Thanks to Texas, BCS no longer Big 12's ultimate decider on tiebreaker

Now, if the top two Big 12 teams in the BCS are ranked next to each other, the winner of their head-to-head matchup advances. Depending on how OU, OSU and Texas' seasons play out, that change could be important this season.
by Berry Tramel Modified: October 22, 2010 at 11:19 am •  Published: October 21, 2010

Under dark of night, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe stood in trenchcoat, under dim lamppost, and whispered to the Dallas Morning News that the Big 12 has changed its three-way tiebreaker.

No longer is BCS ranking the ultimate decider. Now, if the top two Big 12 teams in the BCS are ranked next to each other, the winner of their head-to-head matchup advances.

Which is a silly way to do it, even if that's the way the SEC does it. When did Birmingham become the bastion of common sense?

Love or hate the BCS, you've got to admit this. It's manna for a three-way tiebreaker. Call it the Solomon system. No good way to cut the baby in thirds, so here comes on a silver platter an outside entity to decide for you.

Beebe broke the news this week, even though the league approved the change in June.

I know the conference office had a little on its plate in June. But that doesn't explain July.

Oh well. It's good to know what the parameters are, because we conceivably could be headed for another three-way waltz.

If on Saturday OSU beats Nebraska and OU beats Missouri, a three-way tie in the South is not kooky talk. The Cowboys could lose at Texas, then win Bedlam in Stillwater, and presto, three-way tie so long as OU, OSU and UT win their other games, in which all will be favored.

Even with a three-way tie, Texas probably wouldn't be in this controversy, since the Longhorns played without shoulder pads against UCLA and would be 10-2 in such a scenario, while the Bedlam rivals would be 11-1.

Bedlam coaches and officials had no comment, but everyone knows the score. UT's hands are all over the change, which is absurd on the surface. And underneath.

What happens if all three teams in a tiebreaker are right next to each other in the BCS? Then the No. 2 team might get to go because it beat the team directly above, even though the No. 2 team would have lost to the team directly below it.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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