UTAH UTES

After Two Cancellations, Does Utah Have A Chance To Reach Pac-12 Title Game?

Nov 15, 2020, 8:07 PM
Swoop - Utah Utes Football...
Utah Utes mascot Swoop and the team run onto the field before the start of an college football game against the San Jose State Spartans on September 16, 2017 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football has not played a game in 2020 yet due to COVID-19. Going into the third week of the Pac-12 season, is it still possible for Utah to play in the Pac-12 championship game?

If Utah did appear in the conference title game, it would be the third straight trip for Kyle Whittingham’s program.

On October 19, the Pac-12 released their game cancellation policy and tiebreakers for the 2020 football season.

Tiebreakers

According to the Pac-12 tiebreaker release, in order for teams to be considered in a divisional tiebreak scenario, teams must play no less than one fewer conference game than the average number of conference games played by all conference teams (rounded up/down at .50). For example, if the average number of conference games played in the 2020 season is 5.25 (value of 5 when rounded down), a team would be eligible to win their division if that team played 4 conference games.

In this case, Utah and Arizona State will play the same amount of games (4) after the Sun Devils canceled their game against Colorado this weekend. If USC, Colorado or UCLA have one game canceled at some point in this season, Utah would in contention for a Pac-12 title appearance if the records warranted a tiebreak scenario.

That’s because the Trojans, Buffaloes and Bruins have not had a game canceled to this point. UCLA nearly had a game called off because they were scheduled to play Utah last week. At the last minute, UCLA was able to schedule a Sunday morning game with California after the Golden Bears’ game against Arizona State was canceled.

If Arizona plays the rest of the schedule, they will have one more game than Utah.

The winner of each division will be determined by the best winning percentage (both divisional and cross-divisional) within the conference. In the event of an unbalanced schedule where there is a tie for the best record in the loss column, head-to-head results will take precedence over winning percentage.

When determining the divisional champions, the following will apply: If any team(s) has not played six conference games (due to not being able to rescheduled a postponed conference game) and any team is within one conference win from the team with the highest conference winning percentage and has an equal number of losses, those teams will be declared tied.

The following procedures will be applied to determine the Pac-12 Championship Game representatives, according to the Conference release:

Two-Team Tie

  1.  Head-to-head results
  2. Record in games played within division
  3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all games played within the conference), proceeding through the division
  4. Record in common conference games
  5. Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
  6. Cumulative winning percentage of each tied team’s Conference opponents
  7. Highest ranking by SportSource Analytices (Team Rating Score metric) following the last weekend of the regular season
  8. Coin toss

Multiple-Team Ties

The following procedures will only be used to eliminate all but two teams, at which point the two-team tiebreaking procedure will be applied:

  1. Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams)
  2. Record in games played within the division
  3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all games played within the conference), proceeding through the division
  4. Record in common conference games
  5. Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
  6. Cumulative winning percentage of each tied team’s conference opponents
  7. Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics following the last weekend of the regular season

Determination Of Championship Game Host

Before the pandemic, the Pac-12 Championship was originally scheduled to take place at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, home of the Raiders. This season, the home team in the Pac-12 Championship game will be determined by the record in all conference games. In the event of a tie, the following procedures will be applied to determine the home team:

  1. Head-to-head competition, if applicable
  2. Record against the next highest-placed common opponent in the conference (based on recording all games played within the conference) proceeding through the conference
  3. Record in common conference games
  4. Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
  5. Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics following the last weekend of the regular season
  6. Coin toss

Tiebreak Procedure To Determine Conference Championship Participants If Average Number Of Conference Games Falls To 4 Or Below (Unbalanced Conference Schedule)

The two teams with the best winning percentage (both divisional and cross-divisional) within the conference will participate in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game (regardless of division affiliation). In order for teams to be considered in a tie-break scenario, teams must play no less than one fewer conference game than the average number of conference games played in the 2020 season is 4.25 (value of 4 when rounded down) a team would be eligible to participate in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game if that team played 3 conference games.

Under the scenario listed above, the participants in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game will be determined by the best winning percentage within the conference. In the event of an unbalanced schedule where there is a tie for the best record in the loss column, head-to-head results will take precedence over winning percentage.

If the teams remain tied, the following procedures will be applied to determine the Pac-12 Championship Game representatives:

Two-Team Tie

  1. Head-to-Head
  2. Record in common conference games
  3. Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
  4. Cumulative winning percentage of each tied team’s conference opponents
  5. Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics following the last weekend of the regular season.
  6. Coin toss

Multiple-Team Ties

The following procedures will only be used to eliminate all but two teams, at which point the two-team tiebreaking procedure (listed above) will be applied:

  1. Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams)
  2. Record in common conference games
  3. Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
  4. Cumulative winning percentage of each tied team’s conference opponents
  5. Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics following the last weekend of the regular season
  6. Coin toss

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports. You can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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