Skip to content

Breaking News


College Sports |
Mountain West football scraps division format, top two teams will play in conference championship game

San Jose State and the rest of the conference can reach the title game by having one of the top two conference winning percentages

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 19: San Jose State Spartans Director of Athletics Marie Tuite (C) looks up as players, including quarterback Nick Starkel (L) #17 and defensive lineman Cade Hall #92, hold up the championship trophy after defeating the Boise State Broncos 34-20 to win the Mountain West Football Championship at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Mountain West Conference is eliminating its two-division format for football, and beginning with the 2023 season the two teams with the highest conference winning percentages will compete in the championship game.

San Jose State has been a member of the Mountain West in football since the 2013 season.

The conference announced the move on Friday afternoon, saying that changing the format to ensure its top two regular-season teams meet in the title game will “put the Mountain West in the best position for a place in the College Football Playoff.” The Mountain West has never had a team participate in the College Football Playoff.

The MW will continue with its existing Mountain and West Divisions in the fall of 2022, with the two divisional champions meeting in the MW Football Championship Game on Saturday, December 3.

“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 the conference’s announcement. “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 move comes two days after the NCAA Division I Council announced that conferences can determine the teams that would participate in their respective title games. The Pac-12 announced the same day it has dropped divisions starting this season.

The Mountain West adopted a division format for the start of the 2013 season when it expanded to 12 teams. San Jose has played in the MW Championship game once, beating Boise State in 2020. That season, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league abandoned divisions and the Spartans and Broncos were 1-2 after the regular season.

The league said a scheduling model and tiebreaking procedures for future seasons are being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.