College Football Conference Championship Games Without Divisions. What Would've Happened?

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Conference Championship Games Without Divisions. What Would've Happened?

College Football Features

College Football Conference Championship Games Without Divisions. What Would've Happened?

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College football conferences are starting to do away with divisions. How would the conference championship games have been if there weren’t the division formats?


College Football Conference Championships Without Divisions – What Would They Have Been?

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The NCAA said it was cool for conferences to ditch the division formats when it comes to the championship games. Going forward – if conferences want to – the championships can be between the two top teams by conference winning percentage.

The Big 12 was already there, the Pac-12 jumped at the chance, and the Mountain West followed suit. Others are sure to do the same soon.

So how would college football history have been rewritten if the conference championship games didn’t have divisions?

As you’d expect – and as it’ll likely be going forward – the big winners were the powerhouse teams that had one bad day against the division rival.

Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Clemson, Florida, Alabama, Oregon – all would’ve been in a lot more conference championships, and there wouldn’t have been as many out-of-the-blue one-hit wonder teams getting in.

Here’s what would’ve happened in each conference championship had there not been divisions.

No Division Conference Championships: What Would’ve Happened?
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | MAC
Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt  


ACC Conference Championship: What Would’ve Happened Without Divisions

Everything worked out fine lately, but there was a long stretch when just about everyone was in the ACC title hunt. It all worked in the divisional format, but it would’ve been insane for a few seasons without them. The tie-breakers would’ve been brain-melting in a few of the years.

The years when the championship would’ve been different without divisions are in bold, and the ones when the matchup would’ve been what actually happened aren’t. The records are for the regular season conference games only.

2021 Pitt 45, Wake Forest 21

2020 Clemson 34, Notre Dame 10
This was 1 vs 2 – ACC had no divisions

2019 Clemson 62, Virginia 17

2018 Clemson 42, Pitt 10

2017 Clemson 38, Miami 3

2016 Clemson 42, Virginia Tech 35
No Divisions Championship: Clemson vs Louisville
Lamar Jackson and 7-1 Louisville would’ve had another shot at 7-1 Clemson after losing the first time around in a 42-36 thriller. Virginia Tech was 6-2.

2015 Clemson 45, North Carolina 37

2014 Florida State 37, Georgia Tech 35

2013 Florida State 45, Duke 7
No Divisions Championship: Florida State vs Clemson
The Duke thing was fun – it was 6-2 – but it would’ve been a high-powered rematch of the 8-0 Seminoles and 7-1 Clemson.

2012 Florida State 21, Georgia Tech 15
No Divisions Championship: Florida State vs Clemson
Clemson’s only ACC loss was to 7-1 FSU. Georgia Tech was 5-3.

2011 Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 10

2010 Virginia Tech 44, Florida State 33

2009 Georgia Tech 39, Clemson 34
No Divisions Championship: Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech
This would’ve been debatable. 7-1 Georgia Tech was a lock, but 6-2 Clemson and 6-2 Virginia Tech didn’t play each other and both lost to the Yellow Jackets. This likely would’ve come down to overall record or ranking. The Hokies would’ve received the very questionable call.

2008 Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 12
No Divisions Championship: Boston College vs Georgia Tech
Tis would’ve been an ugly mess, but it would’ve been a fascinating race. Duke was 1-7 and Virginia was 3-5, but six teams were 4-4 and in it until late, and Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech all went 5-3. Out of the four 5-3 teams, the Yellow Jackets and Eagles each had only one loss among the group, the Hokies and Seminoles each had two.

2007 Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 16

2006 Wake Forest 9, Georgia Tech 6
No Divisions Championship: Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech
America might have been spared from the game that actually happened. Georgia Tech would’ve been in at 7-1, but 6-2 Virginia Tech beat 6-2 Wake Forest.

2005 Florida State 27, Virginia Tech 22
No Divisions Championship: Virginia Tech vs Miami
The Bobby Bowden ACC Championship narrative wouldn’t have happened. FSU was 5-3, so it would’ve been 6-2 Miami against 7-1 Virginia Tech.

No Division Championships: What Would’ve Happened?
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | MAC
Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt  

2022 College Football Win Total Projections: Spring Version
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Independents
MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt | All 131 Teams

NEXT: American Athletic Conference Championship: What Would’ve Happened Without Divisions

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