By now, everyone around here has heard all about the wonderful intricacies of the SEC's tiebreaker system. I suspect they'll be teaching it in math classes any day now.
But all the overwhelming press coverage of this minor SEC matter has overshadowed a ruling of far greater importance.
It involves the complicated, ever-changing, often subjective tiebreaker system of the Daily Beacon's Pigskin Pickers.
And as you can see from below, it might very well be needed this pickin' season.
So I felt I needed to set a clear set of rules and regulations before next week's final round. I am, after all, not only the Pigskin Picker founder and CEO, but also one of its participants.
So I took the lead and set up a conference call between my 12 brain cells to determine the new tiebreaker procedures.
And here is what we came up with:
o If the tie is between two pickers - We will utilitze a rule similar to the one the Big Ten uses to choose its Rose Bowl representative. If the teams in question do not face each other during the regular season, the conference selects whichever one has gone the longest between trips to Pasadena. Our tiebreaker is only slightly different. We will choose as our champion the person who has gone the longest between trips to the library.
o If the tie is between three pickers - We will hold a math contest and the winner will be eliminated from contention. Once the tie is down to two, we will pick whoever is the younger of the remaining contestants. And to clarify, the number used for the student body will not come from the average age of this year's student pickers. It'll be the total age.
o If the tie is between four pickers - We will eliminate all those finalists whose first and last name begin with the same letter. After that winnowing down, we will call together my 12 brain cells and they will choose the winner of the league. Their decision will be final.
It's unlikely they'll be having to determine the fate of the ESPNers, though. We don't have any last-place tiebreakers.
So without hope, the Bristol crew has been reduced to the recycling role, sending back their online college football editor, Joe Wojciechowski.
Don't worry, kids. He's not nearly as scary as he looks in that picture down there.
I am scared of the student body, though. Unlike ESPN, they've been winning way too many games lately.
So I picked junior Blake Klosterman, a statistics major and one of the more random selections I had to pick from.
All I know is that he prominently mentioned his habit of mixing Jack and coke before going to football games.
I guess I'm just hoping he does the same before picking football games.
As for my completely sober picks ...
Mississippi St. at Tennessee: Believe me, I've received plenty of grief around campus for picking against the Vols last week. But this is Mississippi State. When you look at the SEC's statistical rankings and wonder why all those 11s are by Vanderbilt's name, this team is the reason why.
Prediction: UT, 38-10
Purdue at Ohio State: Apparently all the Buckeyes are under the impression that winning their final two games will lead to a jump of USC and a shot at playing for the national title. Funny, I'm still under the impression the Buckeyes squeaked by San Diego State and 2-8 Penn State.
Prediction: OSU, 24-21
Auburn at Georgia: As you know - unless you've been imprisoned in the Art and Architecture Building for weeks or something - the entire campus will be rooting for those dearly beloved Auburn Tigers tomorrow. And while I don't know how you guys are going to handle rooting so hard against Georgia, I'm sure you'll somehow find a way to manage.
Prediction: UGA, 28-24
NC State at Florida State: What will it take to get Chris Rix benched? Apparently parkinggate wasn't enough (Chris is a big fan of the handicap spot). Neither is the fact that his teammates don't like him. And apparently neither is the fact that ACC defensive backs very much like him.
Prediction: FSU, 30-24 (despite you-know-who)
Pittsburgh at West Virginia: Stakes are huge. Losers have to coal mine for the rest of their life.
Prediction: WV, 33-28
LSU at Alabama: It's a classic trap game for the Tigers as they try to avoid looking ahead to next week's game at Ole Miss. Looking past 'Bama for Ole Miss? If that's not a sad indictment on Crimson Tide football, I don't know what is (OK, besides the strippers, the boosters, the probations and the last three coaching departures).
Prediction: LSU, 34-20

- Brett Edgerton is sports editor of the Daily Beacon and a junior in journalism. He can be reached at fromtheedge@utk.edu.