Breaking Down the Big 12 North Scenarios

Six games into conference play the Big 12 North remains wide open. Only <!--Default NodeId For Iowa State is 364,2004--><A HREF=http://iowastate.Scout.com>Iowa State</A> (3-3 in conference) controls its own destiny in the race to represent the North in the Dec. 4 Big 12 Championship game in <!--Default For Kansas is to ignore-->Kansas City. Inside, the various scenarios for <!--Default For Colorado is to ignore-->Colorado to earn a trip to its third Big 12 title game in four years.

First, Iowa State must lose one of its two remaining games, at Kansas State (Nov. 20) or vs. Missouri (Nov. 27), for CU to have a chance.

Second, if Colorado ends in a two-way first-place tie with Missouri, the Tigers get the nod by virtue of the two-way tie-breaker — head-to-head competition. Colorado lost to Missouri Oct. 2.

However, if CU, Missouri and another team end with 4-4 records in a three-way tie for first place, CU could win a tie-breaker over Mizzou, and possibly the other team. The first three-way tie-breaker is record against the other two teams. The second three-way tie-breaker is divisional record. If Colorado wins out, it will have a 4-1 North record.

With credit to CU sports information director Dave Plati, who solved this puzzle and provided this information, here in more detail are the various scenarios involving CU in the North.

1. Colorado must beat Kansas State and then Nebraska to reach 4-4 in league play. If this happens, Nebraska would have at least 4 losses; Kansas State would have 5 losses (and be eliminated).

2) If (1) occurs and Iowa State loses to Kansas State and beats Missouri, the standings would look like this:
Team W L Pct 3-Way DIV
Colorado 4-4 .500 2-0 4-1
Iowa State 4-4 .500 1-1 3-2
Nebraska .4-4 .500 0-2 2-3
In the above scenario, the Nebraska-Oklahoma outcome would be rendered meaningless, as CU would own wins over both ISU and NU in a two-way or three-way tie, and thus win the division.

If CU beats KSU and NU; ISU beats KSU; MU beats ISU and KU, and NU beats OU:
Team W L Pct 3-Way DIV
Missouri 4-4 .500 2-1 2-3
Colorado 4-4 .500 2-1 4-1
Iowa State 4-4 .500 1-2 3-2
Nebraska 4-4 .500 1-2 2-3
In the above scenario, the Nebraska-Oklahoma outcome is not meaningless; if NU wins, it would force a 4-way tie, with Nebraska and Iowa State eliminated in the head-to-head round-robin and Missouri would then win the division.

If CU beats KSU and NU; ISU beats MU; MU beats KU; KSU beats ISU; and OU beats NU, COLORADO wins the division:
Team W L Pct 3-Way DIV
Colorado 4-4 .500 1-1 4-1
Missouri 4-4 .500 1-1 3-2
Iowa State 4-4 .500 1-1 3-2

If CU beats KSU and NU; ISU beats KSU; MU beats ISU and KU, and OU beats NU; MISSOURI wins the division:
Team W L Pct 3-Way DIV
Missouri 4-4 .500 2-0 3-2
Colorado 4-4 .500 1-1 4-1
Iowa State 4-4 .500 0-2 3-2

Another scenario has COLORADO winning the division as the ONLY 4-4 team: CU beats KSU and NU; OU beats NU; KSU beats ISU; MU beats ISU; and KU beats MU.

CONFERENCE TIEBREAKERS Here's a breakdown of Big 12 Conference football tiebreaker procedures from 2004 Big 12 Football media guide:
(a) If two teams are tied, the winner of the head-to-head game between the two teams will be the representative;
(b) If three or more teams are tied, steps 1-7 will be followed until a determination is made; if only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative:
(1) The record of the teams will be compared against each other;
(2) The record of the teams within their division;
(3) The record of the teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (if three teams, against 4, 5 and then 6; if four teams, then against 5 and then 6, etc.).
(4) The record of the teams will be compared against all common conference opponents;
(5) If the teams remain tied, then the representative will be the highest-ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series poll following the completion of Big 12 regular-season (intra-) conference play shall be the representative;
(6) If the teams remain tied, then the team with the best overall winning percentage (excluding exempted games - e.g. 12th games, so-called preseason classics or at Hawaii, etc.); shall be the representative;
(7) The representative will be chosen by draw.


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