Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tiebreakers

OK, during the conference, I have wireless access to use during the...less interesting talks. It's my turn to have the laptop today, but don't feel bad for Christina -- she has the Town Car today.

Aside from researching video poker strategies, I'm using this time to follow NFL games. The Redskins, at 5-9, ridiculously have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. What better to do during the mathematics conference than figure out what it takes to be mathematically eliminated?

Of the teams they might end up tied with (at 7-9) for a playoff spot, the Redskins would win the tiebreaker with Seattle, Minnesota, Carolina, Detroit, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans. They would lose the tiebreaker with St. Louis, Dallas, and the Giants.

Therefore, if Seattle, Minnesota and St. Louis win today, the Redskins are eliminated. Seattle and Minnesota would have better records than the Skins, and St. Louis would win a tiebreaker. One of Seattle and St. Louis would win the division, and the other would beat out the Skins for the tiebreaker.

If any of these teams lose, the Redskins have their hopes alive for another week. (Though to be truthful, I don't know how many of them are actually thinking about this.) Seattle looks like it's going to lose, and Minnesota is in a close game, so we'll see.
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