Four teams are tied at the top of the Big 12 football standings.
That brings up a question.
Did the Big 12 ever figure out how to break ties?
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That ushered in a whole new set of tiebreaker rules, not only for first place but second and third and so on. Those rules will also apply, if necessary, in deciding the two teams that go to Arlington for the Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium. (Obviously, there will never be a need for a tiebreaker to decide the championship).
The tiebreaker rules, in procedure-ese, are posted on the Big 12 website.
Not that everyone has done a deep dive into exactly how they work, partly because they are in procedure-ese.
“I didn’t read it past, ‘If you tie, the winner between head-to-head will go,’ ” TCU coach Gary Patterson said with a smile at his weekly press conference Tuesday. “Outside of that, it’s like a full page.”
Here they are simplified:
The first tiebreaker is head-to-head. Simple. Applies in all cases when two teams are tied.
To break anything more than a two-way, use the record of the teams against the other teams in the tie. Once it’s down to a two-way tie, use head-to-head.
If that doesn’t work, go to record against the other teams in the league, from top to bottom. Again, once it’s back to a two-way tie, use head-to-head.
If that’s no good, use scoring differential in the tied group. Again, once it’s down to a two-way tie, use head-to head.
If that doesn’t work either, just draw. First two names pulled out of a hat, or whatever, go.
Of course, with some teams tied at the top scheduled to play each other, the standings are going to sort themselves out, most likely. But just in case, the tiebreaker rules are out there for everyone to see.
“Everybody voted like that. Nobody paid any attention to it,” Patterson said with a wry smile. “I’m sure if somebody gets left out, they’ll wish they were paying attention.”
“Such is life.”
No. 8 TCU vs. Texas
6:15 p.m. Saturday, ESPN