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.
Comments

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:25 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Love the way you explained the BCS Bowl system and I am sure you are right on how it works. I think you are a homer on some of your picks. Michigan, Wisconsin and Oklahoma are not the top teams at this time. It is to bad you did not also include in your post what would happen if the teams in the lead won out, but then again you are a homer....



Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:21 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Mean to say "Michigan" in my first line, instead of "Michigan State".



Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:15 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

The irony in all of this is that Wisconsin and Michigan State are the only two of the SEVEN teams still alive for a division championship that DO NOT control their own destiny.

If Penn State wins out, they win the Leaders.
If Ohio State wins out, they win the Leaders.
If Wisconsin wins out, they need Ohio State to lose once to avoid the head-to-head tiebreaker.

If Michigan State wins out, they win the Legends.
If Iowa wins out, they win the Legends.
If Nebraska wins out, they win the Legends.
If Michigan wins out, they need the Michigan State-Iowa winner to lose another game to avoid the head-to-head tiebreaker.


Given the level of mediocrity among the Big Ten this year, assuming any of those seven teams to "win out" is naive at best.




Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 9:23 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Seriously, Wisconsin... they have 2 Big Ten losses already...



Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:41 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Covering the same ground with more credibility and probablity, will a 10-2 Wisconsin who is left out of the B1G Championship get a BCS sniff?  Bucky travels and parties like very few others and that $$ carries a lot of weight with the organizers.  



Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:39 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Ok first your nuts. ohio state has been getting better every week and if they win out whitch i think they will. U of M will not win out also they will not make it to the big 10 champ game. Wisconsin having lost to ohio state if osu wins out and penn st. has two losses one being osu and prob wisc ohio st will go to big ten champ game with a three way tie becuse of head to head games.

lot of football left  



Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:26 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I really don't think he knows OSU is getting better every week and will beat purdue penn st. and mich and if they do so and psu also has a lose at wisconson ohio state will go to big ten champ game



Since: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:33 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Michigan wont win another game this year. Get your head out of the sand.



Since: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:49 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

also looks like you have U of G  , losing to LSU in the conf title game , again they would fall in the final BSC standings



Since: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:45 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

to wino

I don't think UM will be 10-2 but you never know

I do know this  , the loser of a MSU / Wisky ( or PSU )   title game will fall in your standings 
A title game counts in the BSC standings , and UM NOT going to this game so can't lose

Ask other recent title game conf losers how that played for them in the BSC other than those famous B - 12   ( Neb / OU ) 
 

both getting hammered in it and making the champ game       
;

     


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com