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Wildcard tiebreaker question (1 Viewer)

heckmanm

Footballguy
I know this gets covered almost annually, but the search function is timing out for me.

We have a divisional format where teams play within their own division twice, and outside the division once. We have a potential (14-week reg season) for a tie across 2 divisions for a wildcard spot.

Our rule state head-to-head as the first tiebreaker, but what's the best approach when teams have played an unequal number of times?

One possible scenario for us is a 4-way tie at 8-6 for the last wildcard spot, with 2 teams from each division (call it A & B from 1 division and C & D from the other)

- A is 3-1 vs the other 3, and 2-0 vs B

- B is 2-2 vs the other 3, and 0-2 vs A

- C is 2-2 vs the other 3, and 2-0 vs D

- D is 1-3 vs the other 3, and 0-2 vs C

Is it automatically "A" based on the 3-1 record? Or should we first eliminate B and D based on the 0-2 records with their divisional opponents, and then take the head-to-head winner between A and C? Is it safe to say that B and D are out under any reasonable process? (At least D is out, I think)

We could also have a 3 way tie with 2 teams from 1 division and 1 from the other, where:

- A is 2-0 vs B (in division), but lost to C

- B is 0-2 vs A (in division), but beat C

- C is 1-1 vs A&B

Again, does A's 2-1 total record win out, or do you first eliminate B based on A's 2-0 sweep, and then take the head-to-head winner between A and C?

Our rules state "The following tiebreakers are used to determine both the Division Champions and Conference rankings: 1) Head-to-head won/lost records; 2) Division won/lost records; 3) Conference won/lost records; 4) Scoring points by starters during regular season; 5) Coin flip."

Since division champs have been decided before these ties come into play, I'm thinking divisional alignment no longer matters, and overall W-L among the tied teams would be the criterion.

Out of 16 possible outcomes of the 4 games involving these teams, there is only 1 game outcome that would lead to each scenario above, so I'm hoping this solves itself.

 
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In both cases, A would be in. You do "head to head" among all the teams tied - at least that's the way the NFL does it.

 
Save yourself the headache and just go total points. It's the fairest way of doing it anyway.

 
I do head to head only when it's two team. Any more than that and unless there is a clear winner I scrap it and go total points, then highest total points against (and yes, we did have a total points tie once when it mattered).

 
In both cases, A would be in. You do "head to head" among all the teams tied - at least that's the way the NFL does it.
I don't think that's the way the nfl does it.

TO BREAK A TIE FOR THE WILD-CARD TEAM

If it is necessary to break ties to determine the two Wild-Card clubs from each conference, the following steps will be taken.

  1. If the tied clubs are from the same division, apply division tie breaker.
  2. If the tied clubs are from different divisions, apply the following steps.
Two Clubs

  1. Head-to-head, if applicable.
  2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
  4. Strength of victory.
  5. Strength of schedule.
  6. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  7. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best net points in conference games.
  9. Best net points in all games.
  10. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  11. Coin toss.
Three or More Clubs

(Note: If two clubs remain tied after third or other clubs are eliminated, tie breaker reverts to step 1 of applicable two-club format.)

  1. Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two Wild-Card participants.
  2. Head-to-head sweep. (Applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others.)
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
  9. Best net points in conference games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
  12. Coin toss
When the first Wild-Card team has been identified, the procedure is repeated to name the second Wild-Card, i.e., eliminate all but the highest-ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. In situations where three or more teams from the same division are involved in the procedure, the original seeding of the teams remains the same for subsequent applications of the tie breaker if the top-ranked team in that division qualifies for a Wild-Card berth.

I think the divisional tie breaker is used first among the teams in the same division that are tied and then the winner of that tie breaker moves on to step two.

 
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