Friday, February 18, 2011
Tiebreaker for Pac-12 championship game
By Ted Miller
A couple of folks, not to mention ESPN.com editors, have asked about how the home field will be decided in the Pac-12 championship game in the event that the winners of the North and South divisions have the same conference record.
Pac-12 spokesman Dave Hirsch has provided an answer. The tiebreaker will work like this:
- Head-to-head (winner gets home field).
- BCS ranking (higher ranked team gets home field).
Now, it's almost certain that one of those would apply. But in the case that neither team is ranked in the final regular-season BCS standings, then:
- Record versus next highest common opponent.
- Cumulative record in common conference games.
So if the North team is 6-3 and the South team is 6-3 and they didn't play and neither is ranked in the BCS standings -- hard to imagine, for example, a 7-2 record wouldn't earn a ranking -- and both played the lone 5-4 team in the Pac-12, with one winning and one losing, then the winner would get home field.
If that doesn't solve it, then you'd just add up both teams' record versus all common conference opponents and the better record gets home field.
And if that doesn't solve it? Hirsch and I didn't go beyond step four. This will all become official shortly, so we'll surely get a step five, too.
The important part, however, is Nos. 1 and 2. To me, that is the proper order of how things should go, though, of course, you could end up with an 11-1, top-three team playing on the road at a 9-3 team due to a head-to-head defeat, which could damage chances to get a team in the national title game.
But that's how the cookie crumbles.