Mid American Conference Tie Breakers

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Let it never be said that we at Bull Run don't take your comments seriously! For the past three years I've mainly used this platform to be a smellfungus but now finally we are talking about a possible post season run for Buffalo football.

DCA asked about tie breakers so here we go (from the MAC's 2007 guidelines which I believe are still current). Im not going deep into scansion because there are still way too many ways things can break.

Lets look at the standings and what's left:

EAST CONF OVERALL East West
* - Buffalo 4-0 6-2 Ohio, Bowling Geen, Miami Toledo
* - Ohio 3-1 6-2 Buffalo, Bowling Green, UMass, Kent
Bowling Green 3-1 5-3 Miami, Ohio, Buffalo EMU

All I will definitively say right now is if Buffalo beats the MAC East teams on their schedule, they go to Detroit, if they lose one of those game things start to get complicated.

Divisional Champions

Level 1 - The divisional championship shall be decided on conference winning percentage.

So tie breaker one is to have a better conference record. Assuming that Buffalo beats Miami then wins over Ohio and Bowling Green would clinch the east no matter what everyone else does. All three teams still play each other so there is a lot that can happen but I have to think the biggest game for Buffalo is the upcoming Ohio game.  If Buffalo beats the Bobcat's Ohio is all but eliminated from the east.

Ohio and Bowling Green's contest later this year is the most important MAC game *not involving UB* for Buffalo fans. By that point Ohio will either be a game off of Bowling Green or all three teams will be tied.

If two or more teams are tied for the championship, they shall be considered divisional co-champions.

Similar to what happened to Turner Gill and the Bulls in 2007.

1. Head-to-head competition

This is where things start to get fun if there is a three way tie.

a. In the event of a multiple-team (two or more teams) tie, the team with the best head-to-head record amongst the tied teams wins the tie-breaker;

At this point I don't see a three way tie without the teams somehow splitting their games. Something like UB over Ohio, Ohio over Bowling Green, Bowling Green over Buffalo.

UB may lose to Toledo but that only puts on on even ground with Bowling Green in terms of MAC west performance.


b. In a two-team tie, head-to-head competition will be the first criteria;

Duh...

c. If two teams did not play, the second criteria is used to break the tie;

Thankfully this season all three contenders play. With 13 in the conference that's not a given.


2. Record of tied teams within the division [versus rank order, highest to lowest, of division teams]

So look at the teams MAC East Schedules minus each other.

Buffalo - Kent, Ohio, Bowling Green, UMass, Miami
Ohio - Bowling Green, Buffalo, Akron, Miami, UMass, Kent
Bowling Green - Buffalo, Ohio, Kent, Akron, Miami, UMass,

Buffalo is the only program that did not get Akron, Miami, UMass. I think though that this is going to be moot because I expect UB, Bowling Green, and Ohio to all be undefeated against the other schools in the East.

a. The above tie-breaker procedure is used to determine rank order in the division;

The only way this plays against UB is if Buffalo loses to Miami.

b. Team(s) eliminated in the second tie-breaker criterion are not included in further consideration in the tie- breaking formula;

It's hard to see this being a factor unless Ohio, Buffalo, or Bowling Green flops in the coming weeks. Go UMass?

c. Head-to-head competition is again used to break the tie between the remaining tied teams.

If we are here this will likely not break the tie.

3. Comparison of conference winning percentage of cross-over opponents of tied teams;
a. Tie-breaker is awarded to the team whose cross-division opponents had the best cumulative conference winning percentage;

This does not play well for Buffalo.

Bowling Green - Toledo, EMU (3-5 MAC 38%)
Buffalo - EMU, WMU, Toledo (4-9 MAC 30%)
Ohio - EMU, CMU (2-6 MAC 25%)

If we get here Bowling Green has a huge advantage. Right now it looks like this Bowling Green is above Buffalo and the Bulls are over Ohio.

b. Head-to-head competition is used to break the tie between the two tied teams.

I don't even want to calculate the odds two teams come out of 3a with the same corrsover strength. It has to be impossible.


4. If multiple teams remain tied, the final tie-breaker is as follows:


a. Record of tied teams versus cross-division opponents in rank order;

This is where the Toledo game is huge for Buffalo. If somehow we end up here (I don't see how but *IF* we do) a win over Toledo would be the best crossover win of the three teams.

b. Head-to-head competition is used to break the tie between the two tied teams.

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