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Mountain West eliminating football divisions in 2023

The two teams with the highest winning percentage will meet in the Mountain West Championship, instead of the winners of the Mountain and West Divisions.
Credit: AP
Boise State running back George Holani (24) fends off Wyoming safety Esaias Gandy (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)

BOISE, Idaho — Beginning with the 2023 football season, the Mountain West Conference announced it plans to eliminate its two-division format. 

Instead of the winners of the Mountain and West Divisions meeting in the conference title game, the two teams with the highest winning percentage will meet in the Mountain West Championship. 

Conference officials said they are working on a scheduling module and procedures for tiebreakers, which will we be announced in "the coming weeks."

For this fall, the two division champions will still meet in the Mountain West Championship on Saturday, December 3.

In Friday's announcement, the conference said the format change gives the Mountain West, "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,” Mountain West Commissioner, Craig Thompson said. “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.”

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On Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Council eliminated its requirement for leagues to split into divisions to play a conference title game, if they were not able to play a full round-robin schedule.

Immediately following the announcement, the Pac-12 announced it was removing its two-division format for the 2022 football season after 11 seasons with the North-South format. 

The Mountain West Conference's news release said the NCAA decision, "will provide discretion to each FBS conference," to decide who plays in their conference championship football game. 

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