BCS Causes Problems for State of Michigan, Not Just Nation


For yet another year, we are once again looking at a terrible  situation for the Bowl Championship Series.  If you think Michigan and Michigan State aren’t affected because they are ranked in the teens, you couldn’t be more mistaken.  Michigan State needs to win their 13th game to get a BCS berth.  Michigan, on the other hand, might get a BCS birth simply by being Michigan.  Not only that, Michigan State beat Michigan.  Is that fair?  Nope.  As a Michigan fan, do I care?  Nope.

The Michigan-Michigan State scenario mirrors that of the national landscape though, which is a direct result of this whole BCS/conference realignment fiasco.  Think about it.  With Alabama in the clubhouse, they don’t have to play in the SEC title game, but chances are, they are playing for the National Title come January.  How fair is that?

Though this goes to the heart of the BCS troubles,  I have to be careful about this argument.  I thought Michigan should play for the title against Ohio State in 2006.  Instead, it was Florida who got the nod after winning in the SEC title game and ended up killing Ohio State in the National Championship.  The way they played against Ohio State, I don’t know if I can really argue with the selection.

Remember though, Michigan was in the club house at number 2 for TWO games.  The last week of the regular season, Florida beat Florida State.  Then in the conference title game, it knocked off Arkansas.  They were third in the BCS until that final poll.  Then, they leapfrogged the Wolverines.  Michigan wasn’t penalized directly for no conference title game (even though, granted, they couldn’t have even played in one anyway).  They were penalized because they had two weeks off before the final vote.

Fast forward to now.  Alabama is done for the year with LSU playing for the SEC crown.  But Alabama is lucky because they only have to wait one week until they know their fate.  Who knows what the voters will think about a rematch this year.

Also different than that 2006 season, there are still a lot of really good one loss teams around, mainly Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Boise State.  Michigan didn’t have that luxury.  The only other one loss teams besides Michigan and Florida were Wisconsin and Louisville.  And since Wisconsin’s only loss came to Michigan, and Louisville was in the Big East, there really wasn’t much need to talk about the other competition.

There is this year.  There are the other one loss teams that I talked about that have a nice claim to make.  But what about the armageddon BCS scenario.  Have people considered what happens if LSU loses to Georgia next Saturday?  That means we have 5 one loss teams who have some sort of claim.  What’s the right way to decided who plays in the championship game?  I think LSU has to go.  Considering the murderer’s row schedule they had (neutral site versus Oregon, at West Virginia and at Alabama), to come out unscathed is pretty remarkable.

The running theory is that Alabama would get the nod automatically as well.  I don’t really get why it’s so automatic.  Listen, Alabama is good.  They are really good.  But, who have they beaten?  They beat up on Arkansas, who lost to the two best teams on their schedule (Alabama and LSU).  Florida was 12 when they played them.  They are .500 now at season’s end.  Auburn and Penn State were at the bottom of the top 25 when they faced the tide.

The problem is that there isn’t anyone with a more impressive schedule.  Oklahoma State can maybe make the best case of them all, IF they beat Oklahoma this weekend.  Wins over Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Kansas State are pretty solid.  The problem is the loss to Iowa State.  The Cyclones are 6-5, but that doesn’t compared to the loss suffered by Alabama.  The team they lost to was 12-0.

But let’s bring it back home to Michigan.  You can’t help but feel for Sparty.  Michigan is coming off a historically bad three year period.  They lose to State again this year.  And what happens?  Michigan is likely headed back to a prestigious BCS Bowl, while State, though they will definitely be playing in the New Year, will need to beat Wisconsin to get their first BCS Bowl birth.  With logic like that, I’m almost happy Michigan lost to State…almost.