Army an Option for SEC Schools

Army received a shot in the arm in its scheduling ability when the Southeastern Conference declared that West Point would count as a Power 5 conference team in scheduling. The SEC had earlier passed a rule that each member school must schedule at least one power conference team as a non-conference opponent each season.

The Black Knights may find themselves fielding more game offers from SEC schools in the future given a ruling last week which tweaked a new SEC policy. This policy states that each school in the SEC must play at least one non-conference game against a Power 5 team each season from 2016 onward. Last week however the amendment was announced that states games against three independents, Notre Dame, BYU, and Army, would also meet that scheduling requirement.

According to Army athletic director Boo Corrigan, this was something he had been expecting all along. “It wasn't a revelation to us. With Army and West Point's place in college football history, people like to play us.’’

This may be true to a point, but the Black Knights have not had a winning season since 1997 and adding them to an SEC schedule would seem to be going against the policy of adding to the strength of schedule as was initially the conferences aim. With Notre Dame especially, and to a certain extent BYU, the alteration makes sense as those schools have a shot to run with the Auburns and Floridas of this world. With the Black Knights disadvantages in recruiting however the sad can sadly not be said of Army.

What the addition of the Black Knights to this scheduling policy does do is give the SEC some flexibility. Most of the other Power 5 schools are locked into long term schedule commitments already and it is sometimes just hard to figure out a date which works for both schools unless you are planning seven, eight, or more years in advance. Army is not locked into conference schedules, so they do not have eight of their games locked in place every year before the season starts. This flexibility is a huge tool Army can use to improve the quality of opposition the Black Knights play.

While playing the likes of Alabama and LSU makes little sense for the Black Knights at this point it would be interesting to see the administration pick up series with some of the other schools in the SEC. The likes of Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and even Tennessee, would add some flair to a schedule which can sometimes offer little in the way of name value. If Army can then translate these games into a recruit or two then it would have to be seen as a success all around.

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