There has been some reaction to the league’s tie-breaking scenario announcement ahead of this week’s slate of games. Most conferences have a similar set of tie-breaking scenarios that suggest they do not want to think too much about it.
When it comes to the eight or ninth options, it can get iffy. The ACC uses the computer rankings, then resorts to a commissioner doing a “draw” when it comes to the last-resort tie-breakers. The MWC uses overall FBS percentage then resorts to a coin toss. The Sun Belt does the same.
That the league chose this way is a matter of preference and one apparently made back in 2005. The league’s board of directors are the presidents of the member institutions, and if anyone wants to advocate for changing this, that is probably the place to start. No really cares about this stuff until it effects their team.
Last year the league had to update their tie-breaking procedures as they still referenced the BCS ranking. The best course of action for the teams is to not put the chances in the hands of a weird scenario and to simply win the games in front of them.
Louisiana Tech is the most obvious team here, as they simply needed to not lose two of their final three games. They have now lost two in a row largely because of suspensions to QB J’Mar Smith and Adrian Hardy. UAB is happy to have clawed their way into this, having a chance after dropping a game early to WKU and then losing handily to USM.
Southern Miss had to just win over WKU but got beat down at home instead. Now, each will be watching the league scoreboard and figuring out the appropriate rooting interest. While USM is the three-way scenario beneficiary at the moment, getting into the game will now put Louisiana Tech in that position for any future scenarios involving these same teams.
Another option may be to look at the professionals for some inspiration. In addition to the usual head-to-head and common opponent criteria, they use net points, and net touchdowns as well. That is something similar to the other league’s use of Sports Source Analytics rankings but it does reward teams for actions in the current season.