Big Ten Bowl Standings, Theoretical

Submitted by Wolverine In Exile on November 2nd, 2009 at 9:00 PM

So how does our mighty Wolverines v. the TarHeels of North Carolina sound in a Dec 29 match-up in the nation's capitol, Washington DC? How did I get there? Read below.

I did a quick scan of the 2009 Big Ten Bowl arrangements. Below is my attempt at discerning where people stand right now, snapshot style according to Big Ten standings in cases of tiebreakers, unless my intuition takes me in another place. Record is in parenthesis, with conference record after.

Rose Bowl (BCS) - Iowa (9-0, 5-0)
Capital One Bowl - Penn St (8-1, 4-1)
Outback Bowl- Ohio St (7-2, 4-1)
Champs Bowl- Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2)
Alamo Bowl - Minnesota (5-4, 3-3)
Insight Bowl- Northwestern (5-4, 2-3)
Pizza Pizza Bowl- Michigan (5-4, 1-4)

I left out Mich St & Purdue even thought they were ahead of us in Big Ten standings since they don't have a winning record and are probably not going to be bowl eligible, unless Mich St pulls out 2 out of the next three against Western, Purdue, and Penn St. If so, then Mich St may bump us out of Pizza Pizza bowl. So where else could we wind up if we go 6-6?

Looking at conferences with eligible bowl team to fulfill that slot:

* Acc's got likely 7 teams, leaving their Eagle Bank Bowl (#8) slot open.

* Big 12 may have as many as 10 teams eligible, leaving teams 9 (Texas A&M) and 10 (Mizzou / Kansas) looking for slots as well

* Big East has 5 with 6 slots available if UConn doesn't make it. That leaves their #6 slot, the St Petersburg Bowl open

* C-USA has 6 teams probably max but more likely 4-5. They have as many as 7 slots with the last two being opt-in slots if a military academy doesn't make it. Let's say Navy makes it but Army doesn't leaving the C-USA #6 slot, The Eagle Bank Bowl open.

* MAC is likely going to have 5 teams eligible. They have 4 slots. They will fill all their slots with probably a Kent St team outside looking in.

* Mtn West has probably 4-5 teams. Assuming TCU gets a BCS bid, that leaves max 4 teams for their auto-tie-ins. MtnW #5, the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl, is now open.

* Pac-10 has likely 6 teams looking at bowl bids, Pac 10 has 6 slots and all are filled. An extra Pac10 team in a BCS game means their #6 slot would probably go to an extra WAC team in the Poinsettia Bowl

* SEC likely will have 9 teams, but with Fla & Ala BCS bound, that may open up their #9 slot, Bowl

* Sun Belt has probably 2 teams eligible and 1 slot, but the 2nd team isn't likely to get an extra bowl opening.

* WAC has at most 4 teams eligible, but if Boise grabs a BCS bid, then their 3 remaining teams will leave either the Hawaii Bowl or the Poinsettia Bowl open.

So where does that leave us? Likely Open Bowl Games:
Hawaii Bowl Bowl
Roady's Humanitarian Bowl
Eagle Bank Bowl
St Petersburg Bowl

Competing against: #2 Sun Belt, #5 MAC (Kent St), #9 Big 12 (Tex A&M) and #10 Big 12 (Mizzou?)

My guess is that a 6-6 Michigan would get snatched up by either a Hawaii Bowl, Eagle Bank Bowl (in DC) or the St Petersburg Bowl. I think you can probably rule out the Papajohns and Humanitarian Bowls for us. I could definitely see a Mich v North Carolina Eagle Bank Bowl, Mich v. East Carolina Hawaii Bowl, or Mich v. SMU in the St Petersburg Bowl. I would think the DC people would be excited to have two brand name universities going head to head in an area with lots of alums for both sides, and easy travel arrangements.

Christmas time in DC? Any objections?



November 2nd, 2009 at 9:17 PM ^

The bowls do not necessarily have to go in order of conference standings. It goes in order of choice, so the better bowls get the first choice and so on down the line. Michigan is probably one of the most desirable teams to have in a bowl (large traveling fanbase, program tradition, etc.), so they could jump a team in the standings to get to a better bowl. Insight?

Wolverine In Exile

November 2nd, 2009 at 9:49 PM ^

But I'm pretty sure 7-5 (NW) would trump 6-6 no matter what, and a 6-6 Mich St that beat us and possibly Penn St may be a more attractive team at this point. I love to think we're desirable enough to jump other teams, but I don't think that may be the case this year.


November 2nd, 2009 at 11:12 PM ^

the fact that Big 10 will likely get two BCS bids again. There are four BCS at-large slots. One will go to either TCU or Boise, and one will go to an SEC team. That leaves 2 slots. It looks like neither the Big 12 nor ACC will have anyone in the top 14 other than Ga Tech (and if the Ramblin' Wreck loses in ACC championship game, it is not particularly attractive to the BCS). That leaves USC or some other Pac-10 team, the Pitt/Notre Dame winner (if Pitt loses to Cinci), Cinci (if it loses to Pitt) and the Big 10 candidates to fight for the last two slots. If Notre Dame finishes in the top 14, it is a shoo-in for one of the two. That leaves the Pac-10 and Big 10 to fight for the last one. Any Pac-10 team will have to have at least two losses, possibly 3. A one-loss Penn State team (coming off a win over OSU) would win that bid. A one-loss Iowa team (if OSU runs the table) may also win that bid, but may not over a 2-loss USC team. If OSU loses to Iowa but beats Penn State, a 2-loss USC would probably get the bid over 2-loss Penn State and 3-loss OSU. But if USC lost a third game, then Penn State or even a 2-loss Wisconsin team could sneak in there.


November 3rd, 2009 at 12:38 AM ^

As inept as their offensive has looked, especially against Virginia and UConn, and the second-half of the Florida State game, their defense is tough. They shut down VaTech's attack, and their mobile quarterback, through much of their win.

That having been said, getting a bowl bid ipso facto means that we won at least one of the next three. Which means we bounce back! A chance to avenge Johnny Wangler and the loss in the '79 Gator Bowl, when UNC had Lawrence Taylor.

A few of the earlier ESPN bowl projections had a potential Champs Sports Bowl match-up between UNC and Michigan. I bet both fan bases would take that now...


November 3rd, 2009 at 1:01 AM ^

I live in ACC/SEC country so I've seen the Tar Heels play a few times this season on tv and actually went their game at bobby-dodd stadium (GA Tech). This team lost some offensive fire power last year in the draft, but make no mistake, that defense is nasty. Also, the offense is slowly coming around. UNC's offense is based on misdirection and presnap motion, two things I think UM's d would have lots of trouble with.

I would have to agree that UNC is not a great matchup for our young offense and our wayward defense.


November 3rd, 2009 at 7:03 AM ^

Wut? UNC's offense is Wisconsin's without the beefy linemen. Misdirection is not in John Shoop's vocabulary. They have three running plays: Left, Middle, and Right, and their passing game depends on T.J. Yates being effective, which is about 50/50.

MMB 82

November 3rd, 2009 at 9:15 AM ^

would be great right now. But if we do, if you are going to be in a crappy bowl in December, the Insight Bowl in Tempe would be the best place. Doesn't hurt that I live in AZ.....