“Everyone else already does that,” was the response.
The rule is not going to have a huge impact, so that sentiment might be true, but not everyone does it. The SEC is loading the deck against the NCAA’s RPI-like rankings, where margin doesn’t matter and it is all strength of schedule and opponent’s opponent strength of schedule.
And no, not everyone already does that.
In fact, one would need look no further than the Big 12, where 5 of the 10 teams played no team from one of those other conferences in the non-conference schedule, and the other five played exactly one. Some members of the Big 12 (*cough* Kansas State *cough Baylor *cough*) had downright cupcake schedules before the conference began.
Last year, 3 of the SEC teams played two such qualifying games, 8 played exactly one game, and 3 of them played none (though two of those played teams that will be in the power conferences this season, in Rutgers and Louisville).
That was in line, already, with the other conferences. 35% of the teams from the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, and Pac-12 played no other teams in the non-conference from the other major conferences. That’s a far cry from “everyone already does that.”
If he wanted to go for the more accurate dig, he would have just pointed out that they had to put in the rule for Texas A&M, the only team from the conference not to play at least one game last year against a team who will be in one of the other power conferences this fall. But, I understand why he would avoid pointing out who Texas A&M is not playing non-conference.