Southern Miss over Houston and Iowa State over K state would be nice.
So everyone seems to think that Michigan is going to face Houston in the Sugar Bowl. Of course, in order for that to happen, Michigan has to finish in the top 14 of the final BCS standings. The current BCS standings come out at 8:15 pm tonight. This has been an overanalyzed topic on the MGoBoard, but there are some interesting and somewhat overlooked things that could happen next week to affect Michigan's BCS hopes. The consensus round these parts has been that if LSU beats Georgia, we should be in the top 14 and thus selected to the Sugar Bowl. However, even if that happens, there are some other teams that we should be concerned about:
1. Michigan State. If they lose to Wisconsin in a close game, it is not unreasonable to think that they might stay above us. Yes, they have 3 losses to our 2, but they beat us by two touchdowns. They have moved up to 9th (barely) in the Coaches poll and are 11th in the Harris poll. The computers have us (just) ahead of MSU, so if they drop to one spot ahead of us in the polls, the BCS rankings will probably have us ahead of them. For State to stay in the top 14, they'd have to only drop a couple of spots after a loss. A State win in the B1G championship game, while deeply unsatisfying to my fandom, would actually benefit Michigan, as Wisconsin would almost definitely drop below us, and with MSU as one of our opponents, it would help our computer rankings. It would still, however, make me nauseated.
2. Baylor. This is the one that really scares me. The computers LOVE the Big 12. Two of the computer rankings had Baylor 7th overall last week, even with losses to Kansas St. and Texas A&M. My guess is that Baylor and Michigan will almost be exactly tied in this week's rankings, with Michigan having a slight edge. The good news is that they might have dropped a little in the computer rankings, as their win over Texas Tech will not help them as much as South Carolina's win over Clemson, for example. That same game helped Michigan to move in front of Clemson in several computer polls. In any case, Baylor's game next weekend against Texas may decide Michigan's bowl fate.
3. Oklahoma. An Oklahoma win over Ok. St. keeps both in the top 14. I have no doubt that the Sugar Bowl would take us over the Cowboys, but we'd have to make the top 14 for that to matter. An Oklahoma loss should drop them past Michigan in the human polls, but they were 6th in the computer polls last week. A loss to Ok. St. (#2 in the computers last week) is not going to hurt them too much, and they'll probably stay in the top 10 in the computer rankings. That means they'd have to drop to at least about 17th in the human polls to fall past Michigan. I don't know if that will happen.
The overall math is this: We will be 16th in tonight's rankings. We need two teams to drop past us with no teams moving ahead of us. (or three drop and one moves ahead of us.) We need the following to happen:
1. Georgia loss to LSU. A Georgia win eliminates the Sugar Bowl slot. Nobody, not even Mark Richt's mother, thinks this will happen.
2. The B1G loser to drop at least 4 spots in the human polls. That should happen, but hope for a blowout either way (run it up, Bielema).
3a. Texas beats Baylor. A Baylor win probably puts them ahead of Michigan and leaves us at 15th in the BCS, which means we can't be selected over other eligible teams.
3b. Oklahoma loses badly enough to Ok. St. that the human polls drop them to about 18th, allowing Michigan to slide ahead of them in the BCS.
3c. UCLA beats Oregon. The Pac-12 championship game should be irrelevant, as UCLA won't beat Oregon, but if they do, Oregon should drop out of the top 15 in the BCS. That would be great, as it would pretty much lock up a spot in the top 14 for Michigan, and it would give the B1G a winnable Rose Bowl. Go Bruins!
We also should hope that Virginia Tech beats Clemson. A Clemson win is dangerous because it hurts us in the computer polls, and it gives a bowl game the opportunity to take Virginia Tech as an at-large instead of Michigan (unlikely, but possible). I don't think Clemson overtakes Michigan in the human polls with three losses, but it would probably be close.
The BCS standings come out at 8:15. What to watch for: the gap between Michigan and Baylor, and both teams' positions in the computer rankings. I expect Michigan to be at almost exactly 0.400 overall (probably a little above), and Baylor to be just a little below 0.400. If the gap is big enough, it could be hard for Baylor to overcome even with a win over Texas, especially if Baylor gets pushed down by other teams in the computer polls. Last week the computers had them at 0.550; hopefully they have dropped from this spot.
Edit: There has been a lot of consternation in this thread and the others that have popped up tonight about Baylor. Basically, the fear is that a Baylor win over Texas bumps them ahead of Michigan. I should know, since I said it above. Having seen the updated standings, I don't think it will happen. A Baylor win is not going to help them in the human polls. We all know that the voters have a tendency to "ladder" their votes, meaning that teams usually only drop when they lose, or if a team behind them has an impressive win. Beating Texas is not that impressive; a lot of other teams have done it too. So Baylor should stay two spots behind us in the human polls even with a win (assuming TCU beats a 2-9 UNLV team at home). In the computer polls, Baylor can only move up about one spot (ahead of South Carolina) if Houston, Boise, Va. Tech and Oregon win (as they should). The Michigan-Baylor gap is 0.04, which corresponds to exactly one spot on average between the three polls. Since Baylor can't move up in the human polls, and can move up at most a spot and a half in the computers, that gap should only narrow to about half of what it is now. Also, either Georgia or the B1G loser should drop between Michigan and Baylor in the human polls, which should increase the gap. In short, I think the Baylor-Texas game shouldn't matter. We should just need LSU to win, and the voters to drop the B1G loser below us.
Southern Miss over Houston and Iowa State over K state would be nice.
I'm not 100% sure that the Houston loss would knock them out of the top 14 (although it probably will), but it certainly eliminates them from automatic qualifier status for the BCS. It also opens up the possibility of A K-State loss serves the same purpose as a Baylor loss, as it would pretty much clinch the top 14 for Michigan.
that's not going to happen. houston will blow out s miss
I'm afraid that Baylor is going to be the death-knell to a Michigan BCS game. I don't see anyway Baylor loses to Texas, and they will pass UM. I hope I'm wrong.
Too much of a Big 12 bias if Baylor passes UM. Then who gets the at large? Baylor? TCU? Boisie State?
If Oklahoma stays in the top 14, and Michigan isn't there, they'll get a BCS bowl. Failing that, I think Kansas State would have the next shot at the Sugar Bowl.
My hope is that the Baylor win over Texas doesn't do anything for them in the human polls, since TCU is the only team between us and Baylor, and TCU plays a horrible UNLV team on Saturday. The computer polls don't give them a lot of room to move up. South Carolina is just ahead of Baylor, so I think Baylor will move ahead of them. The next two computer spots up are Oregon and Virginia Tech, who should both win next week. The two above that are Boise State and Houston, who should also win next week. I think Baylor can only move up one computer spot. My hope is that the B1G loser and/or Georgia drop below Michigan but ahead of Baylor. That would make it virtually impossible for Baylor to get ahead of Michigan.
I'm not an expert, buuuuut, I'd say that helps a lot. Also, that would make me sad. He's had a great year, and I honestly think he should win the Heisman, which would be almost impossible if he doesn't play.
we have to root for state......ew.
The best scenario for M is a Wisconsin blowout win. That will drop Michigan State significantly in the human polls. Also, they are very close to Michigan in all of the computer rankings, so a MSU loss not only hurts them, it also boosts Michigan.
UM is one spot behind Wisconsin and three below MSU. The poll gaps is a little bigger. Couldn't it be possible that MSU can lose, especially a close game, and still be ranked ahead of UM?
but not likely. Human voters hate late season losses. They are close to us in the computer so a big drop in human polls will drop them.
Every major ranking, including the BCS, has every 2-loss AQ team ahead of every 3-loss AQ team (also, every 1-loss AQ team is ahead of every 2-loss AQ team). There is no way the human voters would rank a 3-loss MSU ahead of a 2-loss Michigan. The computers used to be more objective, but various outcries and tweaks over the years have basically ensured that the BCS can't rank a 3-loss team ahead of a 2-loss team. Thus, I feel very confident that the loser of the B1G Championship, whether MSU or Wisconsin, will be below Michigan in the BCS rankings.
Also, I find it very strange that Michigan is the lowest-ranked 2-loss team. In my opinion, the following teams are ranked ahead of Michigan without a compelling reason:
Michigan's only win over a ranked team was the Nebraska blowout, but we don't have any really bad losses (MSU is top-15, and Iowa was a nailbiter to a bowl team). We have a really similar profile to these other teams, but are ranked below them for some reason.
I think this is due to two things: preseason ranking bias and SEC bias. We were unranked in the preseason, and human voters stupidly have a problem "jumping" teams over each other if they have similar records. However, it should be obvious that preseason rankings should have no bearing on polls 12 games later. Also, I think the annual bias toward SEC strength of schedule is largely unwarranted this year. There's no doubt that LSU and Alabama have looked more impressive than any other teams in the country, but after that, there's not a lot of other good teams in the SEC (Arkansas may be, but they haven't really shown it against anybody good). This is particularly infuriating when a team like Georgia gets a "SEC bump" despite being lucky enough to miss the two heavyweights. Can anyone really look at Georgia's schedule and say it's significantly tougher than Michigan's?
That's bullshit that a 3-loss Baylor could be ranked over a 2-loss Michigan. We're Michigan. We don't get ranked behind teams that have more losses than we do.
You left out a Fergodsakes in there somewhere.
The gap is a little bigger than I thought it would be. The computers must have really liked Michigan's win over Ohio. Remember that Baylor's strength is driven by the computers, and it's hard for them to go much higher in some of those polls. A Baylor win might not be enough to push them ahead of Michigan if it doesn't push them up in the human polls.
Michigan just came in at 16. Dropped 1 rank with this weekend's win. Watched it on ESPN just now. So annoying.
I must be the only one who thinks Georgia actually has a shot of upsetting LSU. What happens to the NCG if that happens?
Well, not really, since LSU wears white for all of its games anyway. I think it would end up with Alabama #1, LSU #2. LSU's schedule strength is so outstanding that even with a loss to Georgia, they still have a way better resume than Oklahoma State, who lost to unranked Iowa State, or Stanford, who lost at home to a team (Oregon) that LSU beat by two touchdowns.
Where in the world are you getting these numbers!?!? No one has ok st that high nor oklahoma that high. Any 3 loss team is going to be below us. Georgia loss will make our bid to the sugar bowl concrete. Really what computer polls are you referring to b/c the bcs official computer polls are seriously far from what youre reporting.
Look at the computer polls. Oklahoma State was 2nd last week in 5 out of 7 computer polls. They were #1 in those polls before they lost to Iowa State.
It's clear you don't understand the difference between the actual BCS standings (as in, the comprehensive shakedown of the three involved polls) and the computer polls that make up a third of the BCS standings.
Why would MSU (ranked 14) stay ahead of us with a loss while Oregon (ranked 10) fall out of the top 15th with a loss?
Human voters are going to see 3 losses and drop them, but if they both lose, Oregon is going to be above MSU.
Oregon would be losing to a 6-6 UCLA team that just lost to USC 50-0. That's bad. Michigan State would be losing to a 10-2, top 15 Wisconsin team that will be playing on Jan. 2nd whether they win or lose. Losing to UCLA is equivalent at this point to losing to Purdue. That should drop Oregon a whole bunch, especially since they will have two losses in the last three weeks. Also, I was talking about the human polls, where Michigan State is ranked 9th and 11th. I don't think a close loss will be enough for MSU, since we should beat them in the computers, but I wouldn't be surprised if the voters at least keep MSU ahead of us based on the head-to-head, and the fact that MSU had to play an extra game against a highly ranked team.
The loser of the BIG championship will fall below, as long as LSU beat Georgia, we will be in top 14.
Bravo sir..thank you for translating the BCS into English for me.
That rule (top 18 if only one top 14 from conference) only comes into play if there are fewer than 10 eligible teams, which will not be the case. So Michigan does need to finish in top 14. Odds are they will.
As usual, ESPN is wrong:
I was listening to ESPN radio as they went through bcs scenarios, and there was something in there about 2 or fewer losses. Looking at the rankings either MSU or Wisconsin will have three, and if OSU beats Oklahoma or LSU beats Georgia that creates another 3 loss team. (I guess there is Iowa States vs K-State or UCLA vs Oregon as well, but those are long shots.
As we all know from our experience in '06, it ain't over until the voters gang up and fix the obvious deficiencies, and that doesn't happen until next week.
Boise will get in as a second non-AQ before K-State. The Wildcats have zero draw.
We're lucky nine of the next eleven teams above us play on Saturday and that the non-AQ teams are most highly ranked. Houston has a pretty decent shot at losing to Southern Miss and will fall like a stone if they lose.
K-State could lose to Iowa State. Georgia should lose. MSU or Wisconsin will lose (hopefully by many points).
This wouldn't be a problem if margin of victory was taken into account. Sagarin's Predictor has us at #9. We're understanding why non-traditional powers hate the system. Starting out of the rankings gives teams with the same record a serious penalty.
Pretty sure if you're a mid major you have to win your conference to get into the BCS. Boise St did not win the Mountain West.
That situation only applies for mid-majors to be an automatic qualifier. Boise is eligible because they are Top-14 and ranked ahead of the Big East. But just because they're eligible doesn't mean they're going
Look, LSU is going to dismantle Georgia, book it. That's one. Clemson isn't going to beat VT. That's two. Wisconsin isn't going to let MSU beat them on a neutral field and embarass Bielema again. Wisconsin beat MSU by at least 14 and we're in. Oklahoma may also very well lose to Okie State.
There are enough possibilities that are fairly likely that I think we're in. UNLESS, the replay official from Saturday(and Iowa) has anything to say about it.
Now I have to worry about next weekend's games and polls, some of which make no sense at all.
If we get bumped out of the BCS, then Ohio gets bumped out of the New Year's bowls and into the Meinecke Car Care of Texas Bowl. Or, possibly, Pizza Pizza vs. the other Ohio.
Thinking UCLA will lose to Oregon, let alone score on them is a pipedream. I am a UCLA fan as I am from the area (and despise USC) and watching last night's game was just painful. IIRC the announcers mentioned that UCLA losing in the Pac 12 Championship Game would make them bowl game ineligible because it would make them 6-7.
But yea fat chance in hell they beat Oregon. Neuheisel needs to be fired.
Kansas St plays Iowa St. An Iowa St win would allow Michigan to move past KState.
Potentially useful but probably irrelevant:
Blowouts wanted in:
#1. OK State's favor over Oklahoma.
#2. B1G CG for either side, with MSU benefitting Michigan slightly more
#3. LSU favor over Georgia
Sadly though, we missed out on the big opportunities to root against teams. ND over Stanford would have been nice to have, as would have TTU over Baylor.
Oklahoma St. had a late season loss to an unranked team, why are they so high. Stanford has one loss to Oregon, a top 10 team. It seems that this year in particular the old standards don't apply, late loss (especially to an unranked team) behind the other one loss teams who have only lost to a ranked team.
OU lost twice to un-ranked teams. And all the high ranked teams they played early in the season are no longer ranked. The BCS computers has some crazy algorithms for ranking big 12 teams high. Even if OU loses they will probably be ranked ahead of us with 3 losses, may be in the human poles they may drop only a few spots behind us...but in the final BCS poll OU may be ranked higher?
It will suck if LSU, OSU and WI all win and we are still not ranked 14th!
According to this ESPN article
In order to be eligible to be selected as at At-Large team for a BCS bowl, a team needs to either finish in the Top 14. However, if only one team from that conference finished in the Top 14 then a team only has to finish in the Top 18. Since the loser of the Sparty Wisonsin game will almost certainly fall out of the Top 14 (unless perhaps it is a very very close game) then we will be eligible to be selected ... Thus advancing to the Sugar Bowl. The point is, we don't even need to root for Sparty (Thank God). With the standings exactly as they are, we have already qualified ... even if Baylor jumps us.
Just saw that several others have posted that Schlabach is wrong about finishing in the Top 18. Guess we do have some rooting to do. How could he f*** that up this badly? There is no way for him to equivocate what he wrote? Is he just flat out wrong or is there some way that he could be "mistaken?"
A 3-loss state team will not be ranked ahead of Michigan. I guarentee it. I think it's perfectly fine to root for Wisconsin in that game.
As long as Georgia loses to LSU we'll be fine.
Also, if you look at their two losses, MSU was essentially blown out by two teams we beat--one in a route (Nebraska). That doesn't make up for their sound beating of us at home, but if they get beaten by two touchdowns at the hands of Wisconsin on a neutral field I think that voters will struggle to put them ahead of us at this stage in the season. Wiscy and MSU both travel well enough to make them an attractive name for any bowl. It's out of our hands and BCS bid over MSU would be a nice way to end the season but I can live with our 10-2 virtual miracle this year.
Mathlete, if you're reading this, do you have any statistical predictions on M's chances of getting to the Sugar Bowl (i.e., Georgia loosing, MSU winning, etc.)?
Many thanks again!
Brad Edwards gives us less than a 50 % chance of finishing in the top 14. I didn't catch his reasoning, but it sounded as if he believed that either MSU wouldn't drop far enough, or Baylor would pass us.
His rooting guide was an LSU blowout.