There has been quite a bit of confusion about how the three-way tie-breaker works in Kentucky high school football. This season Middlesboro finished tied with Somerset and Danville in Class 2A’s District 7 and the tie won’t officially be broken until the conclusion of this week’s games.
Here’s a far-too-detailed look at exactly how the tie-breakers will be applied and which games this week can affect their outcome.
The first tie-breaker is head-to-head. That won’t apply in this case because Middlesboro beat Danville, Danville beat Somerset, Somerset beat Middlesboro, and they all beat Lexington Christian to finish 2-1 in the district.
What comes next, according to the KHSAA rule book:
“…each team tied for the position shall receive one point for each game won by any four of their defeated opponents in all games, except for the games played between any two of the tied teams. All games played shall be counted in applying the tie-breaking procedure, including out of state games…”
For the sake of the tie-breaker, Middlesboro’s four best wins so far are Union, Va. (7 wins), Bell County (6), Pineville (6) and Harlan (2). So they currently have 21 points.
Somerset’s only four applicable wins are Glasgow (8), Letcher Central (4), Southwestern (1) and Lexington Christian (1). The Briar Jumpers have 14 points for the tie-breaker.
Danville’s only four applicable wins so far are Franklin-Simpson (5), Green County (4), Campbellsville (2) and Lexington Christian (1). The Admirals have 12 points for the tie-breaker.
Danville hosts a 7-win Frankfort team on Friday. If the Admirals win they can use those 7 points instead of the 1 point from Lexington Christian and they would be at 18 total points. They could conceivably tie Middlesboro at 21 if Franklin-Simpson, Green County and Campbellsville also all win on Friday while the Jackets lose to Lynn Camp and all of their defeated opponents also lose. The next steps in the tie-breaker would be to add a fifth team (LCA with one or two wins for both) and then a sixth team where Middlesboro can add Grant County’s one win to break the tie. A win over Lynn Camp on Friday would give the Jackets a minimum of 22 points and no other tie-breakers would be needed.
That means there is no scenario where Middlesboro won’t win the tie-breaker and the Jackets will be the number one seed from District 7.
The KHSAA handbook goes on to say that the “highest point total between the two remaining tied teams shall be declared to hold the next position.”
Looking at the number two seed, Somerset has finished their season and so has Southwestern so the most points the Briar Jumpers can get to is 17. If Danville beats Frankfort they will have a minimum of 18 points giving them the number two seed.
If Danville loses to Frankfort, second place in the district will be decided by the outcome of six other games on Friday.
Danville would be at 12 points and could potentially get to 16 if Franklin-Simpson wins at Hopkinsville, Green County wins at Taylor County, Campbellsville defeats LaRue County and Lexington Christian defeats Walton-Verona.
Somerset is at 14 points and could potentially get to 17 if Lexington Christian defeats Walton-Verona, Glasgow defeats Elizabethtown and Letcher Central defeats Breathitt County.
Both team ending up with 15 or 16 points is a distint possibility. If that happens then Danville would get the number two seed based on their win over Somerset in their head-to-head meeting during the season.