McLaughlin: How New Football Rule Changes Battle for Title

The Conference hopes to consistently put its two best teams on national TV to decide a champion

Posted on May 24, 2022

  By Spencer McLaughlin of Locked on Pac-12 for SportsPac12

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff has made a significant change to how the conference will determine a champion by eliminating the importance of divisions.

Pac-12The two teams that will meet in the championship game in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium will now be the two teams that have the highest conference winning percentage, even if they come from the same division.

The rule is the right move for the conference and for college football, and it’s encouraging to see the Pac-12 commissioner spearheading the movement to make conference divisions obsolete.

On this episode of Locked On Pac-12, I’m joined by Carter Bahns, senior writer/editor of to talk about the latest rule change.

The Pac-12 has the potential to raise its profile by consistently putting its two best teams on national TV to decide a champion, and that’s something the conference needs.

At the moment, this rule could potentially benefit a team in the Pac-12 South (Utah, UCLA, USC) to allow them to reach the championship game without having to go undefeated against the other two programs in a given season.

We conclude by talking about the scheduling implications and the balance that Kliavkoff and his team have to strike to act in the conference’s best interests.

Carter thinks they could set it up to give a big-brand team like USC a favorable schedule to help get the conference back to the College Football Playoff. I argue it might be best to think in the short-term and raise the conference’s profile and match up the conference’s three biggest brands regularly: Oregon, USC, and Utah.


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—More from Spencer McLaughlin—