Earlier today the NCAA announced they were relaxing restrictions on who could play in conference championship games. Previously, conferences had two have the winners of two divisions play in a championship game, but with today’s changes conferences are free to choose championship game participants in other ways.
Immediately after this announcement, the Pac-12 announced they would be making changes. The conference announced that starting in 2022 the Pac-12 Championship would be played by the two teams with the best winning percentages in the conference. Previously, the championship would be played between the winners of the Pac-12’s North and South divisions.
Since its expansion to 12 teams, the Pac-12’s divisions have often been lopsided. As the Pac-12 explained in their announcement, in 5 of the last 11 seasons the championship game matchup would have been different had the conference been operating under the new rule. Usually this has been to the North divisions detriment, in four of those seasons the championship would have been between two North division teams. Only recently, in 2020, the matchup would have been between two South division teams, 13th ranked USC and 25th ranked Colorado.
While this change will affect next year’s Pac-12 Championship it won’t change the 2022 football schedule, which will still follow the old division alignments. The conference plans to review its scheduling after next season, so divisional scheduling will probably be on the chopping block after next season.
So what are your thoughts Beaver fans? The Beavers wouldn’t have appeared in any Pac-12 championships in the past decade under either set of rules, but with the program possibly on the rise its something interesting to ponder. Let us know what you think of the changes in the comments.