Pac-12 could eliminate divisions in football as early as 2023


That makes sense, right? If a Power Five conference gets rid of splits, that means its football championship game is still a clash of the top two teams in the standings. That eliminates the possibility of what we’ve often seen in the ACC over the years: Clemson playing a four- or five-game Coastal Division champion instead of the league’s second-best team.

In this ACC scenario, the conference championship game was often a blowout and a bad look for the league. One of the two teams in the title game had no realistic chance of getting a second offer for the New Year’s Six Bowl. It was frankly a waste of time.

The Pac-12 does not want to continue down this path. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has more:

While an official pivot could be weeks or months away, it’s clear to us that the Pac-12 football model in place since the 2011 season will not last for the next four years.

Why four years? Because the college football playoff expansion has been delayed until the 2026 season, leaving the conference to navigate four years in the four-team event.

Beginning in the 2023 season, we expect structural changes to the Pac-12 division format and, therefore, how championship game entrants are determined.

The current model leaves the conference at risk of an unranked division champion upsetting a highly ranked division champion and thus eliminating the CFP’s Pac-12.

Eliminate divisions and you can match the best teams.

The conference is at several important stages of restructuring:

1) Coaches and athletic directors must approve.

2) Presidents and Chancellors must sign.

3) The NCAA must change the policy that governs participation in football championships.


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