John Swofford could determine an ACC Atlantic 3-way tiebreaker champion


John Swofford could determine a three-way tie in the event that the ACC Atlantic finished even with Louisville, Clemson, and Florida State.

ESPN’s Heather Dinich released a story today telling how the ACC will go about breaking a three-way tie should Clemson, Louisville, and Florida State finish with one loss at the end of the season.

Before today, the ACC had always maintained that, in the event of a three-way tie, the College Football Playoff rankings would determine the division winner.

The ACC is now saying that the conference cannot wait until Tuesday to determine a division champion that would play in the Championship game on a Saturday.

So, the conference will rely on ratings rather than rankings, kind of.

"The ACC has partnered with SportSource Analytics, the same company that provides statistics to the College Football Playoff selection committee members, Dinich said in her article.This particular ranking, though — a team rating score metric — is not given to the CFP committee members, and it’s not free to the public like the former BCS standings, which was also used to break three-way ties. The highest-ranked team in the team rating score metric would win the Atlantic Division, and SportSource Analytics would permit the ACC to release the ranking of the teams in the conference in the event it is required to break a tie."

However, the ratings will only be used if the three teams are not within five spots of each other in the rankings.

So, I know what you’re asking: So what if Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville are ranked within five spots of each other?

Well, then John Swofford and a committee of some sort gets to decide.

That’s right Clemson fans, if Louisville, Florida State, and the Tigers are all 11-1 the commissioner of the ACC determines the division champion.

So, instead of letting the College Football Playoff rankings be the determining factor, John Swofford will make the decision himself, but this isn’t true all the time.

If you are confused, here is the complete list of tiebreakers from ESPN’s David Hale.

"(1) Combined head-to-head win percentage.(2) Win percentage of the teams tied within the division.(3) Head-to-head competition versus the team within the division with the best overall (division and non-divisional) conference win percentage.Given the aforementioned scenario in which Florida State, Louisville and Clemson each finish 7-1 in ACC play, with each sharing a loss to another in that group, none of those three tiebreakers would give us an answer.(4) Combined win percentage versus all common non-divisional opponents.There aren’t any common opponents outside of the ACC, so again, this would be a moot point.(5) Overall win percentage versus non-divisional opponents.More from Rubbing the RockClemson Football: Q&A with Florida State experts at Chop ChatClemson Tigers News: New commitments, Ian Schieffelin and Jonathan WeitzClemson Football needs their biggest stars to shine against Florida StateClemson Football: Receiver by committee could work for the TigersNo reason for Clemson Football to fear a Seminole takeover(6) Win percentage versus non-divisional opponents based upon order of finish.This is where Louisville could be hurt, as the Cardinals will have the toughest non-conference game with a trip to Houston. But if all three have the same non-conference record, too, we keep moving on to …(7) The team with the highest ranking by SportSource Analytics (the stats service used by the playoff committee), assuming the next team is not ranked within five places of the highest-ranked team.In this case, all three would need to be ranked within five places of each other. If only two are, then we’d go to the two-team tiebreaker and whichever team had the head-to-head victory would advance.Is your head hurting yet?So, let’s say all three teams end up 11-1 with their only losses to each other, and all three are ranked within five spots of each other, then we get to the ultimate tiebreaker …The head coaches will go head-to-head in a round-robin arm-wrestling challenge!Actually, no, never mind. It says here they’ll be chosen by a draw administered by commissioner John Swofford. That’s not as fun."

So, if we finished the year and Clemson was ranked No. 2, Louisville No. 4, and Florida State No. 6, John Swofford would decide the Atlantic champion.

Must Read: Dabo Swinney Press Conference vs GT: What we Heard

In what world does this make sense?

I have no clue, but hopefully the Tigers will just put this all to bed and take care of business because Swofford cannot decide a champion if you finish with the best record.