The Pac-12 is going divisionless.
Just moments after the NCAA announced that it would be relaxing its restrictions on conference championship games and allowing each conference to determine their own participants in its title games, the Pac-12 became the first conference to alter its championship game format, eliminating divisions and going to a round-robin format.
Starting in 2022, the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will face off in the Pac-12 Championship Game. If this format were in place previously, it would have resulted in a different Pac-12 Football Championship matchup in 5 of the past 11 years.
“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,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff in a release. “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.”
In January, The Athletic reported that the Big Ten has had "serious conversations" about eliminating divisions and moving to a round-robin format, but the conference did not immediately follow the same path as the Pac-12.