Here we are, two games left in the regular season and four teams have a shot at the Big 12 regular season crown. The top two teams will travel to Dallas to play in the renewed [first] Big 12 Conference Championship Game.
Right now, the Oklahoma Sooners have the inside edge on the title game. With one conference loss and two games to play, the Sooners are in the drivers seat. Behind them is a three-way tie for second place between WVU, TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Here is the Big 12 tiebreaking procedures:
In the event two (or more teams) tie for second or any subsequent position, the tiebreaker procedures below will be used to break all ties as necessary. For the avoidance of doubt, only Conference records will be used throughout the process
Tiebreaker 1. If two teams are tied, the winner of the regular-season game between the two tied teams shall prevail.
Tiebreaker 2. If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 4 will be followed until a determination is made. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the regular season game between the two tied teams shall prevail.
Tiebreaker 2.1. The Conference records of the three or more teams will be compared against each other in a “mini round-robin” format.
Tiebreaker 2.2. The Conference records of the three or more teams will be compared against the remaining team(s) in the Conference standings from top to bottom.
a. When comparing against the remaining teams in the Conference standings any two-way ties will be broken by head-to-head competition before the comparison begins.
b. If more than a two-way tie exists amongst the remaining teams in the Conference standings, the record against the collective tied teams as a group will be used.
Tiebreaker 3. Scoring differential among the tied teams. The team or teams with the lowest difference between points scored and points allowed in games vs. the tied teams is eliminated from consideration.
Tiebreaker 4. Draw (In the event steps 1-3 cannot break a multi-team tie the prevailing team or teams will be determined by draw at the Conference office).
You want to know, do your West Virginia Mountaineers have a shot? Here are the scenarios.
Scenario 1 - Chalk (TCU Horned Frogs, Oklahoma State Cowboys and WVU win out)
TCU beats Texas Tech and Baylor to finish the year 10-2, 7-2.
Oklahoma State beats Kansas State and Kansas to finish the year 10-2, 7-2.
West Virginia beats Texas and Oklahoma to finish 9-3, 7-2.
Oklahoma beats Kansas but loses to West Virginia to finish the year 10-2, 7-2.
A four-way tie exists for first place in the Big 12! Following the tiebreaker 2.1, a head-to-head mini round robin is created.
Oklahoma is 2-1 [Beat TCU & OSU, Lost to WVU]
TCU is 2-1 [Beat OSU & WVU, Lost to OU]
OSU is 1-2 [Beat WVU, Lost to OU & TCU]
WVU is 1-2 [Beat OU, Lost to OSU & TCU]
OSU and WVU are eliminated. Oklahoma wins the regular season crown by their head to head win over TCU. Oklahoma and TCU head to Dallas for a rematch.
Scenario 2 - TCU and WVU win out, Kansas State [or Kansas] beat OSU
TCU, Oklahoma and WVU finish the year 7-2 in conference. Oklahoma State is eliminated with their third conference loss.
Again tiebreaker 2.1 is applied, but this time all three teams are tied 1-1.
Tiebreaker 2.2 is applied. This gets interesting. If the tiebreaker is applied based upon a single game, then Oklahoma State would finish fourth in the conference thanks to their head-to-head win over Iowa State.
Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 62-52.
TCU beat Oklahoma State 44-31.
West Virginia lost to Oklahoma State 50-39.
WVU would be eliminated under this scenario.
IF the entire conference schedule is applied, things get tricky. OU, TCU and WVU would finish 6-1, eliminating Tiebreaker 2.1 and 2.2 Tiebreaker three would then be applied, scoring differential between the three teams.
Oklahoma beat TCU 38-20 [+18 OU, -18 TCU]
TCU beat WVU 31-24 [TCU +7, WVU -7]
TCU would be -11 in scoring differential. Depending on how much WVU won by, their differential could be anywhere from -6 (a 1 point win over OU) to +20 or more. Oklahoma would be +17 or less.
Based on this, TCU would be eliminated from the procedure. WVU would win the Big 12 based upon their head to head win over Oklahoma.
Scenario 3 - OSU and WVU win out, Texas Tech [or Baylor] beat TCU
Much like scenario 2, WVU, OU and now OSU finish 7-2. Tiebreaker 2.1 is applied and everyone is 1-1. Tiebreaker 2.2 is applied. Now we have a conundrum.
If it is applied per team, Iowa State would be fourth in the conference based on their head to head win over TCU. Iowa State beat Oklahoma, eliminating the Sooners. WVU and OSU would head to Dallas with Oklahoma State winning the regular season crown based on their head to head win over the Mountaineers.
If it is the entire conference, everyone finishes 6-1 and we again go to scoring differential.
Oklahoma beat OSU 62-52 (+10 OU, -10 OSU)
Oklahoma State beat WVU 50-39 (+11 OSU, -11 WVU)
Oklahoma State would have a differential of +1. West Virginia would need to beat Oklahoma by at least 11 to give the Mountaineers a differential of 0 and the Sooners a differential of -1, eliminating the Sooners. If West Virginia failed to do so, their differential would be the lowest of the three and the Mountaineers would be eliminated.
Are you confused yet?