Blog Entry

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:26 am
Most of the comments on this week's bowl picks, besides questioning merely having Michigan in the BCS (one more loss and all this is moot), question why the Wolverines get in ahead of Oklahoma State, which would unquestionably be the higher ranked team.  To understand that, you have to understand the BCS bowl selection process.

You also have to understand what bowls are looking for when creating their matchups.  They want the best possible game they can get, and bowls measure that primarily in terms of ticket sales and TV viewers.  Things like rankings, records and conference standings are secondary considerations at best.  That's why there are so many bowl selection rules, like the one that automatically qualifies the highest-rated non-AQ team for the BCS, or the ACC rule that protects a team from being skipped over by a bowl for another team that won more than one fewer conference games.  If bowls could be trusted to go in conference standing/ranking order, those rules wouldn't be necessary.

The BCS has ten spots.  Six are reserved for the AQ conference champions.  In my projection, those are:

Clemson (ACC), Cincinnati (Big East), Wisconsin (Big Ten), Oklahoma (Big 12), Stanford (Pac-12), LSU (SEC).

There are also four at-large spots, but two teams automatically qualify for those in my projection:

Alabama, as the highest-rated AQ non-champion, ranked in the top four.
Boise State, as the highest-rated non-AQ conference champion, ranked in the top 12.

That only leaves two spots open.  The rest of my at-large pool contains:

Arkansas, Georgia, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Virginia Tech.

Note that with LSU and Alabama automatically qualified for the BCS and a two-team limit per conference, Arkansas and Georgia cannot be chosen.

The first thing that happens is that the top two teams go into the title game, and the other contracted conference champions get put in their bowls.  So, we start with:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs ?
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: ? vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

The next step is that the bowls that lost conference champions to the title game get to choose replacement.  They always choose teams from their conference tie-in if one is available.  The Sugar chooses first because it lost the No. 1 team, and takes Alabama.  The Rose picks Oregon to replace Stanford.  Now, we have:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs Oregon
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: Alabama vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

Boise State and Cincinnati still have to go somewhere, so only one at-large spot is open.

The Fiesta gets the first choice of selections for its game in this year's rotation, followed by the Sugar and Orange.  The Fiesta can chose from Boise State, Cincinnati, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech.

Michigan blows all of those other teams out of the water in terms of fan base and marquee value.  Not even close.  Also, Michigan's fan base would not be jaded by a recent run of success, as sometimes happens with other schools. 

However, two other choices would be much higher ranked:

Oklahoma State isn't a good choice because conference mate Oklahoma is already there.
Boise State would be OK, but the Fiesta has had the Broncos both times it has been in the BCS (including one memorable meeting with the Sooners), and would probably prefer to leave them for someone else.

So, while the Fiesta might go with Boise, but I think the allure of Michigan will be too good to pass up.

The Sugar gets the next pick, and with only Boise or Cincinnati to choose from, the Broncos are an easy choice.  The Bearcats end up in the Orange, and Oklahoma State and its 11-1 record drop out.

Them's the breaks.  Note that if either of the other bowls had first choice instead of the Fiesta, Oklahoma State would almost certainly be that choice.  Also, if the Fiesta did decide to choose Boise, OSU would almost certainly end up in the Sugar.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:00 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Obviously you know little or nothing about how the BCS really works.  Your first incorrect assumption is that Michigan does not lose another game.  That will not haoppen.  Even if it did, there is no way that the BCS allows a one loss Oklahoma State to get passed up by a two loss Michigan team.  Bolise State goes to the Fiesta Bowl for a much anticipated rematch with OU, and Oklahoma State goes to the Sugar Bowl for a classic offensive vs defensive match up against Alabama.  That is where the money is.  There are only so many tickets that these Bowls can sell.  Boise State fans have always bought their allotment.  The T.V. ratings would be much higher if Boise played OU and Okie State played Alabama.  the Big 10 is down this year.  It is bad enough that one of their teams has to go to the Rose Bowl.  We do not need to see another in a BCS game.

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:46 pm

Motor City Bound

This is a joke, right?  How on earth would UM get a BCS berth without at least winning their division?  Won't you be embarrassed when they lose out the season and play in Detroit. I'll makes sure to TiVo it so you don't miss it.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:27 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Michigan no way! Can anyone explain to me how all the talking heads can still be puting sorry a$$ Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl?

Since: May 21, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:07 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Now if Michigan doesn win out which is possible seeing they finish the season with two games at home which will help, they would be 10-2.  They would not go to the Big 10 championship game because they have two losses in their division so it would be most likely Nebraska or Michigan St playing whoever comes out of the Leaders division.  MSU would have to lose 2 of their next 3 and I just dont see that happening.  So that puts Michigan out of the B1G championship game ans sitting at 10-2...if they win out...i know.  Sure its not a slam dunk they will, but it is possible.

Now I see the reason why they should put OU and Boise in for a rematch of their great game, but if that is the case, why not show off two great football programs in OU and Michigan again.  They have played once in 1976 in an epic game at the Orange bowl where OU came out winning 14-6, but the game was much closer then the score shows.

Palm's reason why Michigan could get in the Fiesta make alot of sense.  Sure, OK St might be a better team, but to have a rematch in a bowl game doesnt happen often, and especially not in conference games.  But one of the biggest reasons why Michigan could end up there is the money a game between Michigan and OU would draw.  Between crowds, fans, tv ratings...its a bowl games dream to get two big names like Michigan and OU to play each other.

Now I am nto saying that Michigan is going to go 10-2, but it is possible.  And if they do beat Neb and ohio to finish at 10-2, you cant deny the draw that would have to have   BCS game are alot like All-Star games, there are snubs who deserved to play that get left out.  And sadly that is just the way it goes 

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:02 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

SERIOUSLY!!?!?!?!?  Michigan??  Did you mean michigan State maybe???? Nebraska would be a better pick?!?!?

Mich State plays IOWA indy and NWestern - MOST LIKELY 3 wins

Mich plays NEB and tOSU --  what has michigan done this year to make you think they will win all three of those games???

Pass what you are smoking because it must be some good shiznit!!!!

Do you live in ann arbor???

Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:48 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I would love to see Michigan against Oklahoma. Oklahoma would open a can of whoopass of epic proportions on the skunkbears!

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:46 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Michigan is garbage. They've lost to 2 mediocre teams (Michigan St and Iowa) and they will lose atleast 1 more game. Think about it, they still have to play Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio State, and at best they could win maybe 1 of those 3 games. Denard Robinson is an awful passer and an awful QB.

And this is exactly whats wrong with the BCS. You know whos also terrible and might make a BCS bowl in the Big Ten solely based upon reputation and their fan bases? Nebraska. And Penn St. Two programs with terrible offenses who dont even have QB's. The Big 10 will get 2 BCS bids this year, when it does'nt even deserve one.

Houston, who wont make another run like this for 50 years, and Case Keenum whos a once in a lifetime player and the all-time leader in offense in college football, will be left out for a team like Michigan, Nebraska, or Penn St, who are terrible.

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:41 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

The problem with all this logic is that Michigan is terrible.  Outside of Notre Dame, which was fluky and at home, they do not have any quality wins.  If they win more than one more game it will be an achievement, and it is almost guaranteed they will lose at least one, making all this a moot point.  When you are prognosticating a bowl, it seems that you should make logical assumptions, and assuming they would win out based on their efforts so far this year is ridiculous.

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:35 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

That is what makes me laugh at this projection.  According to this genius Michigan will win out and not win their division so they will not go to the conference championship game.  First, thinking that Michigan is going to win out is a major stretch for me, but assuming this happens why wouldn't the Fiesta want Boise State?  Boise State fans would show up to the Fiesta Bowl and what makes Jerry think people wouldn't want to see another Boise/Oklahoma game considering what happened the last time they played.  Boise would end up in the Fiesta, OK State in the Sugar and Cincy in the Orange.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:29 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Did you attend Michigan?  They beat 3 Big Ten teams and they all have a losing record.  There are better choices for at at large spot.

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