What a strange sport

Also from Stewart Mandel

The BCS standings were officially intended to determine only the two participants in the national championship game and the eligible teams for a BCS at-large berth. A couple of conferences, however, have adopted them for their own use, which will make for a pretty strange finish to their respective races.

In the Big East, should Pittsburgh beat Miami and West Virginia beat Temple next weekend, the Panthers and Mountaineers would finish tied for first at 6-1. Seeing as West Virginia beat Pittsburgh 52-31 just last week, the Mountaineers should hold the tiebreaker, correct?

Nope. Apparently to avoid situations just like this one, in which a four-loss West Virginia team could be the Big East’s BCS representative, the league included a clause that the team that won head-to-head must also be within five spots in the standings of the team it beat. In Palm’s latest projections, Pittsburgh stands 26th, West Virginia 30th, but the Panthers’ schedule will be boosted by playing Miami, the Mountaineers’ hurt by playing Temple. So it looks like West Virginia is out, which, if the Panthers end up winning, would be a shame.

The SEC is using the same rule to break its likely three-way tie between Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in the East. The Dawgs are seventh, the Vols, whom Georgia beat, eighth and the Gators, who beat Georgia but lost to Tennessee, 11th, so Tennessee would need Georgia to lose to Georgia Tech, and the Gators would at the very least need to beat Florida State and probably also have the Vols lose to Kentucky.

That’s right, two non-conference games could determine who plays for the SEC championship.

What a strange sport.