The Pac-12 Conference announced a huge change in how its member institutions will earn a spot to compete in the conference’s Championship Football game.
Woah, never thought that I would see the day that the Pac-12 would make a change that makes sense!
In a unanimous vote by the Pac-12 football coaches, Board of Directors, and Athletic Directors that included Arizona Football Head Coach Jedd Fisch and Athletic Director Dave Heeke, the conference has changed the team entrance criteria for its Championship game.
This was made possible by the Pac-12 bringing the motion and getting it passed by the FBS conferences in the NCAA. Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff wasted no time in getting this accomplished.
Still relatively fresh to the job, George is slowly making his mark as he previously decided to close down the pricey San Fransisco offices and have his employees work remotely.
So with the conference change, the championship football game will no longer include the winner of the South and winner of the North divisions playing against each other. Instead, the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will compete for the conference championship.
Now, that just means that the same teams that win their respective “division” end up playing each other anyways; however, now there are greater chances for all teams to get to the big dance.
If this was the rule for the last 11 years, the teams would have been different in five of the last 11 years. Although Arizona wouldn’t have benefited, Oregon, Washington State, and Colorado would have.
So, moving forward, it doesn’t seem to matter which teams Arizona loses to, but rather just how many wins in total the team earns.
The schedule will not change for each of the divisions in 2022; however, that may change in subsequent years after further review.
“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 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.”
What prompted the change? Per the Pac-12, The NCAA Division 1 Council approved the deregulation of the current rule that had a limit on each conference’s autonomy to determine their football championship game teams. The Pac-12 took the lead on this by bringing the motion to the NCAA which was supported by all the FBS conferences.
Questions on the table include agents for coaches calling up the schools today regarding the wiping out of conference division titles/championships and thus coaches bonuses (South vs. North).