There are three games to go in the Big Ten season and the top 5 teams are separated by 2 games. As of right now, there exists a possibility for all 5 teams to finish 13-5. It's not a great possibility, but it's not super-far-fetched either. And since we don't have a game for a few days, exercises like this can be entertaining. Here's what would need to happen in the remaining games:
Indiana (12-3): Purdue (W), OSU (L), @UM (L) = 13-5
MSU (11-4): @UM (L), Wisconsin (W), Northwestern (W) = 13-5
Wisconsin (11-4): Purdue (W), @MSU (L), @PSU (W) = 13-5
OSU (10-5): @Northwestern (W), @IU (W), Illinois (W) = 13-5
UM (10-5): MSU (W), @Purdue (W), IU (W) = 13-5
See, not super-far-fetched, right? To me, the most unlikely event would be Indiana losing back-to-back games to OSU and UM, but hey, as Penn State showed last night and Gatorade taught us recently, impossible is nothing.
So let's say "The 5-Way" happens, or as it would be known, the "B1G Clusterf**k." We would have to go to the tiebreakers for BTT seeding. Here's a link to the rules.
Tiebreaker #1: Head-to-Head Among the 5 Teams
Indiana wins this one with a 4-3 record against the other 4 teams. MSU and OSU would be 4-4, Wisconsin would be 3-3, and UM would be 3-4. So IU would be the 1-seed and I believe UM would get the 5-seed. It would then come down to jockeying for the 2, 3, and 4 seeds.
Tiebreaker #2: Record against next-highest B1G team
This rule says "If the remaining teams are still tied, then each tied team's record shall be compared to the team occupying the highest position in the final regular-season standings, continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage."
Here, "the team occupying the highest position in the final regular-season standings" is the 5-way tie, and we've already determined that MSU, OSU, and Wisconsin are still tied. So we would have to go to the records against the 6th-place team (or teams). Right now, that would potentially be one or more of Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and Purdue. Unfortunately, there are too many variables to sort out who would end up where without knowing the 6th place team. I do like MSU's chances in that event, though, since we're a combined 5-1 against those teams.
If there's still a tie after going through records against each team in the standings, the 3rd tiebreaker is the win-loss record of each team's Division 1 opponents and the final tiebreaker is a coin flip conducted by Jim Delaney "or designee."
[OH PLEASE LET IT COME DOWN TO A JIM DELANEY COIN TOSS SOME DAY]
This is a FanPost, written by a member of the TOC community. It does not represent the official positions of The Only Colors, Inc.--largely because we have no official positions.