Friday, October 22, 2010
Big 12 confirms change to tiebreaker rules
By David Ubben
Though Texas fans didn't get what it wanted in 2008's "45-35" campaign, flying planes over the Big 12 title pregame and setting up websites in hopes of getting the Longhorns into the national championship game over Oklahoma, the outcome of that season has had an impact on future rules.
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday that the league has agreed to change the tiebreaker rules, if only slightly, to rely more on head-to-head matchups.
Here's the old version, with the fifth three-way tiebreaker: "5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series standings following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative."
And the new version: "5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big 12 Championship Game, unless two of the tied teams are ranked within one spot of the other in the BCS poll. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the Big 12 Championship Game."
Conspiracy theorists will point to this as another case of Texas getting its way, but it's not like anybody has plans to go wrangle up Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy and replay the 2008 national title game. The new rule makes a lot of sense, and emphasizes performances on the field more than those on a hard drive.
Anything that does that is good in my book. No complaints here.
I was OK with the rule as it was, since the opportunity to climb over another team in the BCS rankings to the point where it decides a title game berth of BCS bowl game berth is rare, but the new way it's set up is clearly better.
""I think the feeling is if they're within a place of each other [in the BCS], it's not going to affect that access," Beebe told the Morning News. "We looked at other possibilities that were within five places and thought that was too big a risk."
The rule was actually implemented in in June, but was never officially announced because realignment issues overshadowed everything else during the summer.