Big 12 tweaks 'controversial' tiebreaker


It comes roughly two years too late for Texas, and will likely never come into play again anyway, but the Big 12 conference has finally made a change to the controversial conference tiebreaker that cost the Longhorns a shot at a league title game appearance that could’ve led to a crack at the BcS crystal.

For those unfamiliar with the back story, here’s a brief synopsis: UT got screwed in 2008.

Now, for those still unfamiliar, here’s a little lengthier synopsis: at the end of the 2008 regular season, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech were tied atop the Big 12’s South division with one loss apiece.  During the regular season, Texas beat Oklahoma, which beat Texas Tech, which beat Texas.

That cluster(bad word) created a three-way tie and, after the first four tiebreakers produced no South champion, it went to the fifth tiebreaker: the highest-ranked team in the BcS standings.  Oklahoma (No. 2), which lost to Texas (No. 3), got the nod based on that set of rankings and went on to the conference title game against Missouri, which UT had also soundly beaten during the regular season.

An uproar in Austin and across the national media landscape ensued — Lubbock: “hey, ya know, like, what about us, man?” — and led to UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds petitioning for a change to the tiebreaker procedure in 2009.  Friday, conference commissioner Dan Beebe confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that the three-way tiebreaker has been tweaked slightly.

Here’s the old version, with the fifth three-way tiebreaker: “5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series standings following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative.”

And the new version: “5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big 12 Championship Game, unless two of the tied teams are ranked within one spot of the 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 12 Championship Game.”

Under the new system for breaking three-way ties, Texas, not Oklahoma, would’ve represented the South in the conference championship game.

This change was actually approved but not announced in June of this year, 18 months too late for the Longhorns and their faithful.

C’est la vie, though, right ‘Horns?  Then again, if Michael Crabtree wouldn’t have happened

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press

As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.