Archive for the ‘Dan Beebe’ Category

Mack on a Mission

February 22, 2009

When Mack Brown sets his mind on something, he follows through.

Texas’ head coach is still lobbying for the Big 12 to change its divisional tiebreaker system, which is likely to be on the agenda at the conference’s spring meetings.
Homerism would prefer to see the Big 12 eliminate its divisions and move to a round-robin regular season in which all teams played each other every season, a la the Pac-10’s scheduling system. Given athletic administrators’ preference for squeezing in extra home games to fill their coffers, that option seems unlikely. Anyway, that’s a discussion for another time.
Brown’s determination is admirable, but he has yet to explain exactly why the rule should be changed. (As a refresher, the Big 12 uses the BCS standings as the fifth of six tiebreakers to determine division winners in the case of a three-team tie. The rule came into play last season, sending Oklahoma to the conference title game.)
During the regular season, Brown pushed for the Big 12 to adopt the three-team tiebreaker system used by the other two-division conferences, which awards the division crown to the head-to-head winner of the top two teams in the standings if those teams are within five spots of each other in the BCS standings. That system would have put Texas in the conference title game this year.

“Since this situation has never happened before in the Big 12, I think the conference should follow the lead of all of the other BCS leagues with championship games in how they settle three-way ties. I think their systems are fairer and give more credit to how the two highest ranked teams performed against each other on the field,” Brown said at the end of the regular season.

In December, Dan Beebe, commissioner of the Big 12, acknowledged that the rule would be reviewed. However, Beebe didn’t sound particularly convinced by Brown’s rationale, noting that the system in place was designed to advance the team with the best chance of reaching the national championship game.
Homerism can understand why Brown would have preferred having the other conferences’ system in place this year, as it would have put his team in the Big 12–and most likely national–title game. Yet, that doesn’t explain why that system is supposedly “fairer.” Also, why is it that only the two highest ranked teams deserve more credit for how they performed against each other on the field, while the third team is left out of the mix?
The reality is that the Big 12’s set-up is simply a matter of realpolitik–it’s meant to give the conference the best chance of putting a team in the national championship game. “Fair” doesn’t appear to be an issue at play. After all, what is really fair among three equally deserving teams?
Homerism is all for instituting a new system that would produce a more satisfying result for all involved. Unfortunately, I fear the current system may be as good as it gets.