19 May 2022 | 08:11
The Pac-12 on Wednesday began to reposition its football model, announcing a change to the process that determines championship game participants.
Starting in the 2022 season, the teams with the highest winning percentages in the conference games – not the division winners – will meet for the championship. The Games will maintain their split format, at least for the upcoming season.
Nearly half of the 11 matches in the previous championship game would have been different using the new process.
“Our goal is to get our two best teams into the Pac-12 Soccer Championship Game, which we believe will give our conference the best opportunity to optimize invitations (College Soccer Round) and eventually win the national championship,” said commissioner George Kliavkoff.
“Today’s decision is an important step towards that goal and immediately increases fan interest in and the media value of our Football Championship Games.”
The Pac-12 could take additional strategic steps in the coming months, potentially scrapping parts altogether, and rebuilding the conference schedule model — all aimed at increasing its chances of making it to the playoffs. and won the national championship.
Wednesday’s news comes shortly after the NCAA’s Division I Board voted to remove restrictions on how conferences determine their champions.
The decision is expected to be the culmination of a lengthy legislative journey that began earlier this year with a Pac-12-funded proposal.
“The data shows us that we don’t have our strongest team in the championship game due to divisional structure,” said Merton Hanks, Pac-12 senior vice commissioner of football operations. with Hotline.
“The only way to attack that is to look at the rules. It’s Bylaw 18.104.22.168.1B. We decided to amend that, and many members of the (Rugby Division) immediately supported it.”
Kliavkoff and Hanks also took their plans to the Pac-12 coaches and athletic director. Several selection models were discussed, including College Football’s Playoff rankings and total wins.
Under Pac-12, the use of winning percentages in conference games to determine championship game participants was adopted “with unanimous support” from coaches, ADs and chairperson.
There were only three cases where a lower ranked team won the championship (Oregon in ’19 and ’20 and Utah in ’21). But if the new process is implemented, the match will be different in 5 out of 11 cases, based on data from the conference office:
2011: No. 9 Oregon vs No. 4 Stanford (instead of unranked UCLA)
2012: No. 8 Stanford vs No. 5 Oregon (instead of No. 16 UCLA)
2015: Stanford No. 7 vs No. 16 Oregon (instead of No. 20 USC)
2018: 11 Washington vs. 13 WSU (instead of 17 Utah)
2020: USC 13th versus 25th Colorado (instead of unranked Washington)
(Huskies couldn’t make it to ’20 because of COVID.)
Any ties this season will be disrupted by head-to-head results or other steps focused on conference results.
For example, the record against general opponents.
Hanks also believes that the new approach to setting up the championship match will “ensure that the runner-up has a clear path into the New Year’s bowl games”.
This policy can last for decades or just a few years.
If the College Football League opens for the 2026 season, as expected, the conference could reevaluate its football model once again.
“We understood the world could change in 266,” says Hanks.
“But we cannot afford to sit back. We have seen what data is generated and now we have to try to optimize for it. “
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