Big Ten Conference Football Divisional Tiebreaker




The Big Ten football championship will be decided by a game played between the two division champions. A team or teams that are not eligible to participate in a postseason football bowl game as a result of NCAA and/or Big Ten sanctions shall not be eligible to participate in the Big Ten football championship game. The winner of the Big Ten football championship game will represent the Conference in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) unless a conference team other than the champion is ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS poll.

The following procedure will determine the representative from each division in the event of a tie:

  1. If two teams are tied, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative
  2. If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 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 records of the three tied teams will be compared against each other
    2. The records of the three tied teams will be compared within their division
    3. The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5, and 6)
    4. The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents;
    5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll following the completion of Big Ten regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big Ten Championship Game, unless the two highest ranked tied teams are ranked within one spot of each other in the BCS poll. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the Big Ten Championship
    6. The team with the best overall winning percentage [excluding exempted games] shall be the representative
    7. The representative will be chosen by random draw.

If one or both of the Big Ten division champions is ineligible to play in the Big Ten championship game, then the participant(s) in the Big Ten championship game shall be determined by the following procedure:

  1. If the ineligible team is tied for the division championship, then the team it tied with shall be the Big Ten championship game representative.
  2. If two or more teams are tied with an ineligible team for the division championship, then the ineligible team is removed and the remaining teams revert to the tie-break procedure.
  3. The division runner-up shall be the Big Ten championship game representative.
  4. If there is a division runner-up tie, then the tied teams shall revert to the tie-break procedure.

If the championship game cannot be played (due to any reason beyond the control of the Big Ten Conference), the two division champions (using divisional tie-breakers as set forth above) shall be declared co-champions and the following procedure will be used to determine the Big Ten Conference representative to the Bowl Championship Series:

  1. Teams ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS poll will automatically be placed in the BCS championship game.
  2. If the two divisional representatives met previously in the season and neither is ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS standings, the team ranked highest in the final BCS standings shall be the representative to the BCS, unless the other team is ranked within five or fewer places of the higher ranked team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the two teams shall determine the Conference's BCS representative.
  3. If the two divisional representatives did not meet previously during the season, the team ranked highest in the BCS standings shall be the BCS representative.
  4. If the two teams are tied in the BCS standings, the team with the best overall Big Ten record shall be the BCS representative.
  5. If the two teams remain tied after d), the team with the best combined record of the tied teams against all common Big Ten opponents each team played that season shall be the BCS representative.
  6. If the two teams remain tied after e), the representative will be the team with the best overall winning percentage.
  7. If the two teams remain tied after f), the representative will be the team furthest removed from BCS participation.
  8. If the two teams remain tied after g), the representative shall be determined by a random draw.
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