Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
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: Nov 28, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 6:11 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

"besides questioning merely having Michigan in the BCS (one more loss and all this is moot)"

Yet you are predicting that Wisconsin will beat Michigan in the Big 10 conference championship game? Wouldn't that count as "one more loss"?

I am not predicting Michigan to make the B1G title game.  That honor (and third loss) belongs to MSU.




Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:49 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

One thing to keep in mind about either OU or Oklahoma State traveling to the Sugar Bowl is that Oklahoma abuts Louisiana and the drive travel isn't too bad. 

OU has always traveled well because they've played in so many bowl games over the years.  Ok State has traveled well to other bowls and the Cowboy fans are so excited this year a flight or drive would be easy pickings to a neighbor state.
It isn't fair but most people don't want to go to cold places around New Year's Day so most of the bowls are south.

As for TV Michigan is a larger state and has good following to local games.  I'm not sure that would make much difference in the TV Sugar Bowl, this year.



Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:49 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Just a follow up...

"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."

Again - the Big 12 and the Fiesta Bowl have a partnership dating back to 1994. Don't you think there will be SERIOUS lobbying on the conference's behalf for the Fiesta to "help" their conference receive a second bid?





Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:43 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Here are some other facts:

Since the addition of the BCS title game in 2006 (and the two extra BCS bids that it generated), every single 1-loss team (7 of them in all) from an AQ conference that was eligible to receive an invitation did so.

Additionally. every single team finishing in the BCS top 10 that was eligible for an at-large bid since 2000 has received one, rather than being passed over for a lower-rated team.

The last time a one-loss team from an AQ conference that was eligible to receive a BCS bid and was passed over for a 2-loss school was Virginia Tech in 2000.

I guess those are just coincidences, Jerry?

The last time the Big Ten did not get an at-large BCS bid was 2004. This was also the last time the conference did not have a second team ranked in the BCS top 12.

The lowest ranked team to ever receive an at-large bid was Illinois in 2007. But they were chosen by the Rose Bowl, who was also honoring the Big 10 relationship. And the Rose's other at-large-eligible choice was a 2-loss Boston College.

The Fiesta Bowl has a partnership with the Big 12. A selection of Michigan would essentially be a veto of a BCS bid for Oklahoma State. Do they think that would set well with the conference?

Who wouldn't tune in to see Oklahoma vs Boise State, Part 2? It would be the best storyline outside the BCS title game, and the most popular ticket among casual fans.

Michigan is currently 24th. They need a lot of other teams to lose just to get into the Top 14 and be BCS-eligible.

They will have to beat Nebraska and Ohio State in November. Michigan hasn't beaten a team with 8+ wins in November since 2003. 



Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:14 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Big Ten Bowl predictions...

1. Rose- Ohio State
2. Capital One- Wisconsin
3. Outback- Nebraska
4. Gator- Michigan State
5. Insight- Penn State
6. Muffler- Illinois
7. TicketCity- Michigan
8. Little Caesar's- Iowa 

No 2nd BCS team from the Big 10 this year, which is fine. I am flip-flopping Michigan and Illinois, because Illinois will beat Michigan in Champaign this Saturday, thereby gaining the tie-breaker. The matchups against the SEC will heavily favor the Big 10 for a change. The Big 10 should have a good bowl season. I would expect no worse than 5-3, but 6-2 or 7-1 is not out of the question. 



Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:02 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

By this time next month, Michigan will be sitting at 7-5 or 8-4 at best, coming off yet another loss to Ohio State, and headed to the Muffler Bowl of Texas as a #6 Big 10 team. Ohio State is going to win out, finish 9-3, and Penn State will lose at minimum 2 of the last 3 games, including at Ohio State. Ohio State is going to go to Indianapolis, where they will win the Big 10 title over probably Michigan State. Wisconsin would then be the only other team with a remote shot as an at-large for the BCS, as they will win out too and finish 10-2. Improbable run for Ohio State from the beginning of the season until now, but right now this is the most likely scenario for the Big 10. Does anyone really think Penn State is going to win the Leaders division, especially in light of the scandal? They have to go to Ohio State and Wisconsin, and play Nebraska this week at home. Whoever wins the Leaders division between Ohio State (if they lose again, which is unlikely) and Wisconsin (who will absolutely win out) is going to win the Big 10 title. 



Since: Oct 28, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:56 pm
 

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 (may not happen), they will eb a highly sought after team for the Fieats, Sugar, or Orange - all of which woudl snap them up in a heartbeat over Okla State due to name recognition, ratings, and fans traveling.  is it fair - NO.  Does it suck for OSU or Oregon who have a better record - YES, but thats the way the system works - bowls and TV want ratings and Michigan against OU or Michigan against Alabama would outdraw Boise or OSU seven days a week.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:41 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

If  TCU beats Boise on that God-Awful blue turf (is Boise going to be allowed to play on it for this game since TCU is leaving the conference?) - Does Houston suddenly get the nod to be in the BCS mix?



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:32 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

But -

If OSU did win out and everything went as predicted, would we have:

BCS NC: Ok State vs LSU
Fiesta: OU vs Boise
Sugar: Alabama vs Oregon
Rose: Stanford vs Penn St
Orange: Clemson vs Cincinatti

I think you could probably flip the Fiesta and Sugar (Boise to Sugar; Oregon to Fiesta) and get same good ol' contest and equally great story lines but don't think the Fiesta was pass up the OU vs Boise match-up.   A little less sure on Sugar picking a 2 loss Oregon as the SEC powers that be seem to have such a hard on for beating up Big 10 teams, but don't see any other schools so probably could see them go out of character and pick Clemson if they run the table?   The other option is Va Tech if they run the table also and get revenge on Clemson?   Pay attention to the Ga Tech game this weekend with Va Tech as any team sitting at 2 losses looks like a potential BCS candidate.

Except an undefeated Houston...




Since: Oct 27, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:30 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

mich has to play osu and neb thats aa hard sced left.


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