Big 12 reaches unanimous agreement on a new tiebreaker process

ByMax Olson via ESPN logo
Thursday, May 7, 2015

PHOENIX -- The Big 12 reached unanimous agreement on a new tiebreaker process Wednesday that ensures the conference will no longer have co-champions.

The new plan, agreed to by Big 12 coaches and athletic directors at the end of their spring meetings in Phoenix, would honor head-to-head results in a two-team tie and established criteria for solving a tie of three or more teams.

In the event of a three-team tie, if the records of the three teams against each other doesn't solve the tie -- as was the case for the conference in 2008 -- their records against the next-highest team in the standings would be compared.

If that doesn't break the tie, scoring differential between the tied teams would decide it. And if none of those steps solve the problem, the league's champion would be determined in a draw at the conference office.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the league's coaches and ADs considered four different tiebreaker options during the meetings at the Arizona Biltmore and were able to reach consensus with this plan.

"It ranged from strength of non-conference schedule to victories over highest CFP-ranked team to other nuances," Bowlsby said. "Generally speaking, the one we adopted is the one we think is most clear-cut and most understandable."

The Big 12 began using a "One True Champion" slogan last year as a nod to its nine-game, round-robin conference schedule, but ultimately had to name Baylor and TCU its co-champions last season due to its previous bylaws. Both teams were awarded Big 12 title trophies. Bowlsby said under the new agreement, only one team will receive a trophy in the event of a tie.

Texas Tech AD and College Football Playoff committee member Kirby Hocutt said he believes the new tiebreaker plan is fair and right, particularly because the conference needed to honor one champion.

"We live in a society where we expect a winner and a loser, and I think the majority of the population would say that's why you compete," Hocutt said. "The head-to-head winner should be crowned the champion. Going forward, that'll be the case."

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