Breaking Ties is the Hardest Part

There is an assortment of baseball stories in today’s Daily Journal, and we’ll start with my opinion offering, which examines the SEC’s Wild West Division and how MSU (33-19, 13-14 SEC) fits into a very jumbled picture.

I am still trying to sort through all the possible tie-breaker scenarios involving the Bulldogs, who are currently tied for first in the West with a 13-14 mark. I think I’ve figured them all out, and even if that’s the case, listing them here might cause severe mental distress to those reading it. I speak from experience. I will touch on a few scenarios, however.

Let’s start with the simple two-way ties, and remember that Georgia (15-12) is included in this mix, and it plays Vanderbilt this weekend. Here’s who wins the head-to-head tie-breakers involving MSU:

• Alabama: The Tide, who took two of three.

• Arkansas: The Hogs, who took took of three.

• Auburn: MSU, which swept the Tigers.

• Georgia: UGA, which swept State.

• Ole Miss: MSU, which took two of three.

MSU plays LSU (11-16) this weekend, and those teams cannot end up with the same record, unless the series is shortened by rain to two games and LSU wins both.

Let’s move on to three-way ties, but keep in mind, MSU could be second or third in a tie-breaker and still make the tournament; it’s just a matter of seeding. For example, a tie between Alabama, MSU and Ole Miss favors Alabama because of its superior record against the other two, but the Bulldogs would be second in that scenario.

If it’s Arkansas, MSU and Ole Miss, then all three would have the same record against each other (Ole Miss would have to take two of three from the Hogs this weekend for this to happen), and the tie-break method here would be the best record against the No. 1 tournament seed, a spot that’s being fought over between Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

One of the three-way tie-breakers MSU would win is one that involves Arkansas and Auburn.

Then there are four-way tie-breaker scenarios, and here’s a brain-scrambler for you: If Alabama, Arkansas, MSU and Ole Miss all finish in a tie (which means Georgia would have secured the No. 5 seed), and if South Carolina were the No. 1 seed, then MSU would be left out of the tournament because of A) its 1-2 record versus the Gamecocks, and B) its 1-2 record against Alabama. The Tide would have had to have lost two of three to SC for this scenario to play out, thus the first tie-breaker (record vs. SC) puts Arkansas and Ole Miss in the tourney, and the next tie-breaker pits Bama against MSU, so the head-to-head applies there.

Got that? Good, because I’m not sure I do, and I just wrote it. OK, on to some other links.

• MSU went up to Memphis last night and earned an 8-3 win at AutoZone Park. Jarrod Parks and Nick Vickerson both homered for State.

• I have an update on the Forrest Moore lawsuit against MSU. The school is launching a probe, for lack of a better word, into the allegations Moore made against Cohen regarding NCAA rules violations.