Clear As Mud? Oklahoma St. To Benefit From Big 12's Clarification On League Tiebreakers, Reports Say

As confusion about the Big 12 tiebreakers spikes at the end of the regular season, league officials are reportedly going to issue a clarification that would be beneficial for Oklahoma State.

Tuesday, November 14th 2023, 3:27 pm

By: Drake Johnson


The addition of four teams to the Big 12 conference this season muddied the tiebreakers and qualifications for a team to make the championship game in December.

The round-robin schedule days are gone and as the regular season winds down, the confusion behind tiebreakers for Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Iowa State have spiked.

The main concern stems from the league's writing of the three-way tiebreaker for teams that haven't all played each other on the field this season. Here's how the rule reads:

"Head-to-head (best cumulative win percentage in games among the tied teams). If not, every tied team has played each other, go to step 2."

The Big 12 is reportedly going to clarify the language in this tiebreaker, according to, and it would benefit the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Seemingly, it looked like the Cowboys would be left out of the title game if OU, OSU and Kansas State all finished 7-2 in conference play, due to the wording of the rule above.

"Step 2" is written as this on the Big 12 sports website: "Record against the next highest placed common opponent in the standings (based on record in all games played within the conference), proceeding through the standings."

The Cowboys beat both Oklahoma and Kansas State. The Sooners have not played (and will not) play the Wildcats. So, the tiebreaker would move on to record against the next highest placed common opponent in the standings, which would be Iowa State.

The old tiebreaker could advance either Kansas State or Oklahoma, not the Cowboys, because of the Sooners and Wildcats' record against Iowa State, the next highest placed common opponent in the standings. Kansas State plays Iowa State in the last week of the season. The Sooners beat them in September.

The Big 12 is going to clarify the rule to take into account for head-to-head, benefitting Oklahoma State.

Most reasonable fans of college football can admit that in the proposed scenario, the Cowboys should be the ones to advance to the Big 12 Championship. Head-to-head should matter. That's why they play the games.

But with the Sooners heading out of the conference next year, the conspiracies about mistreatment from the league office are running rampant.


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