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NCAA to Look at Changing Conference Championship Game Format

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The Mountaineers take the field Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium. (WVSN photo by Kelsie LeRose)

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.

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.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. Ethan has covered WVU men’s basketball, football and recruiting for the past two years. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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