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: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:07 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Would someone explain to me why all this time and energy is being spent to write Oklahoma State out of the picture?  What have they done this year besides win games?

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:37 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I really doubt that Michigan is going to make the BCS cutoff.  What irritates me to death is the possiblilty that the Fiesta Bowl might
actually pair OK with Boise State (again). 

The Broncos got screwed last Fiesta trip having to play TCU instead of an SEC team.  Another year of that and you would want to wonder, is the SEC and 'Bama afraid?

Afterall, these Bowls do talk between themselves and with the major BCS teams. Read that: Alabama.  Who does AL want to play carries a lot of weight.  Am hoping Saban is not just full of gritz and will take on the Broncos in a game everyone wants
to see.

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:22 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I, like many, initially focused on the passing over of Oklahoma State for a lower ranked, less "deserving" Michigan team.

But that just mis-direction that is easily explained away by "MICHIGAN, BIG TEN MONEY, DUH".

The real question at hand is:


Here are the teams (with current BCS rank), along with Palm's projected record for them (and by extension, who he thinks they will lose to). This was inadvertently loaded to his site instead of the actual standings/records on Monday morning, then taken down...

1. LSU (13-0) - none
2. Oklahoma State (11-1) - Oklahoma
3. Alabama (11-1) - non
4. Stanford (13-0) - none
5. Boise State (12-0) - none
6. Oklahoma (11-1) - none
7. Oregon (10-2) - Stanford
8. Arkansas (10-2) - LSU
9. Clemson (12-1) - none
10. Virginia Tech (11-2) - Clemson
11. Houston (13-0) - none
12. Penn State (8-4) - Nebraska, at Ohio St, at Wisconsin
13. South Carolina (9-3) - Clemson
14. Kansas State (8-4) - Texas A&M, at Texas
15. Georgia (10-3) - LSU
16. Texas (7-5) - at Missouri, at A&M, at Baylor
17. Michigan State (10-3) - Wisconsin
18. Wisconsin (11-2) - none
19. Nebraska (9-3) - at Michigan
20. Auburn (7-5) - at Georgia, Alabama
21. Georgia Tech (8-4) - Virginia Tech, Georgia
22. Southern Miss (11-2) - Houston
23. Cincinnati (10-2) - West Virginia
24. Michigan (10-2) - none

Right now, it should be obvious that nobody in the Top 9 (LSU through Clemson), or Houston will fall out of the Final Top 14. Wisconsin, if it wins out as projected, would certainly rise into the Top 11. That leaves a margin of error of 3 spots for them just to sneak in.

And he seems to have chaos breaking loose for every team EXCEPT Michigan. And we've all known Michigan to be a rock of reliability over the years (hey, if you're going to assume OU over OSU based on history, don't you HAVE to assume tOSU over UM?)

Both Texas and Kansas State will lose to Texas A&M?
Texas will totally fall apart, despite only having the 1 bad game vs OU?
West Virginia will win AT Cincinnati after having lost to Rutgers and Syracuse?

Going with Mr Palm's "chaos theory", here's how the BCS standings should look on the morning of Saturday, December 3

1. LSU (12-0) 
2. Oklahoma State (11-0)
3. Alabama (11-1)
4. Stanford (12-0) 
5. Boise State (11-0)
6. Oklahoma (10-1)
7. Oregon (10-2)
8. Arkansas (10-2) 
9. Clemson (11-1) 
10. Virginia Tech (11-1) 
11. Houston (12-0) 
12. Georgia (10-2) 
13. Michigan State (10-2)
14. Wisconsin (10-2)
15. Michigan (10-2) 
At this point, Michigan would have to rely on the voters to move them past either Georgia or Michigan State, despite not playing a game that week, losing decisively to MSU head-to-head, not having to face Wisconsin twice (as MSU did) or LSU (like Georgia did). They would also have to fight of the computers love of the SEC (South Carolina, Georgia) and general dislike of the Big Ten this year.

If either Texas or Kansas State were to win out, they would be ahead of Michigan. And honestly, is that any crazier than Michigan itself winning out?

Even in a near-perfect scenario, it remains possible the Michigan doesn't ascend high enough up the final BCS poll to even be considered for an at-large bid.

If Cincinnati were to win out, they would be ahead of Michigan too.

Bottom line: Michigan COULD qualify for an at-large bid. But it doesn't seem very projectable at this point. More like blind faith.

Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:19 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Did you watch the same game I did?  It appeared to me that Oklahoma State threw two interceptions that resulted in Kansas State touchdowns and fumbled twice, one leading to a Kansas State field goal and the other preventing Oklahoma State from scoring a touchdown.  They literally gave Kansas State 17 points and took 7 of their own away.  If I figure right without those mistakes it would have been Oklahoma State 59 (52 plus the 7 they gave away) and Kansas State 28 (45 minus the 17 they were given).  Those were offensive mistakes, not the defense giving up anything.  The key here is yes they made offensive mistakes, but they overcame those mistakes and still won the game.  Most teams would have panicked and folded after giving away 17 points.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:01 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Arkansas is another team that could be left out of the BCS with an 11-1 record. The Razorbacks are in a strange position that leaves them a longshot at best. First, this argument assumes (a big assumption) that they beat LSU. Strangely enough if the Razorbacks were to blow LSU out, it would probably kill any lonshot chance at NC. Stay with me. If Arkansas beats LSU, it forces a threeway tie in the SEC West. The SEC tiebreaker calls for the highest BCS ranked team to take the SECCG slot UNLESS the second ranked team is within five spots in the BCS. In that instance it becomes head-to-head between those two. If Arkansas wins, they could move as high as two at the most. No way an 11-1 Alabama AND an 11-1 LSU drop as low as eight. Therefore, the only chance Arkansas has is for LSU to remain ranked ahead of Alabama after losing to the Hogs. The only chance for that is if Arkansas squeeks by LSU. It's also hard to imagine that Arkansas would move in front of Alabama in any instance. In that case, both LSU and Arkansas could be left at 11-1 making the Sugar Bowl choose (assuming Alabama gets into the NCCG) between an 11-1 Arkansas that beat LSU and an 11-1 homestate LSU. Additionally, the Sugar took Arkansas over LSU last year, so the chances are they jump on LSU. Arkansas' best bet is that a win over LSU kills the chances of any SEC team getting into the NC game. The Sugar would have Alabama and an Arkansas team ranked top five who just beat LSU would be a no-brainer.

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:32 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

sac flies, sorry its taken me until now to respond to your typical sooner MOST sooner fans, you have no life and can jump from website to website talking trash etc...i mean that's okay becuase your late night shift at walmart doesnt start til 11pm! lol...its just typical gooner and yes i meant to start that with a "g" talk...they always start calling people names (pukes) etc...use all CAPS thinking they are bad asses...I'm suprised you even have access to a computer?

if you will take time to read the heading of this story (michigan vs Oklahoma St) then you would understand how a cowboys fan would respond to such a ridiculous article! but you don't either get it or understand it, you just resort to the same answer that you gooner fans always resort to...history! the all time record between ou/osu are also the same ones out there telling anyone that'll listen how your boss (probably an educated poke (l mean puke? is that what your calling us now days?, since most osu fans have degrees) is screwing you or that the gov't OWES you something for nothing...oh, wait a minute, your an ou fan? well than yes! the gov't does owe you! I mean you've won 7 national titles in football! that's something isn't it??? do you gooner fans actually put that on your resume's??? i have no education but i'm a big ou fan and mortgage my trailer so that i can yell at bob stoops each saturday and tell him how crappy a coach he is because we didnt beat directional state university by 50 points...can i have a job?? lol.....

history in sports, just like stats, are for losers! hell, its for losers in everyday life as well! what are you doing...TODAY? what opportunities lie ahead...Today? how can we be successful...Today? what am I/WE going to do to be successful...Today? Sorry to bore the rest of the country with this post but these are the questions that seperate the typical sooner fan from the cowboy fans....ask anyone in the state, 80% of osu fans hold a degree from oklahoma state university while 80% of ou fans have no degree at all!!! its so true 

now please sac flies, crawl back in bed so that you can rest until its time restock the beer isle...  

Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:31 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

But Michigan would have to lose again in this scenario.
Souperman that's not correct, Even if UM wins out they probably don't make it to the Big Ten championship game. They would lose on tie breakers and not play in that game thus preserving their 10-2 record.  That is why Palm is picking them ahead of the others who would have 3-4 losses.  

Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:27 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I think you completly missed his point.
No Macks, I get his point. I just think he is wrong  if MSU loses in the Championship and is 11-3, I think the bowls would take MSU over Michigan. But if it is MSU's Neb's or Ia's fourth or 5th loss then I can see UM jumping ahead.

Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:20 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

What the heck did Oklahoma State ever do to p*** you off, Palm?   Look at reality, fellow,  Oklahoma State is unbeaten and has played virtually the same teams Oklahoma has played.  Oklahoma State has outranked Oklahoma for a month now.  Longer than that when you go with the stats and take the opinions of biased fellows like you out of the equation.  Oklahoma has lost key players three weeks in a row.  Their main threat Broyles was probably the only one Oklahoma State didn't have a counter for.  They play at Oklahoma State, not at Oklahoma.  Oklahoma State simply does not like Oklahoma.  You should be trying to figure out a way to get Oklahoma into a decent bowl with two loses rather than trying to get Oklahoma State into one with one loss.

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:44 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

The fact that Michigan is still even considered as a possible choice for a BCS bowl game is ridiculous. 

Michigan plays its 3 toughest games of the season, back to back to back. Illinois then Nebraska then Ohio St. (an ohio state team that will have Posey back)

Lets watch this unfold, and this will be a shame if it does because i do NOT believe that Ohio St should play in a BCS bowl game this year, but right now the momentum and odds are with Ohio State to win the Leaders division, and possibly the entire conference.

Ohio state's schedule for the next 3 games is incredibly easy compared to the current leader in the division, penn st.

OSU plays Purdue, PSU, and Michigan
PSU plays Nebraska, OSU, and Wisconsin

If OSU wins out, they have provent that they can lose but right now they are driving and improving on offense each game, they will finish with 2 losses in the big 10, none to anybody in the leader's division.
PSU could easily finish with 3 losses, but to make things fun lets say that they beat nebraska for joe pa's last home game, and lose to OSU and Wisconsin

We are left with a 3 way tie with 3 teams being 6-2 in the conference. But OSU's losses are  to MSU and Nebraska. Unless I have the tie breaker wrong for the new big ten, OSU wins the leaders division due to head to head wins over Wisconsin, and assuming PSU as well.

The legends division will likely be won by michigan st, they shouldn't have trouble with any team except maybe NW.

OSU v MSU in a rematch for the big ten championship in Lucas Oil Stadium?

OSU has an offense now, Posey and Herron were not in that game, braxton is more comfortable, the defense is still top notch. OSU could very well win that game.

Now OSU is stuck going to the rose bowl and losing to Oregon. Any team in the Big 10 will lose to oregon. But, if OSU is allowed to play in the bowl game and the B1G championship game, they will go, and it will be a shame.

There isn't a reason to think that wisconsin has it in the bag. and there isn't a reason to think that Michigan will win out, especially after losing to Iowa, somehow he expected them to lose to iowa? 

If these rankings are based on how it would be if the season ended right now, then PSU would be going to the rose bowl. If it is based on projections, then PSU has to lose 2 games in order to NOT be going to the big 10 championship game. SO he must be assuming that PSU is going to lose to either Nebraska or OSU also.

These rankings are so full of  f***

No big ten team deserves to go to the rose bowl this year. and in all likelihood OSU will end up being that team. not because the BCS loves OSU, but because when OSU isn't good the other teams in the B1G  prove themselves to be worse.  

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