Ranburne tie-breaker
by Rip Donovan
Special to The Star
Oct 31, 2013 | 775 views |  0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Like all good bureaucracies, the Alabama High School Athletic Association has lots of rules. Some involve football. Some of those are more complicated than others. The rules for breaking ties for positions in a region, particularly ties involving more than two teams for the same spot, are among the most complex in the AHSAA’s annual “Fall Sports Book” currently available for viewing at the AHSAA website.

These rules are particularly important at the moment to Ranburne Bulldogs fans. The Bulldogs created a three-way tie at the top of Class 2A, Region 6 last week when they defeated the Fultondale Wildcats 29-7. With region play concluded, the Bulldogs are 6-1 in region games as are the Wildcats and the Wellborn Panthers.

The first tiebreaker, even in a three-way tie, is head-to-head results. If one of the three has defeated each of the other two, that team is the highest finisher of the three. In Ranburne’s case, the first tiebreaker won’t resolve the tie because Fultondale beat Wellborn, Wellborn beat Ranburne and Ranburne defeated Fultondale.

The next eight tiebreakers involve who beat the highest ranked of the remaining teams in the region. Again, that doesn’t help in Ranburne’s situation because Ranburne, Wellborn and Fultondale each ran the table against everyone else in the region.

The tenth tiebreaker is best winning percentage against “common” non-region opponents. That doesn’t help either because Ranburne, Fultondale and Wellborn had no common non-region opponents this year.

Now comes the eleventh tiebreaker and finally we’re getting some help. It says the three-way tie will be broken in favor of “The team whose defeated non-region opponents in class and above have the most victories if all teams involved in the tie play an equal number of games.”

Ranburne, Wellborn and Fultondale each scheduled ten games this year. Ranburne defeated non-region opponent Mount Zion (Ga.) in Week 1 and Beulah in Week 5. Mount Zion now has three wins and hosts Gordon Lee Friday night. Beulah currently has two wins and plays at Wadley Friday night. Ashville, Ranburne’s Friday opponent, has one win. The Bulldogs have five tiebreaker points in the bank already with the possibility of three more if they win, Mount Zion wins and Beulah wins Friday.

Fultondale defeated Montevallo (1-8) in Week 1 and American Christian (4-5) in Week 5. Montevallo hosts Vincent, a team that defeated Montevallo handily last year, Friday. American Christian tangles with Class 5A Central of Tuscaloosa in its Week 10 game. Fultondale can add to its current total of five points only with wins by Montevallo and American Christian. The Wildcats play Class 1A Parrish in their Friday game and get no points for playing a 1A team.

Wellborn lost in Week 1 to Saks and in Week 5 to Fyffe. The Panthers play Weaver (4-5) Friday so the most tiebreaker points Wellborn can muster is four. Wellborn is out of the chase.

Ranburne supporters will have lots of favorite teams Friday. In addition to the Bulldogs, they’ll be pulling for Mount Zion, Beulah, Vincent and Central-Tuscaloosa.
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Ranburne tie-breaker by Rip Donovan
Special to The Star

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