Remember all that Algebra II you neglected to study in 11th grade? Let’s hope the boys and girls at the company the ACC has privately contracted remembers to carry the remainder and move the decimal points over.
Conventional wisdom coming into the season was that if anyone was going to tie atop the Atlantic division it would be Florida State and Clemson, and that would be no problem because the teams play each other. Head-to-head would solve any issues there and the world would keep spinning. Lamar Jackson now has something to say about that.
If it comes down to it and there’s a three-way tie, the conference has an ace in the hole if other options become exhausted. ESPN reports that the conference will use “a team rating score metric” that is a product of a company called SportSource Analytics in that case.
This would be the ACC's seventh tiebreaker, and for it to even come to fruition in its only likely form, Clemson has to beat Louisville on Oct. 1, and Florida State has to beat Clemson at home on Oct. 29 -- and all three teams couldn't lose again.
The ACC decided to use SportSource Analytics as its No. 7 tiebreaker this summer because the CFP ranking it would need isn't released until Nov. 29 and the ACC title game is Dec. 3.
What has to happen for the fancy numbers to come into play? Well, I’m glad you asked. The full ACC tiebreaker scenarios are below for a three-team deadlock:
- Combined head-to-head winning percentage among the tied teams.
- Winning percentage of the tied teams within the division.
- Head-to-head competition vs. the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) Conference winning percentage, and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken first to last, using the league’s tie-breaking procedures.
- Combined winning percentage vs. all common non-divisional opponents.
- Combined winning percentage vs. all non-divisional opponents.
- Winning percentage vs. common non-divisional opponents based upon their order of finish (overall conference winning percentage) and proceeding through other common non-divisional opponents based upon their divisional order of finish.
- Fancy SportsSource Analytics rankings.
- The representative shall be chosen by a draw as administered by the Commissioner or Commissioner’s designee.
Yes, the final tiebreaker is literally ACC commissioner John Swofford picking a team out of a hat. I’d actually prefer that to be No. 1, personally.