The Pac-12 announced Wednesday that it was scrapping its divisional format for moments of the upcoming football season, as the NCAA Division I council overruled requirements that dictate how conferences can determine a champion. Huh.
The Pac-12 will now pair the teams with the highest conference winning percentage in their title game after 11 seasons of tally winners from the North and South divisions.
Other conferences are expected to follow, most notably the 14-team Atlantic Coast Conference. ACC wants to implement a new scheduling model As soon as 2023.
For a conference title game, NCAA rules require the first league to be divided into divisions if they cannot play a full round-robin schedule. The 10-man Big 12 decided to resume their title game even without a split, in part to raise the winner’s profile for playoff consideration.
This was clearly in the mind of the Pac-12 officers as well.
“Our goal is to have two of our best teams in our Pac-12 football championship game, which we believe will provide our conference with the best opportunity to adapt to the CFP invitations and ultimately win the national championship,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliwakoff. he said. “Today’s decision is an important step toward that goal and immediately increases both fan interest and media value in our football championship game.”
The DI Council also approved the recommendation of a Football Oversight Committee Raising the annual scholarship limit of 25, to assist with roster management.
While a maximum of 25 so-called starting counters will be waived for the next two years, the overall scholarship limit of 85 per team in the Bowl subdivision and 63 in the Championship subdivision will remain in place. The change, supported by the American Football Coaches Association, is intended to help teams replenish rosters thinned by transfers.
Still pending there is a proposal to set a specified period when players can log into the transfer portal and be eligible to a new school immediately. Soccer coaches propose two, multiweek dates, starting after the regular season in late fall and then ending after spring practices, usually in late April.
Because similar windows will be required for other sports, the proposal is being handled by the NCAA’s Division I Change Committee, which is expected to submit recommendations this summer.
The Pac-12 stated that the nine-game conference schedule based on divisions would remain unchanged for this season, but would review the model for future seasons.
The ACC is considering a 3-5-5 model for football scheduling in which teams would play three opponents annually as permanent scheduling partners, then rotate the other 10 teams over two seasons in an eight-game schedule (five a year). year, five next).
The change addresses two issues with the current seven-team divisions and a permanent cross-over rival set-up: conference members have gone years without playing each other and unbalanced divisions have often played one-sided in league title games. Matchup created.
Without divisions, a conference would be more likely to have the two most skilled teams in its championship game and improve its chances of selecting a team or two in the college football playoffs.
The Pac-12 noted that five of its 11 championship game matchups would have been different if the conference had matched its two best teams instead of division winners.
The Big Ten and Southeastern Conference are also considering future scheduling models and whether to stick with the divisions.
The Big 12 is considering a return to a divisional setup as it prepares to welcome four new members in 2023, which could increase the number of teams in the conference to 14, at least temporarily.
Texas and Oklahoma are set to leave the Big 12 to join the Southeastern Conference after the 2024 season. Upcoming Big 12 members BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are expected to attend the conference by 2023.
Associated Press Sports Writer Aaron Beard contributed.
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