The Division I Council voted to relax restrictions for FBS football conference championship games, allowing all FBS conferences to determine their championship game participants, the Council announced on Wednesday.
The move will allow leagues to eliminate divisions when the decision becomes final, an idea that has gained traction in recent years.
The Pac-12 already took note of the council’s decision and unveiled a new selection format for its football conference championship. Starting in 2022, the league will choose the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage to face off in the title game, regardless of division.
“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,” Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said in a statement Wednesday. “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 current Pac-12 conference football schedule, based upon two divisions, will remain in place for the 2022 season, but is subject to review moving forward, the conference said.
The Council’s decision, coupled with the Pac-12’s move, could result in additional conferences eliminating divisions and instituting new selection parameters for conference championship games. Earlier this week, Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle revealed that the topic was already being discussed at the annual Big Ten meetings.
The Council’s actions will become final when Wednesday’s meeting ends.
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