Pac-12 on Wednesday began repositioning its football model, announcing a change in the process of determining the participants of the championship.
Starting in the 2022 season, the teams with the highest percentage of conference games won, rather than the division winners, will be vying for the title. The conference will maintain the division format, at least for next season.
Nearly half of the 11 previous championship matches would have been different using the new process.
“Our goal is to host the top two teams in our Pac-12 football championship game, which we believe will give our conference a better opportunity to optimize invitations (college football playoffs) and ultimately win national championships, ”said Commissioner George Klyavkov.
“Today’s decision is an important step towards this goal and immediately increases the interest of fans in our football championship game and its value in the media.”
The Pac-12 could take additional strategic steps in the coming months, potentially eliminate divisions and reconstruct the conference schedule model – all with the aim of increasing the chances of reaching the playoffs and winning national championships.
The news came Wednesday shortly after the Division I NCAA Division voted to lift restrictions on how conferences determine their champions.
The expected decision was the culmination of a long legislative path that began earlier this year with a Pac-12-sponsored proposal.
“The data showed us that we didn’t get our best teams in the championship because of the division structure,” said Merton Hanks, senior assistant commissioner for football at the Pac-12.
“The only way to attack this is to look at the rule. It was Resolution 126.96.36.199.1B. We decided we needed to change that, and many members (Football Bowl units) immediately supported it. “
Klyavkov and Hanks also conveyed their plan to coaches and sporting directors of Pac-12. Several selection models were discussed, including the college’s playoff playoff rankings and the total number of wins.
According to Pac-12, the use of the percentage of victories in conference games to determine the participants of the championship was adopted “with the unanimous support” of coaches, managers and presidents.
There were only three instances where lower-ranked teams won the title (Oregon in ’19 and ’20 and Utah in ’21). But if the new process existed all the time, the matches would be different in five of the 11 cases, according to the conference office:
2011: № 9 Oregon vs. № 4 Stanford (instead of UCLA ranking)
2012: № 8 Stanford vs. № 5 Oregon (instead of № 16 UCLA)
2015: № 7 Stanford vs. № 16 Oregon (instead of № 20 USC)
2018: № 11 Washington vs. № 13 WSU (instead of № 17 Utah)
2020: № 13 USC vs. № 25 Colorado (instead of Washington without rating)
(Huskies failed to attend ’20 due to COVID.)
Any ties this season will be severed due to docking or other steps aimed at the outcome of the conference.
For example: a record against ordinary opponents.
Hanks also believes that the new approach to setting up the championship match “will make sure that the one who took second place has a clear path to the New Year’s six”.
Politics can last for decades or just a few years.
If the college football playoffs expand into the 2026 season as expected, the conference could reconsider its football model.
“We understand that the world could change in the 26th,” Hanks said.
“But we can’t afford to sit back. We saw that they gave data, and now we have to try to optimize for them. “
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