The B1G will no longer rely on College Football Playoff rankings in three-way tie
The B1G was in an odd situation last year.
Heading into the final week of the 2015 season, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State could’ve all been looking at a three-way tie without any head-to-head advantage. That would’ve meant that the B1G East winner would’ve been determined by the fifth tiebreaker, which gave the edge to the team that finished highest in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The only problem was that the final CFP rankings of the regular season weren’t announced until three days before the B1G Championship.
Well, the B1G is no longer doing that.
According to a report from ESPN, the B1G will now go with overall win percentage as the fifth tie-breaker in the event of a three-way tie for the division.
In other words, the College Football Playoff ranking will not determine who gets to Indianapolis in the event of a three-way tie. Why is this relevant?
Penn State’s win against Ohio State on Saturday night meant that the Lions and Buckeyes are both 3-1 in the B1G. If Penn State and Ohio State won out — that would mean OSU beat Michigan — then all three teams would be 8-1 in the B1G without a head-to-head tiebreaker.
Here’s how the first five tiebreakers would look:
- Records vs. one another (all three would be 1-1)
- Intradivision records
- Records vs. next-highest-placed teams in the division, in order of finish (fourth place through seventh)
- Records vs. all common conference opponents
- Overall win percentage
That would mean Penn State would be eliminated having already suffered two losses. It would then go back to the initial head-to-head advantage, which would give Ohio State the edge if it beat Michigan.
Would that likely be the same scenario that the CFP rankings would’ve created? Yes, but now there won’t be any sort of lingering uncertainty awaiting a rankings unveiling days before a title game.
As ESPN reported, the sixth tiebreaker in a three-way tie is actually drawing a team out of a hat. That wouldn’t happen this year with PSU having already lost to Pitt in non-conference play.
Let’s just all hope it doesn’t ever come down to that.