Rooting for a Three-Way-Tie

Submitted by YoungGeezy on October 23rd, 2011 at 3:55 AM
Next week's MSU-NEB game is huge. If the Cornhuskers win, and by some miracle we win out and the scenario is a three-way tie between Mich, Sharty, and NEB (Mich 11-1, MSU 10-2, NEB 10-2), it could be good...


The road to the B1G Championship game is still long, but there is a lighter at the end of the tunnel.

Two-team ties will be broken by head-to-head record.

If three or more teams tie atop a division, the following methods will be used in order to determine a champion or reduce the glut to two, where a head-to-head tiebreaker then can be used:

• Records of the teams

• Records of the three tied teams compared within their division

• Records of the teams against the next-highest teams within the division

• Records against all common conference opponents

• The team ranked highest in the BCS standings after the regular season gets the league championship game berth unless it is ranked within one spot of another tied team. In this case, the head-to-head result of the two teams would determine the division champion.

• The team with the highest overall win percentage (outside of exempted games)

• The division champion will be chosen by random draw.



October 23rd, 2011 at 4:08 AM ^

yea, but Nebraska would have 2 conference losses (Wisconsin and, in this hypothetical, Michigan). they would not have a claim to the division title since UM and MSU would only have 1 loss in the division. MSU would break the tie with us.


October 23rd, 2011 at 4:08 AM ^

yea, but Nebraska would have 2 conference losses (Wisconsin and, in this hypothetical, Michigan). they would not have a claim to the division title since UM and MSU would only have 1 loss in the division. MSU would break the tie with us.

Sextus Empiricus

October 23rd, 2011 at 8:01 AM ^

These threads and posts are wrapped in assumptions - but this is clear - Conference records don't mean squat wrt Division finish - assuming the wording of the Big Ten web posting re: Tie Breaks is correct.  I think that is the best source for this kind of prognostication.

  1. The records of the three tied teams will be compared against each other
  2. The records of the three tied teams will be compared within their division
  3. The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5, and 6)
  4. The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents;
  5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll following the completion of Big Ten regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big Ten Championship Game, unless the two highest ranked tied teams are ranked within one spot of each other in the BCS poll. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the Big Ten Championship
  6. The team with the best overall winning percentage [excluding exempted games] shall be the representative
  7. The representative will be chosen by random draw.

Since Nebraksa - Michigan - Michigan State only share Ohio as a common opponent only that game would be germane to a Legends tiebreak (of these 3 teams.)  This makes the OSU game relevant.  If we lose that game it eliminates us by criteria 4 above (and the cavaet not block quoted above - but in the preamble to the 3 way tie break procedure above on the B1G webpage.) 


If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative.


Since we don't play Wisconsin - the Nebraska loss and last night's MSU victory don't mean squat except wrt to how they affect the fifth tiebreak criteria - BCS rankings.  Trying to predict that system this early is beyond anyone's capability. 

Purdue handed it to Illinois.  We best think about them before counting these chickens.


October 23rd, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

I would think division record is what counts first. if you beat every team in your division but lose two other conference games I don't think it makes sense to send a team that went 4-1 in the same division to the championship game. just thinking about teams with different schedules out of the division, there would not be a way to fairly compare them.


October 23rd, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

You would think that (it makes some sense), but you would be wrong.  That's not how the Big Ten does it, and it's not how any conference in the nation does it. 

I can see both points--a team that is 5-0 in-division but 5-3 in-conference may deserve to go to the championship game ahead of a team that is 4-1 in-division but 7-1 in-conference, but I think the championship game would be more interesting to potential TV viewers with the 4-1 / 7-1 team than with the 5-0 / 5-3 team.

So that's how they do it--overall conference record comes first.



October 23rd, 2011 at 11:04 AM ^

But there isn't a league I can think of that uses divisional record first in determining standings.  It also doesn't really make sense to me.  If the Tigers were 72-90 overall, 62-10 in thier division, and 10-80 against other divisions I don't think they should be considered divisional champs and make the playoffs.

MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL all use overall record to seed within division, then use head to head record to break a tie, then use divisional record if head to head is a tie.

I would like somone to name a league of any sport that uses division record first, maybe some HS FB Conferences?  I'm just curios where the idea comes from, I fell for it myself until I thought about it just a little.


October 23rd, 2011 at 9:20 AM ^

The problem is, you're showing how a tie-break works.  But the original criteria before any of the tie-breakers take place is still the conference record.  So that means that even if MSU loses to Nebraska, and wins the rest of they're games, they're still be 7-1 in the conference.  Which means if we win out, we would be 7-1 in the conference as well, but even if Nebraska then wins the rest of their games, they would be 6-2, and thus we would have to look at the rules for a 2-way tiebreaker instead of a 3-way.  And then, the first criteria is head-to-head, which MSU would win.  So basically we need MSU to lose 2 more games, or we're out of the running for the division.


October 23rd, 2011 at 9:20 AM ^

Thats only in the event of a 3-way tie. A two way tie is determined by the head to head matchup. What he's saying is that if we win out, Nebraska will have 2 conference losses, so they would not be able to create a 3-way tie with Michigan and MSU, who would only have 1 conference loss.

The only way we win our division at this point is if we win out, and Sparty somehow drops 2 games.


October 23rd, 2011 at 9:25 AM ^

I think you miss the fundamental point, though--conference records are how teams are ranked initially.

So...let's say Michigan wins out.  Nebraska wins out (except for a loss to Michigan) and Michigan State wins out (except for a loss to Nebraska).

The division standings would be...

1 (tie). Michigan & Michigan State (7-1)

3. Nebraska (6-2)

Michigan State would go to the championship game based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

So the original poster's assumption (i.e., that Michigan would win the tiebreaker if Michigan finished 11-1 overall with a loss to Michigan State, Michigan State finished 10-2 overall with losses to Notre Dame & Nebraska, and Nebraska finished 10-2 overall with losses to Wisconsin & Michigan) was incorrect.  The only way Michigan gets to the championship game is if Michigan State loses 2 games.


October 23rd, 2011 at 4:40 AM ^

After they just beat WIsconsin I don't think its a stretch to say they can play with those teams and possibly keep it competitive.

Also, how childish is it to laugh at MSU if they get blown out in the Rose Bowl? If Michigan lost the Rose Bowl in blowout fashion this year I would still consider 2011 a success....


October 23rd, 2011 at 4:47 AM ^

"The road to the B1G Championship game is still long, but there is a lighter at the end of the tunnel."

Zippo? Bic?

In all seriousness, I don't care about B1G Champ Game scenarios right now. I just want to focus on us winning. Well, ok, I want the coaches to focus on us winning, game by game. I'm pretty sure they already do this, judging by the way they talk in press conferences and such, but I like to keep my focus the same, especially in a year full of building a new "system".


October 23rd, 2011 at 4:51 AM ^

Sparty's having a good season, so give that to them.  If we don't suffer a complete collapse down the stretch like the last two seasons and meet/exceed the 9-3 goal that many of us had predicted, I'll consider it a good season and fantastic start to the Hoke era.


October 23rd, 2011 at 6:35 AM ^

The only way to avoid a divisional CF in early  December from our perspective is to win out at this point. Doesn't seem like a likely scenario, but let's go for it, all the same - this is, after all, Michigan.




October 23rd, 2011 at 8:55 AM ^

If that happens, Michigan will be in the discussion in this race. There is surely some toe-stubbing to be done by some of these "locks". Did anyone see Texas Tech last night? How about Notre Dame and their annointed automatic 10-game winning streak and BCS invite? 

Heck our game last week now seems like a lucky bounce or two away from being a win.  


October 23rd, 2011 at 9:37 AM ^

We need to win one game at a time. Purdue was nearly flawless in the first half against Illinois with a very diverse offensive scheme. Let's hope we get them the way they played the second half. Either way they are not a push over. We need to play better than we did against state.


October 23rd, 2011 at 9:38 AM ^

If we win out and Sparty loses to the Cornhuskers they would have lost 2 games and we only have one. So overall record we would be better but they get to play for the BiG? So why do we play out of conference games?


October 23rd, 2011 at 9:46 AM ^

I think we should just concentrate on beating Purdue at homecoming.  Purdue just yanked a big win out of their ear over Illinois.  Purdue's defense kept Scheelhaase off the board in the first half.  We aren't good enough to look past anyone, in my opinion.

Worrying about Sparty isn't healthy and is very.....Spartanesque (I should know, I am more guilty of it than probably 99% of the people here.  I really hate watching their success).  They still have to go on the road, and that's no easy task.


October 23rd, 2011 at 9:58 AM ^

It's too early to be worrying about this stuff.  Let's hope we can win out.  MSU and Nebraska have some road trips to make that could change the complexion of the race. 

Benoit Balls

October 23rd, 2011 at 11:17 AM ^

but did anyone see what Purdue did to Illinois yesterday? While the enthusiasm is admirable, I think the biggest lesson learned from last weekend is not to get ahead of ourselves, fun though it may be.

I just think any other approach is bad juju. Thats just me. I have as many, if not more superstitions regarding Michigan football than any other resident of Ohio, so take this with a grain of crazy internet guy psychosis.


October 23rd, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

Sparty needs to lose two more games and we need to win out.

This would give State and Nebraska 2 conference losses, and we would only have 1.

The only game we can "afford" to lose would be to Illinois since they aren't a common opponent. That would create the 3-way tie, which is a mindfuck.


October 23rd, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

Watch this team and have the idea of "winning out" even come close to
<br>popping in their head? Look guys, we've come a long way and winning 8 or 9 games and going to a new years day bowl would be a huge accomplishment, let's concentrate on purdue and then worry about the B1G championship and tie breakers at the end of Nov. If it's still an issue.


October 23rd, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^

since we are on this subject, what if MSU makes the B1G Championship and beats whoever makes it from the Leaders division (most likely Wisconsin). If they beat Wisconsin twice they are obviously in the Rose Bowl or BCS Bowl of some kind. If Michigan we to win out, would the BCS take an 11-1 Michigan team over a 2 loss Wisconsin team? Or would there only be one Big Ten team in the BCS?


October 23rd, 2011 at 4:57 PM ^

If Boise/Houston makes it, there are three at-large spots. Alabama or LSU takes one of them, other than that, us, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and PSU are the most attractive in the current polls (USC is still on their bowl ban). It's just a matter of which of those teams can get eligible and into the BCS top-14.

Also, the BTCG winner goes to the Rose, just like before. Whoever wins that game will either play in the BCS title game or the Rose. Almost certainly the Rose this year.


October 23rd, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

Very unlikely this team beats OSU and Nebraska and also escapes road games at Illinois and Iowa unscathed. 3-1 against those teams should make us all ecstatic. That being said, Purdue is going to be a tougher challenge than any of us thought. I would be OVERJOYED with 9-3 and a big win over tOSU. Anything beyond that is icing.


October 23rd, 2011 at 5:45 PM ^

w/ their games against MSU still to be played.

We don't.  All Michigan-wins-the-Bo-division scenrios require two MSU losses.  If MSU loses two and we win out, we take it.  If MSU loses two and we go 4-1, we'd need either Nebraska or Iowa to also go 6-2 and the right combination of tie-breakers.

Don't look now, but the other thing the Wiscy loss does is put tOSU back in control of it own Woody division destiny.