Tiebreakers up for debate

Marc Morehouse
Published: May 17 2011 | 2:04 pm - Updated: 31 March 2014 | 4:16 pm in
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The Big Ten finished last season with three 11-1 heavyweights.

Because Wisconsin had the highest BCS ranking, it went to the Rose Bowl. Ohio State then got a second BCS, the Sugar Bowl. Michigan State got a trip to Orlando for the decidedly less pretigious but kind of nice Capital One Bowl.

Michigan State was Wisconsin's single loss. Ohio State and the Spartans didn't play.

So, yes, tiebreakers are up for discussion here at the Big Ten spring meetings.

"What's going to be best in terms of our tiebreaker?" Iowa athletics director Gary Barta asked. "We've looked at several different models but still haven't voted on any. I guess we'll have to have that figured out before fall hits."

With the conference splitting into two divisions, the likelihood of messy ties doubles, specifically a round-robin scenario where three teams tie for the title and go 1-1 against each other.

When the Big Ten announced new divisions, it outlined its basic tiebreakers for determining division champions: head-to-head record, conference record, record within the division and BCS ranking.

The BCS tiebreaker is still in play, Barta said.

"I think I've seen a version where the BCS is considered," Barta said. "If it's one of the later parts of the tiebreaker, it makes some sense, but hopefully, we can solve a tie before it gets to that."

Point differential hasn't been discussed. There's a possibility that would promote blowouts, so that one is probably iffy.

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