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BYU received a major blow to its independence on Thursday

The music has stopped, and it appears BYU may be left without a chair to sit in.

Earlier this week, the ACC announced that it will continue playing eight conference games and four non-conference games, and one of those four must be against a so-called Power Five opponent. The question immediately arose whether or not BYU fit into that agreement. According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, the ACC has decided BYU is not included in the Power Five umbrella.

Which means the ACC has removed the incentive for its 14 member schools to ever schedule BYU again. Virginia is slated to play a home-and-home with BYU in 2019-20. At the moment. 

If no check mark toward the Power Five opponent requirement is available, why would an ACC school sign up a team more than capable of removing a win from its schedule? BYU swept Georgia Tech in a home-and-home over 2012-13, beat Texas in 2012, beat Washington State in 2012 and beat Ole Miss in 2011. 

As Jason Kirk of SB Nation points out, 24 Power Five programs do not claim a national championship. BYU does. Thirty Power Five programs have not produced a Heisman Trophy winner. BYU has.

BYU has a higher all-time winning percentage than 33 Power Five programs (at 65 total, that's more than half), including Duke, Louisville and Virginia from the ACC.

BYU drew an average of 61,225 fans per game in 2013, more than 39 Power Five programs including Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest from the ACC. 

ESPN valued BYU football enough to sign a contract guaranteeing the rights to broadcast every Cougars home games on one of its networks.

Its status as the flagship school for the LDS church gives BYU a national following. 

None of those points on their own make BYU the equivalent of a Power Five program but, when put together, they clearly paint the picture of a Power Five program. 

Since launching football in 1922, BYU's performance has been consistent with a Top 25 national program. 

The ACC is now encouraging its member schools to play Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue and the like instead of BYU as a way of improving its collective non-conference schedules. The folks in Provo are going to need some convincing to understand how that makes sense. There's zero doubt that BYU would actually improve ACC football if geography didn't make the hypothetical move prohibitive. 

The school knew there were risks when it left the Mountain West to pursue football independence beginning in the 2011 season, but it could not have possibly foreseen this. Unlike Notre Dame, BYU does not share a tie-in to a College Football Playoff bowl, and it is not included in the Group of Five bid that the top-ranked team from the American, Mountain West, Conference USA, MAC or Sun Belt is guaranteed, either. Simply put, BYU is now in college football no man's land.

If there's a silver lining here, it's that Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall now has bulletin board material permanently branded into his program's psyche. 

Cougars' athletics director Tom Holmoe has said he plans to speak with SEC commissioner Mike Slive in hopes of avoiding the same fate with his league. For the sake of building viable schedules moving forward, Holmoe must lead Slive to a different conclusion than ACC commissioner John Swofford. 

BYU hosts ACC founding member Virginia on Sept. 20. The guess here is that Menendhall won't have any trouble motivating his team to show the ACC just how insignificant little old BYU truly is.