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NCAA looks to relax conference title game restrictions

Sportsnaut
Dec 4, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) and defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) hoist the trophy after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Alabama won 41-24. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA took a major step toward updating rules surrounding conference title games for the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), reports said Monday.

The NCAA Football Oversight Committed put forward new recommendations on April 28 that, among other things, would remove a longstanding requirement for conferences to be split into divisions in order to stage a championship game.

Conferences with 12 or more members are currently obliged to have two divisions that play a round-robin schedule during the regular season, with the division winners meeting in a conference title game. Conferences without divisions, such as the 10-team Big 12, must play a full round-robin.

The oversight committee voted to recommend removing the requirements altogether, which would give individual conferences more freedom to decide which teams will play in their conference championship game.

Some conferences are expected to eliminate divisions in favor of alternative scheduling formats. ESPN reported Monday that the ACC has discussed eliminating divisions as early as the 2023 football season.

The Division I Council will meet later this month to ratify the updated rules, with multiple media reports indicating that the recommendation is expected to pass.

–Field Level Media