Gophers football OK with Big Ten ditching divisions if rivalry games remain

fmlizard

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You think Minnesota, Iowa, wisconsin, Indiana, northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois are going to vote to sign up for a conference set up where they don’t control their own destiny entering the season? You’re dreaming
Indiana couldn't possibly vote "yes" fast enough. They get out of the East and get permanent annual games with Purdue and probably Illinois.

The crossovers and whether your traditional rivals are good at football is huge, and we get a real bad draw of it.
 

Some guy

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Indiana couldn't possibly vote "yes" fast enough. They get out of the East and get permanent annual games with Purdue and probably Illinois.

The crossovers and whether your traditional rivals are good at football is huge, and we get a real bad draw of it.
You’re right about Indiana.

One of the big problems is it’s tough to schedule a 9 game schedule with 14 teams and 3 protected rivals with schedule balance. Would be much easier to schedule 8 games
 
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60's Guy

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So, the Big Ten feels like they don't have enough money and by messing with divisions they'll somehow create more? Is that it?
Keep the divisions. Let people get used to the idea of divisions before you change things.
Some teams have never won the West. We haven't been good enough that I bet the majority of Gopher fans even know there are divisions.
I do not think it is broken.
Pretty significant change in mindset to shift thinking to winning the Big Ten by finishing ahead of all the West teams, plus all the East teams in order to accomplish it. That's a mountain. It looks way harder than winning the West and winning just one more game to be Big Ten champs.
I think apathy would set in for fans of many teams very early in the season.
The games with Iowa and Wisconsin will always be significant but they'd be less so without the West division standings adding to it. One of the three of us is likely in the West hunt. If we all gotta finish ahead of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State before it matters in the standings....people will lose interest...there isn't any hope. It's already been 50 plus years. But, the West offers hope.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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So, the Big Ten feels like they don't have enough money and by messing with divisions they'll somehow create more? Is that it?
Keep the divisions. Let people get used to the idea of divisions before you change things.
Some teams have never won the West. We haven't been good enough that I bet the majority of Gopher fans even know there are divisions.
I do not think it is broken.
Pretty significant change in mindset to shift thinking to winning the Big Ten by finishing ahead of all the West teams, plus all the East teams in order to accomplish it. That's a mountain. It looks way harder than winning the West and winning just one more game to be Big Ten champs.
I think apathy would set in for fans of many teams very early in the season.
The games with Iowa and Wisconsin will always be significant but they'd be less so without the West division standings adding to it. One of the three of us is likely in the West hunt. If we all gotta finish ahead of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State before it matters in the standings....people will lose interest...there isn't any hope. It's already been 50 plus years. But, the West offers hope.
It feels a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If the top two teams go to the Big 10 championship game last year, does the Michigan / Ohio State game draw the same?

I don't really have a huge opinion on it but it seems like it will create fewer rivalries. I'm starting to see Purdue and Nebraska kind of like rivals (lesser rivals). Like part of the reason we hate Brohm and Frost is because we play them every single season. That kind of stuff makes rivalries and (IMO) is the real reason college football is so successful.
 

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I want to keep our rivalry games too, but if they kill divisions, allow rampant player buying, and make us still play wisconsin and iowa every year as our protected games...well, I hope you enjoy the band on a nice autumn Saturday. The days of losing records may be back.

The possible positive is that iowa and wisconsin don't seem inclined to get involved in the new arms race either, so maybe they become easier games over time.
Good grief.
 


fmlizard

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Good grief.
I can hardly think of a school more negatively impacted by the recent, current, and likely near future developments in college football than Minnesota. We're not real good at raising a ton of money, aren't very willing to bend the rules, and are punching a little above our weight because the schedule usually ain't that bad and 2 losses to the right teams is enough to take the West. There is no booster coming out of the sky to buy us a NIL team, and the schedule is about to become the hardest in the Big Ten.

It's bad. Some people are in denial, but this is all really, really bearish compared to what we've grown accustomed to in the past 10 years or so, and especially the past 3.
 

Gophers_4life

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You’re right about Indiana.

One of the big problems is it’s tough to schedule a 9 game schedule with 14 teams and 3 protected rivals with schedule balance. Would be much easier to schedule 8 games
But then you have fewer Big Ten conf games to provide as "inventory" to the TV deal.

It's true that you might end up with more total home games, since everyone would now have 4 non-conf to schedule instead of only 3. But how do you "guarantee" the TV viewership quality of those games?


I thought the Alliance scheduling at 10 total P5 games would've done the trick and would've been worthwhile to TV partners, but clearly the shot callers shot that down. PAC and ACC teams outside of a few just don't draw on TV. Not enough people know and/or care about those teams (and/or college football in general), even in their home states.
 

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It feels a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If the top two teams go to the Big 10 championship game last year, does the Michigan / Ohio State game draw the same?

I don't really have a huge opinion on it but it seems like it will create fewer rivalries. I'm starting to see Purdue and Nebraska kind of like rivals (lesser rivals). Like part of the reason we hate Brohm and Frost is because we play them every single season. That kind of stuff makes rivalries and (IMO) is the real reason college football is so successful.
Bolded: last year would've all but been guaranteed an immediate rematch, with Ohio State #2 and Mich #5 going into The Game. Next down was Mich St #12 and Wisc #14.

To me, that's super lame. But I think they're hoping last year's setup into that will be an anomaly.
 

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Maybe they need to move Mich-Ohio State off of the last week? Traditionalists will gnash their teeth, but ...
 



Some guy

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It feels a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If the top two teams go to the Big 10 championship game last year, does the Michigan / Ohio State game draw the same?

I don't really have a huge opinion on it but it seems like it will create fewer rivalries. I'm starting to see Purdue and Nebraska kind of like rivals (lesser rivals). Like part of the reason we hate Brohm and Frost is because we play them every single season. That kind of stuff makes rivalries and (IMO) is the real reason college football is so successful.
Last year was a perfect storm for the conference to do top 2

Michigan Ohio state would’ve played. Michigan is the worse of those two teams but sprang the upset.
So then they rematch the next week.
First game takes a little ratings hit with the next week being a rematch. But the BTT game would’ve gotten a huge rating

If Ohio state had blown out Michigan by 21+ (like I suspect they would have in a rematch). People would’ve turned off the game mid game and the last week game would’ve taken a hit in the ratings AND nobody would tune in to the rematch.


So the new way could help ratings or hurt ratings depending on how it played out.



College football is a regional sport. Continually playing the same teams every year makes it good. If they do away with divisions I hope they keep divisional scheduling. I’ll miss Michigan sometimes if it means I also get to miss Rutgers sometimes. I like seeing Nebraska northwestern and Purdue every year.

The real solution might be to trade Purdue and Michigan state’s division (and then lock Michigan Michigan state instead of Purdue Indiana) but that wouldn’t solve the disparity of the divisions. In fact, Purdue beat Michigan state last year whoops
 

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Keep the divisions.
Nobody wants to see Michigan vs OSU on back to back weekends.
 

short ornery norwegian

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to be clear -

I can live with either outcome - divisions or no divisions.

I grew up with one conference - no divisions. And to the best of my knowledge, the B1G has never played a true round-robin schedule. MN did not play every team in the conference every year, so you always had the argument that team A had a "easier" schedule than Team B. "We played OSU and you didn't...."

That did not change with divisions. A Penn State could complain that it was in the "tougher" division because it had to play OSU and Mich every year. Other teams could complain that their 'crossover' games were tougher than another schools' 'crossover' games.

And because of the nature of FB schedules, a 14-team conf cannot have a true round-robin schedule.

My personal preference would be to eliminate divisions, have one or two protected rivalry games, and then have a rotating schedule where you are guaranteed to face every team in the conference over a certain period.

If that means you finish the season with 2 or even 3 teams with equal records, fine. that is just going to create more interest. Imagine the national headlines - "3 teams in the running for B1G Title." and there would obviously be a tie-breaker system to determine the 2 teams that play in the Championship game - generating more interest and debate.

for me, the bottom line is this: if you are not playing every team in the conference every year, then there is no 'perfect' solution and there never will be. so choose a system and live with it.
 

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Last year was a perfect storm for the conference to do top 2

Michigan Ohio state would’ve played. Michigan is the worse of those two teams but sprang the upset.
So then they rematch the next week.
First game takes a little ratings hit with the next week being a rematch. But the BTT game would’ve gotten a huge rating

If Ohio state had blown out Michigan by 21+ (like I suspect they would have in a rematch). People would’ve turned off the game mid game and the last week game would’ve taken a hit in the ratings AND nobody would tune in to the rematch.


So the new way could help ratings or hurt ratings depending on how it played out.



College football is a regional sport. Continually playing the same teams every year makes it good. If they do away with divisions I hope they keep divisional scheduling. I’ll miss Michigan sometimes if it means I also get to miss Rutgers sometimes. I like seeing Nebraska northwestern and Purdue every year.

The real solution might be to trade Purdue and Michigan state’s division (and then lock Michigan Michigan state instead of Purdue Indiana) but that wouldn’t solve the disparity of the divisions. In fact, Purdue beat Michigan state last year whoops
Regarding the regular season game OSU-Mich game taking a ratings hit, what if an OSU win would have sent Iowa to the title game? Both the Hawkeye and Wolverines would have been 7-2 with no head to head, so would have come down to a tiebreaker. Wisconsin also still had a chance to muddy it up by making it a 3 way tie.

With other Big 10 games to play seems like it would be rare that regardless of the outcome, that both would still be assured of advancing to Indy.

Plus with BCS playoff implications, I don't think viewership would take a substantial hit at all.

Keep the divisions.
Nobody wants to see Michigan vs OSU on back to back weekends.
Nobody, really? Millions of Buckeye and Wolverine fans alone would watch. The game could also be moved to earlier in season, solving the back-to-back scenario.
 



Some guy

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Regarding the regular season game OSU-Mich game taking a ratings hit, what if an OSU win would have sent Iowa to the title game? Both the Hawkeye and Wolverines would have been 7-2 with no head to head, so would have come down to a tiebreaker. Wisconsin also still had a chance to muddy it up by making it a 3 way tie.

With other Big 10 games to play seems like it would be rare that regardless of the outcome, that both would still be assured of advancing to Indy.

Plus with BCS playoff implications, I don't think viewership would take a substantial hit at all.


Nobody, really? Millions of Buckeye and Wolverine fans alone would watch. The game could also be moved to earlier in season, solving the back-to-back scenario.
A lot of people speculating that a tie would be broken by highest ranking in that case.
So Michigan going over and equal record Iowa 95% of the time.

Which is why I don’t like a rating system not controlled by the conference breaking s tie ever.


Last year, if Ohio state beat Michigan AND wisconsin beat Minnesota

4 way tie. (Record against other teams in the tie)
Iowa 0-1
Wisconsin 1-1
Michigan state 1-0
Michigan 1-1


So in that scenario tie breakers being equal to what they are now, Michigan state would go if it was “best two”
If Minnesota had beat wisconsin but Ohio state beat Michigan:
3 way tie:
Iowa 0-1
Michigan state 1-0
Michigan 0-1

Michigan state

Basically Ohio state beating Michigan would’ve led to Michigan state giving up 88 points in the big ten title game last year
 

Ope3

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A lot of people speculating that a tie would be broken by highest ranking in that case.
So Michigan going over and equal record Iowa 95% of the time.

Which is why I don’t like a rating system not controlled by the conference breaking s tie ever.


Last year, if Ohio state beat Michigan AND wisconsin beat Minnesota

4 way tie. (Record against other teams in the tie)
Iowa 0-1
Wisconsin 1-1
Michigan state 1-0
Michigan 1-1


So in that scenario tie breakers being equal to what they are now, Michigan state would go if it was “best two”
If Minnesota had beat wisconsin but Ohio state beat Michigan:
3 way tie:
Iowa 0-1
Michigan state 1-0
Michigan 0-1

Michigan state

Basically Ohio state beating Michigan would’ve led to Michigan state giving up 88 points in the big ten title game last year
So, Michigan St would have gotten beat no worse than Iowa got thumped. Status quo.

EDIT- Thanks for pointing out it had the potential for being a 4-way tie. With the possible chaos, feels like a win for the Divisionless format, with all the potential teams in the mix. Would have really increased the ratings potential for the Mich St-Penn St finale.
 
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Some guy

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So, Michigan St would have gotten beat no worse than Iowa got thumped. Status quo.

EDIT- Thanks for pointing out it had the potential for being a 4-way tie. With the possible chaos, feels like a win for the Divisionless format, with all the potential teams in the mix. Would have really increased the ratings potential for the Mich St-Penn St finale.
I’m not sure. IAnything gained in Michigan state (if they win) is lost on Minnesota wisconsin when that game means almost nothing.
Iowa Nebraska means nothing. Etc

It’s probably a pretty close to zero sum game
 

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I can hardly think of a school more negatively impacted by the recent, current, and likely near future developments in college football than Minnesota. We're not real good at raising a ton of money, aren't very willing to bend the rules, and are punching a little above our weight because the schedule usually ain't that bad and 2 losses to the right teams is enough to take the West. There is no booster coming out of the sky to buy us a NIL team, and the schedule is about to become the hardest in the Big Ten.

It's bad. Some people are in denial, but this is all really, really bearish compared to what we've grown accustomed to in the past 10 years or so, and especially the past 3.
Good grief.
 

Dave H

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It feels a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If the top two teams go to the Big 10 championship game last year, does the Michigan / Ohio State game draw the same?

I don't really have a huge opinion on it but it seems like it will create fewer rivalries. I'm starting to see Purdue and Nebraska kind of like rivals (lesser rivals). Like part of the reason we hate Brohm and Frost is because we play them every single season. That kind of stuff makes rivalries and (IMO) is the real reason college football is so successful.

This is where I am out, except I also am a bit more doom and gloom overall about the Gophers prospects with this set up. I would like a bit more variety than we get but I like facing the division teams each year.
 

Some guy

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This is where I am out, except I also am a bit more doom and gloom overall about the Gophers prospects with this set up. I would like a bit more variety than we get but I like facing the division teams each year.
Well it looks like you might get your wish of less Purdue and Nebraska and more Rutgers and Ohio state
 

Ope3

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I know you hate it, but the 3 unbeaten things is just not going to be a thing that matters.

They're just going to say that the highest ranked two teams get into the conf championship game.

There won't be ties. It will be determined by the CFP ranking.
You think Minnesota, Iowa, wisconsin, Indiana, northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois are going to vote to sign up for a conference set up where they don’t control their own destiny entering the season? You’re dreaming

I have been trying to wrap my head around the odds of this, and best I can come up with is that it seems very highly improbable that 3 teams would wind up unbeaten.

So small that it's not a concern for me (particularly for the 9 teams listed, especially if they are getting a nice pay day from the TV partners). If the assumption was each game a team has a 50/50 chance to win, then the odds of going 9-0 is 1 in 512 (2 to the 9th power). The odds of one of the 5 other teams that one didn't play also going unbeaten exceeds my math ability, I was a CLA Major.

That alone gets us to really slim odds. A third unbeaten team has to have not played either of the the other 2? I think we are in the well over 1 in multiple thousands range.

For this to happen seems like it need a really unique scheduling oddity as well as 3 powerhouse teams, with 11 mediocre to really crappy conference foes. If there are any statistical wizards out there that can set me straight, I'm all ears.

If this rather unlikely situation happens, come up with a strength of schedule tie-breaker.

What I personally hate about the Division-less proposition is that a team could go Unbeaten and be 2 games or more clear of the runner-up (potentially beating them in the regular season) then have to win again in the Title game to be crowned "Champion". I realize that could happen in the current East-West set up, but at least both teams were "Champion" of something.
 

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Well it looks like you might get your wish of less Purdue and Nebraska and more Rutgers and Ohio state

No I want to keep divisions. My post should have said "at" not "out". I was agreeing with Bob.
 

Some guy

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I have been trying to wrap my head around the odds of this, and best I can come up with is that it seems very highly improbable that 3 teams would wind up unbeaten.

So small that it's not a concern for me (particularly for the 9 teams listed, especially if they are getting a nice pay day from the TV partners). If the assumption was each game a team has a 50/50 chance to win, then the odds of going 9-0 is 1 in 512 (2 to the 9th power). The odds of one of the 5 other teams that one didn't play also going unbeaten exceeds my math ability, I was a CLA Major.

That alone gets us to really slim odds. A third unbeaten team has to have not played either of the the other 2? I think we are in the well over 1 in multiple thousands range.

For this to happen seems like it need a really unique scheduling oddity as well as 3 powerhouse teams, with 11 mediocre to really crappy conference foes. If there are any statistical wizards out there that can set me straight, I'm all ears.

If this rather unlikely situation happens, come up with a strength of schedule tie-breaker.

What I personally hate about the Division-less proposition is that a team could go Unbeaten and be 2 games or more clear of the runner-up (potentially beating them in the regular season) then have to win again in the Title game to be crowned "Champion". I realize that could happen in the current East-West set up, but at least both teams were "Champion" of something.
You just made an assumption that all big ten games are 50/50 options

Lol
I stopped reading at that


If it’s so easy to build a schedule that:
14 teams
9 games
everyone has two locked rivals
You play the other 11 equally in a 4 or 5 or 6 year period
No chance of a 3 way tie where none of the 3 have played each other

Then someone will build it. I’ve yet to see it
Find one writer who has actually build a mock schedule that does this and I’ll believe it. It’s so easy nobody has done it

A three way tie at 8-1 where they haven’t played each other or one hasn’t played the other two is just as problematic
A three way tie at 7-2 where one hasn’t played the other two is just as problematic


So Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa tie at 8-1
One gets to play 9-0 Ohio state
Minnesota beat Iowa
Michigan didn’t play either
Michigan goes ahead of Minnesota because there is no head to head and Michigan is ranked higher?
Or Minnesota goes ahead of Michigan because they beat Iowa instead of Penn state…when Iowa only has the best record because they randomly got a schedule of Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois, northwestern, Michigan state


If the schedule is so easy to build, I’ll believe it when I see it.
 
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Add two teams, divide into pods of 4.
pod A Minn, Iowa, Wisc, Neb
Pod B NW, Illinois, OSU, 1 other team
Pod C Mich, MSU, Indiana, Purdue
pod D PSU, Maryland, Rutgers 1 other team

Play your pod and 1 other pod for 7 games, game 8 would be a protected game (OSU ScUM for example if they aren’t scheduled already) and or based on last years record. game 9 is semi- Final week in which 1’s - 4’s all play from each pod then winners of the 1’s games move on to BIG championship.
 

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Add two teams, divide into pods of 4.
pod A Minn, Iowa, Wisc, Neb
Pod B NW, Illinois, OSU, 1 other team
Pod C Mich, MSU, Indiana, Purdue
pod D PSU, Maryland, Rutgers 1 other team

Play your pod and 1 other pod for 7 games, game 8 would be a protected game (OSU ScUM for example if they aren’t scheduled already) and or based on last years record. game 9 is semi- Final week in which 1’s - 4’s all play from each pod then winners of the 1’s games move on to BIG championship.
If the point of no divisions is to make more money adding teams does the opposite unless it’s Notre dame and someone else big

16 is much easier to schedule than 14
 

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If the point of no divisions is to make more money adding teams does the opposite unless it’s Notre dame and someone else big

16 is much easier to schedule than 14
Maybe the large jump in upcoming TV revenue is due to BIG telling them they have two schools lined up or The networks have told them you need two more.
 

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Maybe the large jump in upcoming TV revenue is due to BIG telling them they have two schools lined up or The networks have told them you need two more.
Which to schools do you add and make the pie pieces bigger

I’ll give you a hint, there aren’t any that aren’t Notre dame
 

short ornery norwegian

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Some - with all due respect, there are no perfect solutions.

the only 'perfect' way to determine a true conference champion would be to have a 9-team league and play 8 conference games, or a 10-team league and play 9 conference games. every team plays every other team.

Once you go past 10 teams, there is no perfect solution, because some team is not going to play another team.

So my point is this - whether you have divisions or no divisions, as long as the B1G has 14 teams, there is no perfect solution. you are (hopefully) choosing the option with the fewest problems.

you see the possibility of a 2 or 3-way tie as a big problem. other people have a different opinion.

and that is all it is - an opinion.

and - since you or I will not be making the decision, it's a moot point.

no matter what the B1G does, some people will like it and some people will not like it.

That's life.
 

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Some - with all due respect, there are no perfect solutions.

the only 'perfect' way to determine a true conference champion would be to have a 9-team league and play 8 conference games, or a 10-team league and play 9 conference games. every team plays every other team.

Once you go past 10 teams, there is no perfect solution, because some team is not going to play another team.

So my point is this - whether you have divisions or no divisions, as long as the B1G has 14 teams, there is no perfect solution. you are (hopefully) choosing the option with the fewest problems.

you see the possibility of a 2 or 3-way tie as a big problem. other people have a different opinion.

and that is all it is - an opinion.

and - since you or I will not be making the decision, it's a moot point.

no matter what the B1G does, some people will like it and some people will not like it.

That's life.
Are you going to be okay

I know it’s my opinion. Thanks for clarifying
 

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14 teams
9 games
everyone has two locked rivals
You play the other 11 equally in a 4 or 5 or 6 year period
No chance of a 3 way tie where none of the 3 have played each other
My guess is that it is not possible to do such a thing, and when you consider the W-L permutations of all such schedules, each schedule has at least one W-L permutation where it turns out that there are 3 (or maybe more!) unbeatens in conf games.

The only way to "prove" it, would be to brute force go through every possible schedule meeting those criteria and all possible W-L permutations in each of those schedules, to see what happens.


I don't think it is particularly important to make such a thing impossible, if rather it turns out to be true that such a thing is very unlikely.

For example, if it is still possible but only has a 0.00001% chance of happening .... that "should be" good enough.


A three way tie at 8-1 where they haven’t played each other or one hasn’t played the other two is just as problematic
A three way tie at 7-2 where one hasn’t played the other two is just as problematic
In my opinion, as soon as all the teams have at least one loss, then they aren't allowed to have any complaint. They could've won that game that they lost, and taken care of their business on the field.

Therefore, tiebreakers are valid.

So Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa tie at 8-1
One gets to play 9-0 Ohio state
Minnesota beat Iowa
Michigan didn’t play either
Michigan goes ahead of Minnesota because there is no head to head and Michigan is ranked higher?
Or Minnesota goes ahead of Michigan because they beat Iowa instead of Penn state…when Iowa only has the best record because they randomly got a schedule of Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois, northwestern, Michigan state
In this scenario, obviously it was Michigan that had to play Ohio St and lost. That's the best lost of the three.
 

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My guess is that it is not possible to do such a thing, and when you consider the W-L permutations of all such schedules, each schedule has at least one W-L permutation where it turns out that there are 3 (or maybe more!) unbeatens in conf games.

The only way to "prove" it, would be to brute force go through every possible schedule meeting those criteria and all possible W-L permutations in each of those schedules, to see what happens.


I don't think it is particularly important to make such a thing impossible, if rather it turns out to be true that such a thing is very unlikely.

For example, if it is still possible but only has a 0.00001% chance of happening .... that "should be" good enough.



In my opinion, as soon as all the teams have at least one loss, then they aren't allowed to have any complaint. They could've won that game that they lost, and taken care of their business on the field.

Therefore, tiebreakers are valid.


In this scenario, obviously it was Michigan that had to play Ohio St and lost. That's the best lost of the three.
The others didn’t get the chance to play Ohio state

So Michigan automatically has a tiebreak in perpetuity for being into OsU when they’re probably the “best loss” in 75% of big ten seasons?



And you’re wrong. There is a really easy way to “prove it”

It’s called having a schedule with two round robins.
 




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