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 26, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:17 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

After watching the BCS show last sunday,and reading Jerry Palm comments on Michigan today.I believe they are paying these sports writers off to get who they want in these Bowl games.ESPN pays it way to blow other conference's up.So my thoughts are not off base as some people think.I do not want to see LSU and Bama play again

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:13 pm

palm is a putz!!!

mr Palm, you should give your over-used analyzing skills a rest.  Oklahoma State will be in the top eight if they lose to OU...  and that is a fifty fifty proposition at best.  osu has become as much of a bcs cinderalla as boise state and hails from a BCS conference.  Your educated-way-beyond-your-intelligen

ce prognosication will fall mute anyway when michigan loses once more.  but even if osu loses and michigan doesn't, offense sells bowl tickets and even more importantly tv ratings...  consequently, only the opposing BCS bowl game opponent will be in position to remove OSU's slipper, not a putz like you!!!

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:08 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Jerry Your Stupid.Why do keep singing  the Michigan song.Who have they beat,oh I forgor another rated program Notre Dame.used to pay attention to you,but now you ADD

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:07 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"?

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:47 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

BCS rules state that the "at large" selections must come from those teams that are ranked 14th or higher in the BCS standings.

Michigan is currently at 24th in the BCS standings.

The only exception to this rule is if there are no teams left in the top 14 with at least 9 wins. The chances of this exception coming into play for Michigan are remote in the extreme. Three teams in the top 14 already have 9 wins (4 teams if you count non-BCS Houston), and 8 other teams in the current top 14 already have 8 wins.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:35 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St


Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:27 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Mr. Palm, the possibility of Michigan going to a BCS Bowl is practically nil.  The Skunkweasels will likely lose to both Nebraska and Ohio St.  There will be two OSU's in the BCS, Okie St in the Fiesta and Ohio St in the Rose Bowl. 

How, you might ask?  The Cowboys will KO the beat-up Sooners in Bedlam.  The Buckeyes will win out.  Penn St will lose to OSU and either Nebraska or @ Wisky (or both).  OSU will win the tie-breaker for the Leader's Div, then dish out some payback to Sparty to earn a Rose Bowl bid.

Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:21 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Boy are the fans in Iowa City going to be pissed? Nebraska falls off the earth and loses to Mich and Iowa but beats Penn St? Penn State also apparently  falls off the earth and loses three in a row? And since you have to drop Michigan State below Michigan they must lose to Iowa AND NU too. So with Iowa beating Mich Mich St and Nebraska and witha fan base that travels as well as any how do you put Michigan in over Iowa? And If Iowa loses to MSU how can you put Michigan in over MSU? (this is not March Madness yet Jerry)

And unless Penn St loses all 3 how can you put Michigan in over them? IN JO PA's LAST GAME??? They likely lose a game maybe two probably not all 3. And their only OC loss is to Bama! The rest of the league Ohio St. Penn St. Iowa Neb. and MSU all have to implode down the stretch before Michigan makes it to the Fiesta.

Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:12 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

This feeds the argument for a structured playoff system. Picking Michigan just because they have a huge fans base is clearly wrong. If that is the main reason to pick Michigan over OSU then why not stick Michigan in there having a 3-9 record. At 3-9 the fan base would still follow them to whatever bowl game they played in. Let teams earn theie way in. These entitled programs are what stinks in college football.

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:08 pm

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

palm, you are a moran

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