Big 12 football: Five-way tie possible
If you discount all the conference realignment madness, Big 12 football has been glorious this season. Three teams in the BCS top 10. Six teams in the BCS top 25. Two States leading the way — Oklahoma State and Kansas State, creating great stories and possibilities.
But a conference that seems incapable of taking two steps without tripping over itself can always mess it up. And here’s how. What could be worse than the Big 12 not putting a team in the Big Bowl this season? How about not knowing which team to send to the Fiesta Bowl? Anyone ready for a five-way tie?
Don’t look now, but a five-way tie for first place in the Big 12 at 7-2 is a possibility. Not a distinct possibility. But a possibility. Which would be rich with irony, considering the league crowed over the summer about its new round-robin schedule that featured no championship game. Crowed about its suddenly-superior new method of crowning a champ, as if 15 years of a title game were fraudulent.
Here’s one way a five-way tie could occur:
* Kansas State beat Oklahoma but loses to OSU and Texas A&M. The Wildcats would finish 7-2, provided it won its other games (at Texas, home vs. Iowa State). Not crazy.
* OU loses to KSU but beats Texas A&M and OSU, plus wins its other games (at Baylor, home vs. Iowa State). Not crazy.
* OSU beats KSU but loses at Texas Tech and to OU, plus wins its other games (at Iowa State, home vs. Baylor). Not crazy.
* Texas A&M beats KSU but loses to OU, plus wins its other games (Missouri, Kansas and Texas at home). Not crazy.
* Texas Tech beats OSU, plus wins its other games (Iowa State at home, at Texas and at Missouri, and vs. Baylor in Arlington). OK, a little longshot.
Five not-crazies equal crazy, but still. Would you put it past the league to produce a five-way tie for its title. One True Champion? How about as many teams claiming the title as not claiming the title?
It’s not at all likely. It’s much more likely that Oklahoma State runs the table and wins the league outright. But you’ve got to admit, a five-way tie would be just perfect for Conference Chaos. I suppose the BCS rankings would determine the league’s team for the Fiesta Bowl, although the Fiesta might just get to pick, since the old BCS method of breaking unbreakable ties was intended to produce a team for the Big 12 title game.
My brother first noticed the possibility. He even came up with scenarios by which Baylor and Texas could be part of a five-way tie. But Baylor would have to beat OU, OSU, Texas, Texas Tech and Missouri. Texas would have to beat Baylor, Missouri, Kansas State, Texas and Texas A&M.
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