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February 25, 2009


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I thought that the Big Ten only played 8 conference games, as the Pac 10 was the only conference that played 9? The Big Ten standings for last year only show 8 games played as well. But yes, changing their tiebreaker to one that just leads to more politics and brings into play the BCS for a role that it was not designed for is just a bad, bad idea. I just hope everyone remembers next fall that this is the fault of the Big Ten, not the BCS, if things go wrong.

Jay Christensen

Yes, Chris, eight is the correct number. Fix was made. Good point that the Big Ten will have no one to blame but itself should this new tiebreaking procedure come into play.


This actually makes a little bit more sense n the Big Ten than it does/did in the Big XII. The way that I understand this, head to head is the first tiebreaker; if there is a three way tie then it goes to the BCS ranking.

The real controversy in the Big XII was that the BCS was being used to determine a conference's division winner and, in turn, who would play in the conference championship game.

Since the Big Ten has neither divisions nor conference championships to worry about, this tiebreaker is essentially a way determine which school will represent the Big Ten in a BCS game.

Carl Spackler

I agree Omagus. The rule seems a little redundant since the head to head team, like last year's Penn State got picked first to the Rose and Ohio St was an at large, ranked 10 or so. Had Michigan St. Beaten PSU in the last game, then there would have been a 3 way tie and OSU would've naturally gone to the Rose, not sure why, but would've worked in the new system as well because they'd have been higher in the BCS than a 2 loss Penn St.

Jay Christensen

Let me toss this one out there. A three-way tie between Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State, each with one loss. Ohio State beat Penn State, Penn State beat Michigan State and Michigan State beat Ohio State.

The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions each played a I-AA team in nonconference. The Spartans played four I-A teams, yet Ohio State and Penn State are ahead of Michigan State in the BCS standings. Fair?



There are more factors to consider. What if all of Michigan State's I-A opponents are patsies while Ohio State and Penn State both played Top 25 opponents out of conference in addition to the I-AA opponent each played? What if the Spartans one loss was a home blowout while the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions each lost a close one on the road?

In that scenario, I'd have absolutely no issue with Michigan State being ranked behind Ohio State and Penn State.


Yeah, from a fan's perspective the rule sucks and will most likely result in more cupcake games in the Big10. But from this conference's perspective, this is a solid move. Even though there was an uproar last year in the Big12, for the conference as a whole the situation worked out - it got 2 BCS berths, one of them being in the national championship game. So yeah, Texas got screwed, but the system worked for the Big12 conference.

It will probably work for the Big10 too - their highest ranked team probably has a better shot at winning a BCS game than a lower-ranked one with the same conference record (but maybe more non-conf losses). And they need all the advantages they can get in bowl games.

(On second thought, their best teams have laid eggs the last three years in BCS games... maybe they should give Indiana a shot.)


Alvarez only talks about a 2 team tie breaker and says nothing about a 3+ team tiebreaker. For the 2 team tiebreaker this move is a positive. It only comes into play in the event that the two tied teams did not play (happened in 2002 b/t OSU and Iowa).

Under the previous rules using the I-AA tiebreaker, here is the worst case scenario. You could have a team go 12-0 (8-0 in conf) and beat 3 ranked non-conference teams and a I-AA team. The other team could be 8-4 (8-0) and lose to 4 MAC schools out of confernce. The 8-4 team would be the BCS qualifier, a pretty nightmarish scenario.

As far as a 3 team tie, that would be similar to the Big 12 this year. I would like to see all leagues adopt the SEC tiebreaker which is to use the BCS standings to drop the lowest ranked team and then use the head to head matchup b/t the remaining two to decide the champion. This rule would have put Texas in the Big 12 title game.

Alvarez is slight on exactly what changes will be made to the 3+ team tiebreaker rules. I suspect that using the SEC rule is still an option.


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