Question on Criteria for Winning Leaders/Legends Divisions

Submitted by saveferris on May 9th, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Has the Big 10 published anything regarding how the representatives for the Big 10 Championship Game will be determined.  Presumably, the respective winners of the Leaders / Legends divisions will first be based upon the their overall conference record with (notional) tie-breakers being:

  1. Divisional Record
  2. Overall Record
  3. Head-to-Head
  4. BCS Ranking
  5. Total Points...etc... some order of hierarchy.  I figure I'm close with the above, but I'm curious as to whether the conference will favor inter-divisional performance over head-to-head results over national ranking.  I was poking around and found nothing on this.  Anyone know?


Indiana Blue

May 9th, 2011 at 3:05 PM ^

makes no sense whatsoever, when you have been split into divisions.  There are a total of 8 conference games (at least right now).  5 of the 8 are within your own division, 1 is a "fixed every year opponent (M vs. tsio and msu vs. Indiana) would carry the same weight ?, plus the 2 "float" games each year do not have the same "degree of difficulty".

This isn't a 162 games season like MLB, or even a 16 game NFL season ... and "parity" is better defined in pro sports anyway as compared to college football.  

I hope this is re-visited and they decide to use 1) Division record  and 2) head to head .....  that 's it no need for any other tie breakers ... except for a 3 way tie, which then should go to BCS rankings.

Go Blue !


May 9th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

I think the reason they use the whole conference record is so that all the conference games mean something .If you use just divisional record, what the the last game in November mean for UM if they've already got a championship bearth locked up?? Same goes for a lot of other games, which may not have the same history. The SEC, Big 12, and ACC all use full conference record for determining championship game representation.

Blue in Seattle

May 9th, 2011 at 4:50 PM ^

And I think this misperception is the biggest reason people are angry over OSU not being in the same Division as Michigan.

With the determiner being overall conference record, and the Ohio State game continuing to be at the end of the season, this means the Michigan - OSU rivalry will have an even bigger buildup if they go back to the consistent winning ways of the pre-2000's era.

It's a bigger buildup because they can end up playing again depending on the outcome.

go back to the SEC websites and lookup how often Alabama and Florida have been the two division champions.  The division split has no affect on which teams dominate, as long as you separate the two strongest teams.

I'm sure Wisconsin and PSU would love to have OSU and Michigan in the same division, but the problem is even going back over the last 10 years, Michigan and OSU have dominated the Big Ten results.  Unfortunately it's pretty solid OSU #1 Michigan #2 on average, but then again I think we have an answer about why that is, well if you read up on your Tattoo and Car sales news articles.



May 10th, 2011 at 9:57 AM ^

One other scenario is one of the teams having to win in order to play in the championship against the other team. That is, either M or O has clinched a berth in the playoff, but the other team needs to win The Game in order to make it in.

That would be a sort of sweet double-whammy, where, say, M has clinched, and defeats O to both win and deny them a shot at a rematch!


May 10th, 2011 at 11:37 AM ^

Yeah, that'd be okay.  I just really don't like the idea of playing OSU twice, and I'm disappointed that Brandon is in favor of it.  Imagine us winning in the regular season, finally ending the losing streak - only to lose to them in Indianapolis.  It would basically invalidate the first game.

The other thing I don't like about this setup is that we're basically guaranteed the hardest schedule of any team in our division.  If they had gone with straight geography (with all the Michigan/Ohio/Indiana/Pennsylvania schools in one division), there would have been no need for cross-division protected games at all, and schedules would be much more balanced.  Maybe the other division would have it easier, but that's no big deal - we'd face them in the title game anyway.


May 10th, 2011 at 2:35 PM ^

If you don't like playing tSIO back to back b/c we might win the first and lose the second, what if we lose the first and then win the second. Would it better then b/c we get the championship?

This was more about the determining division champions, but since you brought up changing the divisions, I actually like the way it is. I'm not sure what full division breakdown you want when you say just use geography E/W, N/S?? But I think no matter how you do it, one division is going to have all the power and it will bring more imbalance to the strength of schedule.

I think everyone who complains about UM having the tougher schedule is looking at it incorrectly. It's tSIO that has the tougher schedule. It's bad for them. We're the better school in the long term!!


May 9th, 2011 at 5:59 PM ^

I could not agree more with Indiana Blue. And even if OSU - UM play the last game of the year with one of them already locked into the B1G Championship game, it will still matter due to BCS implications. Chances are if one of them is locked into the B1G Championship game, then they probably went undefeated in their division. And if they wanted to play in the BCS National Chamionship game, then they probably will have to win that last game and the B1G Championship game. So yea, that last game will still matter.

As for SEC, Big 12, and ACC being different, I do not believe any of them have the protected cross-over game. If there is a year that MSU only loses to say Iowa and Michigan (both in Legends division), while Michigan only loses OSU and Nebraska (only one in Legends division), Nebraska loses to MSU and Northwestern (both in Legends division), and one of those teams has a higher BCS rank, I might pull a Mountaineer and burn a couch. This will leave all three of these teams tied upon the Legends division with a 6-2 B1G record, even though Michigan has the best divisional record, and Michigan will be left behind. Thus officially screwing over Michigan because of the harder protected game. 

Lets just hope this does not ever happen.


May 9th, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

The BCS should be left out of the argument. This is to determine the B1G championship game so you should remove other implications of the results. You want the BIG games to have BIG implications. The last game in november will more often affect BIG than BCS.

Second thing is that you can always come up with a scenario about some team getting screwed no matter what the system is. Come up with a system you like, and I'll bet I can break it.

The goal is to make most of the games count and try and keep it even. Yeah, so we have tSIO as our protect rival and so what? We're good enough that we should win anyway. Who knows, maybe when tSIO gets hammered by the NCAA for TatGate, they'll be down fora  few years. The other division cross over games will even out over time. There's always going to be ups and downs and changes in strength of schedule.

Indiana Blue

May 10th, 2011 at 9:15 AM ^

but the SEC doesn't schedule the same way as B1G (not sure about others).  In the SEC you do not automatically play every other team in your division and there is no "protected" rivalry game (which is PURELY for M vs. tsio).  So maybe the B1G needs to address the whole scheduling issue ?  But hopefully that is NOT adding a 9th conference game - as that means 4 home and 5 away games for half the teams ... which also sucks.

I am not sure there is a perfect solution ... but using overall conference record, when msu has a 95% chance of winning its "protected" game while we're at a 50% chance is blatently wrong.  I love the fact that the B1G will have a Championship game ... but division champions   being determined on the field is the current schedule's basis as everyone in each division does play every other divisional team.  

Go Blue !


May 9th, 2011 at 6:51 PM ^

Interesting point, but from a high level perspective (Delaney and probably the presidents) you weaken the incentive for good games between non-division opponents. Also, you could possibly end up with a 7-6 team in the Rose Bowl. Having overall conference record provides an incentive to win the conference games on national TV every week.


May 9th, 2011 at 7:08 PM ^

The idea of a team winning a conference championship on the basis of 6 games (5 division games plus the conference championship) seems crazy to me.  If you think the Big Ten shouldn't count Michigan's games against Illinois when deciding the conference championship, why are we even playing Illinois?  Why not play Northern Illinois instead and just have a 5-game conference schedule?

Those are the only two choices in my mind:  either (a) have 8 or 9 conference games and have all 8 or 9 count towards the championship, or (b) just have the in-division games count towards the championship, and let the teams schedule their other 7 games however they want, whether they want to play the teams in the other division or MAC teams or Pac 10 teams.

Obviously (a) makes a heck of a lot more sense than (b), but (b) makes a heck of a lot more sense than the conference office forcing teams to play games that don't count in the final standings.


May 9th, 2011 at 9:44 PM ^

I think you have the division names confused.  Michigan is the in the B1G West and Tsio is in the B1G East.  Just thought a little clarification for the group would go a long way to avoiding confusion.