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Are they considered to have the same records? One should just apply tie-breaking procedures?

NFL rules say:

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages

Not sure what the won-lost-tied percentage means. Above they mention that tie counts as half win, then why would you compute a "percentage" instead of simply ranking teams by their equivalent wins?

Bonus question: has this ever happened?

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1 Answer 1

Won-Lost-Tied Percentages are applied as follows:

  • A win = 1.000
  • A loss = 0.000
  • A tie = 0.500

8-6-2: (8(1.000) + 6(0.000) + 2(0.500))/16 = (8 + 1)/16 = 9/16 = 0.563 (0.5625)

9-7-0: (9(1.000) + 7(0.000) + 0(0.500))/16 = 9/16 = 0.563 (0.5625)

*Divisor is the # of games played...in this case, we assume 16 games have been played.

Therefore, both teams W-L-T % is 0.563 and has the same record percentage.

The reason why a percentage is computed is because of the scenario above, equivalent wins (in the win column) doesn't equal equivalent record percentage (such as 9-6-1 and 9-7, 9-6-1 will have the better W-L-T %). In a extreme case, a team who is 0-0-16 has the same W-L-T % as a team who is 8-8-0 (or 7-7-2, 6-6-4, etc...).

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You say"A percentage is computed for the scenario above, equivalent wins doesn't equal equivalent records/percentage". What's the difference with saying the 8-6-2 team has 9 equivalent wins, just like the 9-7-0 team? Likewise, the 9-6-1 team has 9.5 wins clearly better than the 9-7-0 team. I just feel like the percentage is an unnecessary complication. –  FrenchKheldar Dec 9 '12 at 23:53
A tie isn't a win. In terms of percentage, two ties for two games = .500 and one win for one game = 1.000. You compare two 16-game records...one has one less win and loss and two more ties. For all intents and purposes: 1-1-0 = 0-0-2 in terms of W-L-T %. –  edmastermind29 Dec 9 '12 at 23:57
I feel the percentage removes any doubt...I would be more concerned with head-to-head, division, conference, and similar schedule records to determine standings. –  edmastermind29 Dec 10 '12 at 0:01

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