Big Ten Title Game suggestion

Submitted by Wolverine Incognito on August 14th, 2010 at 3:00 PM

With the advent of the Big Ten Title Game in 2011, I was thinking about past conference title games.  As a hardcore College Football fan I am always a little disheartened when a Conference Championship Game is a rematch of a regular season match up.  It just takes a little something away IMO.  Anyone agree or disagree, I'd like to hear.

But I was thinking about this, and I was wondering if the Big Ten might do something to combat this occurrence.  I would like to see the BT institute a rule that says something along the lines of:  "If one division champion wins their division outright, but there is a tie between at least two teams in the other division, the first tiebreaker will be that if one of the teams in question played and lost to the outright division winner, then that/those team(s) are removed from consideration unless ALL the tied teams have played and lost to the outright division champion."  Then the next tiebreaker for that division can be head to head play, etc.   

So, just to give an example, let's say there are 3 teams tied for the division lead at the end of the regular season, we'll call them A, B, and C.  Let's say that A has beaten B and C, and B has beaten C.  However, A and B both lost to the other division champ during the season, but C never played that team.  A and B are eliminated, and C goes to the Title Game.  Another example:  A, B, and C are tied.  A has beaten B and C, but lost to the outright champ of the other division.  Beat has beaten the champ of the other division, and C has not play the other divsion champ.  Whoever won the head to head match between B and C gets to go.  What do you guys think?



August 14th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

If three teams -- A, B, and C -- are tied with the same number of wins in division and A has beaten both B and C, A should win the division. Period.


August 14th, 2010 at 3:27 PM ^

That is almost always the first tiebreaker.  I can see the point of having a tiebreak to avoid a rematch though.

The first tiebreaker would be eliminate all teams that have played the other division winner. Second tiebreaker would be head-to-head, and so on from there.

It might be nice to avoid the title game rematch but it definitely would be less competitively fair as psychomatt points out.


August 14th, 2010 at 6:53 PM ^

What would concern me is that certain teams may play a tougher out of conference schedule which could then hurt them during the out of conference head to head tiebreaker rule.

For example Michigan's out of conference rivalry game may be Ohio State.  Since OSU is traditionally one of the toughest teams, Michigan may lose to them during the season and then would not have a chance for a rematch based on this tiebreaker. 

Another team with a less competitive rival wouldn't have to worry about this as much because:

1. They have less of a chance to lose to them during the season

2. They have less of a chance to face them as a division winner

For this reason I think tiebreakers should be limited to head to head records within the division and overall records.


August 14th, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

If the winner of the division goes to the championship, the head to head results within the division has to be the first tie breaker or it just seems unfair. Otherwise you are replacing on the field performance with some arbitrary rule (it reminds me of the old Rose Bowl rule, which I think was very unfair).

Now, if A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A, I could see possibly using the OP's idea as the second tie breaker. But I also could see using total conference wins or total wins. I just do not think the OP's rule would be fair if one team has beaten the other two head to head.


August 14th, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

Wouldn't total conference wins be the primary ranking of teams? For example, team A goes 5-0 against the division but 0-4 against the other division for a total (conference) record of 5-4.  Meanwhile team B goes 8-1 in the conference (with the one loss being to team A obviously).  It seems like a no-brainer that team B would be ranked higher in the division than team A.

I would imagine that total conference wins would be the primary ranking.  Then head-to-head would be the first tiebreakers.  After that, you could have intra-division record.  Then perhaps common opponents, or the OP's rematch-avoidance tiebreaker.


August 14th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

I understood your idea and thought it was interesting.  I was kind of okay with it until Skunkeye pointed out that the team who avoided the other division's winner would have had an easier conference schedule.

Psychomatt made a comment that said "total conference wins or total wins" would be the second tiebreaker.  Maybe he meant division wins, I don't know.  That's what my comment was referring to.

As an aside, I really really REALLY hope that they re-institute the division 1-AA tiebreaker.  I loved that the Big Ten had a tiebreaker (I think it was 3rd or 4th) that said whichever team played fewer 1-AA teams would go to the Rose Bowl.  I don't have much hope that it will get put back in but I can dream...


August 14th, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

You are going to make total conference wins decide the winner of each division? What is the point of having divisions in the first place then? Just keep the current system and the two teams with the most conference wins go to the championship game. Also, you will regularly end up with a team that has beaten all of the teams in its division lose out to a team that has one or more losses in the division simply because that team has a better cross division record. Sorry, but that is just not how divisions are supposed to work.


August 15th, 2010 at 1:33 AM ^

Regularly? No.  I don't think you will "regularly end up with a team that has beaten all of the teams in its division lose out to a team that has one or more losses in the division."  If  team A goes 5-0 in division play and team B goes 4-1, then team B would have to get 2 more wins in cross division play than team A.  It certainly could happen but if the conferences are of relatively equal strength then it would probably be a rare occurence.

I tried to look up how often it happened in the SEC but I couldn't find any site that had conference standings that also included divisional records.  If anyone can find one, let me know because I would enjoy looking at it.


August 14th, 2010 at 6:31 PM ^

No, that is not how divisions work. If team A has beaten all the teams within its division and team B has beaten all the teams within the same division except lost to A, then team A (5-0 within the division) is ranked above team B (4-1 within the division). If you start using total conference records instead of division records to determine the winner of each division, the whole concept of divisions becomes meaningless.


August 14th, 2010 at 6:40 PM ^

The point of divisions is to get the best team from each division playing in the championship game.  Do you think a 5-4 team is better than a 8-1 team?  I sure as hell don't.  It would be a point of ridicule if the 5-4 team made the championship game.

The NFL does not use divisional play as it's primary ranking, it uses total wins.

The SEC does not use divisional play as it's primary ranking, it uses total conference wins.  Technically that doesn't say what the primary ranking is, but since divisional records is the 2nd tiebreaker, I think it's safe to say that total conference wins comes first.

MLB does not use divisional play as it's primary ranking, it uses total wins.

I could go on...


August 14th, 2010 at 3:56 PM ^

I don't think a rematch is a big deal unless the division winners played within a few weeks prior and even then I would think the Big Ten would roll with division games near the end of the schedule.


August 14th, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

Your tie breaker proposal puts too much emphasis on play outside of the division.  It also rewards the team with the weaker schedule that was able to duck the strongest out of division team.  If the team that ducked the strongest team still has lost as many games as the team that lost to this stronger team, that means that they have a less impressive resume and don't deserve any favors.


August 14th, 2010 at 4:20 PM ^

Rematches are going to happen unless you either eliminate cross division games entirely or put in place an arbitrary rule to prevent the most deserving from going to the championship game whenever it results in a rematch. Both of those solutions are less desirable than having an occasional rematch.


August 14th, 2010 at 6:03 PM ^

The original poster's theory will not work unless the 3 division coleaders have 2 conf losses.


wisconsin wins div b outright and is unbeaten.

mich, osu and psu tie for div a. 

The theory suggests 1 member loses to the other's champ but finishes with same conference record as the other 2...., or even other 1 wich is possible but let me continue and why this cannot be a rule until furhter down line of tiebreakers.

mich beats osu and psu, but loses to wisconsin from div b.

Osu beats psu, loses to mich, didn't play wisconsin

Psu loses to mich and osu but beat wisconsin. 

All 3 have 2 conference losses at the end of regular season and you have to come up with tiebreakers.  Stick with what works first.  Conference record, division record, overall record.  Then go to highest ranked team. 

In my scenario how do you choose if a choice is to be made? 


August 15th, 2010 at 4:59 AM ^

Stick with what works first.  Conference record, division record, overall record.  Then go to highest ranked team.

Head-to-head results should also be a consideration, after conference record and division record, but before overall record and rankings.

For example, if Nebraska and Michigan are tied (at 6-2 conference and 4-1 division) at the top of the Bo division. Nebraska's two conference losses are to (out-of-division) OSU and to Michigan and Michigan's two conference losses are to (out-of-division) Penn State and (in-division) Iowa, Michigan would go to the Big Ten title game by virtue of its head-to-head win over Nebraska.