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: Oct 6, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:40 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Palm picked them at the beginning of the year and he's tryin gto stick with his pick = terrible pick. MICHIGAN will finish no better than 5th in the Big Ten...not sure that is BCS worthy.

Since: Apr 24, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:36 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I gotta think that Palm knows more of what he's talking about than the vast majority of the posters here.  I'm glad he broke it down, though.  I was wondering about Michigan -- as were most it seems.  Here's my own bit of clarification for whatever it is worth.  Even if it wins out, Michigan most likely won't play in the Big Ten Championship game.  That would be Michigan State.  And here, it seems, Palm predicts that Wisconsin avenges its last-second loss in East Lansing on a neutral field. 

As for Oklahoma State getting shut out... the same thing happen to Michigan State last year.  This is the BCS.  It is not fair.  This is nothing new.  The Cowboys are just gonna have to win the Big 12.  (No need to blame Palm for being the messenger!)

And, finally, on a list of Boise State, Cincinnati, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech I don't know anyone -- with at least a cursory knowledge of sports -- who doesn't notice that Michigan jumps out here.  All these schools have solid fan bases I am sure.  But only one draws nationally, meaning not only fans traveling well, but from T.V. ratings and apparel sales.  Michigan isn't the best football team on the list.  But it certainly has the better brand.

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:32 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I'll amend my last comments. I see now that Jerry is predicting that Michigan will NOT go to the Big Ten championship game and will end the season at 10-2. If his scenario comes to pass, both Michigan State and Wisconsin will remain ahead of Michigan in the BCS standings, blocking Michigan's needed ascent from their current 24th place to 14th place or higher. In order for ALL three teams (Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Michigan) to rise into the top 14 of the BCS standings, there will need to be MANY other teams in the current top 14 that flame out between now and the end of the season. Not impossible, but very unlikely.

Since: Oct 22, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:25 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I think I read the same story last year about a new sheriff in the Big 12.  Guess we will find out.  One year makes you the new Sheriff!
What does all those other years make you?  Oh, that's right.  The first LOSER!!!  Good Luck the rest of the way.  I believe you still have some games to play.  Just remember what you said about K-A-R-M-A before pronouncing yourselves Naty Champs!  There might be a few teams that may just have something to say about that PUKES!!!

Since: Oct 22, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:17 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Just to bad Weedon and Fumblemon don't play DEFENSE.  The Pukes give up 45 points to air.  SWISS CHEESE, OLE, VERY CHURCHLIKE
(HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!!!) They could not stop the mildcats!

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:06 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

You write..(the bowls) "want the best possible game they can get and THAT is based on ticket sales, TV..".  Since all the BCS games are on ESPN and SINGULARLY spread out over a week, I would love to hear more chat 'bout the TV broadcast rights/advertising $ and ratings.  And how the money is distibuted among the conference schools.  Do you think any bowl would put their credibility on the line by selling out to $$$ and not putting the best two teams on the field?  A good game will produce better TV ratings.

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:05 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

"To many people on here do not read or understand how the process works.  Palm lays it out well.  he is simply saying if Michigan wins out..."

That's just it. Jerry is predicting that Michigan will NOT win out. He is predicting that they will LOSE the Big Ten championship game to Wisconsin and finish the season with 3 losses. At the same time, he predicts that with anything more than 2 losses, Michigan doesn't get a BCS bowl bid. These two predictions of his cannot coexist in the real world.

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:56 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Total Fluff, we need a 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 and one more game.  I don't see how U of scuM is going to a Big bowl when they won't even be going to Indy for the B1G Championship.

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:01 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

You are a moron.  Oklahoma to win the Big 12?  Have you forgotten about Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.  Oklahoma won't ever win their in state rivalry game let alone the league.  Also, I am a Michigan fan and have been all my life, but Michigan (finishing at best 10-2, more likely 9-3) in a BCS game?  You really have no idea what you're talking about.  Program allure does not get the 20th team in the country into the BCS.  Granted, the whole BCS is a farce anyway, but for anyone to think that the current Michigan team would play in one of those games is absolutely ridiculous at this point.

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:49 am

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

cincy??? BCS/Bracketology expert? is this your actual title? cincy football? heck, huggins left basketball post a long time ago as well so i'm not sure cincy is even relevant in basketball anymore little alone BCS bowl games! who in the world have they beat!

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