Everyone knew that the Provine Rams would be the winner of the 5-way tie that incurred between them, Callaway, Neshoba Central, Yazoo City and Canton. It was after the fact that Provine had earned the 3-seed is as to how the 4-seed would be decided.
Here's how the tiebreaker system works - I'll use the 5-way tie between the five teams that had to go through it Friday:
Provine, Callaway, Yazoo City, Canton, and Neshoba Central all have identical 3-4 Region records.
The first tiebreaker that is used is head-to-head records between the tied teams.
The 5 teams all beat two teams but lost to the other two teams. So they are all still tied.
The next tiebreaker that is used is how the tied teams did against the highest ranked or seeded teams in the designated division games.
The 5 teams all lost to Starkville, so you go to the next one - Ridgeland. The 5 teams all lost to Ridgeland, so you go to the next one - Lanier. The 5 teams all beat Lanier. After tiebreaker 2, all 5 teams are still tied with each other.
The next tiebreaker that is used is points difference allowed in only the designated division games involving the tied teams (Max difference of 12 points per game in Football).
With the 5 teams, Provine came away +13, Canton +4, Yazoo City 0, Neshoba Central -6 and Callaway at -11.
Here is a very important note that the MHSAA put at the bottom of the page with the Step 3 tiebreaker: When more than two teams are tied AND a team or teams is eliminated from the tiebreaker AND two teams (or more) remain tied with identical score differences, the tiebreaker will revert back to step 1.
For those that aren't math experts as to know what 'AND' means - it means that all three of those conditions mentioned must be satisfied before we go back to Step 1.
We had 5 teams - satisfied the first one. We had a team or teams eliminated from the tiebreaker (satisfied the second one) - but we did NOT have two teams remaining tied with identical score differences (did NOT satisfy the third one). So after we decided the 3-seed (Provine +13), we use the same results as to who would have the 4-seed - There is NOTHING in the handbook that says to take out the Provine games and redo Step 3, you use the same results from above - Canton (at +4) had the second best result, so that is why they earned the 4-seed.
To dumb it down, the only way the four teams go back to step one is that if all of the teams had the same point difference (example, Canton, Yazoo City, Neshoba Central and Callaway had -2 score difference and Provine had a +8 difference). If three of the four teams had the same point difference (example: Canton, Yazoo City and Neshoba had -2 score difference, Provine had +9 and Callaway -3), then those THREE (Canton, Yazoo City, and Neshoba Central) would go back to Step 1 with Callaway and Provine out of the tiebreaker.
Had it gone back to Step 1 with Provine out of the tiebreaker, Yazoo City would have won the tiebreaker via Step 1 tiebreaker with Yazoo City and Canton being 2-1 against the remaining teams and Yazoo City having won against Canton.
I've heard that the MHSAA needs to reexplain how to decide the tiebreakers especially when it gets to Step 3. That is all a bunch of do-hickey. WE need to be able to read the handbook better because it is explained perfectly. See? Math skills taught in college DO come in handy!