Why I Care

In response to my recent post urging Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe not to cave to pressure from supporters of the University of Texas regarding the conference's fifth tiebreaker, it has been suggested to me that I have no stake (see comments) in this situation and, to put it politely, should butt out.  People wonder why a guy who blogs about K-State would waste his time devoting 700 words to a tiebreaker between Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.

I'll tell you why.  It's because this tiebreaker, and the controversy that surrounds it, is much more than just an issue between those three schools.  It's a Big 12 issue.  K-State is a member of the Big 12 conference.  As such, any Big 12 issue is an issue that affects K-State.

My reasons for opposing the proposed SEC-style tiebreaker were fully explained in the previous post and do not need to be reproduced here.  Put simply, I believe the SEC rule disfavors non-marquee schools to at least the extent the Big 12 rule does.  It was noted in the comments after Tim Griffin's above-linked post that I was defending a system that screwed the non-marquee school.  Quite true, as Texas Tech had no real shot at winning this tiebreaker due to the human voters dropping them out of the running. 

Despite this oversight on my part, I still oppose adoption of the SEC tiebreaker.  The SEC tiebreaker is just as, if not more, unfair to a non-marquee school than the current Big 12 tiebreaker.  Further, I have trouble taking seriously any UT fan who advocates the SEC tiebreaker because they think using the BCS is an unfair method of breaking this tie.  We would be replacing a tiebreaker that uses the BCS with...a tiebreaker that uses the BCS.  It just so happens that the SEC alternative would have favored Texas in this situation.  Count me unconvinced.

Where does this leave us?  Commenter learned hand suggested a third way, which would use more objective criteria to break such a tie.  All good suggestions, and something that I will consider in more depth when I can turn my focus from secured financing and products liability final exams to the important things in life, such as K-State football, K-State basketball, and Big 12 policy issues.  My basic principle, and in a way my advice for all parties concerned, is that we should do what we can to find the most objective criteria possible, because objective criteria are most likely to prevent subjective human bias from ousting a deserving school from the equation.  Maybe this means a strength-of-schedule tiebreaker.  Maybe it means a margin-of-victory tiebreaker.  Maybe it means doing away with the conference's North and South divisions.  Maybe it's something else.

I'll leave that for later.  For now, I say to those who are surprised and/or dismayed at seeing a K-State blogger discussing Big 12 policy issues: Get used to it.

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