edit: my bad, too much skim reading, I see you mention this.
Michigan's Mid-Season Bowl Outlook
Well, here we are halfway through the season and the team sits at 4-2, a record I think no one would have been too surprised about in July. We have 6 games left, and we need to win 2 of them to become bowl eligible and 3 to guarantee ourselves a 13th game.
All of this got me thinking about the importance of getting to that 7th win. So I decided to look up the rules on the matter and this is what I found:
From the NCAA rules:
184.108.40.206 Exceptions - 12 Game Season. During each year in which an institution is permitted to participate in 12 regular-season football games, an institution with a record of six wins and six losses may be selected for participation in a bowl game if that institution is a member of a conference with which the bowl organization has a contractual affiliation, and there is no other team in that conference qualified for selection per Bylaw 30.9.2. If the conference with which the bowl is affiliated has no other institution that is qualified for selection or a team with a 6-6 record, the bowl may invite a team with a 6-6 regular-season record from another conference with which it does not have an affiliation only if there is no other team with a 7-5 record available in the Division I FBS. Additionally, a bowl game without a conference affiliation may invite any team with a record of six wins and six losses if there is no team with a 7-5 record available in the Division I FBS. During a season in which an institution competes in 13 regular season contests, the institution must establish a record of seven wins, six losses or better to qualify for bowl selection.
According to my count, the Big Ten has contracts with 7 bowl games. This means that if Michigan gets to 6 wins they will make a bowl game as long as there is not 7 other teams with 7 wins OR another team with 6 wins that is a bigger draw than Michigan (the latter is not likely considering they would be going up against the likes of Northwestern, Minnesota, MSU, etc).
Things look even better if you consider that the Big Ten has sent two teams to the BCS fairly often in recent years. If that were to happen (with the Big Ten Champ going to the Rose Bowl and a team like Iowa, OSU, etc also making the BCS), the Big Ten would send 8 teams bowling making Michigan a virtual lock if they can get to 6 wins. And lets not forget that even if Michigan can't fit into a Big Ten contract bowl game, they can still be chosen as an "at large" with 6 wins as long as there aren't anymore 7 win teams.
Bottom line is that Michigan can make this post completely moot if they win 7 games (which like, please God let that happen), but even if they can only beat one other team outside of Delaware State, things look good for us to go bowling. I know 6 wins would probably be a disappointment to most of us. But as long as we came out and won the bowl game, I could live with it. Afterall, look at the change in perception that Notre Dame got after beating a terrible Hawaii team last year.
Doesn't the bowl lineup discussed in that article start next season? Or am I reading it wrong?
Mute: characterized by an absence of sound; quiet.
Moot: having no practical significance.
Gracias fellow Michigan graduate. I thought about that when I wrote it, but forgot to look up the proper spelling. It is now fix.
Getting two teams might be a little tricky this year unless the Big Ten somehow gets one in the title game.
I'm not sure if the ACC has ever had two teams in the BCS bowls in the same year but it could happen this year. Miami and VaTech are both looking fairly solid while the rest of the ACC outside of GTech is looking rather average. It wouldn't surprise me to see both Miami and VaTech with 10 wins, if not 11.
Unless something drastic happens, I'm guessing Boise is probably going to the BCS as well.
If Florida and Bama keep rolling, there might only be one available at-large spot left.
Boise better bring it tomorrow against Tulsa or else it's bu-bye BCS. I don't see any hurdles beyond that. (How the heck are they giving 10 in that one?)
The best way I see the Big10 getting two teams in is if OSU beats Iowa in a close game and they both go 11-1 or PSU beats OSU and goes 11-1. AND Florida or Alabama lose a regular season game and the SEC-CG. I don't see a 1-loss Nebraska or Kansas getting in over a 1-loss Iowa or OSU (especially OSU).
Say this happens:
MNC: Texas - Fla/Ala
Rose: OSU/Iowa/PSU - USCw/Oregon
Fiesta: Iowa/PSU - Boise
Orange: VT - Cinci/USF/Pitt... Big Easy punching bag
Sugar: Fla/Ala - TCU or B12 2nd place.
A nightmare could start with an Oklahoma win this weekend and culminate with the buckeyes in the MNC, and we all don't want that to happen.
BCS~ Rose or National Championship game
Champs Sports Bowl
Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl
Last year because OSU made the BCS, the Big Ten could not fill its last slot in Detroit.
Next year the Big 10 will have 8 Bowl tie-ins, adding the Gator Bowl in place of the Alamo Bowl along with the Texas Bowl and another new one in Texas.
I think UM will be in Florida for the holidays, and that 8-4 or 9-3 is still a lot more likely than 6-6.
UM at 8-4 v. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Nebraska in the Alamo Bowl. Oklahoma would be nice. Remember the last time we played a reigning heisman winner.....
Sam Bradford would shred our secondary if healthy. Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic but the thought of playing OU's passing attack with our pass defense makes me physically ill.
I'd be much happier with Okie State or the Cornhuskers. Those are games we'd stand a solid chance of winning. The Sooners are best saved for future years.
Take my 3 mo old daughter to her first UM game, opponent we can run up s*tloads of yards/points against, low travel costs as we can visit grandparents for holidays... but with Illinois imploding, WisFRAUDsin reverting to their bell curve, and Purdue looking ripe, I'm thinking 7-9 wins and a 4th-6th place finish, giving us a likely Alamo or Champs Sports Bowl bid.
This depends mightily on several factors:
1. Tate gets healthy OR DRob learns not to panic
2. Molk gets healthy OR Moosman increases his intensity at center
3. The defense continues to improve, particularly the LBs and safeties
4. UM plays the same Illini and Purdue teams we've seen in the past few weeks, (Illini - probably; Purdue - maybe)
5. Wisconsin continues down the backside of their bell curve
6. Penn State gets no better
Its conceivable we could go to San Antonio, even with 7 wins, and 8 could well put us in somewhere in FL, probably Champs Sports.
I don't think the B10 gets 2 BCS bids. The league is not well-regarded this year, despite OSU and Iowa being undefeated. The ESPN Gameday crew maintained that Iowa had the best team in the B10 DESPITE nearly getting picked off by UM, at night, in their own house. I found that unbelievable.
I think extra BCS slots go to 2nd place SEC team (Fla/Ala) and Boise St / TCU.
So pencil in either Penn St, Iowa, or OSU for the Rose Bowl, and then start slotting. For sake of argument, I'll put Iowa beating OSU and in Rose now and then project Big Ten standings:
Rose: Iowa (1, 12-0)
Capital One: OSU (2, 10-2)
Outback: Penn St (3, 10-2)
Alamo: Wisconsin (4, 9-3)
Champs Sports: MSU (5, 7-5)
Insight: Michigan (6, 8-4)
Pizza Pizza: Minnesota (7, questionable-- could go 2-4 down stretch leaving them at 6-6)
Outside looking in for extra slots: Northwestern (4-2 now, may need upset vs Wiscy in last game to get to 7 wins and guarantee bowl slot over Minn)
So a little play here and there, I think best case 3rd (Outback), worst case 8th and looking for International Bowl or other non-qual bowl slot at 6-6.
If Iowa is 12-0 like you have listed, they are going to the BCS Nat. Championship game, not the Rose Bowl.
Negative, they won't go over an undefeated Texas or undefeated SEC team. Both of those are still rather good possibilities.
It'd be interesting to watch their climb over the one loss teams ahead of them that traditionally get bumped higher for name value. I could see a bunch of idiots voting USC higher than an undefeated Iowa.
I think a undefeated SEC team (Fla or Ala) and a undefeated Texas or even Kansas will go over an undefeated Iowa (thanks OSU!)
FWIW, I'm not sure the BigXII gets two BCS bowls this year. Texas seems like a pretty solid lock, but unless someone knocks them off in the Championship game or someone else puts up one hell of a run to end the season, It'll take quite a bit of attrition (which there is bound to be) to climb the polls. Their current #2 is OK State/Nebraska around #14/16.
Fiesta: Miami/Whoever doesn't lose last
I don't think I'm able to grant TCU that last spot. One loss at any time will knock them way down. That leaves Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Nebraska, and OK State, currently in that order (I'm taking Iowa over OSU currently).
TCU is getting a lot of good pub (see SI article from last week), so if they get their shi'ite together and stay unbeaten, then I think they may get a run. Granted 1 loss by Boise or TCU knocks them out. I just really think that the consistant Big10 bashing over the past year with OSU's performance v the Almighty is going to propagate to knock a B10 undefeated team. I also think that in the end we're going to end up with a cluster of 1 conference loss B10 teams tied for title (PSU over OSU, Iowa losing to OSU), so that will knock a B10 from an extra BCS slot as well.
* EagleBank Bowl in DC if Army doesn't qualify or ACC doesn't get 8 teams (I would think this would be high possibility with large DC alum base, ease of travel, Big Name team to bowl looking to improve image)
* Texas Bowl if Navy doesn't qualify (Big 12 on edge of 8 teams eligible-- need run by Iowa St, K-State, or Baylor to get 8th team)
* New Orleans Bowl (5 teams from C-USA is looking sketchy)
I don't want to think this, but am preparing myself. I would think/hope/expect Michigan at 6-6 would get play over a 6-6 Minnesota or NW team, but if Minn & NW get to 7 wins, could we jump them even if we are still at 6 wins? I don't think so legally or otherwise.
Pre-season I just wanted a bowl game. Before Iowa I was emotionally thinking a run at a co-B10 title, but now I'm dialing back my expectations to my pre-season ones...
OSU, despite their offensive issues, looks pretty darn good. Also, Iowa appears to be better than everyone but OSU.
I think and 11-1 OSU (assuming a win over everyone left, I just threw up) and an 11-1 Iowa both go to BCS bowl games. This becomes less likely if both ND and Boise State get BCS bids, though.
"The league is not well-regarded this year, despite OSU and Iowa being undefeated."
I'm pretty sure that OSU is not undefeated since they lost to USC in Week 2.
You're right about the league not being well-regarded. I live in Raleigh, NC and the local writer with an AP vote doesn't even have PSU in his Top 25. Part of that is because he doesn't know a lot about college football. The other part speaks to the perceived weakness of the Big Ten. At this point in the season, Michigan is the only team with a win over a Top 25 opponent (ND at # 25).
My bad. I had forgotten about USC.
Wasn't Penn State ranked in the Top 25 when Iowa beat them? I think so, but its been a couple of weeks.
"Michigan is the only team with a win over a Top 25 opponent" PSU was ranked in the top 10 when Iowa beat them. I'm sure there's others, but that one comes to mind since I'm very near to Happy Valley and they are still crying about that.
San Antonio bowl game would be nice because of family situations, but Fla is OK too.
I forgot about PSU. So Michigan and Iowa are the only Big Ten teams with wins over teams that are currently in the Top 25.
Sparty beat Michigan when they were # 22 but that doesn't really count now that Michigan isn't ranked.
The Big Ten may not be "well regarded" which I read as, "regarded with the same esteem that many of us regard them" but who will edge them out of a bowl game bid? Remember, there are 10 spots in the BCS and 6 auto bids, leaving 4 at large bids. Also, each conference can only send 2 teams (maximum) to the BCS. So who will get the 4 at-large bids?
1. Almost certainly an SEC team.
2. Probably a Big 12 team. (with more reservation than the SEC bid)
3. The "next best" major conference team. My order of preference is Big 10, Pac 10, ACC, Big East. (Unless USC manages to not win the Pac 10 and not have more than 2 losses.) It would be really hard to argue with a 1-loss Iowa (assuming they lose to OSU in Columbus, and OSU does not lose again)
4. One (1) Undefeated "mid-major" team like Boise State or TCU (who still has to play Utah and BYU--both have 1 loss).
If the Big 12 goes like this (a totally reasonable scenario): Texas goes undefeated and nobody else has less than 2 losses (Oklahoma has at least 3 losses, OSU has at least 2 losses; then Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri beat up on each other and end up with 2 or 3 losses...maybe more) then no 2nd Big 12 team looks quite so good to a BCS bowl game committee. Then it becomes a beauty pageant between toothless gnomes...plus the Fiesta Bowl isn't as sweet on the Big 12 as the Rose Bowl is on the Big 10. This would increase the chances of a 2nd Big 10 team getting invited.
First list assumptions for auto bids:
Big 10: Iowa
2. 1-loss Kan / 2-loss Nebraska
3. Boise St / TCU undefeated
4. 1-loss Da U
Yes, I think a 1-loss Miami would be more attractive (esp if the Orange Bowl is available) than a 1-2 loss OSU or PSU team. I also think that if Oregon beat USC, a 1-loss Oregon and a 2-loss USC would be more BCS bowl likely than a 2nd Big Ten team.
All bets are off if a BCS buster isn't available or if a BigXII North team gets pounded beyond a pulp in a BigXII title game. Then yes, a 2nd Big Ten gets in and we get bumped up a notch.
And don't forget the ultimate throw-up-in-your-mouth moment. A 10-2 ND team probably gets a BCS bid easy...
Remember when K-State fell from the Natl Championship game in 1998 all the way down to the Alamo bowl due to a sole loss in the Big 12 Champ game?
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I'm guessing that Kansas doesn't have a very large traveling contingent.
Which is why the lower bowls will be drooling over Michigan this year if they get the chance. An enthusiastic Michigan fan base at 7-5? That's not going to happen again. Yeah, we weren't so attractive to the bowls in 2005 with seven wins, but that was after the fanbase had been to back-to-back Rose Bowls.
You're forgetting about ND. They are a one-loss team that may be getting Floyd back this year. Other than the USC game, nothing on their schedule is too daunting. A one or two loss ND gets a BCS bid.
8-4 overall....4-4 in Conference. That would eliminate them from Citrus and Outback. This year, the Champs has the 4th pick, and the alamo the 5th. My guess is that the champs would jump on Michigan (under my senario) over say psu, msu, Minny etc. If not they go Alamo. but I'm betting Champs....
Let's just get 8+ wins and than we won't have to worry about all these other scenarios playing out (or not). We win 7 or 8 games and we are assured a bowl, lets do it!
Anything less, I'll be unhappy. And our bowl assignment won't mean much one way or another. We need to beat two of PSU, UW or OSU to keep this team moving forward.
And I don't think that we'll beat any of those three teams unless we get better play from the defense.