After last year’s controversy surrounding the Big 12’s divisional three-way tiebreaker in football, commissioner Dan Beebe vowed the procedure would be reviewed. That process happens today in Phoenix, where Big 12 football coaches will huddle up for their annual meeting to discuss, among other things, the league’s tiebreaker. If a change in procedure is necessary, the coaches will make a formal recommendation to the league’s athletic directors, who will act on the proposal at the league’s spring meetings later this month in Colorado Springs, Colo. Texas coach Mack Brown will not be attendance today so he can be with wife, Sally, while she recovers from wrist surgery. Associate athletic director Cleve Bryant will represent UT. Brown previously has said he favors the SEC’s tiebreaking procedure. OU coach Bob Stoops previously has said he’ll accept whatever tiebreaker is agreed upon. Three-way divisional tiebreakers used by the SEC and Big 12 essentially are the same until the Bowl Championship Series standings are utilized. The Big 12 ruling states the tied team ranked highest in the BCS standings following the conference’s last regular-season games will represent the division in the Big 12 championship game. The same holds true in the SEC with the following stipulation: "Unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest-ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.” Had the SEC tiebreaker been used in the Big 12 last season, Texas would have advanced to play Missouri in the Big 12 title game. OU was ranked No. 2 in that week’s BCS standings and UT was No. 3, but the Longhorns would have advanced by virtue of their 45-35 victory over the Sooners on Oct. 11 in Dallas. Here’s hoping the Big 12 keeps its current tiebreaker, because it advances the team with the best chance of winning the national title. Let’s say Texas took a serious hit in the BCS standings last year after losing 39-33 at Texas Tech and had fallen to No. 7. Using the SEC’s tiebreaker, No. 7 Texas would have advanced to the Big 12 title game and No. 2 OU would have sat. The No. 2 team clearly has a better shot at winning the national title than the No. 7 team. Using this scenario, even if the Longhorns had beaten Missouri in the Big 12 title game, OU could have still advanced to the national title game despite not qualifying for its league title game. Texas would be Big 12 champs, yet feasibly could have still been ranked behind the Sooners with no chance to win the national crown. The Big 12’s current tiebreaker prevents this from happening.
Tiebreakers: Three-way divisional tiebreakers in football:
SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE→7. The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.
BIG 12 CONFERENCE→5. The highest-ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative. Sources: SEC and Big 12
Thumbs up & Thumbs down
THUMBS UP→To jockey Calvin Borel, who rode Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. After three-fourths of a mile, Borel was 19th out of 19 horses. With a quarter-mile left, he was 12th. At the finish, he won by 6 3/4 lengths on a 50-1 shot that should have been about 100-1. "Bo-rail” not only hugged the rail, he literally scrapped the rail. Arguably the greatest ride since Paul Revere.
THUMBS DOWN→To Alex Rodriguez, but not for his steroid use. We don’t care that you used steroids, when you used steroids or why you used steroids. We don’t care if you supposedly tip only 15 percent at Hooters. However, if it’s true you tipped pitches to opposing hitters, you immediately should be banned from baseball and from Hall of Fame consideration.