So this question popped into my head this morning right after I woke up. Then it was brought up on WTKA on my way to work. I did some soul searching and this is the conclusion that I came to.
Ultimately, I want what is best for Michigan. If that means that I have to root for a hated rival so that Michigan can have a shot at the Big10 title and a Rose Bowl bid, then I will, but with some reservations.
My original thought was that I needed to root for MSU this weekend and then hope that MSU chokes away another game or two so that Michigan could tie for the championship.
The current pecking order for the Big10 is as such:
3-1 Ohio State
3-1 Michigan State
2-1 Penn State
All of my logic is assuming that we win out because otherwise we have essentially no hope of even sharing the title. Taking this into consideration, the order becomes this:
3-1 Michigan State
3-2 Ohio State
2-2 Penn State
We need Iowa to lose at least 2 and Michigan State to lose at least one. So, we root for Michigan State. Then, we root for OSU to beat Iowa and PSU. At this point, we have a 5-way tie. OSU-Iowa-PSU-MSU-Michigan. But, we still have to take into consideration the PSU-OSU game.
If PSU wins, the tiebreaker removes MSU because of their OOC record, then PSU because both Michigan and Iowa beat them, then Michigan due to head to head.
If OSU wins, MSU gets removed, and we have a 3-way tie between OSU-Michigan-Iowa. Then it comes down to the highest ranked of the 3 in the final BCS.
I would think that Michigan would be ranked the highest. Iowa would fall pretty hard this weekend if they lost to unranked MSU, while Michigan would climb back into the polls with a win against PSU. OSU beating Iowa then losing to Michigan would knock both OSU and Iowa pretty far down in the polls and Michigan would probably finish near the top 10.
In essence, if we root for MSU, we would also have to root for OSU to win the rest of their games except the Michigan game and then hope the BCS works in our favor this year.
Now, if we choose to root for Iowa this weekend, there is very little chance that they lose any game other than the OSU game at which point the Big10 title goes to Iowa. Assume however that OSU wins and Iowa gets upset by a non-contender. Then we need to consider both the outcome of the PSU-OSU game and the PSU-MSU game.
If PSU wins both, Michigan-Iowa-PSU, remove PSU, remove Michigan
If PSU beats only MSU, Michigan-OSU-Iowa, BCS Poll
If PSU beats only OSU, Michigan-MSU-Iowa, remove Michigan, remove MSU
If PSU loses both, Michigan-MSU-OSU-Iowa, remove MSU, BCS Poll
No matter who you root for Iowa needs to lose to OSU, OSU needs to win the rest of their games, and Iowa needs to lose an additional game for Michigan to be in a 3-way tie with them and MSU needs to lose 1 more game.
In summation, if Iowa wins, we are rooting for an upset; if MSU wins, we are rooting for PSU to beat MSU. The safer way to go is to root for MSU this weekend. I hate it as much as the next guy, but I will not pull a Dantonio. I will root for whatever is best for the team.