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BIG 12 TIEBREAKER EXPLAINED

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Should OU win and Baylor beat Texas, then there's a three way tie for 2nd. Who goes to the Sugar Bowl?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Never mind that, based on reading as much as possible, the Big 12 tiebreaker won't matter for the birth in the Sugar Bowl if OU makes the college football playoff.

It will go to the team with the highest ranking in the CFP. Good luck with that.

Be that as it may, there has been some debate about how the Big 12 tiebreaker works as Baylor fans refuse basic logic, which is not surprising.

So here it is, direct from Big12Sports.com...

The following procedure will determine the Conference Champion. The tiebreaker will also be used to break other ties as necessary. For the avoidance of doubt, only Conference records will be used throughout the process:

a) If two teams are tied, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the champion.
b) If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 4 will be followed until a determination is made. Once a team has been eliminated from a multi-team comparison, it is dropped from further comparisons. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the Champion.

1) The conference records of the three or more teams will be compared against each other.
2) The conference records of the three or more teams will be compared against the next highest placed team(s) in the conference (4, 5 and 6….).

When comparing against the next highest placed teams, a two-way tie among the next highest placed teams will be broken by head-to-head before the comparison begins. If more than a two-way tie exists among the next highest placed teams, record against the collective tied teams as a group will be used.

3) Scoring differential among the tied teams. The team with the lowest difference between points scored and points allowed in games vs. the tied teams are eliminated from consideration.
4) Draw (In the event steps 1-3 cannot break a multi-team tie the champion will be determined by draw at the Conference office.

In the event that scheduled regular season contests cannot be played as originally scheduled, every effort shall be made to reschedule such a contest at the earliest possible date, provided that such rescheduling does not interfere with classes, examination periods, NCAA rules, or other sports prohibitions. If contests cannot be rescheduled and in the event of a first-place tie, the conference tiebreaker system will be utilized to identify the Conference Champion.

The confusion is around the statemtent in b)...

Once a team has been eliminated from a multi-team comparison, it is dropped from further comparisons. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the Champion.

First off, there is no repeating of steps. Step 4 clearly takes care of that.

Second, each step of the tiebreaker isn't about eliminating the bottom team. It's about declaring a winner. If OSU wins Bedlam, then OU was 2-0 against TCU and Baylor...they win Step 1. IT'S ABOUT WINNING THE TIEBREAKER. That's why it's a tiebreaker.

The first part of b) eliminates the "two tie, all tie" argument. The second part of the statement is about what happens if two teams tie the tiebreaker, and all other teams are eliminated. Example...in this scenario, let's say that Baylor's 2nd loss came to Texas Tech, not OU. Baylor would be eliminated in step #2, with the result of the tiebreaker leaving OSU and TCU tied. Think of this as "rock-paper-scissors" and TCU/OSU threw rock, Baylor threw scissors. At that point, with only two teams remaining, OSU's win over TCU gives them the edge, per b) above.

So now to the tiebreaker in question...#3.

The points differential is ONLY for the games between the tied teams...NOT the entire conference.

1. OSU...+10 (+20, -10)
2. Baylor...+3 (+10, -7)
3. TCU...-13 (-20, +7)

At this point, the Cowboys WIN the tiebreaker. The results of the tiebreaker did not result in more ties. If TCU were eliminated and OSU's and Baylor's tiebreaker results were the same, then Baylor's win over the Cowboys would be the deciding factor.

Probably not going to matter, as I'm pretty confident in my reading of the college football playoff bowl selection rules. Fun for discussion, though.

Enjoy whatever comes of it.