FanPost

Possible Big 12 Conference Winners

I was initially going to discuss bowl projections here as well, but it would be too long of a post, so I'll break it up into two posts. For those who don't know or need a reminder, the rules to the tie-breakers can be found here. To clarify, this post is discussing which Big 12 team will be the representative for the Fiesta Bowl. All teams involved in a tie for first place will receive a share of the Big 12 championship, per conference rules. Also, for those worried we might lose a BCS game if we somehow won a conference tie-breaker, we would likely play Fresno State or Northern Illinois. Although they aren't pushovers, either of those would certainly be a winnable game. So yes, we want to win a conference tie-breaker (though it's highly unlikely it will happen).

Four-Way Ties:

There are three main ways in which a four-way tie would occur with BU, OU, OSU, and UT all 7-2 in conference.

1. UT beats BU, OU beats OSU, BU beats TCU, and TTU beats UT. Per tie-breaker rules, UT gets eliminated first from the race due to their overall record. This leaves BU, OSU, and OU. The next tie-breaker compares record against the next best team in the conference. OU and BU are eliminated since they lost to the fourth place team, UT. OSU wins the conference.

2. BU beats UT, OU beats OSU, TCU beats BU, UT beats TTU, WVU beats ISU. As before, UT gets eliminated due to their overall record, leaving BU, OSU, and OU. However, the second tie-breaker in comparing record against the next best team in the conference forces a determination on who was the worst loss between WVU and TCU. In this case, WVU beats ISU and wins head to head over TCU, causing BU to be eliminated first. OSU wins the conference.

3. BU beats UT, OU beats OSU, TCU beats BU, UT beats TTU, ISU beats WVU. As before, UT gets eliminated due to their overall record, leaving BU, OSU, and OU. However, the second tie-breaker in comparing record against the next best team in the conference forces a determination on who was the worst loss between WVU and TCU. In this case, WVU loses to ISU and loses head-to-head over TCU, causing OSU to be eliminated first. BU wins the conference.

Three-Way Ties:

Cases involving BU, OU, and OSU at 7-2 in conference would follow the same as above, since UT got eliminated first in all three of those cases. It is mathematically impossible for BU, OSU, and UT to be in a three-way tie. This is because either BU or UT will have to have at least 2 conference losses since they still play each other. For OSU to have 2 conference losses, they would have to lose to OU, causing a four-way tie.

So, the only other possible three-way tie is between OU, OSU, and UT all at 7-2 in conference. This would occur if OU beat OSU, and UT lost to TTU (with BU losing to UT and TCU). As before, UT gets eliminated first due to overall record. OU then beats OSU in a head-to-head tie-breaker. OU wins the conference (this is the only possible way for OU to win).

Two-Way Ties:

There are two possible two-way ties involving either BU, OSU, or UT at 8-1 in conference. It is mathematically impossible for a two-way tie for first place between teams at 7-2 in conference. This is because OSU will either be 8-1 or 7-2 in conference. If they are 7-2 in conference, OU would also be in the tie at 7-2 in conference.

1. BU and OSU win out. OSU wins the head-to-head tie-breaker. OSU wins the conference.

2. OSU and UT win out. OSU wins the head-to-head tie-breaker. OSU wins the conference.

Outright Champions:

All three teams between BU, OSU, and UT can still be the outright champion. These are the following cases in which only one team ends up 8-1 in conference.

1. BU wins out, OU beats OSU. BU wins the conference.

2. OSU wins out, BU beats UT, TCU beats BU. OSU wins the conference.

3. OSU wins out, UT beats BU, TTU beats UT. OSU wins the conference.

4. UT wins out, OU beats OSU. UT wins the conference (this is the only possible way for UT to win).

Based on a formula I created to determine the percent chance of teams winning specific games, this results in the following chance for each team to win the Big 12 championship, per tie-breaker rules.

  • OSU: 85.70%
  • BU: 13.49%
  • UT: 0.77%
  • OU: 0.04%
So, who do we root for? If you're like me, the following is the order of preference for who wins the conference: OU, BU, UT, and OSU (I pick UT over OSU because I don't want OSU to gain more ground in recruiting competitiveness, plus there's always the slim chance it saves Mack Brown's job). So, you'd want to root for the following:
  • TTU over UT (besides, who doesn't like a UT loss?)
  • If TTU wins, TCU over BU. If UT wins, BU over TCU
  • ISU over WVU (only matters in one case, but might as well root for ISU)
  • If TTU beats UT, TCU beats BU, and OU beats OSU, UT over BU. Otherwise, BU over UT.

FanPost are for the voice of the fan and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Crimson and Cream Machine administrators.

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