Should BCS standings break B1G ties?


CHICAGO -- The BCS standings have famously factored into determining champions for major conferences the past few seasons.

The BCS standings broke a three-way tie in the Big 12 South division in 2008. Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech all finished tied atop the division with 1-1 records against each other. The Sooners ultimately went to the Big 12 championship game because they were ranked higher in the final BCS standings, and they eventually advanced to the BCS championship game. Oklahoma again benefited from the BCS standings last season as it won a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South.

When Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State finished tied atop the Big Ten last season, the BCS standings became the tiebreaker to determine which team received the league's automatic BCS bowl berth. Wisconsin finished ahead of Michigan State and Ohio State and went to Pasadena.

As Big Ten coaches and administrators meet this week, tiebreakers once again are on the table. One question sure to be asked: Should the BCS standings be a factor?

"My preference with tiebreakers is to keep it within control of what you do on the field," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said. "Any time you have polls or anything like that, it becomes a subjective issue. There are certain schools that are always at an advantage when you talk about subjective-type voting."

Hollis will get no objections from his football coach, Mark Dantonio, who was the only Big Ten boss to vote against using the BCS standings as a tiebreaker at last year's spring meetings.

The BCS standings are listed as the fourth tiebreaker to determine Big Ten division champions, but the discussion is ongoing this week.

Big Ten athletic directors have been presented with several tiebreaker models, including one that features the BCS standings.

"I think if it's one of the later parts of the tiebreaker, it probably makes some sense," Iowa AD Gary Barta said. "But hopefully we can solve a tie before it gets to that being the final piece of the puzzle."