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Report: ACC wants to 'deregulate' conference championship games

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
NCAA Football: ACC-Media Day
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Jul 21, 2013; Greensboro, NC, USA; ACC commissioner John Swafford addresses the media during the ACC football conference at the grandover resort. (Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports)

With the hope of allowing leagues the opportunity to choose how to determine a conference champion, the ACC submitted NCAA legislation to “deregulate” football conference championship games, according to CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd.

NCAA rules require that conferences (who have at least 12 total teams) split into divisions with the top team from each division meeting in a conference championship game. This legislation would eliminate that and would allow a league to “match its two highest-ranked teams in order to get as many teams as possible into the new four-team playoff.”

Though the ACC is the first conference to formally communicate with the NCAA concerning this issue, it is not the only conference that would support this.

Dodd writes:

The measure is thought to have wide-ranging support among FBS conferences because it is largely non-controversial. It is known that the 10-team Big 12 would prefer deregulation if it ever decided to play a championship game with its current 10-team alignment.

A conference championship is an NCAA requirement if a league has 12 or more teams, but the game could hurt a conference’s chances to earn one of the final four spots for the College Football Playoff in the future.

“Championship games, they’ve been great for TV,” said Kansas State president Kirk Schulz. “Sometimes the live audiences are not really good when the lower-seeded team winds up winning. It’s great for those fans but for the conference point of view it may cost you that (championship) shot.”

An NCAA spokesman told CBSSports that the proposal will be up for discussion at an April meeting among the NCAA board of directors. However, NCAA presidents “declined to consider rule changes proposed by the conferences” before other restructuring agendas are completed.

This will be something to keep an eye on moving forward as college football transitions to the College Football Playoff format.

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