mendenhall arrived in 2005, BYU has posted five seasons of 10 wins or more and never had a losing season. The Cougars have long had a winning tradition and produced a long line of talented players, not to mention College Football Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards.
Of course, the Irish have way more history and way more years as an independent working for them. BYU racked up many of those recent wins in the Mountain West, which falls outside the power-five conference structure.
Still, it does not make much sense that Indiana -- which has been to a bowl game just once since 1994 -- fills the power-five nonconference requirement and BYU does not. Regardless, ACC schools do need to fill up three additional nonconference slots on the years they do not play Notre Dame. Adding BYU to the slate still makes sense for schools looking for a strength of schedule bump.
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