Pac-12 changes the format of the football championship after the NCAA paved the way

Shortly after the NCAA Division I Council scrapped requirements mandating how football conferences can determine a champion, the Pac-12 announced Wednesday that it was scrapping its division format for the upcoming season.

The Pac-12 will now align with the teams with the highest conference win percentages after 11 seasons with the winners of the North and South divisions in its title game.

Other conferences are expected to follow, most notably the 14-team Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC will attempt to: a new planning model already 2023.

NCAA rules previously required that football conferences wishing to play a championship game split into divisions if they were unable to play a full round-robin schedule.

“Our goal is to place our top two teams in our Pac-12 football championship game, which we believe will provide our conference with the best opportunity to streamline CFP invitations and ultimately win national championships,” said Pac- 12-Commissioner George Kliavkoff. “Today’s decision is an important step towards that goal and immediately increases both fan interest and media value of our football championship game.”

The DI Council also agreed Football Oversight Committee recommendations is set to help with roster management and raise the annual stipend cap of 25.

While the maximum of 25 initial counters under the proposal would be removed for the next two years, the total scholarship limit of 85 per team in the Bowl Subdivision and 63 in the Championship Subdivision remains in place. The change, backed by the American Football Coaches’ Association, aims to help teams replenish rosters thinned by transfers.

Still pending was a proposal to set specific time periods during which players can enter the transfer portal and be immediately admitted to a new school. The coaches proposed two multi-week dates, beginning in late fall after the conclusion of the regular season and ending after spring training, typically in late April.

The Pac-12 said its current nine-game, division-based conference schedule will remain unchanged for the 2022 season, but models for future seasons are being reviewed.

The ACC is considering a 3-5-5 model for football planning, in which teams play three opponents annually as permanent planning partners, and then rotate the other 10 teams over two seasons in an eight-game schedule (five in one year, five in next). .

The change fixes two issues with the current seven-team divisions and a permanent crossover rival setup: Conference members who haven’t played each other for years, and unbalanced divisions that have sometimes resulted in one-sided matchups in the league title game.

Without divisions, a conference would be more likely to have its top two teams in its championship game and improve its chances of picking a team or two for the college football playoffs.

The Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference are also considering future scheduling models and whether to stay with the divisions.

The Big 12 are considering a return to a divisional structure as they prepare to add four new members in 2023, which could bring the number of teams in the conference to 14, at least temporarily.

Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12 after the 2024 season and join the Southeastern Conference. New Big 12 members BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are expected to attend the conference through 2023.


AP sportswriter Aaron Beard contributed.


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