FanPost

Updated Pac-12 Tiebreakers

Alright with today's games in the books we now have some more clarity on our tiebreak procedures so let's run through it because it got A LOT easier after today.

USC has clinched a berth in the Pac-12 championship game with their win over UCLA today. They aren't guaranteed to be the #1 seed though as O****n can still take it over them via their win over Utah. For the sake of making this easier I'm going to ignore the 1 vs 2 seed stuff and focus only on what scenarios give us our second participant. Since it's a neutral site game it really doesn't matter beyond uniform preference.

In: USC

TBD: O****n and Washington and Utah???

Out: UCLA and Utah (and everyone else, who was already out before today anyways)

Scenario #1 - USC vs. Washington

  • Oregon State defeats O****n
  • California defeats UCLA
  • Utah defeats Colorado
  • Washington defeats Washington State

In this scenario we have a 3-way tie at 7-2 in conference with Washington, Utah, and O****n. Oregon State is 6-3 and UCLA is 5-4.

  1. Head-to-head: Washington hasn't played Utah so we move to common opponents.
  2. Common opponents are Arizona, Colorado, OSU, Stanford, UCLA. All three teams are 4-1 against these opponents so we proceed to the record against next highest placed opponent.
  3. Oregon State is ahead of UCLA so they are the next highest placed opponent. O****n is 0-1 against them while Utah and Washington are 1-0. O****n is dropped and we now have a 2-way tie between Utah and Washington.
  4. Head-to-head: Washington hasn't played Utah so we again move to common opponents. However, this actually has "next highest placed" ahead of overall common opponent record which is odd but either way...
  5. Next highest placed common opponent becomes O****n. Washington is 1-0, Utah is 0-1. Washington becomes the second team.

Scenario #2 - USC vs. Washington

  • Oregon State defeats O****n
  • Colorado defeats Utah
  • Washington defeats Washington State
In this scenario we have a 2-way tie at 7-2 in conference with Washington and O****n.
  1. Head-to-head: Washington has defeated O****n head to head so Washington is the second team.

Scenario #3 - USC vs. O****n

  • O****n defeats Oregon State
In this scenario we have a 2-way tie at 8-1 in conference with USC and O****n. We don't give a hoot who's 1st or 2nd so moving on.


Scenario #4 - USC vs. O****n Utah???

  • Oregon State defeats O****n
  • Utah defeats Colorado
  • UCLA defeats California
  • Washington defeats Washington State

In this scenario we have a 3-way tie at 7-2 in conference with O****n, Utah, and Washington. UCLA and Oregon State are tied at 6-3.

  1. Head-to-head: Washington hasn't played Utah so we move to common opponents.
  2. Common opponents are Arizona, Colorado, OSU, Stanford, UCLA. All three teams are 4-1 against these opponents so we proceed to the record against next highest placed opponent.
  3. Oregon State is tied with UCLA as the next highest placed common opponent so we have to take the record against those teams as a group. All three teams are 1-1 against these two so we must tie-break Oregon State and UCLA. The Pac-12 office is now claiming that this scenario sends Utah to the championship game. This is a really bizarre interpretation of their own rules. It would appear that instead of tie-breaking UCLA and OSU they are moving past them and looking at the remaining common opponents. Since everyone is 3-0 against the remaining this would proceed to overall record of conference opponents and put Utah in as the #2 seed. For UW this changes nothing. For O****n this gives them one less path. For Utah this means they aren't eliminated.
  4. Head-to-head: Oregon State hasn't played UCLA so we move to common opponents (and this is where things get really really bizarre with Pac-12 rules).
  5. Common opponents are Arizona State, California, Colorado, O****n, Stanford, Utah, USC, and Washington. UCLA is 6-2 against these opponents and Oregon State is 5-3 BUT the two-team tie-breaker says you take the *next highest placed opponent* BEFORE you take combined record against common opponents (see my note below on the lack of clarity for this one).
  6. USC is the highest ranked and both are 0-1 against them.
  7. O****n, Utah, and Washington are the next highest ranked and it says to take the record against groups. Oregon State is 1-2 while UCLA is 2-1. UCLA wins the tie-break with Oregon State.
    (*I'm going to put a huge caveat here that if UCLA and Oregon State had the same record the Pac-12 will have actually created a logical infinite loop within their tie-break procedures. This is a really poorly written rule and if it was written in software as it was here the system would crash.)
  8. UCLA is now the next highest common opponent. O****n is 1-0 against them while Utah and Washington are 0-1. UCLA is the second team.

***I've been staring at the tie-break rules for an hour and I'm not entirely sure how the Pac-12 intends to apply "next highest placed opponent". It doesn't say from where. One could read this to mean next highest placed from the teams that are tied which would mean that a tie-break lower in the standings wouldn't look at the higher ranked teams. If that's the case then common opponents actually couldn't break the tie on individual records but would still break in UCLA's favor on their 6-2 record over Oregon State's 5-3.



Scenario #5 - USC vs. O****n

  • O****n State defeats O****n
  • Utah defeats Colorado
  • Washington State defeats Washington
In this scenario we have a two-way tie at 7-2 between O****n and Utah.
  1. Head-to-head: O****n has beaten Utah so O****n is the second team.