Two days after the NCAA relaxed regulations on how FBS conferences choose participants for a league title game, the Mountain West Conference is making a major change of its own.
The league announced Friday that, beginning with the 2023 season, it will eliminate divisions and the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will face off in the MW championship game.
Previously, the league’s two championship game participants were filled by the winners of the league’s Mountain and West divisions.
It’s a move the league said it’s making to “ensure the top two teams meet in the championship game and put the Mountain West in the best position for a place in the College Football Playoff.”
“Our membership has been working on concepts since last summer, as part of our strategic planning for the future of the Mountain West,” MW Commissioner Craig Thompson said in a statement.
“A single-division approach provides maximum flexibility to adapt the conference schedule as the landscape continues to evolve, while also allowing member institutions to play each other more frequently.”
The Mountain West isn’t the only Western conference to make a change. On Wednesday, the Pac-12 made a similar move, announcing the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will play in the Pac-12 championship game.
Unlike the MW, though, the Pac-12 is making that change effective in the 2022 season.
For the upcoming season, the Mountain West will still have its two division winners meet in the 2022 MW championship game.
Last year, Utah State finished tied for first in the MW Mountain Division co-champions, held the tiebreaker over Air Force and advanced to the MW championship game, where the Aggies beat San Diego State.
The conference said it will announce a scheduling model and tiebreaking procedures for future seasons in the coming weeks.