Blog Entry

Big 12 changes tiebreaker in 2010 to solve 2008

Posted on: October 22, 2010 1:19 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Ah, 2008. The good old days. When men were men, women were listening to the raw, fresh sound of Katy Perry , and Oklahoma advanced to the BCS Championship game over a Texas team they'd lost to head-to-head because the Big 12 tiebreakers were written by godless communists who voted for France. Or maybe it was because the Longhorns lost to Texas Tech, losing any ability to logically argue head-to-head and throwing the division into a three-way tie there's simply no good way to break. One or the other.

But just in case it was the former, and the conference winds up with three teams going 30-0 against all other competition again -- because that happens all the time, or maybe has never happened in any other division of college football since divisions were created -- the Big 12 now has a policy in place to make sure the controversy of 2008 will give way to the certainty of the future:

Here's the old version, with the fifth three-way tiebreaker: "5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series standings following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative."

And the new version: "5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big 12 Championship Game, unless two of the tied teams are ranked within one spot of the 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 12 Championship Game."

Under the new rule, Texas would have advanced to the title game in 2008 instead of Oklahoma by virtue of its 45-35 head-to-head win over the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl .

Say this much: if the exact circumstances of 2008 reprise themselves, the Big 12 will be able to avoid the media firestorm that burned the conference two years ago. And more importantly, it probably is more fair to have head-to-head determine a three-way divisional tie in the event that two teams happen to have a substantial BCS edge on the third. Having the change made is better than not having it made.

But the odds of the exact circumstances of that season repeating themselves are so microscopic, when all is said and done the alteration isn't anything more than cosmetic. It's a press release. But hey, it's a press release that'll pacify any Texas fans worrying they might get the short end of the stick again.

Wait ... the Big 12 has already bent over backwards to appease Texas at every possible opportunity over the past year. Surely they wouldn't bother with something like this just to prostrate themselves in front of the 'Horns again , would they? Whose idea was this?

The tiebreaker change was submitted by Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds in 2009.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or