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The announcements by the SEC and ACC that games played by their member schools against BYU would not fulfill their requirement to play nonconference Power 5-level competition devalue, then, the Cougars as a football entity. Small wonder that Tom Holmoe, in the aftermath, requested a meeting with SEC commissioner Mike Slive. With the regionalized nature of the college game, that aforementioned perception will always be significant. As it is now, that’s unfortunate for BYU.
But it’s good for college football that leagues are mandating additional better games against better teams. It’s good for coaches, good for players, good for fans.
There will always be scheduled mismatches, those snooze-fests in which powerful teams pay out a lot of money to a bad opponent for the chance to kick it up and down the field en route to an automatic — and dubiously prostituted — win. But this new position adopted by the power leagues, a new emphasis on SOS, will potentially reduce that nonsense by one for every member, broadening the scope of those teams and, theoretically, giving spectators better, more evenly matched games. Adverse effects on teams like BYU, who are a threat to be competitively difficult without the accompanying cachet, are collateral damage, existing for the time being on the wrong side of a growing divide.
Whether Power-5 teams will be motivated to play the Cougars, if the reduced status is widespread, remains to be seen. But, even if they aren’t, fair or unfair, college football on the whole wins.
GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 and 960 AM The Zone.
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