The NCAA will look at the possibility of loosening conference championship game requirements for FBS schools, as first reported by Chris Vannini of The Athletic. This means that conferences could eventually scrap the divisional format that the ACC, Big 10, Pac 12 and SEC use.
Vannini reports that the Division-I Council will look at it later this month.
The NCAA Football Oversight Committee has recommended removing the requirements for a FBS conference to have a championship game.
It’s expected to pass the D1 Council later this month.
That’ll open the door for conferences to scrap divisions and make new schedule formats.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) May 9, 2022
Essentially, conferences can create their own format for determining a conference championship game, whether that would be keeping divisions, pods or just the best two records. This is opening the door for other conferences to scrap the divisional format.
What does this mean for West Virginia and the Big 12?
This could help West Virginia as the school has been looking for better proximity in the Big 12 since joining the conference in 2012. The Big 12 is planning on making Central Florida and Cincinnati full-time members of the conference in July 2023, which would give WVU closer opponents. BYU and Houston are also to join with UCF and UC at that time, but it doesn’t help West Virginia’s proximity desire.
Once Oklahoma and Texas leave for the SEC in 2025 and the new Big 12 is settled, the conference could look into having three pods of four teams each.
POTENTIAL NEW BIG 12 POD FORMAT
REGION 1 – BYU, KANSAS STATE, KANSAS, OKLAHOMA STATE
REGION 2 – BAYLOR, HOUSTON, TCU, TEXAS TECH
REGION 3 – CENTRAL FLORIDA, CINCINNATI, IOWA STATE, WEST VIRGINIA
Bringing in a pod format into the Big 12 would give West Virginia their best chance at playing close schools regularly. UCF, UC and ISU are all the closest to Morgantown. You would play each team in your pod once a year while mixing the other schools in the conference into the schedule.
Obviously, the Big 12 could end up keeping the current format that they have with the two best teams making the Big 12 Conference championship. With eight different states representing the conference, something needs to be arranged for scheduling.