Commissioner: Big 12 to reassess divisional championship tiebreaker

Updated: December 2, 2008, 6:56 PM ET
By Joe Schad | ESPN.com

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said Tuesday that the conference will reassess the divisional championship tiebreaker that left Texas out of the conference title game but that rushing to the conclusion that it needs to be changed would be a mistake.

If you win all of your games you don't have to worry about this scenario.

-- Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe

"Any tiebreaker system is difficult and will leave teams disappointed," Beebe said. "When the tiebreaker was written I was not in the league but they wanted to put in the team that had the best chance to play in the national championship game."

Despite identical records and a loss to Texas, Oklahoma advanced to the Big 12 championship game in Kansas City because the Sooners are ranked higher in the BCS standings.

"I'm not so sure that this isn't the best way to do it," Beebe said. "I understand the argument about head-to-head and it is a strong point, but as a lot of voters looked at it, and as the committees that select basketball tournament participants look at it, 'What team would you least want to play now?'"

Using the various tiebreakers of the ACC, Conference USA, MAC and SEC -- other conferences with two divisions -- Texas would have advanced to the Big 12 title game.

In the SEC, the team with the highest BCS ranking advances, unless the two teams are within five places of each other.

"This was a perfect storm," Beebe said. "You can't create a rule that accounts for every scenario. To have teams ranked second and third, that margin is so thin."

Beebe addressed the SEC tiebreaker rule.

"Let's say that the eighth-ranked team in the BCS is in the same division as the third-ranked," Beebe said. "If the eighth-ranked team beat the third-ranked team on a last-second play at home, sending the eighth-ranked team, that would defeat the purpose of trying to send the team with the best chance of winning a national championship."

Beebe said he and Texas coach Mack Brown have exchanged e-mails.

"There is still a lot of football to be played," Beebe said. "I feel terribly for the teams that are disappointed. If you win all of your games you don't have to worry about this scenario."

Beebe said the Big 12 athletic directors will discuss the tiebreaker scenarios again in March.

Joe Schad is a college football reporter for ESPN.

Joe Schad

College Football

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