A Scenario in which a UM-OSU rematch is guaranteed before the game

Submitted by chickenbroccolibake on September 2nd, 2010 at 10:47 AM

The question I'm posing here is not whether playing Ohio State a week later in the Conference Championship lessens the rivalry.  I think it does, but this has been discussed ad nauseum already.

My question is this - could Michigan and OSU play each other in the final week of the season, and both be guaranteed of a spot in the conference championship before the rivalry game is even played?

In this scenario (and it applies to any other set of cross-divisional rivalry games played in the last week of the season), Michigan and Ohio State enter the last week of the regular season undefeated in divisional play.  Everyone else already has two losses in their division.

It seems to me in this scenario, that no matter the outcome of The Game, Michigan and Ohio State would both be assured of a spot in the conference championship game.

(This is different from a scenario where Michigan had to beat Ohio State to force a rematch, but an Ohio State win would keep Michigan out of the title game.)

Both teams would obviously want to win.  But there would be questions about how much strategy, etc. each team would want to reveal before the Conference Championship game.  Obviously, because of the BCS polls (and hatred for the other side), there would be incentive to win both games.

But wouldn't that be a huge let down, to play/watch the game, knowing that no matter what the outcome, we would be playing again next week?

Just another reason that where rivalry games are  played in the last week, both teams should be in the same division. (title edited and last sentence added)



September 2nd, 2010 at 10:50 AM ^

if this doesn't make you go:



I don't know what will. Not a shred of original thought in here. Nuke the thread (and the noob please).


September 2nd, 2010 at 10:50 AM ^

If they are both undefeated they will be playing for a NC and although you would not want to reveal to much that first game you still do whatever you have to to win the first game, then you turn your focus to the rematch.


September 2nd, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

Remember, there's the element of the national picture as well, both one team's rank, and the desire to knock the other team off.

For The Game to have no point, you'd have to have the teams assured a spot in the BT championship, AND enough losses to be out of any national title hopes. While possible, I think the likelihood of all of that coming together is very low.

A similar situation would be the old set up where both teams entered the last week of the season and some other team had the BT wrapped up. Then The Game came down to wanting to beat the other. Not sure when/how many times that has happened, but both teams would still want to win. 

Overall, I think you point out something that is possible, but very unlikely.


September 2nd, 2010 at 11:03 AM ^

People keep bringing this up, and it's stupid.

Go back through the recent history of the ACC, Big 12, and SEC.  Ask yourself how many times both divisions in those conferences have had their both division titles officially wrapped up before the last week.  I would easily venture to guess that's never happened in the ACC, at least.  This is such a rare occurrence that it's really, really dumb to use it as a consideration in division splits, scheduling, or anything else.

There will always be something to play for.  I don't understand why people think the importance of The Game comes from whatever larger title implications sprout from it.  Whatever happened to playing for the sake of it?  The Game is important because we want to beat the everloving shit out of those sorry, mouth-breathing, inbred, buck-teethed, Icehouse-swilling, trailer trash bags of cowpies in Columbus, and they feel the same about us.  Who cares if once every twenty years, the slim possibility exists for a rematch?  You feel like marching into Columbus and beating their stupid golden pants off is meaningless?

biakabutuka ex…

September 2nd, 2010 at 11:10 AM ^

Because of bowl positioning (especially if both are undefeated--national championship anyone?), and the historical wins and losses between us being relevant, I don't see them dropping their guard too much in the first game. But even then, worst case scenario, you still get one perfectly legitimate game that year, right? One thing's for sure--what the Big Ten worked out will be better than having them play in the middle of the season 49 times out of 50.

PS: any coach that intentionally loses to OSU will be fired


September 2nd, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

Right now I have zero problem with that scenario. Would love it if I could get my mind to envision it as a possiblity, which would mean a week meditating in Tibet. But with the season here, I just need wins. Flat-out.

turd ferguson

September 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

i'm holding out hope for three consecutive UM-OSU games.

it goes like this: an undefeated #1 vs. #2 in a thrilling final game of the regular season leading to a rematch that goes the other way in an equally thrilling conference championship game. with their computer rankings skyrocketing because of consecutive games against the #1/#2 team in the country, they break the tie in the national championship game.

although pretty damn stupid -- and almost impossible to happen -- that would be pretty crazy & fun.


September 2nd, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

That would be crazy!  In 2006 so many people wanted to avoid the rematch.  But what if the rematch had happened and they were 1-1.  There would have to be no undefeated teams, and no other 1 loss teams in the country for it to happen.  Everyone has 2 losses except for Michigan and OSU who each have one loss to each other.  What an insane year that would be.

Unless the SEC winner had 3 losses, I think they would still go to the championship game though.  For other schools with 2 losses, it would depend on the name.

How would voters choose which school got to go to the national championship?  That would be the craziest BCS year yet I think.  Even if the other choice was clear cut choosing between two 12-1 teams who have a 1-1 head-to-head record would probably be a harder decision than past decisions between 3 undefeated or 3 1-loss teams.


September 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 AM ^

Uh, isn't this what happened in 2006?  I know Wisconsin also had one loss and they would have had to play Ohio State as they were in the same division under the current format (they didn't that year).  I think OSU would have beaten Wisconsin handily (thus ensuring UW had 2 losses), but if we just apply the tiebreaker as it is right now, Ohio State was would have gone to a championship game even with a loss to Michigan because they would have assuredly been ahead of Wisconsin in the BCS standings.


September 2nd, 2010 at 11:38 AM ^

In theory if both teams go undefeated in conference play going into the last game it wouldn't matter if the other teams in the division have two losses they could have only one and it would still guarantee a rematch. Any team with a single loss in conference play would have lost to either UM or OSU. If the head to head matchup is the tiebreaker then even the loser of the game will still win their division.

Section 1

September 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 PM ^

in an even-numbered year.  What happens next?

Do they play the game in Ann Arbor, and flip the home-and-home years after that?

Or do the Buckeyes stay in Columbus and use the AA Columbus Clippers' baseball stadium?  Or, do they go to Cincinnati and use the Bengals' stadium?  They could go a few miles to the north, into Delaware County, and use Ohio Wesleyan's beautiful old stadium, but then what if Wesleyan had a home game on the same weekend?

I'm concerned.


September 2nd, 2010 at 12:49 PM ^

You still want to win the game. I prefered U of M and OSU in the same division to prevent this scenario. But even with a guaranteed rematch before the rivalry game, it would still be must see tv.

st barth

September 2nd, 2010 at 1:24 PM ^

Football teams playing each other twice in a row is always awkward.  I would have preferred that M and ohio state were in the same division so that they could keep the rivalry as last game of the year.  This would hopefully have led to many winner-lives-loser-dies scenarios in which the winner moved onto the Big 10 championship game.

Frankly, last game of the regular season really should be a division rival.  With the newly proposed divisions, I reluctantly prefer the idea of playing ohio state earlier in the year.  Yuck.


September 2nd, 2010 at 3:55 PM ^

It would definitely be weird if that happened - which is one reason why I wanted us to be in the same division.  But it won't happen very often, and if it did, it would probably involve both teams being undefeated (at least in conference play), so the first game would still have national-title implications.