As soon as Wednesday’s NCAA announcement about divisions not being required in order to decide championship games qualifiers was announced, the Pac-12 was ready with a release of their own. Starting this season, the Pac-12 Conference will invite the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage to face off in the championship game.
The NCAA’s announcement stated that it will relax restrictions on college football’s conference championship games, allowing conferences to determine the teams that would participate in their respective title game. That decision paved the way for conferences to avoid having title-game matchups determined by division winners and could lead to eliminating divisions altogether.
The conference noted that this new rule would have resulted in a different Pac-12 Football Championship matchup in 5 of the past 11 years. The Buffaloes would have added an appearance if the rule was retroactive, keeping the 2016 qualification and adding a selection in 2020.
Starting in 2022, the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will face off in the championship game. This change would have resulted in a different Pac-12 Football Championship matchup in 5 of the past 11 years.
The measure passed with unanimous support from the league’s head football coaches, athletic directors and board of directors.
The current Pac-12 conference football schedule, based upon two divisions, will remain in place for the 2022 season. Scheduling scenarios for seasons beyond 2022 will continue to be reviewed.
“Our goal is to place our two best teams in our Pac-12 Football Championship Game, which we believe will provide our conference with the best opportunity to optimize 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 in, and the media value of, our Football Championship Game.”
The NCAA Division I Council approved today the deregulation of the current rule that had limited an individual conference’s autonomy to determine their football championship game participants. Based on a motion brought by the Pac-12 and unanimously supported by all FBS conferences, the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee previously recommended this deregulation to the Division I Council.